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Thread: 16' zodiac motor recommendations

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    Default 16' zodiac motor recommendations

    I just purchased my first boat, an older 16' zodiac with a 40hp two stroke. The boat needs some work but it seems manageable and the motor is in running condition. I'm pretty mechanically inclined as far as repairs go, but i'm considering adding a kicker as a backup to the old 40hp. My intended use for this boat is salwater, but I'd like to have the versitility to take it on the Kenai, which I cannot with the 40hp. Any ideas for a motor that can do double duty (kicker and kenai)? I was thinking a four stroke 9.9. Personally, I'd prefer one of the newer direction injection two strokes but they seem much more expensive than a comparable four stroke. I'm interested to hear suggestions and see what other people are using, thanks.

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    I bought a 15' Avon last year and i wanted something portable so I ended up buying a 20HP yamaha 4 stroke, I can cruise at about 20mph with 2 big guys and a hound dog. 10 hp should work fine for a kicker and the kenai. Good luck to ya and have fun!

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    We had 4 guys and minor gear on a 14ft zodiac with 9.9 mercury 4 stroke and it plowed water in the lake. We were going 10 miles per hour. I think you will be dissappointed on the kenai with current. I am sure you will be moving, but I would not expect it to be any fun at such slow speeds.
    One thing I would suggest is try using the zodiac on the ocean, before you put more money into it. Even on small waves, you are forced to go slow, because the zoiac bounces around so much. Most people agree that it's not comfortable, with the waves and bad weather people usually decide to sell it and buy something else. I used my 14ft on rivers, and it was ok, but much slower due to drag than an aluminum boat, thus burned more gas. They are portable, but not very good at anything else.
    Good luck

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    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    I agree that you really should replace the 40 2-stroke with a larger legal engine. I run a 50hp console-steer unit. This will give you the versatility that you'll need to achieve your goal of Kenai legal and true utility.
    If you are really worried about being able to get back home when that engine conks out in Port Etches then you can always put a kicker in the boat. I'd see if you can save enough money for a little 4-6hp kicker. It won't be fun but it beats rowing...

    I disagree that Zodiacs aren't able to kick lots of butt out in the saltwater. I've done it already. I started with the Zode just to see if I really liked being out there on the water and to have the safety and versatility when starting out green. Sure, it is going to be a long trip when the waves are >3ft but it just means that you take your time and get familiar with the capabilities of your boat. It is also quite easy to get out to Schooner Rock on less than 10gallons of fuel. Pick your days well and you'll have a great time!

    IceKing02

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    Thanks for the replies! Being my first (power) boat, I figure I shouldn't bite off more than I can chew. I think I'll be conservative and stick to nearby areas in the saltwater and probably add a small kicker for emergencies. I have oars and a rowing frame but I can't imagine this would be very practical or realtistic for more than a few miles depending on tides and wind. If things work out, then I'll probably be looking to upgrade to larger legal motor and probably a new boat to match...

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    I have a 15'6 Zodiac with a 25hp 2 stroke, this fall my wife and i with half a moose could barely get on step. Once i put the quarters only in the raft all we could do is push water. My next step will go to a 40 as a min for the boat, we had 50hp hi output when i was in the marine corps and 6 guys with gear and that was plenty of motor for the rig.
    15HP is wasting gas IMO for that size boat so if you are going to invest into the boat do the same with the motor as well. Do it once and forget about it later when you need it.

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

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    I have a 1984 15'-5" GRIII with a 1985 40hp zuki on it. With a full load she takes a long time to get on step and if I am pushing against a tide she won't get on step. The wife and I put 900 miles on it the first year and a half -mostly in the Sound. It works but it is not comfy. We usually go out and then setup camp so we have a full boat most of the time on our way to/from camp, we use it for shrimping, bear hunting, duck hunting, fishing, and camping.

    Empty with just me and the dog, the boat runs like a scalded cat.....

    You should check your transom really good. I had to replace mine after the first trip because it was rotted - and the boat appeared to be VERY well taken care of by the original users.

    You would be hard pressed to make any headway upstream on the Kenai during an outgoing tide with a 9.9. I couldn't imagine taking an extra kicker motor with me during my PWS trips - there is not enough room as it is now without a kicker coming along.

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    To get to schooner rock I would use a whole bunch more fuel than 10 gals at least with my typical load. I get about 4 mpg. 10 gallons takes me about 40 miles with a regular load and 3/4 throttle twist. More if there are waves over a foot.

    I have never really tried to see what kind of FM I get when running empty/solo - it would be much better.

