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Thread: inexpensive options for running inflatable shallow?

  1. #1
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    Default inexpensive options for running inflatable shallow?

    Have got a long shaft Evinrude 40 with prop on 15'6 Achilles inflatable... and live in Fairbanks near shallow waters. What are some 'inexpensive' options for an outboard jet or lower unit attachment to run shallow rivers?

  2. #2
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    Probably your best option is to sell it and put the money towards a used/new jet motor.
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  3. #3

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    And, on my boat, a zodiac, it was kinda of challenging to get the jet pump setup to the right height because of the inflatable keel. But, once you do, they are pretty awesome boats with a jet pump.

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    You ran your zodiac on shallow rivers and had no problems with hull tears, etc? What size outboard jet is appropriate? Does the jet compromise ocean navigation?
    Appreciating your input.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by achillesman View Post
    You ran your zodiac on shallow rivers and had no problems with hull tears, etc? What size outboard jet is appropriate? Does the jet compromise ocean navigation?
    Appreciating your input.
    Zodiacs are really tough boats like your boat is. I had (have as I still use it) dealt with very small leaks, but nothing ever what I would call major. All of them were in the keel. I have hit rocks, run it aground, and none of that has damaged it in any way. None the less, I would not dream of heading out without a repair kit. But, certainly, these boats are made of tough materials. I have ran it from Whittier to Coghill Lake with no troubles at all several times. I have fished Deep Creek, the Little Su, PWS, the Kenai, and loved it. The jet effects how the boat responds, but it is not dramatic and I quickly adjusted to it, as will you. Now, I tow it behind my C-Dory and love how it tows and love cruising around in the open air when the weather is nice. I find a 20 hp Johnson Factory Jet more than enough and my boat is rated for 55 hp. I hope this helps some.

    T. Bauer

  6. #6

    Default How shallow can you run your boat with the outboard Jet?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    And, on my boat, a zodiac, it was kinda of challenging to get the jet pump setup to the right height because of the inflatable keel. But, once you do, they are pretty awesome boats with a jet pump.
    Generally with a keeled inflatable boat it is necessary to lower the jet foot an inch or two below the flow of water disrupted by the keel.

    T.R. How much water does your set up draw?

    Iíve had great results with the Alaska Series Alaskan Jet Ranger in just a couple inches or water. When the Jet Ranger gets in shallow water you can feel the boat lift and the ride flatten out as boat surfs the ground effect caused by the bow wake. The 20HP jet pushes the boat about 20mph.
    Inflatable jet boats open up a lot of wilderness in Alaska. They can go where no other boat can, even in the back of a super cub! And If you run aground you just drag it to the next deep spot. http://www.alaskaseries.com/alaskan_jet%20ranger.htm

    I'm working on a video of this boat but I need to find the correct software to get it in a format that will run on my website.

    Jim King
    Alaska Series Inflatable Boats,
    The Toughest Bottoms in the Business,
    River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks,
    Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable Sport Boats,
    Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies.
    WWW.alaskaseries.com
    (907)248-2900

  7. #7

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    ASIB,

    On plane it will go so shallow that you look out and wonder how in the heck you could still be going. But, I would say that it takes a bit more water than what your boat needs, I get a little weary when it gets skinnier than 4-6 inches for very long. Strangely, I get about 8 mph more out of my jet pump than you do. Do you have a 20 hp head with jet, or is it a 25 hp head? Mine is 20 hp at the nozzle. Also, they really slow down when the impeller and sleeve are worn and out of shim. I have to re-shim mine every year at the end of the season if it is used for a lot of hours in sandy conditions. Last year, it spent a lot of time in the salt behind the C-dory so I didn't re-shim this year.

  8. #8

    Default Boat speed

    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    ASIB,

    On plane it will go so shallow that you look out and wonder how in the heck you could still be going. But, I would say that it takes a bit more water than what your boat needs, I get a little weary when it gets skinnier than 4-6 inches for very long. Strangely, I get about 8 mph more out of my jet pump than you do. Do you have a 20 hp head with jet, or is it a 25 hp head? Mine is 20 hp at the nozzle. Also, they really slow down when the impeller and sleeve are worn and out of shim. I have to re-shim mine every year at the end of the season if it is used for a lot of hours in sandy conditions. Last year, it spent a lot of time in the salt behind the C-dory so I didn't re-shim this year.

    T.R. I use the Merc 25/20, 2-stroke it's a 2005. I may need to re shim the impeller, thatís a good tip!
    I think the difference between the speeds of the two set ups is the same reason for the difference in draft.

    Part of the function of the inflatable keel is to break the suction and surface tension of the water this will increase the speed by reducing the drag.

    The flat bottom on the Alaskan Jet Ranger increases the surface area which allows the boat to float higher and draw less water but the flat bottom also increases the drag at the same time which accounts for 6mph slower speed.

    Jim King
    Alaska Series Inflatable Boats,
    The Toughest Bottoms in the Business,
    River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks,
    Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable Sport Boats,
    Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies.
    WWW.alaskaseries.com
    (907)248-2900
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  9. #9

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    ASIB,

    If you use your jet pump much, and you haven't touched it, I would bet that your impeller to sleeve clearance is greater than the recommended 1/32 of an inch. A couple of years ago when I had a lot of time off and used my boat a lot on the Copper, the Kenai, Su, and Little Su, one day it seemed like the trees on the Little Su were just barley going by as I looked for Silvers in late August. I thought it was just me, until I checked my GPS on another trip and saw only 16-18 mph. After a dressing the impeller, I was back up to high 20s. and it felt like I was flying. What a difference.

