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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I guess i've had just a little too much time on my hands, I've been modifying one of my stock sleds (2001 Summit 800 HM) all summer long to do long distance watercrossing,

I made 10 inches of sheetmetal wall above the belly pan and riveted it all on, siliconed up the edges with RTV silicone, installed a bildge pump, tied on a 20 gallon barrel to the back(yeah yeah i know, it wont help much, but maybe instead of sinking 60ft it will only go 30ft) and made a clutch cover, i was ready to go...

this last saturday I went up to Bear Lake and went from east to west, about 8 miles, when I got to the other side, i waited for the boats to catch up (ditched them about half way across cause i was going about 65-70mph and they were only going 45) soon as they showed up I went back across west to east. It was surprisingly calm when I went across(about 8:15am) and had no problems, next weekend we plan on going from South to North and then back if we can manage it.

I know I posted before, but i cant remember exactly, whats the official world record, who holds it? and who is the official recorder? I think i remember someone saying 61 miles, but no details.

I dont know if i beleive it or not, but a guy from Idaho told me that someone went all the way across the biggest great lake, anyone else heard about that?

Anyways, Pictures and video will be posted when I get time,,, If any of you are Monster Garage Fans[:D], you will appreciate this sled and the mods done to it, its modifications were inspired by that show...

anyways,

Peace OUT->
 

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I think the record is closer to 80 miles and I'm pretty sure it was across lake Ontario.

I did a fairly long crossing as well but without the extra prep work that you did. I pulled my 97 XCR 600 out of the garage near the end of April in 1997, Duct taped the clutch side hood vents and tied on an empty bleach bottle. Yeah,.. that's it! My buddy was on a jet ski and off we went. It was a little choppy because of a strong head wind on the way out, in fact, there were a few white caps.
Round trip was 7-8 miles across a large bay and turning around in lake Ontario to return to the boat launch.
No problems at all and I've got it all on video.

PS. I also packed my SCUBA gear in the truck just in case!! LOL
 

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no, i was reading in the guiness book 2003 that it was only like 15 miles. FOR A FACT. It was in borders books. I read on a forum somewhere about someone thinking about doing lake ontairio, but I don't think it has materialized yet. You have to have an offical present to actually get the record... You can't just do it and submit the results.

Go for it! And I bet an empty 20 gallon barrel would float your sled.
 

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To tell you the truth, I don't think a sled that is powerfull enough, running on water at WOT would last 80 miles, it would run out of fuel long before then. I haven't heard of fueling on the go while traveling on water with a sled. I would agree with a record of 15 miles.
 

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yeah, it was on snowest, they were talking about removing part of the seat and adding a gas tank. You would probably need 15-20 gallons to do that whole trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not this upcoming weekend, but the weekend after, we are planning on going from south to north on bear lake, something near 26 miles approx i think. Going to implement a custom add-on gas tank just in case.

working on my digital camcorder atm trying to get a small clip made to show.. still having hardware issues... =(
 

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I know for a fact that someone has gone across lake ontario.. i dont know how far, but I know they did. It was on Ripply's.
 

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hmm. it wasn't in the guniess book then though. Exactly where is this Bear lake anyway?

-Dean
 

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Lake Ontario has been done and it was around 68 miles, but in the past three years someone has gone farther across the same lake. I'll have to see if I can find some info on it.
I have to disagree with the milage thing too. I put no more than one gallon in my sled and intended on going only 1-2 miles but ended up going 7-8 miles. I was worried about running out of fuel but did make it with some to spare. That was on an XCR triple/triple that normally got around 100 miles to a tank. On the water you're not wide open like you are on frozen lakes or pounding through corners on trails so I wouldn't think the milage difference would be huge. You should still get 70 miles +/- out of the stock tank. Add a "Gas Buddy" or whatever they're called and you should be good for fuel. I'd be more concerned about clutch and drive belt failure with the limited cooling of above freezing temps.
 

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Here you go.
Taken from the site www.biedaspowersports.com

