Product Review Article ...by Dom Mauro
A look at the new Lazer 45 Race Mono by AC Model Boats...
A.C. Model Boats is renown for their line of unique, high quality mono hulls. Every A.C. hull typically exhibits the finest workmanship, and flawless fiberglass finishes. We were anxious to review the new Lazer 45 mono from A.C. Boats. Fortunately for us, our good friend Dom Mauro got his hands on one and offered to give us his impressions of it's performance capabilities.
Building the hull
My first impressions of the new A.C. Model Boats Lazer 45 Mono Hull were laced with mixed emotions. I built this boat in record time, at least for me. I had around 12 hours in it total from start to finish. I got the hull on a Friday night and had it wet 2 days later on a Sunday afternoon. Working fast meant taking shortcuts. I usually build all my boats with a sealed Dubro Quick Charge with on/off switch mounted in the top of my radio box lid. I couldn't find the one I had when I completed the boat, so I put in a fully charged 1800 mAh, 5 cell Sanyo battery pack, plugged it into the receiver, added a Volt Watch battery meter, and taped the lid closed. I equipped the boat with a Quickdraw 25 that was prepared and assembled by M&D Designs with a 175 sleeve, and a Quickdraw pipe with ½ inch cut off the header. I notched the transom to fit the pipe lower in the hull. For hardware, I chose an M&D Drive, Speedmaster rudder, and trim tabs.
A Hitec MG645 servo for the rudder, Futaba 3003 for throttle, both controlled by a JR XR3 transmitter rounded out the radio gear. I used a 1000 mL I.V. bag as a fuel tank. The M&D drive and I.V. bag really helped reduce the assembly time!
On the lake
On Sunday, I went to the lake by myself with my full-sized 26-foot Crownline cruiser. I loaded the Lazer 45 into the cockpit and launched the cruiser. I fired up the Quickdraw and launched the Lazer off the back swim platform of the cruiser. I made a few very slow laps and watched for good water exiting the water outlets; everything looked good. I started making a few blasts with full throttle. The water was very calm that day and Andy at A.C. Boats did warn me that "I wouldn't be happy with the boat in calm waters".
The Lazer did seem a little slow when I first put it into the water. I started doing circles around my cruiser, which stirred up some rough water. The boat seemed to go faster and faster as the water got rougher and rougher. I did have to add some left rudder trim on the boat that day to get it to run straight. I was afraid that this might happen, since I had not mounted a rudder extension on the Speedmaster rudder yet.
Once I had driven the boat and played with it some more, I brought it in and looked it over for any problems. I reinstalled one motor mount nut that had fallen off (that I am sure I had left loose in my haste to finish the boat), checked the other fasteners and installed my Garmin Etrex GPS in the boat in a Zip Loc bag with a piece of floatation. I tossed the boat back into the water and made a few speed runs. The best I could get out of it was 53.1 mph in the calm waters of the cove I was running in.
I proceeded to head out onto the main lake, where the water was kind of rough. I hadn't changed anything in my setup and made a few more speed runs. The boat started skipping across the water with a real attitude and I thought to myself, "It's going over!", but guess what; it never did!
I brought it back in and the Etrex read a best speed of 59.8 mph! Remember that I hadn't changed anything in my setup from the previous runs! I was using a 1475 prop prepared by Andy Brown, and I had cut it down some.
I thought that was enough for one day and headed back to the launch ramp on my cruiser with my Lazer 45 sitting on the stand in the cockpit, with a big smile on my face. I knew with the right prop the boat was capable of mid 60s!
I extended the rudder back 1-1/2 inches with a custom made extension (now sits 6 inches from leading edge of rudder to transom), lowered the M&D drive from 1/2 to 7/16 of an inch from the hull bottom, and I was off to my first race of the season at the North Coast Pond Hoppers. I am by no means a good driver and I will be the first to admit it. I was running a 470 3-blade prop that I had prepared, and knew it was a 56-57 mph prop that seemed to be a great heat race prop when I had tested it. I wasn't looking to be the fastest boat in Open class that day, as I just wanted to be competitive and finish heats. I did manage to nail a few starts, but the best thing I felt was how very comfortable it is driving this boat, as it seemed to go wherever I pointed it. If I screwed up, I could simply aim it in the right direction and it went there with ease and the boat didn't care one bit. I was actually running the buoys that day without even trying, and it was all due to the way the boat was handling and the way it boosted my confidence level driving it. I had my first "Perfect Day" ever in Open Class; all firsts in all heats! A major feat for me anyway!
My final thoughts on the Lazer 45 are that it's a serious race boat that seems to really show "it's stuff" in race water conditions. The boat will be 5 mph or so slower in calm waters. I also assembled a Lazer 45 for Matthew Waldron from M&D Designs, and equipped it with one of their new M&D 25.4cc Hybrid Motors. His boat looked really good on its first outing and proved that the new Lazer 45 doesn't need a Quickdraw to look good or go fast. The top speeds were the same, but the QD had just a tad more grunt out of the corners. If you build a Lazer 45 with an M&D drive, extend the rudder back for optimum handling, and start with the prop shaft trimmed parallel with the bottom of the hull.
The A.C. Lazer 45 is a competitive heat racing hull and I am confident that you will begin to see this boat make it's presence known at the major racing events as well as at the local club pond.
Hull length: 45 inches
Max. Beam: 12-3/4 inches
Deadrise angle: 18 degrees
Hull weight (empty): approx. 5 lbs.
Hull weight (RTR): 14 lbs. Dry
Hatch area: 8-1/2 x 19 inches to the vee in front of the motor
Hull bottom configuration: Sharp keel from bow to stern with 2 full length strakes that stop 5-1/4 inches from the transom. Hook built into the hull bottom at the transom.
Finish: Fiberglass mat with flawless gelcoat.
Hatch: none supplied or available at time of testing
Cost (hull only): $269.00 retail
A.C. MODEL BOATS
P.O. BOX 23041, PLAZA 33,
KELOWNA, B.C.. CANADA, V1X 7K7
PH. 250-765-7730 FAX 250-765-6888