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Thread: 18' Achilles project

  1. #1

    Default 18' Achilles project

    Used boat that just needed some tlc.

    Starting specs...

    18' commercial Achilles
    115 Mercury 2-stroke w/prop/jet
    Custom row frame
    Custom console
    Custom 40 gallon fuel tank

    Updated list of add-ons...

    Downrigger mounts
    4 rod holder mounts
    3-rod holder on console
    VHF w/9' antenna
    Dual group 22 AGM batteries in console
    Perko 1/2/all/off switch in console
    9.9 Mercury LS 4-stroke kicker
    Drink holders (of course)
    Front 85 quart cooler for seating/dry storage
    Rear 100 quart cooler for fish/food/drinks
    Replaced valves w/military version (7 chambers)
    Full re-wire from dash to motors
    New fuel lines front to back
    Fire extinguisher/safety kit

    I`ll add to list as I remember. On to some pics...better ones to come.





  2. #2
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default Sweet

    I saw a rib out at Whittier on saturday that had simliar setup as far as framing goes. But he had installed an aluminum extension and had 75 horse on the back (said he was upgrading to 90)....

    Frame might be next winter's project for my old little zodiac....

  3. #3

    Default

    Finished up on the accessories...

    Installed the Lowrance Elite 5 GPS/finder, fire equipment, VHF, 8...yeah 8 rod holders, and other small odds and ends.

    Took the maiden voyage yesterday to test everything at a buddies cabin and gave everything a good shake-down.

    The big Merc started right up and ran like a top. The kicker arrangment works but lacks some steering due to confined space. I found that using the main as a rudder does help when running near hull speed (6.8 mph) and the 9.9 does a very good job of muscling the boat around. Being new to large inflatables had me worried about some things but quickly found it to liveable with a few quirks. The steering is very tight and in the wrong hands could likely be dangerous...very little input redirects the boat quickly. I did experience one thing that was disturbing. When running between 13 and 18 mph the boat builds a wave underneath and then lets it go under the transom....when it does this it feel like you just jumped a log and the prop blows out of the water...kinda scary...more inflation maybe??? Once I reach 19mph everything smooths out. It only takes 11mph to remain on step at very low rpm. From 19-35mph everything is working as it should. It seems the motor is mounted too high because I have to trim all the way down to run. Any amount of trim up while at cruise equals cavitation. Took a hard look at it and it seems the cavitation plate is 1.5"s above the leading edge of the keel. I`ll see what I can do about dropping it 2"s and hope that cures it...trick is to find the equipment to lift a 300# outboard. I`m sure I could get more speed at less rpm if I could trim the bow up...right now it sucks and you can feel it pushing the front down. I did test it w/1000lbs. including me and it will run around 27mph. Again, with the motor trim corrected I`m sure it could do this weight at full speed...just real hard to keep the prop in the water right now.

    Anywho, it ran well, all electronics functioned as advertised and the overall feeling of being able to go anywhere almost any time (albiet it slow) put a huge smile on my face.

    Off to pick up the better half and daughters for some trout fishing today at Finger Lake. I hope the girls (3, 13, 15) take to it and will want to go play from time to time.

    A couple pics afloat at the lake...there are some videos but I`ll have to put those up another time.






  4. #4
    Member russiarulez's Avatar
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    Default

    Wow a true fishing machine!

  5. #5
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    Default Nice design.

    I like the frame, it looks good!!! Soon you will want a cabin. Yes, the motor has to go either level or -1/2" or so, but you allready seem to know that. SIB's are known for this little problem of cavitation as they come on step, but you should be able to trim up. Ready for the barrens? Also, adding plaing fins can really assist with this problem. (Dolphin, ect.)

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks for the compliments and the insight...and yeah...I`d do the Barrens with a chase boat. I grew up fishing Homer w/my Dad in an 18' Zodiac so I`m pretty comfortable with the ride.

  7. #7
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default inflation

    Inflation level might have a little to do with the buckling and cavitation at 14-16mph...my 15 foot zodiac does....tips from AKRC and AOD members to inflate higher have helped my buckling problem immensely.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Inflation level might have a little to do with the buckling and cavitation at 14-16mph...my 15 foot zodiac does....tips from AKRC and AOD members to inflate higher have helped my buckling problem immensely.

    Did pump it up to about rock hard and it helps a bit but with a heavy front load it persists. Liveable but was surprised. I`m moving the outboard down 2 holes tomorrow and that should help alot with getting a bite on the water. I think some of the issue is the too big main and the 85# kicker.

    Anywho, going to attempt the Deep Creek river launch on Friday the 11th (crossing fingers). If you`re going look me up.

  9. #9
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default dc launch

    Have you launched out of DC before?

  10. #10
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    Default

    Where did you pick up that frame? I just picked up a zodiac and would love to throw some side mounted rod holders on it. It looks like a good spot to mount a sonar too. Mine doesn't have a console so i've been trying to come up with ideas on where to mount this stuff....

