SuperVee 27 action shot from Hobbico's website.
|Weight RTR:||4.5 pounds|
|Hull Shape:||Deep Vee|
|Color:||6 color options|
|ESC:||45A-18volt water-cooled ESC for brushless motor|
|Propeller:||three blade plastic prop|
|Servos:||1 Std Futaba|
|Battery:||2 6-cell packs with Deans connectors|
|Receiver:||Futaba 2 channel|
|Transmitter:||Futaba 2 channel|
As a boy growing up in Minnesota, the earliest RC models I saw were electric boats and they fascinated me. Those early ones were slow and unreliable and I remember many were brought back to shore by casting for them with fishing gear after they died prematurely. RC has come along way since then! And with the SuperVee 27, the electric "out of the box" boat takes a leap forward to catch up on technology similar to our Ready to Fly planes. The SuperVee 27 comes with an installed water cooled marine B36-56 brushless motor and water cooled brushless ESC. It even has the type of quality metal hardware found on the transom of nitro/gas powered racing boats. They recommend a twin 6 cell Duratrax 3800mAH NiMH packs with Deans connectors that are sold separately.
Let me make it clear from the outset that I have limited RC boating experience. I have operated a number of small ready to run electric boats and owned and operated two full size ski boats. I consider myself an advanced novice in RC boating. I suspect that a number of people with no RC experience may be buying the SuperVee 27 and running it right out of the box. With that understood I do feel qualified to write this review. While my battery packs charged, lets take a look at the SuperVee 27.
As soon as I learned about this boat I wanted it! I have the original Reef Racer and the Improved Reef Racer 2 and I enjoy them both. They also are sold by Aquacraft. They are amazingly fun and fast in a small pond or a swimming pool where their fast turning is really amazing. But compared to the nitro powered boats they are admittedly slow, particularly when seen with nitro or gas boats on a large lake. I could have bought a nitro powered boat, but I don't like the mess or hauling them in a car to the lake. Also I couldn't run a larger boat on some of the local home development lakes here in Stockton as they are too loud. No such problem with the SuperVee. Having seen what brushless motors have done for planes, I wanted a quality brushless boat. (I was thinking of juicing up a Reef Racer 2 until I heard that the SuperVee 27 was coming.) Brushless motors supply more speed, are more durable, need less service and are more efficient than brushed motors. So to put it simply: Clean, quiet speed, ready to run from a company I trust. The first off the shelf high tech, quality brushless powered boat.
The Super Vee is a class of racing boats involved in off-shore racing on courses that can cover a good deal of real estate. The course at Key West was 83 miles in length. below are pictures of some of the full scale boats.
Boat color and assigned frequency are related!
Other items you will need:
Hobbico recommended 2 Duratrax 7.2 volt 3800 mAH NiMH packs that came complete with 12 gauge wire and Deans Ultra Plug connectors that will work with the twin wiring harness that came installed in the boat. These battery packs weigh 15.2 ounces each. Each pack gave me 2.5 times the capacity of 1500 Nicad packs at the weight of one pack. The SuperVee requires 2 packs as it is powered by 12 cells -- over 14 volts at full charge. While the above high performance packs were recommended for racing, the same 2 Duratrax 2000mAH 7.2 volt packs with the same Deans connectors can be used for sport boating. The new DTX cells used in the 3800 packs scored higher in capacity, average voltage and discharge rate then any previous Duratrax cells and are also reportedly lower in resistance (As claimed by Duratrax but not independently tested for this review.) They make up about 40% of the boats RTR weight. I didn't consider using Lipolys for this boat at this time for multiple reasons -- the chief of which were cost, cost, cost and the ease of using the battery designed to fit the boat with the NiMHs. (The twin battery packs sell for a little under $100.00 each.)
The instructions even supplied information about how I could convert existing six cell packs by putting Deans connectors on them. The important note is the packs need to be balanced with the same amount of amps in each. Don't try and use a 1200 pack with a 2400 pack, use two packs of equal size.
The Duratrax 7.2 volt 3800 Mah packs can be charged at 6 amps. You will want to have a charger that can at least charge at a 4 amp rate or you might consider using two chargers,, as one of my friends does, to maximize his time in the air or on the water. There are a number of chargers that will fill this need but I recommend a pulse charger that detects the amount the pack is charged, and not a charger that works off of a timer. I use a Direct Current charger with a power converter for use in my home. It works off a 12-volt car battery at the lake.
