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TOPIC: General Advice 1997 Ciera Express 24'

General Advice 1997 Ciera Express 24' 22 Jul 2017 20:17 #1

  • Saltyjack
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My name is Saltyjack. Proud owner of 1997 Ciara Express 24' 2455. Pushed by a 2013 Mercruiser 357 with 950 hours. Have a lot of questions about this boat, but I really like it.

1. What is ideal cruising RPM in light seas to use fuel and engine wisely? With 2 adults on board and following seas, 500 lbs. I was hitting 17 knots easy last winter at 30 RPM. Now, with 750 pounds on board, at 30-35 RPM I'm getting 8 knots max, 10 with a following sea. Does that sound right?
2. Please, need operating tips on trim tabs.
3. What sized backup emergency outboard is good for this hull in the ocean?
4. What sized seas and wind can this hull handle without giving the operator a heart attack and/or divorce?

Thank you very much.

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General Advice 1997 Ciera Express 24' 22 Jul 2017 20:55 #2

  • Pcpete
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I covered a lot of your questions on your first post. I'm just slow on my iPad. Your best backup is good maintenance, but, you can find a plastic bag or log that takes out the main engine. IMO, something up to 15hp that you can plumb to your gas tank would work well. At least that's what I've seen. As to how much the boat will take, the simple answer is more than you. For now, until you get more confidence, if there are small craft advisories, the dock is a great place to be. As you get more experience, mainly by getting caught by the wind coming up, confidence will come.
You should consider joining a boating club be it a casual group, Power Squadron, USCG Auxiliary, or a Yacht Club, find one that fits what you want or like to do. They are a hands on knowledge base and most feature some group cruises so there are alway folks you know nearby. Get involved, it can really enhance your time on the water.

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Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

General Advice 1997 Ciera Express 24' 27 Jul 2017 04:34 #3

  • CptCrunchie
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Saltyjack wrote: My name is Saltyjack. Proud owner of 1997 Ciara Express 24' 2455. Pushed by a 2013 Mercruiser 357 with 950 hours. Have a lot of questions about this boat, but I really like it.


These are bigger questions than a simple answer can address. I'll give it a go, but one at a time. But before I start, suggest you fill in your profile so we don't have too keep asking where you live and what your boating/mechanical experience is. We'd also like to know what you plan to do with your boat. Just click on your name, then 'edit'.


1. What is ideal cruising RPM in light seas to use fuel and engine wisely? With 2 adults on board and following seas, 500 lbs. I was hitting 17 knots easy last winter at 30 RPM. Now, with 750 pounds on board, at 30-35 RPM I'm getting 8 knots max, 10 with a following sea. Does that sound right?

I'll address this question in parts.

Here are the top 4 issues you need to address to before you even leave the dock:
1. How clean is your hull?
2. How good is your engine?
3. Has your prop been matched to your engine and OD?
4. How fresh is the gas in the tank?

After you leave the dock, ......
Getting on plane isn't just a matter of revving the engine to a set RPM. The easiest way is to hammer the throttle forward to get on plane, then back off to a nice cruising speed for the conditions you are in. If you have a heavier load, it will take more power to achieve plane, as in, to climb atop of the bow wave you have created.

Here are a few terms you may want to learn, though I'm sure other members will add their own.
'Plowing' is when you don't add enough power to climb your boat over the bow wave. Using your example, if you put 750 lbs in the stern of your boat, then only give it 3000rpm, it is very possible you will plow and never climb the bow wave. However, if you rev'ed it up to 4000rpm, even with that much weight in the stern, your boat should have the ability to climb the wave and get on plane.
'Attitude' is the angle your boat is displaying while plowing and/or on plane. Plowing displays a higher attitude, and once on plane, your attitude decreases greatly. There is a point of attitude for each type of seas and desired speeds.

Given the many sea conditions that exist, traditionally, the lower the attitude, the longer the waterline; the longer the waterline, the better fuel economy for that given speed. That said, if you want speed, there is a point of attitude where the waterline is the least and the speed is the greatest, but you can forget about getting great fuel economy. Ergo: There is a balance you can shoot for for the conditions you are in, i.e.: following seas, gale force winds, choppy seas, pounding through and over waves.

Now, whether you are in following seas or your bow is pounding waves, your boat should easily get on plane. This is also where trim tabs can greatly assist you.


2. Please, need operating tips on trim tabs.

This is how I use my trim tabs, and I use them in conjunction with my outdrive trim. the link will also explain how to achieve the best fuel economy.

3. What sized backup emergency outboard is good for this hull in the ocean?

This depends on what you plan to use your boat for. I have a 15hp 4-stroke Yamaha on my 24'er, and I use it for trolling while fishing, and I have used it to get home when the engine decided it needed a vacation. I've seen our size boats with 8hp to 25hp kickers, but much of this has to do with how and what you mount it on. I had to rebuild mine to accommodate my kicker, and there is no way I could go any bigger with what is there.

4. What sized seas and wind can this hull handle without giving the operator a heart attack and/or divorce?

Since it is my experience that my boat can handle a lot rougher conditions than I am willing to, this is something you - and your partner - will have to determine for yourself. It's kind of like learning the first rule of docking your boat: Never come into the dock any faster than you are willing to hit it. Sometimes it is all about the 'pucker factor', and I'm sure I don't need to explain that.

I will say, however, that your confidence and comfort will increase with experience, as will your mate's. Moreover, and this goes back to my earliest query, much of this has to do with what you plan to use the boat for. If you are a weekend at anchor in some distant bay type where time is never an issue, best to wait for good conditions. If you plan to fish wild waters in a hurricane, I strongly suggest you spend some money and get some serious boat handling and weather training.

Bottom line, while we can tell you what we do, only you can really answer this.

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"B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
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