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Thread: surface drives on bigger freighters

  1. #1

    Default surface drives on bigger freighters

    To continue my rant on posting #253 on the scott freighter canoe debate:
    Specifically surface drive motors.I tried a number of combos of 15 hp long and
    short shafts [only 4 stroke] with several types of lifters on albanys and hudson bays for 16 years.The 2 strokes are loud and fuel hungry.
    I know of 3 go devil style long tails on freighters in the interior.One an expert outdoorsman who has explored minto flats and other areas for years
    with a long tail on a 20 ft. freighter. However, the long tails are not ideal
    for freighters for a number of reasons not the least of which is that you have to stand up to run them.Not great for 100 mile days.I abandoned the outboard / lifter scene last spring. I had been interested in air cooled motors for a canoe for years but they were all too heavy. But mud buddy has come out with their
    surface drive mini lite series which puts the weight in the range of a 12-15 hp
    outboard with a lifter. I discuss this more in posting #253.
    Here are the advantages of the SD:
    1] Great fuel economy. At least as good and probably better than a 4-stoke OB of similar or even less HP.
    2]With a lifter the more you raise the prop, the slower and less efficient
    it becomes.With a SD the bottom of the prop is equal to the bottom of the hull. The faster you go the more efficient it seems to be.
    3]If the boat will float the motor will push it.
    4] The rig is like a see-saw.If you hit anything it simply bounces over it.
    5]Simple.No clutch.No neutral. No reverse. No water pump.No more water pump diaphram to fail from yukon silt. No worries about keeping the "lower unit" in the water.
    6]Everything is controlled by one lever arm. Push the tiller down and everything is instantly out of the water.
    7]Great for setting fishing nets. There's no prop under the boat to fowl up everything.
    8]Fast.Check hudson bay posting #253 for my gps readings.Of course,
    freighters should travel at a leisurely pace,but should you need to, the rig will really go.
    9]You can start your motor any time at home. No water required.
    10]The 18 HP vanguard can be purchased off the shelf at Rod's saw shop in Fbks.
    11]The go devils are great but are too heavy for our needs.The only light surface drives are made by mud buddy. The lighter models come in
    9,14,18 and 23 HP.The 18 HP is 160#. A honda 15/20 with electric start is about 108#. Add a 50 # lifter and they're about the same.
    12]The heavy duty stainless prop makes the aluminum props sold with most OB's look like some kind of joke.I put 55 hours on my rig last season
    including rocky rivers and the prop still looks almost new.
    13]The cost of a 18HP/SD is about the same as a 15 HP honda with a lifter.
    14]And my personal favorite:The efficiency of up river travel.With an OB,you have to stay out in current for prop room. With a SD I can run up river 5 ft. from the gravel bars on inside corners with almost no water under
    the boat.Not much current there.My gps told me that moving out into the
    current only 50 or 100 ft. reduced my speed by 3 to 5 mph. That means better speed and fuel economy.

    Disadvantages:
    1]A little faster at idle speed than is ideal.
    2]A little louder than a water cooled but not much.Not as loud as a 2 stoke.
    3]They are not very attractive.It's not the most elegant contraption to
    hang off the end of a beautifull boat.A small OB has less of a "presence".

    They are obviously not for small freighters but then I don't really
    consider grumanns and osagians to be freighters.The only small sq. backed
    canoe I like is the esquif 17. The design ,depth, and beam are well thought out to accept a motor.And royolex is really tough.

  2. #2
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default

    good post sir and welcome to the forum.

    I too like the esquif cargo and think you have great contributions of knowledge to add to this forum. I too am not a big fan of the osagians or grummans as they oftentimes sound like a galvonized trash can blowing down an asphalt street, so I prefer the more stealthier materials such as royalex and crosslink 3. But to be fair.......they work too. The stability of those large freighter canoes do warrant efficient use of a mud motor. I prefer a sport canoe that is both light, and beamy. I have two discovery sport 17.5 ft. square sterns that are very similiar to the esquif but slightly heavier. (125 lbs.) and made of crosslink 3 (very similiar to royalex). The outboard with a lift isnt the most efficient, but does work out ok. With a prop protecter and my lift system, I pushed almost 900 lbs. up 8 inches of water a few days ago. The stern was about six inches down in the water, and the prop protector only being an inch or two below the boat, it worked out fine. Scavenger makes an 80 lb. (9 horse) mud motor that I was considering a test run on. I going to borrow it and report back about how it performed on these smaller square sterned canoes. Last moose hunt I did involve 67 miles and I burnt five gallons of gas. (6 hp 2-stroke ZUK). I now have a 9.8 tohatsu that seems to give similiar fuel consumption but is not ideal for smaller/lighter trips like fishing. With the tohatsu, ive had 1,200 pounds in the boat (motor, gear, people) and was able to push this load at about 10 mph. up current (according to gps). The zuk still mantains 8 mph with a similiar load due to it's torquey twin cylinder design. If I come accross water too shallow, these size boats line very easily up shallows with lining sleeves in the bow (close to the water and D-rings adhered to the sides of the stern. I use one large bow rope with a carabiner that allows me to quickly and easily line the canoe from either right side of left side. With these smaller canoes, you can get the job done and get up some real skiny water. The crosslink 3 and royalex will take some heavy abuse. Although the larger Scott freighters were readily availible where I'm originally from, and I've been in them occasionally, I have very little experience with them. Sounds like a mud motor works out well for that large of a boat.

  3. #3
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    Kandik
    Who is the dealer in Fairbanks?
    I would be interested in talking with you about your setup..If it's alright to call with your # from your previous post.
    Bud

  4. #4

    Default Scavenger...