Henry Bieda
Snowmobile Waterskipping World Records Holder

Stats & Facts for Lake Ontario Stunt
Crossed Lake Ontario August 22, 1988 from Port Dalhousie to Toronto Island in 42 minutes
Largest body of water ever crossed on a snowmobile (32 miles)
Average speed 45.6 m.p.h
1985 Ski-doo Formula SS with 1983 Rotax 521cc engine
Technician's Gary "The Doctor" Potyok & Paul Prudhomme
Special thanks to Team G.L.F crew member Rick Gail
Custom seat by Miller's Upholstery
Special thanks to support boat captain's Chris Hemmingway, Bart Greer, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Canada Coast Guard
Read the amazing story
Stats & Facts for 100 Mile Old Welland Canal Stunt
Set new 100 mile snowmobile waterskipping world distance record June 9, 1989 on Old Welland Canal, Welland, Ontario
Total elapsed time - 1 hour and 42 minutes, average speed 58.8 m.p.h
Old record set by Mark Maki 67 miles
100.1 miles 9 + consecutive laps on 11.1 mile course
1985 Ski-doo Formula SS with 1989 Rotax 580 cc engine
13 + imperial gallons of fuel use
Dyno Testing courtesy of Jim Czekala - DynoTech Magazine
Read all about it!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Henry Bieda - An Entertainer at Heart
As many diehard snowmobilers can now attest to, stories of snowmobiles crossing over open water have been told for over 20 years. The seemingly impossible phenomenon might not have arisen earlier if it were not for the fact that snowmobiles were not capable of attaining the necessary minimum speed of 28-30 m.p.h. on water until the late 1960's. By the early 1970's stories of reckless snowmobilers running over short sections of open water were not uncommon, but still no one believed that a snowmobile could travel more than fifty or a hundred feet before sinking. It wasn't until the late 70's and early 80's that the Maki brothers of Wisconsin and other Mid-Westerners began holding watercross competitions, that snowmobiling on water was truly recognized as a sport.
Henry Bieda, a Ski-doo snowmobile dealer since 1974 first encountered open water by accident on his 1977 Ski-doo RV at his home in Fenwick, Ontario. As the excitement of doing the impossible-"snowmobiling on water", triggered daredevils across Ontario and Western New York, watercross competitions sprung up in Pendleton, New York and Jordan, Ontario. A born daredevil at heart, as well as a successful drag and oval racer, Henry quickly channelled his back-yard" technical knowledge into making snowmobiles go further on water. After a few years of dominating virtually every regional snowmobile watercross event, Henry became bored and temporarily put his summer hobby to rest.

Ironically, not until Henry's son Stephen won first place in the Open Stock class at the 1987 New York State Grass Drag Championship did thoughts of watercross racing re-enter Henry's mind. Following this victory on their 1987 Ski-doo Formula Plus, local media people wrote a story on what the team had accomplished and asked the all important question, "what lies in the future for G.L.F. Racing?" It was at this critical point in a newspaper interview that Stephen jokingly leaked out Henry's dream of crossing Lake Ontario on a snowmobile.

Once the story hit the papers, other newspapers Jumped on the wild notion of crossing Lake Ontario on a snowmobile. Henry now recalls that from that point on, he was virtually committed to the stunt. After a few months following Stephen's victory, Henry's employee Paul Prudhomme and G.L.F Racing team member, Gary "The Dr." Potyok began gathering pieces for what they felt would make the ultimate watercross snowmobile. The key ingredients were a relatively lightweight chassis with a smooth aquadynamic type belly pan (hull) with a strong transmission. The immediate choice was the 1985 Ski-doo Formula SS outfitted with the most powerful engine available at the time, a 521 cc rotary valve Rotax.

In early spring, Henry became anxious to test their curiously named, sled "Wally", and realized that a critical element was missing-water. By this point, Henry became obsessed with silencing his critics who said, "he has a better chance of making it to the moon than across Lake Ontario". He immediately contacted a friend with all the necessary equipment to build him his very own, "Lake Bieda". He now justifies the effort and expense to build his 2000' by 100' by pond as being necessary in order for the dealership to be able to properly market Bombardier's newly introduced Sea-doo personal watercraft. Those closest to him will tell you however, that this was not the true reason.

Team G.L.F. found testing there creation to be an overwhelmingly arduous and time consuming task. It took them three months of suspension, transmission and engine development not to mention, numerous "drownings", before they were confident enough that the sled would work. Early that spring, Henry was contacted by a Welland Rose City Festival representative that had heard of Henry's planned Lake crossing and asked if he would put on an exhibition. Henry and the team obliged feeling that this would be an excellent opportunity to test the sled on a larger body of water before challenging the Lake. The7 mile exhibition run was a tremendous success for both Team G.L.F and the Lakewood Camp for Crippled Children, as Henry managed to raise $500 in pledges.

As the summer went on, the effort to get the sled ready to 'Tame the Lake', was complicated by rumours of other "water-skippers" which had their sights set on beating Henry to the punch. Andy Alexander and Joe Barrato of Fat Brothers Racing were one of the two teams planning a Lake Ontario crossing that never managed to find the right combination. Carl Speiring of Fast Company Racing was the other unsuccessful challenger. Following plenty of media hype and preparation, Henry and Team G.L.F began monitoring weather and marine forecasts from dawn to dusk for the necessary absolute perfect conditions. Following a half a dozen cancellations, media and local people became highly sceptical calling the whole idea a hoax. Finally, on August 20, 1988 at Port Dalhousie, Ontario wave conditions appeared to be as good as they would get.

