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Thread: 13' KaBoat SK385XL

  1. #1
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    Default 13' KaBoat SK385XL

    Just bought one of these at Boats to Go. They say in the ad that it was built especially for the folks in AK. Any truth to that?

    I wanted the 15' XL but they were out of stock. They say the 13' will take a 10 hp...anyone using one that size on the 13'. I was planning to use my 3.3 Merc but I have 9.9 too so I wonder if it's too much for that boat. Planning to use it mostly on lakes and slow rivers.

    Any experience with the 13'?
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    The 15' Alaskan was built for here with Brian Richardsons input.

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    That's what I thought. The 13' does have essentially the same make-up as the 15' and one less seat and a little lighter.

    The 13' will be primarily used by me alone but it does have the ability to take my wife or one offspring if needed. This seems to be my answer to a long search for a wide 8' jon boat that will fit inside the 12' toy hauler I'm building. The trailer will have fold down bunks for 2, a kitchen inside and out, shower outside and heat but has floor space with the beds folded up for my DRZ 400, TW 200 or Honda or Polaris 700 wheeler...Harley won't go up the ramp. The 13' weighs about the same as a wide jon.

    I want to put a frame on the 13' to be able to raise the seat and move it forward a bit...rod holders and of course a cup holder. Any pictures or ideas you folks have found useful?
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    The thread below this one (discussing 20 hp motors for the KaBoat) veered into discussions about frames and oars. I and others posted pics of our 15's with frames. Once you have a tubular frame there are a lot of options to use U-bolts, Fish-On mounts, etc. for mounting your accessories.

    Congrats on your purchase and good luck in setting it up just right for you (I think that's half the fun!). They are a very versatile, stable and reasonably priced watercraft.

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    Thanks South Coast!
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    I have no experience with the 13 but I have the 15 and am impressed with the stability and versatility so far I would imagine the 13 will be fun little impressive boat light enough for one guy to portage obstacles,beach launch and with there 15 pound floors definitely feels like standing on a hard deck enjoy!!


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    You guys with the 15' boats makes me wish I had waited for them. I may call them in the AM and see how long the wait might be...still the 13' has it's own advantages.
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    Lowrider, sometimes I wish my 15' was a 13'! A bit more compact goes a long way, especially when I usually go solo on my 15'.

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    There are times if love to have a 13í and the Alaskan series were developed with input from Alaskans. 13 and 15 are included in that line up. I donít think youíd have an issue with that 9.9. Itís all about the weight in the transom.

    This week, Iím building a platform for my 15í (at least that is one plan for spring break).
    Im in the camp that believes the 15 is a solo boat. It fills up quickly when I use it for moose hunting with one other guy. I donít use all three of my seats so 2 benches wouldnít be a bad thing. I think you will enjoy it. Use the 9.9. I wasnít impressed with my 2.5 or my 7.5 so I bought a 20hp.

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    Thanks guys!

    I called boattogo this morning and the 15' XL's are not even on the schedule yet. My 13' should ship mid April...so I'm sure I'll love it...or I'll get boat stretcher out. My 9.9 pushes the Esquif Cargo at a decent pace so it should work great on the 13' XL.

    Yukon,

    Please post pic's of your build! I'm always ready to steal an idea.
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    I'm looking into a frame for the 13'. I'm thinking 8' side length would be a good start and if I don't like it I can always cut it down to whatever seems appropriate. I was going to use 1 1/2" alum pipe but I'm sorta out of practice with the TIG and steel won't be that much heaver. I ordered 7' oars and will make whatever works for oar mounts and will at least have a comfy seat in the back and rod and cup holders and maybe a foot rest.
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    I visited HD today and checked out their fence posts. Looks like 1 5/8" x 8' (16 ga) line posts at $17 something ea will work just fine and I can weld with the MIG. Now, all I need is the boat to appear so I can start the lay out and assembly. I'm guessing you folks are using ratchet straps to hold the frame to the tubes.

    Next question...I'm planning something to cover the air floor. Do most folks use some stiffener between the air floor and the bottom... if so what?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    I visited HD today and checked out their fence posts. Looks like 1 5/8" x 8' (16 ga) line posts at $17 something ea will work just fine and I can weld with the MIG. Now, all I need is the boat to appear so I can start the lay out and assembly. I'm guessing you folks are using ratchet straps to hold the frame to the tubes.