Although no tools are needed to assemble the SuperVee 27, tools are needed to maintain it. They also recommend what they call useful items. Most of their useful items are simple common sense items to take for a day in the sun at a lake and they include: sunglasses, sun block, a cooler with cold water and soda, folding table, lawn chairs, first aid kit and a canopy for shelter. They also recommend waders and rubber boots and fishing gear with 12 pound line and a tennis ball to cast and use to help retrieve a stalled or capsized boat. I'll pass on the waders for now but foot protection in unknown waters is a good idea.
Some more specific items are recommended and most RC boaters probably already have these items but I had to buy a few. I will print these as a list but I want to point out that the metric wrenches, the needle nose pliers and the hex drivers are used to access the parts for normal maintenance like greasing the drive cable with speed grease. The procedure is well covered in the instructions and will not be reviewed here but this maintenance is necessary!
**If you are married or have a significant other, never take a good bathroom towel for using on your boat. Buy your own cheap white plain towel for your hobby needs. Trust me on this one!
For initial operation there was only two things that needed to be done to the boat.
Other than that the boat came Ready to Run!
The SuperVee 27 came with a hand-laid fiberglass hull that was painted red with black decal windows (one of 6 bright attractive colors). The hull and top decking were completely finished, with plywood inside the hull securing an aluminum motor mount for the brushless B36-56 motor in a water-cooled jacket. The Futaba/Aquacraft receiver, steering servo as well as the water cooled brushless ESC are in a plastic water tight receiver box installed on the plywood mount for protection. On the stern of the boat, already installed was some premium hardware from Grimracer. This included two stainless steel trim fins and a blue anodized steering fin for stabilization as well as the adjustable strut/drive shaft and the adjustable rudder. These adjustable features will allow for fine tuning my boat for Fast Electric (FE) racing. While this boat would be fun to just speed around a lake or large pond, it was designed to win races. The ability to tune the SuperVee 27 will help the skilled captain adjust for race conditions.
The Transmitter and radio gear are quality Futaba 2 channel surface frequency gear. My transmitter and boat are on channel 68 or 75.550 MHz. If I could see my SuperVee 27 it was still in range. The transmitter has dual trim dials for trimming both rudder and throttle. It also has dual rate and for racing this is helpful -- too sharp a turn can scrub off speed. Too wide a turn and the course is longer. This allows you to set up your transmitter for smooth operation by a turn of the trim dial. In that regard they have issued a tech note about how to center the rudder trim should your boat arrive with the Aquacraft steering servo not properly set-up. The tech note site is included at the end of this review but it and any future Tech notes will be posted in the Hobbico website for Aquacraft. (The nice thing for me was they supplied some more pictures of the SuperVee hardware in the Tech note that I can use in this review. I found their pictures to be better then ones I took. So for this first part of the review I used pictures from the Hobbico website. The pictures and videos in the Gallery section below were taken by me or my son and friends who helped with this review.) To prepare the transmitter I screwed in the antenna and installed 8 AA batteries (not supplied) to power it.
The boat comes with Velcro (or material like Velcro) in the place where the battery packs get installed. Experience has taught me that the self sticking Velcro does not stick well to fiberglass. Since I don't want 15 ounce battery packs bouncing in the hull, I mixed up a small batch of epoxy and peeled the Velcro off the hull, applied some epoxy and reinstalled them where they were. I put the opposite side of the Velcro onto the battery packs with a piece at each end matching the spacing of the pieces on the hull. The self-sticking Velcro has always stayed attached to my battery packs by itself.
I then installed the battery packs in place to hold the Velcro in place overnight while the epoxy cured. The next morning the one side of the Velcro was permanently attached to the hull and the other side to the battery pack. The packs would not easily come loose while the boat was operating.
A nice wooden boat stand comes with the SuperVee 27. It is important to use this stand to protect the hull and especially the running gear at the back of the boat. It also makes a nice display stand at home... but bring it to the lake and USE IT with your boat!
With the first running session completed I decided it was time to add the decals to my SuperVee 27. On the starboard side of the boat the side decal came in one long piece. For the port side it came in two pieces with a circle cut out for the cooling water escape so I didn't have to touch the water escape mount when placing the decals on the boat.
WOW! THIS THING IS FAST!