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    You won't be happy with less than a 40. I have a new 50hp tohatsu TLDI on my 18' achilles. With 3 guys and gear for fishing I still run 22-24mph. A little bit underpowered in my opinion. That's with center console, row frame, second floor, gear and 20 gallons of fuel. I get anywhere from 7-9mpg with it. I am hardpressed to believe you will have the room to run both motors comfortably. A friend tried it on his 16' achilles and it was terrible to turn the kicker as it would hit the main motor. Otherwise great boat. I have been out in some straight nasty weather that would sink most 22' aluminum boats. I love my inflatable and wouldn't trade it for anything. Except maybe a bigger inflatable. The trick with these inflatables is proper weight distribution. I can tell a huge difference by not having my passengers sit in the right spot.

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    I have a 50hp TLDI on a MK III Futura and have no problems getting 8mpg at 22-24. Max speed with a light load is 30-31mph and 5mpg. I carry 34gallons of fuel, cooler with three days of supplies and ice, fishing gear, sleeping bag and gear bag. Until you get up to four grown men and their supplies she runs like that scalded cat. I have never experienced difficulty getting onto step, even with three adults, two kids, three limits of salmon and rockfish and our gear for two days. I won't worry about waves affecting speed until they average >18". Two footers mean I need to slow down to 15-17mph and 3-4ft waves mean 7-8mph due to the hull design (read: beat-the-crap-out-of-you). I'm only 43y/o but one reason that I had to move up to a rigid hull was that I knew my neck and back wouldn't absorb the pounding of the waves after enough years of doing it. As noted above there is not enough room on my transom to even consider placing a kicker on it unless the main was pulled up and out of the way. Even then it would be a PITA. I agree with AKBroncoII that these inflatables will get you out into (and back from) some downright nasty weather. Just bring lotsa backup gear and play the weather. I put a topper on my Zode so that I can actually sleep onboard no matter the weather--and I have done so. Have fun and play safe.

    IceKing02

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    I would love to have the 50hp tohatsu on mine. I hear that the Futura is a better riding boat. Does yours have the speed tubes?

    If I had the 50 it would do much better. I do not think that I could handle the beating given by bashing two footers at 18 mph...

  12. #12

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    How many people do you plan on fishing? How much gear and fuel? I'd guess a 30hp 4 stroke would work well with a couple guys and gear. Any smaller for rivers and you are going to be disappointed. For the ocean I recommend the max transom rating. I find in following seas it really sucks for me to go under 20mph cause hitting the back of the next wave **** near kills all forward momentum. I can run wot in just about any weather and have. The worst I find is the 6"-12" chop. Just beats me to death. Anything bigger or smaller is fine.

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    I think that the Future is maybe a bit better for economy and handling due to those speed tubes. I absolutely LOVE to run in 6-12" choppers--that's exactly where I get the best speed and economy. It will still pound into oncoming seas as they get larger. If I were to do it all over again I'd go the RIB route. Those things haul the mail! Even so, the OP is interested in the versatility aspect of his Zode and for that goal a larger engine is in order. Or he can buy my kitted-out Futura and save himself the hassle of depreciating a whole new outfit--I've done it for him!

  14. #14

    Default Overpower

    I would much rather be overpowered than underpowered out on the salt especially when you get busted by the ocean. We encountered some solid 10 footers this year in my 17' Achilles. I have a 50 hp Evinrude Etec and it was plenty but I wouldn't have wanted any less. It is also legal on the Kenai below the Warren Ames Bridge because it is a two stroke DFI.
    As for the kicker motor, I have thought about it myself, but can't see on my transom how I would have room for it. I use the tiller to steer and it swings pretty much the whole transom at any given point. I think that the real solution is to have one reliable, well maintained motor and take your chances. Having an extra motor would be nice, but a 10 hp motor isn't really going to do much for you, particularly if there are any waves, current, or tidal action to speak of.
    As long as you are ready to endure the weather, inflatables are awesome. They are safe and fun. You do get jarred around a bit, but it is worth the cost savings for me versus having a big boat with big payments.

  15. #15

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    I had an older 16' in california that I used for Abalone diving, I first ran a 25 2 stroke on it, it would haul 2 divers and gear OK, when I put the 40 2 stroke on it it was a different boat. If I were to buy another inflatable of that size I would go with the 40 as a minimum. Those boats will take a lot more weather than some people think, we used to launch in a river and head out through the mouth (no jettys) punching through 4 and 5 foot rollers, was pretty exciting at times.

    Robert

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