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Thread: motor size for a cat on the kenai

  1. #1
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    Default motor size for a cat on the kenai

    I have a 16 foot NRS CAT and would like to take it to the kenai to dipnet. Problem is I only have access to a 5 horse 4 stroke.

    This seems a little light for the boat gear fish and four people. I think it may push us up but REALLY REALLY slow. Thoughts????? what do you think the minimum motor size is for that part of the river?

    thanks all

  2. #2
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    Best way to put it is a great oarsman is around 3HP and maybe a burst of 4ish... so 5HP... tho' in actuality way more power, (read as) strength and endurance over the day long --- is not much thrust or a pusher at aprox 5-7 mph. On 16' and longer/larger-tube cats also think Long-shaft motors.

  3. #3
    Member Colby Jack's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    Last weekend I saw a 16-18ft cataraft dipping. 3 people, tubs of fish, five foot nets, 40hp Evinrude E-tec!!! It was awesome! That guy was ripping up stream faster than most of the other boaters with minimum bow splash. Must have been a sweet floor setup he was running. Every time we passed him up, my buddy and I just shook our heads and exclaimed "Only in Alaska!" What I'm getting at is with a proper floor, and weight distribution, you could run a big motor.
    I have been running my power traveler dipping the Kenai for the past 3 years with an 8hp long shaft, and got it done, just not quickly. The most common motor on any inflatable I have seen is in the 20hp range.
    If I were you, and running a 5hp, I would stay up by Warren Ames bridge, and not venture down with the big boys.

  4. #4
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    thanks for the relpy.... I figured as much. My budget does not allow me to buy the motor I want at this time but it would sure be nice. CJ what does the floor set up have to do with motor size?????? I will probably start the search for a 20 HP motor but will have to clear it with the family accountant first.

  5. #5
    Member Colby Jack's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    Default floor explanation

    When a cataraft is put under power, the two tubes create a wake, which converge under you. This creates a geyser effectly under you and your passengers. A search on this forum will show you what I mean. Most users without a solid floor complain of soggy bottoms when traveling above 5mph or so.
    Hope that helps. I would work on your floor system so you are prepared when you get the scratch for the motor you are looking at.
    Colby Jack

  6. #6

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