Let’s look at the following teams, by name and approximate weight:
Sue - 150 pounds
Colleen 100 yummy pounds
Other guy 195
These weights are official Scylla best guesses.
That puts Tagi at 1,055 pounds, and Pagong at 900. Let’s assume a boat weighs 200 pounds and you need a 20% safety margin over that so that you don’t swamp.
Pagong therefore must float 1,320 pounds of total weight, and tagi must float 1506 pounds.
At 62 pounds per cubic foot, Pagong’s boat must displace 21.25 cubic feet of water, and Tagi’s must displace 24.24 cubic feet.
So in order to fix this contest, you need to find boats between 21.25, and 24.24 cubic feet of displacement to have a reasonable chance of pulling it off.
A boat eleven feet long by two feet wide by 1 foot deep (as an example) would displace 22 cubic feet of water and theoretically do the job. But, 12 1/2 feet would be too long to assure the fix.
Finally, the boats will not be identical due to vagaries of construction, wood density, and amounts of water they’ve absorbed.
You don’t want to cut it to close to the line for Pagong, because not swamping is also a matter of skill and luck. Ideally, I would think you’d want a boat that displaced between 23 and 24 cubic water to have a reasonably good chance of pulling off the fix, all other things being equal (which they’re not.)
Notice that this equation will change dramatically based on prevailing wave height at the time of competition. Higher waves will necessitate a higher safety margin and a larger boat.
So, in order to fix this contest you must find a boat that is within less than 4% of your calculated specs(and yet handcrafted out of wood of indeterminate stock,) and you must have accurately predicted the size of the prevailing waves on the day of the contest.
To be safe, you are going to need several sets of boats.
I would think that this would be an extremely difficult task to pull off, and rather unlikely.
An alternate method of fixing the contest might entail obtaining boats that well exceed the needed tolerances and concealing weights on them to bring them within the needed range.
That’d be a much more workable way of doing it.
If you want to check for the fix, watch the film again, and look for signs of the boats being weighted.
Boats are generally very balanced when they’re constructed. Unloaded do the boats float evenly and levelly?
Does it appear that the crew has added unnecessary decorations and features to the boats? We are looking for purely ornamental dress-up type features that provide no utilitarian purpose yet consume valuable weight. These would be most effective the higher on the boat they were located.
Other suspicious modifications?
I think it’s pretty clear that it would be difficult to choose boats that fit the criteria, but modifying them might be reasonably possible. A relooking at the tape might shed some light on that possibility.