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Thread: Saturn Kaboat and 20hp options

  1. #1
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    Default Saturn Kaboat and 20hp options

    I took my kaboat out opening weekend for moose and I was using a 1981 mercury 7.5 hp 2 stroke. Last year I was getting 13 mph with a light camp and extra adult. I dropped the motor off and had some work done to make it run better. Went hunting with a 130lb partner and we carried 20 gallons of gas and a 4 day camp. We were getting 6 mph on gps. Stashed 10 gallons of gas and still was only getting 7 mph and after drinking all my water (carried 4 gallons in) and burning through some gas we were able to get 8 mph on the way out. It took us 8 hours to complete the round trip from the launch to the hunting spot and we burned 6 gallons of gas.

    Needless to say, I didnít get the performance I wanted or expected. Might need a new prop but the motor is fairly old. Anyways, Iíve been saving up for a surface drive set up or a long tail for my kaboat, but wanted to keep the weight under 100 lbs which limits the long tail. Iím a school teacher and unfortunately hunting season falls at the beginning of the school year. I started researching outboards and discovered that mercury and tohatsu both have 20 hp motors that weigh less than 100 lbs. I went to a local anchorage mercury dealer and was not impressed with lack of help. I spent 30 minutes in the sales floor with no help, despite the two employees carrying in a conversation in the sales floor. I walked out and called storm chasers in Seward and placed an order for the tohatsu 20 hp that weighs in at 95lbs with a 5 year warranty. Cost me $45 to ship it from Seward to anchorage and I had it delivered to a friends house (member here btw). I drove down and picked it up. Itís fairly easy to maneuver and load, but easier with a second hand. Took it out Saturday for a break it in/hunt trip. Went to same spot.

    I hit 20 mph close to 1/2 throttle but just a little more than 1/2. I never went much above 1/2 and tried to stay at 1/2 throttle but it is all guesstimate right? Anyways I was quite happy with 17-20 mph at that 1.2 throttle range. Cut my run time down to 3 hours and burned 3 gallons of gas. Partner was 240 lbs and we carried 9 gallons of gas. The first hour I was running about 1/4 throttle too. Iím impressed.

    If if youíd like a little more power, check out the new 20 hp motors. You wonít be disappointed.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I would say they did a poor job working on your 7 1/2 hp. I would think much faster than you are going now the boat might start doing strange things.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    I would say they did a poor job working on your 7 1/2 hp. I would think much faster than you are going now the boat might start doing strange things.
    I at first thought that maybe something just wasnít right, but the motor ran much better. It was quieter and the last run I did I didnít hit anything in the prop. Motor might just be getting old. Im not done with that 7.5, because it starts right up on one pull. Even solo, I got 12 mph and two years ago I was getting 17 solo.

    I doubt Iíll be going much past 1/2 throttle, but if I add a moose to the mix that extra throttle will be nice. I almost bought a 9.9, but for $600 more I got twice the HP and only 15 extra pounds. I think itís a good trade off.

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    Thanks for the info, I'm going to get one of those newer 20hp down the road for my Kaboat. I started with an ancient (my age!) 9.9hp. I'm boating at about 4,500 ft elevation, not sure how much difference that makes, but barely was able to get 8 - 9 mph. My cruel daughter told me she'd jump out and swim faster.

    I then bought a late 70s Merc 20hp 2 stroke and get 16 mph pretty easy.

    Newer one is in the cards!

  5. #5

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    I have a newer 9.8 Tohatsu 4 stroke on the kaboat. I get up to 21 mph solo on flat water, 17 with a passenger and 14 with 2 passengers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsonn View Post
    I have a newer 9.8 Tohatsu 4 stroke on the kaboat. I get up to 21 mph solo on flat water, 17 with a passenger and 14 with 2 passengers.
    I almost got that 9.9, but the price difference was worth the extra horses. Running 1/2 throttle, would be similar to a 9.9 and honestly, I donít see a need to go above that 2/2 throttle unless I had extra weight.