With visibility perfect from Lakeside Park, Port Dalhousie straight across to Toronto, Henry responded to a heckler's pestering and unexpectedly jumped on "Wally" without his lifejacket and launched the sled from the sandy beach at 6:11 pm. Needless to say, at this point, there was no tuming back. The supportboat Captains, Bart Greer and Chris Hemmingway, knew Henry was nearly ready but, received no signal that this was really it! As Henry and "Wally" bounced over the 9 inch chop, everyone including the cameraman (Paul Prudhomme) knew that any wave could cause the sled to capsize.

Fortunately, Henry managed to hang-on and after a mile and a half of the gruelling ride behind him, the wave conditions settled down. Midway across the Lake, Henry opened up the throttle and began to leave Bart's 32' offshore race boat behind while hitting peak speeds of over 60 m.p.h.. After almost 30 miles of punishing waves behind them Henry and his crew the could see that the shoreline was in site and there was only 2 miles to go. The support crew however spotted a sizeable wave in the water caused by a sail boat which had just crossed Henry's path. As Henry approached the two foot swell and braced himself, "Wally" shot almost straight up in the air. At that point, everyone gasped at the realization that sinking at the30 mile pointwould beworse than only making it a few miles. The landing was almost enough to sink the sled, but Henry had just enough throttle to power through the splashdown and keep on going.

At only a thousand feet from shore, Henry began aiming the machine for a flat place to land the sled on the west side of Hanlan's Point, Toronto. Unfortunately, due to the media's scepticism once he reached the shore, and the 32 mile, 42 minute trek was over, Henry was only greeted by a couple of bewildered drunks who were unimpressed by the feat. After a brief celebration, the crew refueled and mounted "Wally" on the bow of Barts boat. On the way back to Port Dalhousie, the crew continually recounted the tremendous feat-the one that everyone predicted as being less likely than making it to the moon. Henry now holds two world records for snowmobile watercrossing but still considers his "Lake stunt" to be his greatest ever, and one that will never be duplicated.

By Stephen Bieda



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The Story Behind Record #2
June 11, 1989 is the day that will always remain special in Henry Bieda's mind. On that day he became the unofficial world snowmobile watercross record holder by running 100 miles nonstop, over water. The previous record of 67 miles was set by the Maki Brothers of Wisconsin.
The much heralded fundraising stunt for the Lakewood Camp crippled children, took place on the Old Welland Canal, in conjunction with the Welland Rose City Festival. Henry and Team G.L.F Racing (comprised of Pilot Henry Bieda, and crew members Gary "The Dr." Potyok, Paul Prudhomme, and Rick"Quicksilver" Gale) chose the Canal location due to its calm waters and local fan support. To set the new record, Team G.L.F. Racing felt their tested combination of a 1985 Ski-doo Formula SS fitted with a stock 521cc Rotax powerplant was a winner with one exception-fuel consumption. Based on dynomometer testing provided by Dynotech magazine and past experience with their Formula SS, Gary concluded that a minimum of 12 gallons of fuel would be required in order to run nonstop for the gruelling 100 miles. In order to go the distance, Paul and Gary fabricated two saddle tanks which would give the sled known as "Wally" a total fuel capacity of 13.5 gallons, 1.5 extra to allow for any unforeseen errors. The extra fuel however, was later found to be of little use since the sled's fuel pumps were not capable of drawing the fuel from the bottoms of the saddle tanks. Team G.L.F. opted to install a larger 580 cc Rotax engine in place of their proven 521 cc Rotax and down-sized their carburation from twin Mikuni VM 40s to a more efficient set of 38 mm carbs. This combination of horsepower, torque and fuel efficiency was also found to provide the necessary low-end torque for "cornering" in the Canal, a crucial skill that Henry had never before attempted.

After taking off from a far from ideal concrete boat launch, amongst a crowd of approximately 2000 spectators, Henry managed to straighten the sled out and aim for the north end of the 11 mile course. He recalls the moment he was faced with making his first turn on water as, "nerve racking as Hell". He noted however, that he had the comfort of knowing that only support crew on Seadoos and the odd spectator would be able to see him go down if he screwed-up, since most of the spectators were at the other end of the course. Fortunately, the sled responded well through the first turn giving the entire team a tremendous sense of relief. As Henry settled into a groove and his confidence mounted, he managed to plane-out the sled at an average speed of 58.8 m.p.h.. As an expression of his natural showmanship, he was seen on more than one occasion passing by the tremendous crowd of spectators, with both hands off the steering, and waving at the cheering crowd at speeds of over 50 m.p.h..

Henry completed the 9 lap, 100 mile course, in 1 hour and 42 minutes in grand fashion by running out of gas back at the starting line. After sinking the machine in 15 feet of water in front of an awestruck crowd, the machine had to be dragged from the bottom for the final test. Once the congratulatory crowd cleared the area around the sled, the exhausted Henry Bieda took the honour of checking the tripometer on the sled and then proudly shouted, "100 miles exactly"!

By Stephen Bieda
 

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I am a little late with a response but I am a new member. I have a 78 txl with a 650 engine in it. It only sees summer duty on my local lake. It floats with the... well see the picture
 
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