I got up early and went out to a local lake and took the boat for its first outing. Dawn Patrol Boat! I hadn't even added the decals yet. I started off at a slow cruise but soon couldn't hold back and did a speed run. Kicking up spray it just zipped past me. My adrenalin immediately kicked in and suddenly I was doing fast turns in a wide oval. Now, I have planes that in a dive will do over three times this boat's speed. I am pretty calm when I fly them, but I really felt the need for speed that morning. Not sure if it was the newness of it all or the cool appearance of the spray kicked up behind the boat or simply the way my red streak ripped through the smooth calm waters on the lake but it was exciting! Dang! I needed some buoys and someone to race against!
Whoops! Too sharp a turn almost flipped her...maybe I need some practice before I worry about racing. Although it seemed like I just put the boat in the water, my watch said different. I had been at the lake for almost a half hour and the boat had been in the water about 12 minutes, and the batteries needed to be recharged. Shoot! I had to go to work! Thankfully, tomorrow's Saturday...now how many Honey-Dos did I promise to do this weekend?
I found when I got back to my car that a little water had gotten inside the hull. It was just a little water, but I don't know how that happened so I will have to investigate that in the future. Radio compartment was completely dry.
I was back at the lake the next day before sunrise. The boat performed flawless and the water was like glass...at least before I started racing around the lake. I was still getting used to the boat and this time I varied the speed a lot more than the first time. I remained a lot calmer that second morning and noticed that the boat, while a lot quieter than a nitro or gas powered boat, was louder than I realized the first time I operated it. I guess I really was pumped up that first time. For this session I had charged the battery packs at only 3.5 amps, and each pack had taken well over an hour to recharge. By running at slower speeds as well as full throttle I got about 11+ minutes of running time. At the end of the session there was again about an ounce of water inside the hull. Radio compartment was completely dry. I suspect the water is getting in from the top but will have to test to be sure.
I returned home and set the charger for 5 amps for this recharge. Almost immediately all three lights on the charger started to flash. It wasn't working at 5 amps. I reduced the charge rate back down to 3.5 amps and it was happy to charge at that rate. I am sure the problem was in my old charger and not the battery packs. Unfortunately, the wind picked up while the battery packs were charging and there were good size whitecaps on our side of the Delta waterway behind my neighbor's house so I didn't try a second run that day.
The adjustable strut came set in the neutral position. With the use of simple tools it can be raised upwards to a positive position or lowered down for a negative position. The positive strut angle raises the front (bow) of the boat in operation, resulting in less drag and faster operation but also making the boat less stable and increasing the effect of wind and rough water on the boat. Negative strut angle lowers the bow in operation and increases the stress on the boat and especially the drive components. Too much negative angle can cause the boat to stuff into the water nose first as it comes off a wave. It will take me more practice to honestly report on what the ability to adjust the SuperVee's strut means from a real racing standpoint. Remember that a small adjustment can make a big change. I was happy with the neutral setting and used that setting during most of this review.
The tilt of the rudder can be adjusted. By moving the bottom backwards it takes on a positive angle and moving it forward it takes on a negative angle. The positive tilt helps the transom (stern) to run higher in the water in turns and the negative tilt causes the transom to run deeper in the water in turns. As with the strut, a small adjustment can make a big difference. Although I did try both adjustments, the boat seemed to run best for me with the stock neutral setting. The negative tilt brought the water line too close to the top of the stern for my comfort.
The plastic propeller that comes with the SuperVee gives good all around performance. That was fine for the first couple of battery packs, but then I wanted to experiment and see if I could get more speed. Moving up to a metal prop is the way to get there. My friend tells me the sharper the better when going for speed. The instructions recommend staying away from lifting props unless modified by a professional.
The props they recommend for consideration are as follows:
Unfortunately this meant little to me when I first read it so I took the instruction manual with me on a trip to a friend's and his boating buddy experts. We ran the boat on the Sacramento river and they were impressed with what it did right out of the box as an electric. Frank recommended I try the Prather 220 and keep the edge on the prop as sharp as I could. Jim thought a two blade prop would give more speed but didn't have a model or number to recommend off the top of his head.
We all noticed the boat held a turn to Starboard a little smoother then a turn to port. We all felt that a second turn fin added to the port side of the hull might help the port turns to be as smooth as those to the starboard (right).
