Tempest 170 Plastic - '09 changes

Just FYI plus it may stir some discussion/advice, as always -:wink:

First, thanks to Steve for the help in getting my leaky hatch issue and bent hull (more on this later) resolved, and quickly!

So I picked-up my new Tempest 170 plastic this weekend.

Good news first:

  • The rear hatch is of the new kind, which looks a lot more solid than the old one (it now has hard plastic all the way and just a rubber lip to keep it closed). Yet to see how it handles in the water though as the Potomac is frozen! Somwhat hard to close still, compared to some other systems but at least it goes on solid.

  • The skeg cable housing is finally sealed in the areas where it goes thru the bulkheads - no more DIY 5200 application to seal these leaks thru the bilkheads.

  • The bulkhead adhesive seems different than what was used before - it is now grey instead of clear. Not sure what this translates to, but I hope it is an improvement -:wink:

  • The hull has no wavy or bumpy quality where the bulkheads and seat are installed - smooth.

  • The skeg is easier to adjust (easy gliding). Not sure if this is a positive or it would just not keep position - remain to see, but my old one was a little hard to move so I like the new one by feel, hoping it will not be too loose.

    The not so good news:

  • still issues with the uniformity of the plastic on the very front of the bow, on the sides at the water entry area. My old boat had one side wavy and flexed a lot but the other side was smooth. This new one has both sides wavy! Not as bad as my one side on the old boat bad but not too far off either? The front plastic is noticeably thinner than it is anywhere else - it yields under pressure on the sides of the bow in a way it does not anythwere else… Again not sure this matters much as it seems strong enough on top and bottom and the sides are not too bad either, but it makes me suspect if this was the designed strength of the bow area compared to other areas or a manufacturing fluke. Probably does not matter (for me) and is a weight saver of sorts and may even be a design approach for cutting weight-:wink:

  • The rear nut that hold the skeg slider in place (on the outside of the skeg control by the cockpit) was completely loose. I finger-tightened it at the store and will retighten more with a tool later. I will need to go thru the rest of the nuts to see if anything else needs care.

  • The skeg fin rattles a lot in its box. Easy fix with some velcro or otherwise, but why not do it at the factory?

  • The skeg cable is routed too far away from the hull taking space in the hatches and is susceptible to items in the hatches snaggin onto it, bending it out of shape or putting stress on the points where it passes thru the foam bulkheads. I don’t have my old Tempest to compare but if memory serves me well its cable was more snug along the hull under the rim and off the way

  • The skeg fin will hang about a 1/4 of an inch out of the box below the boat - needs to be adjusted a bit to fully retract and stay there. Not a big deal to fix myself and may be too little to notice in the water. But may be enough to cause some damage if back-paddled or slid sideways over a rock without fixing it.

  • This one may be a feature: the carry handles are held by bungy like before but they rattle - the bungy is too loosely installed. I lked mine tighter so I will re-tie for a snugger fit.

    Still got to sit in it with my regular water shoes on to see if it fits better than the '07 I had, which required me to move the seat and foot rails to fit me (where an '08 was fine as is).

    Once the water unfreezes I’ll take it for a spin.

Thanks Kocho
I’ll check those points on my new one when it comes in, hopefully in the next few weeks. I guess the ultimate question is, “if you were examining this boat (your new T170) on the showroom floor, and you saw these issues, would you still buy it?”

One of the reasons I bought the plastic T170 is so I can ride surf in for hard landings on gravel beaches without breaking my boat. If the plastic is thin in the bow might this be a concern?

My other question is, if the skeg cable is routed too far out in the hatch space will it jam when I stuff yet one more piece of gear in the hatch?

Thanks again for posting, I’m itching to see my new one:)

What color?
I forgot to ask what color is your Tempest? I’ll look for you on the Bay this summer. Mine is red and will have pink Cancer Survivor stickers on it. I wanted an all pink but its not available anymore.


– Last Updated: Jan-26-09 2:22 PM EST –

Mine is "mango" though in reality I'd say it is more of a "papaya" -;) something b/w yellow and red with more red than yellow (the old mango was more yellow/orange than red for me).

I do not know if the cable would jam or not if bent by load. I got to try this. Either way, that is easily fixable by re-routing it if it does. I do not typically load that many things so it is not a concern to me.

