Odenbrett pushed a button, and Metcalf's model started off down the tank, bobbing a little at first, then settling into a gentle, dignified run. Mr. Ashton walked along beside the moving model, chanting a strange litany of numbers and fractions: "This is 14.65-14.7. Make it .09 behind that zero point...."
Mr. Murray reached into the tank and pulled out a thermometer. He was asked the temperature.
"Seventy," he said.
Was that the average temperature of all the waters of the world?
"No, they're 59."
Why wasn't the tank 59?
"We'd freeze to death in here."
In the meantime the model glided back and forth up and down the tank while Mr. Ashton and Mr. Odenbrett wrote down numbers; and Mr. Rhodes, chin resting on the steel rim of the tank, murmured approvingly of his design: "Stern's free...clean bow wave...bit of seaworthiness in her...looks dry to me."
"That's what I was thinking," said Mr. Metcalf.
In an hour the tests were substantially over; and, scaling the results from model size to boat size, allowing 28% power loss for propeller inefficiency, 20% more for drag from things like rudders and rough paint and 2% more to make up for the slight downward slant of the propeller shaft, everyone agreed that Mr. Metcalf would indeed have to buy two diesels of 275 hp if he wanted to cruise at 12 knots.