    Next question...I'm planning something to cover the air floor. Do most folks use some stiffener between the air floor and the bottom... if so what?
    Iíve never used something in the floor. Itís plenty sturdy. It isnít slippery. So it works as is for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    I visited HD today and checked out their fence posts. Looks like 1 5/8" x 8' (16 ga) line posts at $17 something ea will work just fine and I can weld with the MIG. Now, all I need is the boat to appear so I can start the lay out and assembly. I'm guessing you folks are using ratchet straps to hold the frame to the tubes.

    Next question...I'm planning something to cover the air floor. Do most folks use some stiffener between the air floor and the bottom... if so what?
    I used those same line posts, but used Kee Klamp "T" connectors from Global Supply to build my frame. I did use straps to hold the frame down, but also used the oar lock pins/with threaded caps to hold it on. Just drilled through the line posts, slipped the oar lock posts through, screwed on the cap, good to go. I used NRS oar towers clamped to the frame for real rowing duties.

    I also built a hard floor from sealed plywood and grip tape. Bought "H" channel for between each piece, "C" channel for the edges from Defender. I think they're built for Achilles rafts. For the keel I used fat Walmart floaty foam pieces cut to each floor section length. I don't think I'd do it again since the air floor is so sturdy.

    My 2 cents, these boats are a blast and the price is right!

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    I've got a 4' section of 3/8" painted marine plywood under my air floor at the back. It keeps the bottom really tight which reduces cavitation issues with the pump. Don't think you'd need anything with a prop if the floor is pumped up good.

    On the top of the air floor I had a piece of astro-turf but it kept slipping around. I just bought a piece of poly (actually a Deer Sleigh'r https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/deer-sleighrsquor-game-sled?a=450188) to try. Figured it might also come in handy to drag gear/game if needed.

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    Thanks gents!

    Bought four 8' and one 10' line posts today... should give me lots of material to build a frame. Once I know the size it won't take long to cut and weld up the frame. I'm pretty good at cutting "fishmouth" on tube and I'll grind anything rough on the frame before I paint it.

    The game sled is a good idea. I was thinking a foam floor but the slick material sounds better to get fish slime cleaned up.

    Mt AL,

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    Forgot to ask...has anyone put a thigh brace or something like that on their frame? I don't want to complicate this thing but it seems like that would be a fine addition for float or fly fishing. I've been known to get focused on what my fishing is doing and not what's going on in the boat. Should it be removable?
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    I posted this on the other thread but will post here too. Frames are easy enough to cobble together; mine is a combination of schedule 80 aluminum, oar locks, elbows, oars (all Amazon), oar mounts (eBay) and the existing seats modified. I have maybe a hundred and a half (and I think it was less) in it and it's been rock solid for me.

    I cannot comment on the 13' model but like others have said, I too have occasionally wished I had one as well. That said, I love mine: it is incredibly durable and rows like a dream. And it carries a ton.

    Best of wishes whatever direction you choose to go.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Forgot to ask...has anyone put a thigh brace or something like that on their frame? I don't want to complicate this thing but it seems like that would be a fine addition for float or fly fishing. I've been known to get focused on what my fishing is doing and not what's going on in the boat. Should it be removable?
    Lowrider, I'm in Bozeman - Boze-Angeles now a days.

    I made a removable thigh brace but haven't used it yet so can't tell you how good it works. It's kind of like the NRS Frame Thigh Bar. I put a Kee Klamp "T" fitting on the front of the frame, where it stays. The thigh brace is four sections of line post and three Kee Klamp elbows, shaped kind of like the NRS thigh bar. Put the brace assembly into the "T" fitting and drilled through both, then used a wire lock clevis pin to make it removable. I don't know if any of that makes sense, need to learn to put pics onto this forum.

    Frankly, I probably would have been better off buying an NRS thigh brace and just taking it on and off, keeping the tools in the raft for when their needed.

    Can't wait to use it more this year to test out the thigh brace and other customizations.

  20. #20

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    If you raise seat height with a frame, I used fish on seat brackets mounted to frame cross, members raised seat about 4" which allows you to brace
    your legs against side of boat. You felt much more secure in bigger water. Plus no over flexing knees with stock seat height.

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