Hello from the new floating lab! For nearly a year I was immersed in the sale of Nomadness and the acquisition of Datawake — simultaneous exhausting projects involving boatyards, surveys, fractal to-do lists, complex logistics, and two wonderful guys who made boat buying and selling uncharacteristically pleasant (without brokers, and still friends after it’s all over!). Now I am immersed again in nautical geekery, and have been living aboard since the first of February:
Before I start writing in detail about individual projects, I should set the stage with an introduction to the ship. Datawake is a 50-foot Delta power boat of Vic Franck design… a northwest classic built in 1974. The company still exists and now conjures luxury mega-yachts, but this is from their early years of building high-speed fishing boats for harsh Gulf of Alaska conditions.
This is a semi-planing hull, and the cruising sweet spot at 2150 RPM with pyros at 900°F is around 17 knots… although she can hit 24 at wide-open throttle if you want to empty the 700 gallon diesel tanks as quickly as possible. The engines are a pair of Cummins VT-903 turbos, and at the efficient part of the power curve she burns about a gallon per mile.In displacement mode, she’s not bad at all, with a hull form that moves easily at “trolling speeds,” though I’m told to avoid the 12-15 knot range.