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Thread: Motor for Cataraft

  1. #1
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    Default Motor for Cataraft

    Is a Yamaha 9.9 High Thrust motor big enough for a 18 ft Aire Cataraft?

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Default

    depends....how fast do you want to go and what kind of botton (if any) is on your cat?
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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Lightbulb 9.9

    Yes.
    (...and within the last two years there have been many same/similar threads with multi-post, lengthy, answers from experienced rafter/boaters...check the archives for multiple, exact answers to your specific question...)

    dennis

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Yes and No

    A 9.9 will push your Leopard downstream and across still water just fine. But it is not large enough to allow upstream travel, especially with a load. In either case, it will not allow you to get the boat up on step.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default 800 pound load..

    Actually, my 9.9 HP motor on my 18 foot Leopard will "carefully" push my boat upstream in the "middle Kenai river" with four, 200 pound dudes on board. But it becomes frustrating watching all the other guys zoom back upstream at a much quicker pace. During those short daylight days in Oct and Nov I lose a bunch of potential fishing time with that rig...

    So, captainsportsfan, you have prob already found all the past contributions by M.S., myself, and a gaggle of others in the archives...it is probbly an entire evening worth of reading time...it really is substantial...

    ....dennis

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by captainsportsfan View Post
    Is a Yamaha 9.9 High Thrust motor big enough for a 18 ft Aire Cataraft?

    If you are trying to tote a lightweight portable around that will push you cataraft.....Yamaha still sells a 2 STROKE 15 horse outboard that weighs 79 lbs. that motor is prob lighter than that fourstroke longshaft thrust-proped motor. There isnt a cataraft that size that a 15 horse 2 stroke couldnt effectively push upriver.

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    is it a given that there is some sort of hard bottom on the cat?...
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default nope-

    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    is it a given that there is some sort of hard bottom on the cat?...
    No, it is not. I run a floor system on my cats, but not a spray shield. The reason is because I'm not looking to get up on step; I'm just trying to make faster time downstream on float hunts.

    If you want to get up on step, you need a spray shield of some kind.

    -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
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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default hard bottom...

    tmj,
    No, it is not given that there is some type of hard bottom on a cataraft.
    The only bottom on his 18 foot cataraft is the bottom of his round and "soft" cataraft tubes, probably.

    dennis

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks everyone for your time and wisdom. I do not have a cataraft yet but there are a few for sale on craigs... One is selling the 9.9 motor with it as a package deal. So I was wondering if the 9.9 was worth the deal or should I just buy the raft and purchase a larger motor. the package deal is $6,000. Thanks!

  11. #11
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    tmj,
    No, it is not given that there is some type of hard bottom on a cataraft.
    I understand, I've had a large cataraft with a motor since the late '90's...my point was that it matters if there is a bottom on the cat or not...the replys seemed to assume that there was a hard bottom on it...my bad for being vague...

    without a bottom a 9.9 is only good for very slow speeds, depending on the drag you'll only buck a current less than 5mph or so, and very slowly at that...

    my cat will step out of the water a bit with a light load (800lbs or so) and a 9.9, but barely...like Strahan said it's very helpful heading down stream but frustrating heading up...Im sure it would be a different story if I had a better bottom.....

    if I had a better bottom and the 15hp motor that Mariner suggested I'd be all smiles........

    so, is a 9.9 big enough for an 18ft cat?....

    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    depends....how fast do you want to go and what kind of bottom (if any) is on your cat?
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  12. #12
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Default

    In addition to this comment:...

    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    depends....how fast do you want to go and what kind of bottom (if any) is on your cat?
    I should add that it also depends on what kind of load you'll be carrying....
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  13. #13
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainsportsfan View Post
    Is a Yamaha 9.9 High Thrust motor big enough for a 18 ft Aire Cataraft?
    i just noticed you stated 'High Thrust'........that's a different animal than your standard 2 stroke'r........probably won't step your boat regardless of load, but it should move a couple moose just dandy...regardless of bottom...
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    Default Cat

    The cat does have a bottom.

    As far as speed is concerned I'm not a speed freak. I just need to get from point a to point b. I was mainly thinking for hunting downriver. But I guess if I was fishing and wanted to go back upriver I would need something that could do that for me (Like on the Kenai.)

  15. #15
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by captainsportsfan View Post
    The cat does have a bottom.