Looking inside the boat there was again a couple ounces of water and they said that was most likely coming in thru the top deck and to just seal the deck with plastic 3M clear tape and see if that didn't solve that minor problem. They said the trim plates were of good quality and they might need to be bent down a smidgen. (Further discussion indicated that meant a degree or two of negative to keep the boat better trimmed.) I noted the recommendation but have not acted on it.
I then raised two items for discussion -- varnish, and additional foam. I pointed out that the ply-wood kept getting wet. I had some varnish and I was planning to apply that to the wood inside the hull to protect it. They agreed that would be a good idea. I then raised the issue of adding some more foam inside the hull for better floatation should the boat flip, and they agreed that should be done. The foam should be glued in place with some fitted in the very small space behind the battery packs and most in front of the battery packs.
Which would you think is faster? A boat with a smooth finish or one that has been roughed up just a little bit? Well it would seem intuitively that a smooth bottom would be faster as one might think that would create less friction. But it turns out that is wrong! The "experts" told me the boat would be faster if I roughed-up the bottom of the boat with some 320 grit or a red 3M scrub pad. They advised that the roughed up bottom would cause air bubbles to form along the hull and that would actually be slicker then the smooth painted fiberglass and would break the friction/suction that develops between the water and the hull. They advised that this was only really necessary for the last half of the bottom of the hull that was below the water line in operation. I didn't need to rough-up the bow but just slightly behind there to the stern would make it a faster boat. Trusting them, Frank had me lightly rough-up the bottom of my beautiful boat with a 3M scrub pad. It seemed like a sacrilege but it seems they were right.
Using their 2 chargers both packs were fully charged in under 45 minutes at 6 amps. While we were talking and waiting for the battery packs to charge, we called a police officer friend. He called in to take his break and used his gun to radar my boat on the Sacramento river. Going downstream with the flow (full charge), he clocked my boat at 41.5 mph. Coming back upstream, against the flow, it was 32.8 mph. Going "straight" across the river at ourselves it clocked in at 36.8 mph. His radar gun had just recently been calibrated. He left after only ten minutes to get back on patrol. By the way the hatch was taped for this run and the boat stayed dry on the inside. Unfortunately, the video shot that day didn't track the boat and it was dark and gray. (Dark and gray proved to be a repeating pattern.)
NOTE: During the video shooting I discovered that there was sea-weed growing right near the top of the pond and I snagged it twice with the boat. A weed free pond or lake is the best place to operate, with water at least 6 inches deep and preferably a little deeper. If you do pick up weeds and such, be sure to clear them off as soon as possible to avoid damaging parts.
For teenagers and adults there is no reason why they can't start with this boat. It works right out of the box and operation is easy. Now I wouldn't let a child (pre-teen) operate this boat unless I was right there to supervise them as it goes so fast that they could get themselves into trouble hitting something with the boat or if it tipped over they might try an ill-advised swimming rescue for the boat. (My son in graduate school managed to flip it in seconds.) Safety concerns with the younger ones would be my primary reasoning, and I would want and need to supervise them with this boat. Maintenance by way of lubrication and tighening things up is recommended and necessary and it is explained in the instructions. The beginner should be able to do this but might need to buy some tools mentioned above to maintain the boat. For that matter I was/am a newbie when it came to prop selection and adjustment of the rudder and the strut.
Finally, on Thanksgiving day we had a nice bright sunshiny day. I operated the boat for several minutes while my son, Jeff, shot the videotape you see edited below. With the necessary video shot, I handed my son the transmitter and told him not to turn too sharply. He set the video camera down on the park bench. I walked over to the bench and bent over to pick up the camera. (Can you quess what happened?) As I did that he took off with the boat, turned too sharply and reportedly the boat did an axial roll and a double flip. Not only didn't I videotape it, I didn't see it as he did it while I was bent over to get the camera. Somehow the boat ended right-side-up but the deck cover was not taped on that day. It stayed on but the boat took on a lot of water. I can report that the boat limped back to shore and despite all the water inside the hull the radio compartment stayed dry. That ended our outing.
Note: For the video below I had the boat set-up as it arrived. The bottom of the hull had been scrubbed to create the layer of air bubbles discussed above but otherwise the boat was completely stock setup.
If you have Broadband and would like to see more of the SuperVee 27; Hobbico has a 38 MB professional video that is worth a view!
The boat is designed to be operated with two, six-cell NiMH battery packs and their weight as ballast is planned for in the stern of the boat. The ESC does not have a low voltage cut-off for Lipoly batteries and they would probably be lighter. While I am sure someone will try Lipolys I didn't feel the need to try them, although I do have some packs from planes that would work. I was very pleased with the recommended NiMH's.
