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Thread: Kenai HP limit question

  1. #1
    Member Arcticwildman's Avatar
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    Default Kenai HP limit question

    I'm looking at getting a 20 ft Hewescraft Sportsman for use on the Kenai and occasional use out in the inlet. I remember when the old 35HP limit was in effect on the Kenai a lot folks had 50HP motors that were detuned to 35HP but could bump them back up to 50HP pretty easily for running out in the salt. Is there a way to detune a bigger motor, say a 70HP model, to 50HP when running the Kenai but bump it back up to 70HP for salt water running?

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    Member orion94us's Avatar
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    There may be a way to do it. But it would still get you a ticket on the Kenai. Regs are pretty clear on the HP rating of your engine. Not the answer you wanted to hear I'm sure. Just trying to save you a headache down the road.


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    I think there's no way to do legally do it. A friend of mine recently bought a 200 Sportsman with a Yamaha high thrust 50, and it seems to have plenty of power. He runs it on the salt and in the Kenai, and it does great. Any of the high-thrust 50's (Merc, Suzuki, Yamaha) will push that hull just fine.

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    The other option is to power it with twin 50's. That used to be fairly common with Bayrunners, hewes and a couple of others.

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    Member Arcticwildman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 300 Ultra View Post
    I think there's no way to do legally do it. A friend of mine recently bought a 200 Sportsman with a Yamaha high thrust 50, and it seems to have plenty of power. He runs it on the salt and in the Kenai, and it does great. Any of the high-thrust 50's (Merc, Suzuki, Yamaha) will push that hull just fine.
    That's good to hear. I don't know anybody that is running one of the Sportsman's so I don't have any reference. Ideally I'd like to get a bigger boat for the salt but I want the ability to fish the Kenai as well and that model seems about the best compromise out there.

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    Member Arcticwildman's Avatar
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    Is the Honda 50 considered high thrust? The dealer I've been talking to wants to install that motor because it is a long shaft (25").

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticwildman View Post
    Is the Honda 50 considered high thrust? The dealer I've been talking to wants to install that motor because it is a long shaft (25").
    No. The Honda's are not considered a highthrust unit. I'm guessing your Hewes dealer is also a Honda dealer? If you do go the route of a single 50 on that 20' Sportsman, I highly agree with the recommendation of using a highthrust motor. You will never regret doing so. Nothing sucks more, or is more dangerous than running an under powered boat.

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    I dont think twin 50's will work. I'm pretty sure the regs state "combined prop shaft HP" can't exceed 50hp.

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prybar View Post
    I dont think twin 50's will work. I'm pretty sure the regs state "combined prop shaft HP" can't exceed 50hp.
    In the water.... There is not a guide boat on the river that isn't running a 50hp main with a 9.9 kicker. Twin 50's are seen on the river. Just don't tip them both down!

  10. #10
    Member akdodger's Avatar
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    I too have a question about the Kenai HP restrictions and motor type restrictions. Would a 37 hp EFI go devil surface drive motor be legal on the kenai? I'm purchasing a new duck boat soon and would like to know if this is an option for fishing adventures on the Kenai and Skilak lake.

    Thanks
    “The perils of duck hunting are great - especially for the duck.” Walter Cronkite

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akdodger View Post
    I too have a question about the Kenai HP restrictions and motor type restrictions. Would a 37 hp EFI go devil surface drive motor be legal on the kenai? I'm purchasing a new duck boat soon and would like to know if this is an option for fishing adventures on the Kenai and Skilak lake.

    Thanks
    Barto, Robert 907-260-2855 Park Ranger (Law Enforcement)

    Call this man for a definite answer. But as long as it is a 4 stroke engine, you should be good to go with a 37hp go devil.

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    Member akdodger's Avatar
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    Thank you kindly theultrarider
    “The perils of duck hunting are great - especially for the duck.” Walter Cronkite

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    Member orion94us's Avatar
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    There isn't any hp restrictions on Skilak lake. The 4 stroke rule is in effect on the lake.


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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Wooldridge boats set up a 20' Alaskan XL with a Yamaha 50 High Thrust boat for the Kenai. I run a 22' Landing craft with a Honda BF90 and it planes out 16 people just fine! The right prop or swapping props can do wonders. Your original post says you are mainly are running the Kenai and occasional salt. If you were the other way around I would suggest chartering for Kenai you would be way ahead and happier with your purchase. Finally weight distribution makes all the difference in the world and both the Wooldridge and my Landing craft carry their weight in the bow. When you are loaded down you will be adding weight to the stern. I would recommend buying your Hewescraft with a Yamaha F50 High Thrust, and spend $30 for a Doel-Fin, and buy two Yamaha aluminum (less than $130 each I think) props (one for light loads, and one for heavy loads).

    Sobie2

  15. #15
    Member Arcticwildman's Avatar
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    I just got rid of my Alaskan XL Sportjet this spring. Loved the boat for running the Big Su and the Yentna but it was not going to work out in the salt, way too flat of a bottom and too little freeboard to take on any kind of waves. The few times I ran it on Big Lake I got beat to death with it. Would have been an ideal Kenai River boat but it had 150 hp too much to be legal. The Hewescraft isn't an ideal salt water boat but it will be a lot more comfortable than what I had and it will allow me to run the Kenai. One day I'll have a dedicated boat for saltwater running but for now I can only afford one boat.

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