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Thread: For Pete's sake.....

  1. #1

    Default For Pete's sake.....

    Listen, I've got a Phantom Sportjon. Great Boat!!! I've modified and made it better than stock. It's an awesome hunting boat and pretty darn good for fishing too. Really a quality set-up. Then, I've got an Aire Traveler Canoe. Great stability, not too expensive, only 60# with a capacity of over 700#, and inflates in minutes!!! Another very capable watercraft. I'm very happy with both!!! Still.....I don't have enough!!! Grrrrrrrr!!! With the HP limit on the Kenai and the fact that I'll be leaving Fairbanks and moving south of the range to Eagle River, I'm not really capable of floating the family (myself, the wife, 11y/o daughter and two labs) together and I can't fish the Kenai with the Phantom. I need a rig that fills this void between the Traveler and Phantom.
    So, here's what I'm looking at. An 18' Super Leopard with a 15-25hp outboard. The PRIMARY FOCUS is floating the Kenai. I want to be able to float it down, back-troll (hold in place with bait in the water), and/or motor back up-stream. I know this rig has crazy stability, low weight and extreme capacity. It's more than likely that I will fly-in and also float hunt this boat. I'd like to hear any recommendations, but I'm specifically looking to hear about people who have Super Leopards with outboards rigged on them. Work good? How many HP can the boat take reasonably? Prop or jet? Smack the bottom a lot? Problems with cavitation or spray from the water? Etc, etc. I know there are some really savvy cataraft guys out there and I've talked to a few of you previously. Please let me know what the "right" boat, motor, trailer combo is for fishing the Kenai specifically and fishing, hunting and floating other south central rivers.

    Thanks much,
    Phil Goldstine

  2. #2
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default catacanoe

    I'm working on putting one together myself. Why not get another traveler and put together a catacanoe? Lot of info here on it.

  3. #3

    Default tboehm....

    Thanks,
    I've already built a rigid floor of red cedar that's worth about $800. I want to use this solid platform for the rig. It would make a cata-canoe too wide.

    Phil

  4. #4
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    Default Cat w/motor

    I have an 18ft. Aire Lion (larger tubes with barge-style ends like the NRS tubes). Put a 15hp 4-stroke Tohatsu on it this year. Just floated the upper Kenai, dropped into Skilak and motored over to the campground. How did it do? I've come to the conclusion (as anyone else has that's run a motor on a cat) that cats just ain't made to be motored.
    Don't get me wrong. It worked great as far as getting me across that lake without rowing. And I plan on using it in the lower the same way you suggested. But it's sloppy on tracking and once you get moving more than about 6mph, you start getting a lot of splash up between the frame/floor and tubes, especially in the back. It wasn't horrible, but you should definitely have your stuff in dry bags.
    I think you could get away with putting maybe a 20-25 hp motor on it, cause when I had it wide open on pretty flat water (with four big guys and gear= about 900lbs) I was only getting about 12mph-14mph out of it (according to my GPS). But that's plenty for me, just what I wanted. You can find spray guards and other solutions for the splash, but unless you plan on putting a 50hp on there and making it skip across the water, save your money. All in all, being able to throw that motor on when I need it makes that cat just about the best multi-purpose boat around.
    I also like the idea of a second traveler to make a catacanoe. Really gives you a few extra options.

  5. #5
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Bow transitions-

    Quote Originally Posted by klondikemike View Post
    I have an 18ft. Aire Lion (larger tubes with barge-style ends like the NRS tubes). Put a 15hp 4-stroke Tohatsu on it this year. Just floated the upper Kenai, dropped into Skilak and motored over to the campground. How did it do? I've come to the conclusion (as anyone else has that's run a motor on a cat) that cats just ain't made to be motored.
    Don't get me wrong. It worked great as far as getting me across that lake without rowing. And I plan on using it in the lower the same way you suggested. But it's sloppy on tracking and once you get moving more than about 6mph, you start getting a lot of splash up between the frame/floor and tubes, especially in the back. It wasn't horrible, but you should definitely have your stuff in dry bags.
    I think you could get away with putting maybe a 20-25 hp motor on it, cause when I had it wide open on pretty flat water (with four big guys and gear= about 900lbs) I was only getting about 12mph-14mph out of it (according to my GPS). But that's plenty for me, just what I wanted. You can find spray guards and other solutions for the splash, but unless you plan on putting a 50hp on there and making it skip across the water, save your money. All in all, being able to throw that motor on when I need it makes that cat just about the best multi-purpose boat around.
    I also like the idea of a second traveler to make a catacanoe. Really gives you a few extra options.
    Klondike,

    There are certainly ways to make it work, and ways to get soaked trying to make it work. The biggest issue you have with your rig is the blunt bow transition. The AIRE Lion is essentially a knock-off of the NRS Grizzly Cat. Both are barges that PUSH water rather than PLANE OVER water. The only realistic way to make the barge-type cats perform with an outboard (to get up on step in other words), is to get the bow out of the water. Otherwise you generate a huge amount of spray off that bow section. The gradual bow transition on the Super Leopard, Leopard, Cougar, and the Traveler rigged as a cata-canoe, allows you to plane with the bow touching the water. It works; it's all in the rigging.