    Mainer,
    I ran a Pelican square stern with the 6.5 Scavenger up the Sheep river last year about two miles with two guys and cube out with camp gear. I made the trip several times checking my big boat periodically down stream. The Scavenger is a great motor for a flat bottom boat if you stand up. It sucks with canoe. The motor is too top heavy. You have to kneel to run the motor and it wears you out kneeling and twisting backwards. Steering is OK in a straight line but no good if you need to make quick turns. Stopping is difficult because you have to run the canoe onto a shallow bank to get out. I have the electric start and can't imagine trying to pull start on my knees in a current. Launching is worse. You have to push off and hope your motor starts or your headed down stream on you knees. The prop turns when the motor is running. No clutch. I had to get in, kneel down, start the motor and hope my buddy could push us far enough from the bank and enter the boat smoothly enough to not tip it over.

    This year I sold the pelican and picked up an old 17' Herter's square stern. I'm building outriggers from large crab pot buoys. I think the Herter's may track better and the outriggers will allow me to stand. I dunno?

    The Scavenger 6.5 electric start Briggs & Stratton weighs 70 pounds on the web site. But once it got to my house and I put oil and gas in it the motor weighed over 96 pounds. The 9 hp will be well over 100#.

    Kandik obviously has a better mouse trap. Wish he would have posted this a few years back and saved my $$$$$$.

  5. #5

    Default surface drive/HB

    Budman5 / Their is no dealer in Fbks. I ordered mine directly
    from mud uddy in Utah.Nice folks.Their number is: 801-352-1458 and
    801-352-8011.And of course feel free to call for my admittedly very
    opinionated ideas on the subject. After 40 years of outdoor stuff I guess
    I'm getting set in my ways.

  6. #6
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    Default reliable

    Kandik Ive been thinking of a setup like yours but am worried about the reliability of the Briggs motor. What about going down fast shallow rivers? Ive been running a jet and of course with that I can get up on step and get through some real shallow stuff. My river is real narrow and rocky and very shallow. Do you think the mudbuddy would work?

  7. #7

    Default surface drive/HB

    Yukon 254,
    My introduction to freighters was on a southern yukon lake when I lived
    in Haines ,Alaska many years ago.
    I used hondas for a long time. Their reliability is unquestioned.I'm basing
    my use of a vanguard motor on the decades of combined experience of the
    mechanics at Rod's saw shop in Fairbanks. They have a very high opinion
    of the vanguard motors / especially the 18HP.They have a 2000 hour life
    if maintained.I'm an older guy so I guess I won't wear it out in my lifetime.
    I've gotten several bulls on yukon tributaries.Like a jet, the SD has nothing under the hull.So on those rocky tributaries I'm much more worried about my boat than the motor.If the boat will float , it will blast up river at full throttle.
    The motor will essentially turn the boat around almost in it's length.And it seems to be unaffected by stumps , logs, silt ,gravel, sand ,etc.Although I'm not an advocate of blasting through aquatic vegatation,the SD will go right
    through dense vegatation at an amazing speed.I would not have believed
    it if I not actually done it.
    In terms of "on step": Anything above 2600 rpm will leave a glassy sheet
    of water from the stern to the prop. Only the prop and the skeg in front of the prop are actually touching the water. It seems like the boat is going way faster than a freighter should go.
    And all this with great fuel economy.
    I hope this helps.

  8. #8
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    Default thanks

    Kandik thanks that helped a bunch. I run a fishing lodge in the southeast Yukon and run 14 ft boats on the lakes, but then i switch to jets to run the rivers. It sounds like your setup would be great for both. Would you advise me getting the 18hp or larger? Im not packing big loads 3 guys and light gear total.

  9. #9

    Default surface drive /HB

    Yukon 254 // The mud buddy surface drives are made in utah. They were
    designed for and tested in the rocky rivers of utah. They seem to have all the
    advantages of a jet and few of the disadvantages. As I said before , the problem in shallow , rocky rivers is your boat not the SD.Because there's
    nothing below the keel line, there's little advance warning before you ground out.Regarding HP: I feel the 18HP is perfect for the HB.A great compromise
    between power for freighting and fuel economy.However, I talked to John Klingle yesterday.John is "the guru" of freight canoes and lifters in the interior.
    John is highly experienced with sq. backed canoes and has designed and built
    many of the lifters you will run into in the interior.He tried a small jet on his HB last season but found it inferior.He took my HB with SD out for a test run
    last summer.He just orderd a 23HP SD for his rig.It's more power than I would want but it weighs the same.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kandik View Post
    Yukon 254 // The mud buddy surface drives are made in utah. They were
    designed for and tested in the rocky rivers of utah. They seem to have all the
    advantages of a jet and few of the disadvantages. As I said before , the problem in shallow , rocky rivers is your boat not the SD.Because there's
    nothing below the keel line, there's little advance warning before you ground out.Regarding HP: I feel the 18HP is perfect for the HB.A great compromise
    between power for freighting and fuel economy.However, I talked to John Klingle yesterday.John is "the guru" of freight canoes and lifters in the interior.
    John is highly experienced with sq. backed canoes and has designed and built
    many of the lifters you will run into in the interior.He tried a small jet on his HB last season but found it inferior.He took my HB with SD out for a test run
    last summer.He just orderd a 23HP SD for his rig.It's more power than I would want but it weighs the same.
    I see mudbuddy is coming out with a 9 HP. that might be about right for my canoe. It can handle a 15 evinrude weight wise with a lift, but that's about it.
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