    Of course, if Iíd have know you could get that kind of speed with the load you described, I might have saved myself $500.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mt Al View Post
    Thanks for the info, I'm going to get one of those newer 20hp down the road for my Kaboat. I started with an ancient (my age!) 9.9hp. I'm boating at about 4,500 ft elevation, not sure how much difference that makes, but barely was able to get 8 - 9 mph. My cruel daughter told me she'd jump out and swim faster.

    I then bought a late 70s Merc 20hp 2 stroke and get 16 mph pretty easy.

    Newer one is in the cards!
    I was looking for an older 20 or 15 and couldnít find one. Well found two but the guy wanted $1700 and $1800 and for that price point i figured new would be better. Itís decinitly more motor than is needed, but Iíd rather have extra horses than not enough.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Whatís your guys thoughts on the regular KaBoats vs the oxl models? Iím gonna be flying it around so lighter is important for me. Iíd imagine the oxl models can handle more motor.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Whatís your guys thoughts on the regular KaBoats vs the oxl models? Iím gonna be flying it around so lighter is important for me. Iíd imagine the oxl models can handle more motor.
    I suggested my hunting partner get a regular 13í kaboat. Itís half the cost. i even offered to let him use my 7.5. Great boats but not a lot of room in them.

    The xlís advantage is a thicker floor, better valves, and an extra air chamber I believe. I donít run mine in rough areas and I think if you know the lakes or rivers your going to use it on, a basic kaboat should be fine. You could even get a smaller outboard.

    A friend of mine (aktaxidermy) flies his kaboat and a small 1.5 hp outboard to the cape for his caribou hunts.

  10. #10
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    Default I am late to the game with this thread...

    I just saw this, and the fact John mentioned me...

    Jake, I can't speak to the difference between the AK version versus a regular Kaboat but I can tell you I love mine (it's the AK 15' version).

    Because you are wanting to use one for hunting I'll share that on two separate occasions I've had me (235#), my hunting buddy (a former college D-lineman), his eldest son, our hunting gear and two mature bull caribou... being pushed by a 12 pound, 1.2 hp GameFisher motor (that I picked up on eBay for a smaller raft; I paid 65 bucks for the motor). The 1.2 won't win any speed records but at 12 pounds it flies well and it was able to move us from the kill site to camp with no issue; I've got a video on my FB page that shows its performance under that load.

    My experience with my Kaboat is that it has been very durable and a joy to own. One of the things I really like about it is that it does great with a motor but it also is very, very responsive when using the rowing frame I built and oars. I have had it on float hunting and fishing trips and it's been super.

    John has been in search of some sort of get-on-step/go faster holy grail with his and there is nothing wrong with that. I am happy enough to have mine carry loads without issue from point A to point B. I've got the 1.2 for fly-in hunts and I've got a 4 stroke 6 horse Suzuki for when weight isn't an issue (it does just fine as well).
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    Question

    AK Taxidermist -

    How are your oars with that frame? Length? Are they the Carlisle economy oars? 2-piece? How do you like them?

    I have the 15' Alaskan like yours. I have the BoatsToGo rowing frame but still have the crappy oars the boat came with. Getting a new set of oars is going to be my final upgrade (my Wife hopes!). Trying to decide between the Carlisle 2-piece economy ($160) or the Cataract Mini-Mag 2-piece ($300). I figured 7' but looking for input. I want oars that will handle as much whitewater as the boat can take. Thanks.

    Kaboat Jet 1.jpg

    Here's my Kaboat on a recent Steelheading trip down here in Oregon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK_Taxidermist View Post
    I just saw this, and the fact John mentioned me...

    Jake, I can't speak to the difference between the AK version versus a regular Kaboat but I can tell you I love mine (it's the AK 15' version).