As the bow goes, I think it is plenty strong, especially bottom edge and the top deck area. I would not worry about it but I could not help noticing, since these area is wavy and not smooth like the rest of the hull. The somewhat thinner walls are on the sides - I think it is still stronger than composite boats anyway. I do not even know if this is supposed to be or not - may be it is supposed to be thinner there...

But my suspicion is that because this area is concave (when looked from outside) and therefore convex when seen from inside the hull, the raw material tends to probably flow out of the area or at least accumulate less there when soft and rotating in the mold at high temps. Thus it becomes thinner there... I do not even know how the manufacturing process assures consistent hull/deck thickness ...

new boat
you’re welcome for the help. Glad it worked out well.

  • “The rear hatch is of the new kind”

    yes we spent considerable time and effort getting it right. The tightness comes with the territory. tight is dry (hopefully!)

  • “The skeg cable housing is finally sealed”

    yeah, cool, eh? still it pays to keep an eye on these fittings. With plastic and foam there is always room for movement in time. The new style goop (bulkheads too!) we use is better’n it ever has been and should work well.

  • “still issues with the uniformity of the plastic”

    I sent this note to QC but many of the boats do have a wavy aspect. it is a ‘feature’ of rotomolded plastic. It’s a toughie getting this area (and all areas for that matter) perfectly smooth.

    your older T had issues with the front forming correctly, hence the leaky hatch and the warranty. How does your front hatch fit? can you send me a picture of the bow?

  • “The rear nut that hold the skeg slider in place (on the outside of the skeg control by the cockpit) was completely loose.”

    d’oh! yeppers check everything. I do on every boat I have recieved and I occasionally check fittings as time goes on, as well.

  • “The skeg fin rattles a lot in its box. Easy fix with some velcro or otherwise, but why not do it at the factory”?

    there should be 2 white washers up inside the skeg on the pivot shaft. This eliminates some wobble. The stick-ons don’t last long and IMO make it tougher to clean out the slot if they do get jammed. I kinda like the rattle. It’s like a speed indicator when I’m really cruising. Surfing wind waves will make it ‘hum’. :slight_smile:

  • “The skeg cable is routed”

    Is there a cable clamp on one of the deck fitting nuts? This should move the cable outboard. It’s an ez fix to add another. It’s an electric style clamp, available at auto parts.

  • “The skeg fin will hang about a 1/4 of an inch”

    ALL of my skegs hang 1/4" down but it’s because I adjust them that way. Tolerance on this should be 1/8" or just barely down. This insures that the skeg will be fully deployed when the lever is back. Worse is when it’s adjusted all the way UP. The skeg doesn’t even clear the hull till the lever is down 1/4 of the way! EZ adjustment if you want. just put skeg part way down. Grab it with some vice grips. now remove brass screw at slider and with needle nose pliers grab slider and move aft 1/4-1/2" the tube should slide over the cable. You can also move the cable inside the tube by holding the tube w/ pliers and manually move skeg up or down with vice grips. Take your time and you can adjust these things to exactly where you want. But like I said, run it a little ‘proud’ and you’ll have more skeg ‘bite’ when the wind howls!

  • the bungy is too loosely installed".

    again…D’OH! EZ knot adjustment. Personally I take those off. I like my togs hanging down where I can grab 'em!

    Thanks for the report! Like I said, I have sent this into the plant and hopefully the boat will work well for ya when your water is warmer.


on washers
Steve, instead of using flat washers consider “wavy” ones. That way there will be a bit compressibility in he installation, they will hold skeg from rattling.

Photos on the way
"… your older T had issues with the front forming correctly, hence the leaky hatch and the warranty. How does your front hatch fit?"

The front seems to fit good enough, with only one small area (may be 2" along the circumference) on the left side where it feels there is a smidgen of play b/w the rubber cover and the plastic of the hatch opening if pushed from the side and towards the center of the hatch opening. Seems there is no vertical play as I had on the previous one.

I’ll have a chance to test it in the pool next weekend to see if it leaks.

“… can you send me a picture of the bow?”

Check your e-mail.


– Last Updated: Jan-28-09 2:09 PM EST –

For the wobbly skeg - not a systematic issue, it turns out (the reason for posting this update).

Indeed, thanks (again!!!) to Steve's advice, I found that the two washers that were supposed to be in the skeg box holding the skeg fin centered were missing. No wonder it felt wobbly -;) Without them there is way too much room for the fin to move about.

Hopefully it will be an easy fix once the washers arrive to install them. And that may provide also some more damped feeling to the skeg adjustment cable as well.