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Thread: Boat to run Kenai and valley rivers

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    Default Boat to run Kenai and valley rivers

    I am considering getting a G3 1860 tunnel and a Yamaha 50 jet with a tiller to use on the Kenai, Little Su and Deshka. Anyone have any experience using a boat like this? Thoughts, suggestions? Thanks.

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    Member bobmikk's Avatar
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    Don't have one... but it looks like you are on target with this boat.
    https://video.search.yahoo.com/searc...6c&action=view

    https://video.search.yahoo.com/searc...b0&action=view

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    For over 20 years i had an 18 foot Jon with a merc 50 jet and prop. I could run in 3 inches of water on step. I had forward controls on a console halfway up to the right side. The prop was used when I wanted to go for halibut off of deep creek. I would not suggest that unless you are proficient with operating it though. I only sold it because my wife Came down with leukemia. I loved that boat. Good luck. Btw it was a flat bottom.
    Last edited by thewhop2000; 01-28-2018 at 12:42. Reason: Left out info
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    I am considering getting a G3 1860 tunnel and a Yamaha 50 jet with a tiller to use on the Kenai, Little Su and Deshka. Anyone have any experience using a boat like this? Thoughts, suggestions? Thanks.
    Keep in mind the a 50hp motor kenia legal is only 35hp at the jet. Might not have the power you want in a jet application.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    Keep in mind the a 50hp motor kenia legal is only 35hp at the jet. Might not have the power you want in a jet application.
    Exactly what Halibutgrove said. I had one. I could get on step OK with 2 guys and fishing gear. 3 guys and it would really really struggle to get on step. I too thought it would be the "perfect" set up. Not so. If I was to do it over again I'd keep the G3 and put a 115/80 jet on it and forget about the Kenai.
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    Or get the prop as well as the jet and just swap if the Kenai means that much to you. My 50hp prop on my 1966 G3 was fast for the Kenai. Passed people all the time. I started to feel bad so I’d try to follow them but that got old fast. So many heavy boats with 50hp on that river. Was an awesome dipnet set up though and I could drop in at eagle rock. However no jet. I ran the big sue to curry once with it but otherwise it was a no go except for lakes. Jet/prop woulda been nice.
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    My uncle has a smoker craft Kodiak model in 18' with a 50hp effinrude on it. He has a jackplate and both lower units. This is not a flat bottom boat as it has some degree of V to it. It has a center console towards the rear. Great boat.

    It is underpowered with the Jet on it. 2 guys and a dog and it does okay but not what a guy would really want for running shallow rivers. It does pretty good with the prop on it. 30ish mph and very fuel efficient.

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    I like the idea of getting the prop too. Would there be an issue with a prop with a jet tunnel instead of a tunnel designed for a prop?

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Others will know better, but I think that you would want a tunnel designed for the Jet and then adjustment of the prop to get it to run right with the jackplate.

  10. #10

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    My advice to run the Kenai with a jet would be to go with the 16' G3, I think its the 1652 model. The 1860 Tunnel is meant for the 90/65 or the 115/80 to really operate correctly. There are folks on the Kenai running the 16' G3's with a true 50 power head (35 @ Jet) and doing well getting on step with multiple people and gear. I believe Deweys will add extra flotation to the transom by welding the little pods on them, which really helps.

    One last bit of advice, do NOT get the 40 Jet straight from the factory and run the Kenai, its a 60hp powerhead and will get you a rather large fine from the Park Ranger. The only way is to have the marina take a 50hp prop outboard and add the jet unit themselves.

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    Thanks for the advice. I also have considered the SeaArk 1660 with a tunnel and then the same motor as before. If I remember correctly, the G3 1652 does not come with a tunnel.

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    Member Cody77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    I am considering getting a G3 1860 tunnel and a Yamaha 50 jet with a tiller to use on the Kenai, Little Su and Deshka. Anyone have any experience using a boat like this? Thoughts, suggestions? Thanks.
    I own a similar setup to do the exact same thing you are looking to do. It works well for me


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    Many years ago, used to run the Quinault with an 18' Valco running an 85 horse Merc with a jet unit. 2 stroke of course. The Rez cops ran 45 hors Johnsons with a prop. We owned that river. Deer, elk, bears, salmon were not safe from us. I could tell stories.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    I like the idea of getting the prop too. Would there be an issue with a prop with a jet tunnel instead of a tunnel designed for a prop?
    No issue, a lift will make it easy, when running the jet, the motor will be raised all the way up, to run a prop you will need to lower the motor ~ 5".
    A Powertrans lift will give you about 7" of travel.
    Last edited by Akgramps; 01-29-2018 at 21:19. Reason: Because I wanted to
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    I've got a 1652 no tunnel with the powerlift and 50hp Yami prop and it flys. There is just enough travel in the powerlift to put a jet on - which I just did but have not ran it yet. I'm told that the powerlift puts the motor back further and can cause cavitation/spray issues with the jet so we will see how it works. If you buy a tunnel jon made for a jet, the transom will be like 5" higher than one for a prop, so I think you will still need a powerlift to lower the motor in order to swap to a prop.

    The tunnels will run really skinny water but IMO they are slower.

    If I were going in for a new river boat I'd get the G3 16CCJ with a 50 Yami jet with no lift and no prop option. I like center console for running but they suck to fish around and are impossible to row around.

    The 1860 is bigger and nicer, but harder to get off the gravel bars and IMO a little light on power with a 50 jet. I looked at them an opted for a 16' that came along at the right price

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    Do yourself a favor. Forget about the kenai and buy the boat you really want. Anything that is Kenai legal will suck EVERYWHERE else. Unless 90% of your fishing the kenai forget it. A four stroke of any size is still legal to dip reds with in the Kenai if that's your issue. Just have to launch it below the bridge is all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theultrarider View Post
    Do yourself a favor. Forget about the kenai and buy the boat you really want. Anything that is Kenai legal will suck EVERYWHERE else. Unless 90% of your fishing the kenai forget it. A four stroke of any size is still legal to dip reds with in the Kenai if that's your issue. Just have to launch it below the bridge is all.
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    I have been mulling over a similar purchase and it seems like the minimum you want on an 1860 is a 90/65 jet, but would be better off with 115/80. The Yamaha 90 and 115 weigh the same and the price difference is minimal. With a 90/65 you are looking at a max weight of 2000 lb. A boat, motor, 2 people, fuel and gear starts to push up near 2,000 lb pretty quickly. You don't want to be short on power with a jet.

    http://outboardjets.com/boat-selection/

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    Quote Originally Posted by theultrarider View Post
    Do yourself a favor. Forget about the kenai and buy the boat you really want. Anything that is Kenai legal will suck EVERYWHERE else. Unless 90% of your fishing the kenai forget it. A four stroke of any size is still legal to dip reds with in the Kenai if that's your issue. Just have to launch it below the bridge is all.
    Couldn't agree more....except for that nagging magical day on the Kenai. One trip can make it worth it if fish is your thing. Hate to say it but there's a reason the "fish wars" rage on.....!

    I too have a boat 'half decent' for multiple uses. The almighty dollar wins.

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    No boat is perfect and one boat is never enough!

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