    Because you are wanting to use one for hunting I'll share that on two separate occasions I've had me (235#), my hunting buddy (a former college D-lineman), his eldest son, our hunting gear and two mature bull caribou... being pushed by a 12 pound, 1.2 hp GameFisher motor (that I picked up on eBay for a smaller raft; I paid 65 bucks for the motor). The 1.2 won't win any speed records but at 12 pounds it flies well and it was able to move us from the kill site to camp with no issue; I've got a video on my FB page that shows its performance under that load.

    My experience with my Kaboat is that it has been very durable and a joy to own. One of the things I really like about it is that it does great with a motor but it also is very, very responsive when using the rowing frame I built and oars. I have had it on float hunting and fishing trips and it's been super.

    John has been in search of some sort of get-on-step/go faster holy grail with his and there is nothing wrong with that. I am happy enough to have mine carry loads without issue from point A to point B. I've got the 1.2 for fly-in hunts and I've got a 4 stroke 6 horse Suzuki for when weight isn't an issue (it does just fine as well).
    I delayed that holy grail search when I bought that surface drive, but once we moved to the valley, the search continued.
    I still want a long tail. Wonít lie, but man that 20hp rocks!! I also got a 17lb 3 horse like your 1.2.

  13. #13
    Member AK_Taxidermist's Avatar
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    South Coast Stu...

    I do in fact have the Carlisle economy oars. The year I bought my Kaboat, I had a float trip planned with a buddy from the lower 48. I was under the gun time-wise. Amazon was largely sold out of oars. I scored a 6.5 foot oar and a 7 foot oar. I cut the 7 to match the other. I told myself I'd get longer ones when they were available (Brian at AK Raft Connection had suggested at least 8'). That initial trip was for nearly ten days on a river near Dillingham. It was largely fishing (for my buddy) but I did a bit of poking around for a moose. What I found was that the 6.5s were just fine - I didn't bother changing and I've used them ever since. I don't float any challenging water really, so I can't comment on how they'd hold up for something more than a class II river. For what I use them for though, I've found them to be very solid, reliable and effective. I'm very happy with them. Because you indicated your uses might include more challenging water... maybe there are better options. Looking at Amazon... I see I paid 40 each for mine. For my frame I bought schedule 80 aluminum pipe on Amazon and made my own frame. I have maybe a hundred bucks in it. It has been solid and dependable.

    As a part of my job, I get to take HS kids out rafting on rivers on Togiak Refuge. We have really nice NRS rafts and frames of various sizes and sorts. I'm not an uber-diehard rafter but I'm not a greenhorn either. I like how my Kaboat handles while rowing as well as anything I've used through work.

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    Thanks for the reply. So do you think 7's would be just about right? I can only find the Carlisle 2-piece in 6' or 7'. I can only find the Cataract's in 7'.

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    I think the 7s would work just peachy. I haven't had any issues with the 6.5s so I've stayed with them. I know Brian likely had a solid reason for suggesting the length he did - more challenging water? - but I think 7s are just about right.

  16. #16

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    Cataracts 7 ft worked perfect on my Kaboat with a frame boat is so narrow any longer oar you will have to much oar out side of the boat.
    Does not take much oar to move the Kaboat it rowed great with the 7 ft oars that I still have. But the oars outside shipping is so expensive
    on oars, mine are 2 piece and quite nice. You are not using the Kaboat in big water which requires a bigger oar also, at least I would not.

  17. #17

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    How to size your oars link Also with the Kaboat you want enough oar height so you do not hit your knees.


    https://www.shawandtenney.com/how-size-your-oars

  18. #18

    Default kaboat

    Kaboat with frame and oars
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    Quote Originally Posted by kk alaska View Post
    Kaboat with frame and oars
    Is/was that yours, Kurt? How long? Thanks.

  20. #20

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    Boat and frame were mine still have oars , oars are 2 piece Cataract 7 ft long. Worked great once I added frame with fish on seats that sat higher.

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