    Cool boat!

  11. #11
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default AK steel

    you can buy the conduit from ak steel - most prefer anodized - more costly, but doesn't rub black off onto boat and hands etc.

    I don't remember where to get the fittings....

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Have you launched out of DC before?
    Nope. I was looking at Google Earth and found it won`t get me any closer to where I want to be. The spot I want to hit is the same distance from Homer harbor as it is from DC. Can`t decide now.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sthrcave View Post
    Where did you pick up that frame? I just picked up a zodiac and would love to throw some side mounted rod holders on it. It looks like a good spot to mount a sonar too. Mine doesn't have a console so i've been trying to come up with ideas on where to mount this stuff....

    Cool boat!

    Thanks.

    The rowing frame was already there when I bought it just modded it a bit for downriggers, rod holders, etc. A buddy of mine is doing a board across using the grommet holes in the side seam for bolting to. It will be stout with aluminum bracing to the floor.

    Check w/Tracy @ AK Raft & Kayak on Tudor...he`ll steer you in the right direction.

    BTW, keep looking at Craigslist...there are consoles on there from time to time.

  14. #14
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default

    We've beach launched at deep creek before, if there are two people it can be done fairly easily. Someone on here mentioned there was a small boat launch now open at anchor pt right next to the tractor launch parking, if your spot is between deep creek & Homer this would seem ideal. Plus I would like to hear about it as I hope to get there in the next month.
    My 16' achiles hardly ever had the floorboards cavitate like you mention, but my big one does, especially in following seas with a fair amount of water under the floor boards. I try & use a pump to keep the water out & had AK raft build aluminum chanel that is bolted to all the floor boards to keep them locked down to a minimum & it has worked as well.

  15. #15

    Default

    You mention you have a boat that is larger than the 16'...is it an 18? Pics?

    I have the self-bailing valve, (2) 1-way plugs, and a bilge pump but the boat doesn`t seem to take on much water...maybe a gallon or 2 all weekend. I do have an entire floor on top of the aluminum floor but it still buckles...but like I said I think it`s the raw weight on the transom that makes it more apt to cavitate with a bunch of forward weight (middle light...both ends heavy).

    I`ll look at the Anchor launch...haven`t spent any time down there in several years so it`s worth a look. I`ll let you know what I see. My only concern with launching out of Anchor is the braiding at the end of the river...seems it could get you in trouble with a prop???

  16. #16
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default

    The 16' was an achilles & never had a leak & zero patches even after dragging down rocks every summer. The 20' is a zodiac bombard & the rubber is a lot softer. Bought it with a few patches already but I just don't feel its as durable. It does have the same drain plugs you mention but they only work so well. I usually try to keep them closed & only pull to drain the water when on step & then put back in. However I get a lot of water in the boat, The majority is coming up behind the motor mount & in where the tilt gap is, haven't figured out a good way to stop it yet. So I use a rule slimeline bilge pump. Unfortunately this last weekend while running in the sound I left it in the hole I cut in the floor boards while running & it somehow slipped through & the presurre of the water on the floor wouldn't leave me get it straight to pull it out. By the time we trailered the boat it had slipped under the full lenght keel board & is wedged somehow & I don't know if it will get it. out.
    The two things I would like to add are a good antenna / radio & fish finder.
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  17. #17
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default

    Here is a pic of the hole & missing bilge pump, along with the aluminum channel that runs over all three floorboards to keep them locked down from water pressure / cavitation
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default current motor

    It has a 70hp 4 stroke which is very heavy, I tried putting spray foam in the gap & when the motor is all the way down its fine, but when I trim it up this is where I take on a lot of water.
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  19. #19

    Default

    Nice boats!

    Weird to hear your larger one sprays a bunch of water in??? Maybe screwing in a rubber flap underneath the mount that surrounds the tiller on the transom side? Between the length, water, and being made out of lesser that hypalon material I can imagine is does give a lot in rollers or following seas.

    Mine`s yet to see the salt with me in it but as soon as I get it all out of the body shop I`ll rusume my missions. I had a dumb**** t-bone me with a runaway work truck today when I was headed to get the outboard lowered. Crunched the bed side, bent the trailer, messed up the rearend gears, and some minor damage to the boat d-rings where it had safety straps torn off.

  20. #20

    Default My old 18' Rubber Duck

    This Achillies had taken me many many miles, mostly out of Whittier, would say I have been in evey Bay within 40 miles of Whittier easy, plus some 60 miles out. Got into 16' seas,opps, so it keep me safe. I hand made the windshield, the steering up front, the seats where on large milk crates, note the lights or on a stick they never went in the water.
    Was a great boat and I sometimes wish I still had it, but the wife wanted a warmer boat.
    It was cheap to run going 60 miles on 6 gallons of gas, wasn't super fast, 12mph loaded 18mph enpty, only had $5000 into it, including full body mustang suits. Rated for 3200# with 65hp
    Great rigs to explore in, very forgiving.
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