  10. #10

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    wow, what size/model zodiac are you using to get 26-28 mph out of a 25 hp with a jet? Are you running a merc 20 jet or equivalent? They are supposed to be 20 hp at the jet. Sounds like sweet set up!

  11. #11

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    A few years ago when i was using my 16ft lund outfitted with 35hp and prop, me and one other guy with not much for gear on the big-su were amazed. There was a 13-14 foot inflatable with center consel set up which left the deshka a few minutes behind us to the landing. Well about half-way back as i drove ( i have tiller set-up) looked back and seen the red inflatable making good time on us. I decided to test a comparison on speed and throttled up. To make a long story short within maybe 3 minutes that boat was going by me from at least a half mile from were i first seen him. As he went buy i notice he was running i believe a Johnson with 30hp. Im not sure if it had a jet unit. It was just one guy onboard (driver). He beat us to the launch no problem and i've tested my set-up with a GPS on a calm lake at a max speed with two and mid-sized gear to 27mph.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by brackman47 View Post
    wow, what size/model zodiac are you using to get 26-28 mph out of a 25 hp with a jet? Are you running a merc 20 jet or equivalent? They are supposed to be 20 hp at the jet. Sounds like sweet set up!
    Mine is about 11 feet with a 99 20 hp factory johnson jet. It is an older wood floor model. It does mid twenties when on my 14 foot lowe with two people, a cooler of beer, and 12 gallons of gas. Even more impressive, it will plane three adult males, with one 6 gallon can, a large anchor and chain, bait, and fishing tackle, and a huge cooler of beverages at about 17. I have always been impressed with this motor. I bet it has a 30 hp head. These are all GPS speeds. It is fastest on the zodiac with only me. I literally go half throttle much of the time with just me.

  13. #13

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    sounds like a perfect setup. I think your probably right about the 30hp head. I asked marita how they get 20hp at the pump with a 25 head when all of the old evinrudes were called 18 jets. He gave me a wink and said "mercury tweaked the carbs for these"... that translates to... "I'm full of it". Any idea on the total weight of your unit? If it's a factory jet then it should have the correct total weight. One nice thing about the merc is that it weighs 124 lbs.

  14. #14

    Default Merc 25/20 Jet

    Quote Originally Posted by brackman47 View Post
    sounds like a perfect setup. I think your probably right about the 30hp head. I asked marita how they get 20hp at the pump with a 25 head when all of the old evinrudes were called 18 jets. He gave me a wink and said "mercury tweaked the carbs for these"... that translates to... "I'm full of it". Any idea on the total weight of your unit? If it's a factory jet then it should have the correct total weight. One nice thing about the merc is that it weighs 124 lbs.
    Brackman, I think you are dead on about the output of the Merc 25/20. I've not compared them head to head with another brand of outboard for power and output speed on the Alaska Series Alaskan Jet Ranger. But I've always wondered how they get 20HP out of a 25 HP power head. There's a good chance it's either a souped up 25 or we're getting about 17hp at the pump. Either way it's light weight and it works great on the Inflatable Jet boats. A little more HP might make it jump out of the water a bit quicker with a heavy load, But as I'm sure you have found out even over loaded it still doesn't draw much water.


    Jim King
    Alaska Series Inflatable Boats,
    The Toughest Bottoms in the Business,
    River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks,
    Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable Sport Boats,
    Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies.
    WWW.alaskaseries.com
    (907)248-2900

  15. #15

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    "But as I'm sure you have found out even over loaded it still doesn't draw much water."


    Jim King
    Alaska Series Inflatable Boats,
    The Toughest Bottoms in the Business,
    River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks,
    Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable Sport Boats,
    Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies.
    WWW.alaskaseries.com
    (907)248-2900[/quote]
    that's not entirely true. overloaded is overloaded. Weight and balance are the most critical thing when approaching maximum weight in any boat. The smaller the boat gets the more sensitive it gets to any imbalance. Jet boats are even more tempermental to given conditions. And no, it's not souped up because any part you order for it is exactly the same as the 25 hp prop unit. Another example of an Anchorage vendor stretching the truth to make a sale.

  16. #16

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    I don't know what your boat holds, but I remember thinking when looking at my zodiac boat's rating, how in the heck would I ever get that much in here? Maybe a lot of downrigger balls?

  17. #17

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    I'm actually referring to "overloaded" in the sense that it is very difficult to get the boat on step. If you can put anything you want into your boat (zodiac with a 30hp jet) and get on step with ease then I want what you have!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by brackman47 View Post
    I'm actually referring to "overloaded" in the sense that it is very difficult to get the boat on step. If you can put anything you want into your boat (zodiac with a 30hp jet) and get on step with ease then I want what you have!

    Yeah I know what you meant. My boat is rated for 6 adults or about 1200 pounds from what I recall. It is pretty full with a couple of gas cans, a cooler, a couples of tackle boxes, an anchor, and two guys. And it will plane that no problem. Even does three in a snap. 1200 pounds is another story. It does have a 55 hp rating. I can't imagine.......

  19. #19

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    what does your boat weigh including the floor? what is the listed weight on the motor? My complete setup (boat and motor) weighs about 280lbs but I can't do nearly what your doing in speed or weight. I keep my impeller shimmed and in top condition.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by brackman47 View Post
    what does your boat weigh including the floor? what is the listed weight on the motor? My complete setup (boat and motor) weighs about 280lbs but I can't do nearly what your doing in speed or weight. I keep my impeller shimmed and in top condition.
    I would say that my boat is lighter and my engine is heavier. Does the engine tag say the weight? The boat is in the bag, it is fairly heavy, and in the crawlspace with tons of the wife's crap in front of it. Soon the crap will become displaced crap if it isn't out of the way by mid-April.

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