    As far as speed is concerned I'm not a speed freak. I just need to get from point a to point b. I was mainly thinking for hunting downriver. But I guess if I was fishing and wanted to go back upriver I would need something that could do that for me (Like on the Kenai.)
    lol...if you were a speed freak you'd be sorely disappointed with any cat/motor combo.......hunting down river you'll love it....

    going back up the Kenai?...you'll appreciate having it, but like AlaskaTrueAdventure said, you won't be passing anyone upriver.......but at least you'll be heading upriver...

    If you dip on the peninsula you'll get some use out of it as well...
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  16. #16
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Question Bottom...huh?

    captainsportsfan,
    tmj,
    M.S.,

    ...not intending to hijack...but I am not understanding the brief discussion or description of "The cat does have a bottom".

    Is this a hard bottom 18' AIRE Leopard cataraft? Is this simply a floor, a typical hard floor suspended between the tubes and generally NOT in contact with the water? Is it a "spray shield" designed to reduce or eliminate the inner, between-the-tubes wake junction?

    dennis

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    Thumbs up Making a cat purrrrrr...

    We've been so busy mornin', day, noon, eve, to night at ALASKA RAFT CONNECTION that I'll post only a few brief comments on Cats (like the AIRE 18' Leopard) and outboard engines.

    #1 The Leopard is a poor performer with any engine PERIOD.

    #2 Custom power modifications can be made... they are all pretty expensive... you'll spend quite a bit even to achieve relatively minimal gains.

    #3 Continuous curvature (rocker) is great for turning/spinning/transitions... yet the tracking under power fishtails/meanders a little.

    #4 Wakes to the outside... plus wakes to the inside that intersect right before or motor shaft or right into it. This can be knocked down somewhat, but the water is still in a disturbed state causing inefficient thrust and potential cavitation issues.

    #5 Flat-bottom spray shielding is just spray protection for occupants unless you add in a few custom tricks of the trade.

    #6 The 9.9 HP will get the Leopard on step... However... a good rule to remember when powering the whitewater Leo cat is that a 15 HP 4 stroke will give 10-12 knots at full cruise without cavitation problems... no matter what you do to the bottom or nothing at all but watching the fish bellow ya.

    #7 Loading is different... move your loads (plus fuel) to suit the horse power options conditions, occupants, and so on.

    #8 Too much HP is simply not recommended... a waste of extra weight, additional gas, and inefficiency all-together.

    #9 Be very careful with larger waves and higher winds under power!!! Wind getting up underneath ya can be dangerous... even in a mesh bottom!

    #10 Be very careful powering down waves... Back way off!!! Remember that big waves are the size/volume of your house moving at the rate of your car... also your cat tubes turn and track on two different radius. These physics generate a dangerous combo if you try to be too aggressive down a big swell.

    If anyone would like to learn hands on Power Catting the seas or have a do-it-yourself demo --- give us a call. DYI Demo on a power AIRE LEO starts at $185/day

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    Default 18' Leopard w/ 25hp outboard

    I have used this setup for about 8 years. This cataraft is a tank. Its heavy. The floor and the deck are foam core panels but still are relatively heavy. The 25 pushes this around well but it is slow going upstream on the kenai or the susitna. I dont think a 9.9 would do it for this rig. 6th Avenue Outfitters sells the motor mount used on this cataraft for $220.
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  19. #19
    Member gspd750's Avatar
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    Default

    Following is a Leopard with an 8 hp Honda with what Honda calls a Power Thrust Propellor. With my latest mods to the floor boards I find the most comfortable high speed cruise (calm lake) is 8-9 mph and that is with 4 people and a little bit of gear. Going any faster and the cavitation around the leg gets to be a bit much and worries me that it might jeopordize cooling. It is also hard to see the water cooling check hole with all that aerated water.

    I use a series of 3 boards (surplus commercial airliner floorboards) which fit between the spreader bars and the NRS trampoline floor. The very aft board sits directly on top of 2 spreader bars with the 2 front boards sitting on top of the trampoline. Again, with this setup a little over 8 mph and this motor will run all day with no labouring or water coming over the boards. You better not be in any sort of a hurry to get somewhere on a Leopard with a motor.


  20. #20

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    I have a Leopard with a 20 horse 4-stroke Tohatsu on it. It will cruise at 12-13 mph as stated above. I just went to the 20 horse 4-stroke from a 25 horse 2-stroke. They both did about the same, but the 4 stroke is much quieter of an engine, obviously. This is with a spray shield, and floor boards. It is a pretty versatile setup.

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