The instructions show how to service the drive cable very well by disconnecting the steering controls to the rudder and temporarily moving the radio box to access the parts. I will not go into that here. The tech notes explain how to adjust the rudder if it is not properly lined up when you receive your boat. Mine was adjusted by a turn of the trim dial. Those notes are also self explanatory and can be found at: www.aquacraftmodels.com/techsupport/aqub17tech.html
Lots of speed but no mess, vs. a liquid fuel powered boat. It runs great straight out of the box. My only disappointment had nothing to do with the review model -- my old charger didn't prove up to charging at 6 amps. (It seemed to work well at about 3.5 amps. These were the largest NiMH packs I have worked with and I will investigate getting a new charger or a new dual charger so I can charge both packs more quickly then I could during this review.)
I really like the supplied transmitter. It had all the flexibility I needed for this boat and terrrific range that exceeds what I need. No reason for me to even consider moving from this unit. Only thing to consider is possibly buying rechargeable batteries for the transmitter.
Even though I have planes that go more then three times faster than this boat, I have gotten a complete rush so far everytime I have operated my boat. There is something exciting about the speed, the spray, the proximity and even the noise of this "quiet" boat.
I welcome boating experts who have had a chance to experience the SuperVee 27 to add their comments to this review. I found the hardware on the stern of the boat to be of high quality and it has performed well thus far. I will have to practice more to experience the difference using another prop or setting the drive shaft at different angles for different conditions. I enjoy having what I feel to be a very high tech boat without having to buy a bunch of hop up parts to get there. For the quality and performance the price seems very reasonable.
The boat has been operated for a dozen charges so far. There are no cracks or damage to the boat of any kind. Keeping the drive cable well greased and the top deck covering taped on keeps the inside dry.
While no modifications are required, I recommend:
You don't have to do any of those things but those are my recommendations. You will need to do the recommended maintenace on the drive cable.
I couldn't be more pleased with the SuperVee 27. My only recommendations to Aquacraft would be to consider adding the second steering fin, recommend sealing the top deck, and having a good stock available for sale in warm climates now and in the north for spring. I have had four offers to buy mine but it is not for sale!Last edited by AMCross; Dec 04, 2006 at 11:32 AM..
I am certainly aware that we all have different budgets. I have previously reviewed and still own the much less expensive Reef Racer and Reef Racer 2 that can be purchased for under $100.00 (Sometimes purchased for way under $100.00 at Tower.) I think the Reef Racer 2 is an excellent boat. It's top speed is 15 miles per hour and in a pool or a small pond it is very exciting.
I reviewed the SuperVee 27, I didn't write a promotion piece. But I was impressed by the boat, the quality of the parts, the cost and the convenience of RTR. I know that starting from scratch and buying the parts I couldn't get as nice a final product for the money. I did find a few things that could be improved and I discussed them and listed them in my conclusion.
To me the SuperVee 27 is a significant hobby investment and to some it is chump change. I try to review all products in a serious and honest manner so the reader can learn about the product. I can remember when I started in this hobby and I bought my first RC glider kit (a Drifter 72) with lunch money by skipping lunches. While I was putting the glider together I was saving for the Monocoat covering material and finally my first radio a Futaba set. It would probably be good for me to skip a few lunches now but for other reasons.
Thank you for sharing. Mike
Michael, Thanks (I think) for writing this nice first impressions review. I had never been very interested in V bottoms before, but I have to say that I am tempted by this one. I've built a couple scale runabouts and have been wanting to build a LSH class hydro and an outboard tunnel. I think a boat like this might be a good way to get started in FE boats.
Yesterday was absolutely beautiful and wind was calm here in Northern California. Took the Supervee out for a run after work and it just ripped up the Delta. I even had two full size boats stop and watch my boat and one challenged me to a drag race and he lost! Enjoyed the boat as much as the day I got it! Mike
I just bought one yesterday here in Northern California. Ran it yesterday eve and it's rips!!! right out of the box. I made a shunt and used 1 4s lipo 4000 mah, gave me around 15 mins of run time. We put a amp meter and it looks like it's drawing 42.5 on the strights.
I had to run the bat up front of the motor so the boat ran wet, but it seemed to handle well.
