Metzler inflatable question...need help
Since Metzler has been out of the inflatable business for several years now, there's a scant amount of info. on their products on the net. A Google search produced a thread on Alaska Outdoors that discusses Metzler 'rafts'. I'm hoping to find a member who is familiar enough with these inflatables to answer a question.
My inflatable is a Maya S with a wooden transom for an outboard. Being a 'bolt-on' accessory as opposed to a permanently fixed transom, this one is unique. It appears that these may have been optional accessories sold with the Juca and Maya S models.
The boat came pretty complete - including documentation, with the exception of the 'trim flap' (pictured) and all associated hardware.
continued below image
My question is this:
Aside from helping to keep the craft on plane, as trim flaps do, is this a necessary or recommended component when using an outboard? I'm familiar with Zodiacs and others that have a permanently affixed transom in which the force from the outboard is distributed evenly along the semi-circle 'ribs' that are glued to the pontoons. With the Metzler, there are only 2 transom attachment points on each pontoon. These seem to take a considerable amount of stress under power.
These skiffs were made to be a compact package, and most folks used smaller outboards recommended by the manufacturer. We are not talkin' much HP here... therefore weight on the transom and shove or thrust against it is not amounting to a whole lot of stress.
The bottom plate (while it will help trim out the boat in some situations) is more devised to calm cavitation as a result of turbulence caused by the I-Beam floor and to mellow out some flexing of the boat particularly under loads.
Is the bottom plate absolutely necessary? No. BUT... is the part a good, useful feature? Yes.
This is a reasonably easy fix to make at home if you can't find the parts.
Thanks, Brian. That's the advice that I was looking for. The Maya S is rated at 10hp max. I have a 9.9, so I've been putting a good bit of flex on the transom & tubes with me and a passenger, even at half throttle.
When you say a reasonably easy fix @ home, have you done it, or are you assessing the simplicity of this component and what it would take to fabricate it?
The 'flap' itself..no problem. I'm looking at the hardware and wondering how to come up with stainless pieces that would serve as the struts and fasteners (salt water use in Maine).
What part of Maine?
Went to a ski racing academy (Burke Mountain Academy) in Vermont for high school years, then finished up BS in environmental sciences at Unity of Maine. Enjoyed my times on the East Coast and been back a few times, nevertheless Alaska has always been home.
You'll find that today's 9.9 HP is rated right to the prop (some even higher torque versions) so overall performance is quite a bit greater than the outboards of old.
As far as hardware... Metz. used pretty simple/utility hangers, clips and such. I'd map out the general design, and get a little creative w/ the more common or everyday familiar hardware/fasteners you may find in your neck of the woods.
I know from my days in Maine... lots of very skilled woodworkers and hardware around.
Another couple of good options adding rigidity would be:
a.) to use inflatable thwarts or at least one nested up to the transom.
b.) a small/simple/lightweight rowing frame having extensions to reinforce the transom
Ski racing academy? Sounds like a young man's dream. No partying there, I'm sure.
I live in the DC Area, but have a summer cottage in Boothbay Harbor. It's been in the family since the 30's. I love the state of Maine - and the people are a large part. I could live there if I were capable of handling the winters a bit more....but that's child's play compared to Alaska. All in due time.
You're right about the woodworkers in Maine. Aside from the generational boatbuilders who are legendary, there's been an East Coast migration of woodworkers & furniture makers...craftsmen in general. It's a haven of people who still take pride in their work - at every level.
Back to the topic....thanks again for the insight, and suggestions about beefing up the aft. You clearly know these Metzlers. I'll respect this Metzler for what it is, and will likely swap out the 9.9 Johnson for a little Suzuki 4 hp; save the 9.9 for the crappier Quicksilver that I also have.
The Metzler reminds me of an old Saab in it's quirkiness. I'm finding myself getting attached to it. I also have a mint 20 year old Zodiac that I'll never part with so long as the seams hold together. The Quicksilver reminds me of a Ford Taurus. I'll use that as the beater.
Your website has been circulated and bookmarked. Looks to be the ultimate escape from everything that ails you. You never know...you might just see me one day
Started kayaking in a Metz. Spezi L 30 some years ago & still have one. It has the telling tale signs of river miles and age.
These innovative and quality 'ol boats have a following for certain.
One of the things to do is routinely soap checking it for leaks that will bubble or fizz especially along seam-lines and in valleys of I-beams.
These older boats should be inflated carefully with a watchful eye on I-beams internally coming apart disfiguring boat shape (and effecting handling). Same goes for full inflation going un-checked on a hot day.
Additionally, a good idea is to condition fabric w/ UV protective products like 303.
Your are spot on about the good folks of Maine and taking their pride in highly skilled craftsmanship.
Hope you make the trip to Alaska one day -