The Intracoastal Waterway chop didn't faze the Hydra-Sports 3000 in the least. A slightly narrow beam for speed, razor-sharp bow and a 24-degree deadrise at the transom all combined to make the chop seem immaterial to this offshore performance hull as we ran out the bay. Running twin Johnson OceanRunner 225s with 19-inch four-blade props, we managed to top out at 54 mph at 5,500 rpm. Cruising speed seemed most comfortable at 39 mph.
At speed, the 3000 turns and handles like a welterweight. It carves a 180-degree turn in about four boat lengths. At trolling speed, the efficient deep-V hull leaves hardly any white water behind it. With the engines set fairly close together for optimum speed, spinning the boat using forward and reverse is slower than on boats with wider-spaced engines. Consequently, you'll want to chase hooked fish bow-first rather than back down on them.
Once offshore, the 3000 launched and landed off the heavy seas slightly stern-first, where the deep-V bottom did a good job of softening the landing. I was especially appreciative of the dual-ram hydraulic steering, which required only a single finger to turn the big V-6s. I found that dead-slow or on plane made for the most comfort and dryness, while a medium speed - just before plane - seemed to throw out spray.
Though drifting wasn't my first choice of things to do in those steep seas, it allowed me to see that the 3000 falls from nose-into-the-wind to abeam and maintains that position rather than presenting a stern quarter to the seas. With a 30-foot overall length and only an 8-foot, 7-inch beam, the 3000 rolls as you would expect. But the flat chines dampen the transition enough to make it more comfortable, enough that I found slow-trolling in a beam sea to be remarkably easy to handle.
I particularly like the Kiekhaefer trim-tab gauges. It's nice to know at a glance where the tabs are set. It also helps to see how you might have placed your boat out of trim and lets you change weight distribution to fix it more readily.