Well I got to race another SuperVee this weekend and we had a blast! He just got his boat and he was handling it great in the warm-ups but the excitement of racing got to him and in the first heat he turned to sharp and cut a bouy for an easy win for me. After that he was a little too cautious. We had a bunch of people watching as we were on a man made lake lined with homes and everyone was out in this beautiful Northern California weather. I think we sold a bunch of people on the Reef Racer 2 and possibly a couple on the SuperVee who's speed was addicting.
suggestion. if, after using hatch tape and a bit of fuel line on the antenna straw, you are still getting water inside the boat. check the cooling system for leaks. I know of 2 boats that have had water leaking from the water jacket on the motor(that bit between the inlet tube and the outlet tube. found mine leaks a bit under presure(bench test). hth
I've very much enjoyed the SuperVee and I just thought I'd add my two cents to what might be done to make this a better watercraft.
1. Add foam to the cover because for whatever reason when I flipped mine the cover came off and sank. I was able to dive for it and recover it but I had to wait until the weekend and it took some time.
2. When mine flipped I had to swim out to retrieve it and it was full of water and to my surprise so was the electronics box. I emptied the water out but I had problems because even the servo had water in it and I didn't realize. In case you get water in it pen the servo and dry it out.
3. Velcro won't hold the batteries in place when you flip the boat. I've not figured out a fix yet but if someone has please post info.
4. Keep an eye on the water outlet because if you go through a weed and it gets stuck to the rudder you will have a hot motor when done. This happened to me but I knew something was wrong before anything got hot.
5. I donít understand the antenna placement through the cover? It seems to me that it could have been attached using a waterproof permanent placement and making it easier to take the cover off/on and have one less place for water to enter the boat.
6. Iíve never designed boats but I do see that the cover goes to far to the back of the boat and it looks like a bit of engineering and maybe a foam gasket might help keep the innards a bit drier. I also think the electronics box might be nice with a see through Plexiglas top secured with screws might be a good idea so you could see if water was in the box at anytime.
This is however a great boat and the price and performance of this boat made it a great deal. I have really enjoyed it and with a few tweaks it will be even better.
Great tips. A piece of fuel tubing over the antenna tube seals up the hole nicely and helps hold the hatch down more securely. I CA'd the antenna tube into the radio box lid so it can't be pulled out. Take the antenna wire out before gluing. My antenna hole doesn't leak a drop even after 45 minutes upside-down in the water.
I also removed the hatch latch and sealed up the hole with hot glue. I actually used that spot later to create a "t-handle" with a paperclip and epoxied it in the hole to give me something to grab on the hatch. Tape the hatch completely before each run. Don't use cheap clear tape, otherwise it will rip all the time and you'll be pulling off itty-bitty pieces for ten minutes after each run. *sigh*
The "Heavy Duty" Velcro at Lowe's or Home Depot will hold the batteries down much more securely. I removed the wood at the front of the battery slots so I can move the packs further forward, and covered the entire pack and hull with Velcro to hold them down. I also put extra foam padding in front of, and on top of, the packs to hold them down in a crash. From the tip of the bow back is all foam-noodle, and a couple of removable pieces in front of the packs ensure easy battery removal.
I've had several VERY hard crashes and so far they haven't moved more than a quarter-inch. It's also a good idea to add more epoxy under the battery box where the flex-tube goes through the wood (where the plywood washer is around the tube). The tube WILL work its way loose and you can cook your electronics from the resulting friction (no more shrink-wrap on THAT pack!).
Also, it's a good idea to pull the motor out and file a flat spot on it for the adapter to mount to. Mine worked its way loose after several runs. Why they don't use a collet-type adapter is beyond me.
I also used a 1/8" drill bit to open up the water-cooling exit hole a bit. The entrance hole on the rudder can be opened up a bit, too, but I opted to go with a separate, transom-mounted water pickup for increase flow, especially during left turns.
Good luck to all!
Good info. I use velcro straps available from Ace hardware to secure the batteries in addition to the velcro tape. I've included a pic. Sand the hull using 60 grit sandpaper where you will epoxy the strap to the hull or the epoxy will fail. Home depot has 3M colored electrical tape and it matches the colors of the SV almost perfectly. I used a short piece of colored tape to cover the antenna hole and cut a small slit in it. It is virtually impossible to use gasket type material to seal the hatch. You really must tape the hatch down. I reuse my tape for the entire day.
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