    A quick look at the difference between the two boats illustrates the point nicely. Notice the gradual curve in the upper boat (a Leopard), and the blunt bow in the lower boat (NRS Grizzly / AIRE Lion).

    -Mike

    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKPhil View Post
    Thanks,
    I've already built a rigid floor of red cedar that's worth about $800. I want to use this solid platform for the rig. It would make a cata-canoe too wide.

    Phil
    Phil,

    Can you post the measurements of your flooring system (and a photo)? The floor on a Super Leopard and the floor on a Leopard are completely different. Of course, because they are all catarafts (including the cata-canoe) you can make any of them as wide as you like, and almost as narrow as you like.

    Did you build this floor specifically to fit a Super Leopard?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  7. #7

    Default Red Cedar Floor

    Klondike and Mike, thanks for the interest and input before I waste(?) more money on outdoor gear I don't need? Wait, I don't think that's possible....LOL. Nevermind. So here's a description of the floor. I don't know how to post a pic, but I'll find out after this post and then put the floor picture on the thread. It's Red Cedar covered in bedliner coating. Six panels total, that measure 22" x 42" each. Total length is 10' 11". Of course, this can be reduced in 22" increments. 2"x2" stringers run across the bottom, set 3 1/2" in from the ends. 1/4" slots are then cut to allow straps to run through to the frame.
    The spray issue has got me thinking that maybe some caulk in between the floor panels would be a way to at least REDUCE some water coming up through. Will I be able to "putt" my way back up the Kenai 5-10 miles w/ about 15hp prop outboard, or am I wasting my time here?

    Phil

  8. #8

    Default Flooring

    Okay, got it. Here's the floor.

    Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9

    Default Spray Shield

    I have the spray shield from AK Raft, and it works well. I had a 25 Tohatsu 2-stroke on it, but just sold it and am most likely going to put a new 20 4-stroke on it when I get back in State. The spray shield works great. You do get spray/wash at the back. I just wear my waders and it's no problem. Losing some weight may help that.

    I float the Kenai with the spray shield and motor on, with no problem. The frame breaks down, with the longest section being 6'. I use three plywood boards that I sealed, and had Rhino Liner put on. Works great. I also have three pre-cut plastic/some kind of poly-carbonate, sections that I used prior to the boards, which you see in the pic.

    I was thinking of putting a 40 4-stroke on it, as I take it out of Homer to halibut fish. But it is just too much weight to horse around if you want to take it off. Let alone throw into an airplane if you want to fly out. Through talking to Tracey at AK Raft, I believe you would have to move the frame forward also, to counter the added weight. So I am going to go with either a Honda or Yamaha 4-stroke. By the way, has anyone bought a smaller Yamaha from Dewey's? How are they for service??

    I would take some better pics of mine, but I am out of town. Attached is one where you see a little of the setup. There are a couple on Craigslist for sale. They are a lot of fun.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default

    Phil,

    A long time ago I spent a lot of time working on floors for power cats. These boats were rigged all sorts of ways. Some had a limited flooring system (cedar 1x10s strapped cross-ways to the frame), some had full spray shields, some had remote steering, tiller handles, jets, props, pump jets, etc. We ran outboards from 8-horse all the way to 88-horse. All of them had the same main difficulty; controlling the wake that is generated by the tubes, as they are pushed across the water by the outboard. In your situation, every crossbar on your frame that is under the floor (and there should be at least three) will generate spray, because it blocks the smooth flow of water under your floor system. To consistently control this you need something that mounts under those bars. Also, if you are running a double-tube boat such as the Cougar or the Super Leopard, you will get spray between each set of tubes, where they are laced together. We controlled this by lacing a piece of raft fabric in between the tubes, from underneath.

    Once you get the spray issue solved, then you have the transom setup. The height of the transom, the angle, and the feed in front of it are all important considerations, and each presents its own issues to solve.

    In my case I settled for a simple eight-horse with no spray shield (doesn't go fast enough to generate spray). All I needed was a way to get downstream faster on long float hunts. I cannot go upriver with this setup in any situation other than with no weight in the boat on a flatwater, slow river.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  11. #11

    Default Okay, decision made....

    Thanks to all for the guidance and info. I've put money 'down' on the Super Leopard on the floor at AK Raft & Kayak. I think I'll just float the thing a few times, and try to ride along with a few others on the Kenai....then make decisions on what type of power-head to use. With the bouyancy and capacity of the Super Leopard, the help of Tracey, input from friends and a few (thousand) dollars, there shouldn't be too much that I can get done with this rig.

    Thanks again....look forward to seeing you on the water.

    Phil

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