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  • Mongolia inflatable jet boats / jet ranger

    I run fly-fishing trips in Mongolia; currently we use rafts equipped with rowing & fishing frames - but that can be restrictive for some rivers and some trips. I am looking for a portable, i.e. inflatable, jet-boat so the jet ranger (Jim King Alaska Series) looks like it could be exactly what we need.

    Can you get up a class II with this? whats the wildest water these have been used in. We don't actually get anything much over a class II here; but have some interesting boulder gardens to navigate.

    It looks like with a 25/20 jet on this its only going to take a guide and two anglers max. Anyone got more info on how much people and/or gear can be realistically carried on this. Are there any options for a 40HP jet. And could you get a 4-stroke jet for this?

    We need to manage the use of jet boats sensitively in Mongolia. Herders have complained about the noise and disturbance caused by jet boats used by other outfitters. My take is we should work out a voluntary code of practice to manage this... 1) let the herders know what we are doing and why, 2) minimize disturbance by only using motors once a day for upstream travel and float back to camp, 3) don't run jets for a specified period after spawing to avoid disturbace to gravels / redds, 4) use 4-strokes in preference to 2-strokes - less noise and less pollution 5) put a sensible max HP limit on motors (I read the Kenai debate on these forums..so lets say 60HP?) I'd be interested in the Alaskan experience on this.

    Would you use Jim King's H/D oar mount or an oar saddle to put white water type oars on the jet-ranger? I see the oar saddle gets great reviews here.

    And another question...I have seen some posts and photos for motorized catarafts...and would like more info on customizing cats to put a motor on...there is some info on Jack's Plastic Welding site, but does anyone want to share more experiences? Can we put a 40hp or more jet on a Daddy cat and use it to haul the camp?

    Apart from Aire's power traveler, are there any other options for a portable / inflatable jet-boat? We can get our 6wd truck to the put in points, so these don't necessarily have to be air-portable.

    I reviewed alot of posts on this forum before writing this, and have to say theres alot of good info here, THANKS. I emailed Jim King already, who wrote straight back and also pointed me to this fourm.

    Incidentally, refering to some other posts here, the rafts we have came direct from the factory in Korea; its the same as manufactures for Zebec and possibly Star. We had then built extra tough -armoured bottom, double wrap etc..and they have done us two seasons so far with no problems. The mattress floor with the air-bladder floats high and is more rigid than i-beam floor rafts I have used - we can load alot of gear direct on the floor with these and it doesn't wallow.
    Live the life you love. Love the life you live

  • #2
    Pictures

    How about some pictures of the rivers and fish!!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Catarafts and other options

      I've done some work with outboards on catarafts, and have mentioned here in the past that the largest boat we rigged had an 88-horse Yamaha prop on it. I know many of them have been rigged with jet motors on them, but the technology remains in its infancy and as yet there are no standard setups that will work right out of the box without some tweaking.

      Your best bet is to contact Tracey Harmon at Alaska Raft and Kayak in Anchorage; he's as in-the-loop on this as anyone. You no doubt are aware of the advantages of a cataraft for this type of work, as the boat bails itself with little trouble, and has a lot more available space inside than a sportboat design.

      For the tubes I highly recommend AIRE; the brand you mentioned has had problems in the past with wicking and going soft over time. Each of the tubes you mentioned is built by hand. AIRE welds their materials using a radio-frequency process that melts the material together. Perhaps the biggest advantage though is the inner bladder system, which allows you to perform field repairs with urethane tape. Field repairs on this boat are the easiest in the business, bar none.

      Hope it helps!

      -Mike
      Michael Strahan
      Site Owner
      Alaska Hunt Consultant
      1 (907) 229-4501

      Comment


      • #4
        jet ranger

        I have Jim Kings Jet Ranger and I love it. It will go where no other boat will go. If you get into rough water, heavy rapids, it will cavitate (sp?) though. It is slow, and with three people in it it will go upriver but you will not break any records on speed. I love mine. Hopefully in the near future Jim designs a similar boat suited for a 40hp motor, that would then be the ultimate raft.

        Comment


        • #5
          Easy boat repairs

          Originally posted by Michael Strahan View Post

          "the brand you mentioned has had problems in the past with wicking and going soft over time. Each of the tubes you mentioned is built by hand. AIRE welds their materials using a radio-frequency process that melts the material together. Perhaps the biggest advantage though is the inner bladder system, which allows you to perform field repairs with urethane tape. Field repairs on this boat are the easiest in the business, bar none.

          Hope it helps!

          -Mike


          "Well there he goes again" was the way the great President Ronald Ragan would respond every time his opponents on the other side of the isle would make outrageous statements.

          Iím sure when Mike generically stated ďthe brand you mentionedĒ he wasnít implying the Alaska Series brand. My boats donít have such problems!

          I do agree with Mike about the advantages of urethane tapes such as Tear-aid. http://www.tear-aid.com/

          These Urethane tape products have made field repairs so much easier then the old glue and patches methods. Iím a bit confused though when I compare the ease of repairing the standard airtight chambers of a non-bladder boat and a bladder boat.
          Maybe Mike can tell me what I missed

          To repair a puncture on the airtight chamber of a non-bladder boat with Tear-aid, the process is as fallows.

          Locate the puncture,
          Wipe the boat fabric with an Alcohol pad to clean the area around the punctured fabric and let dry.
          Cut the patch of tear-aid to fit.
          Peal the backing off the Tear-aid tape
          Smoothly Stick the tear-aid patch over the puncture
          Blow up your boat and go.

          To repair a puncture on a bladder boat with urethane tape the process is as fallows.
          : Unzipping an outer shell,
          : Taking out an inner bladder.
          : Relocating the puncture or leak:
          : Wipe the bladder fabric with an Alcohol pad to clean the area around the punctured fabric and let dry.
          Cut the patch of tear-aid to fit.
          Peal the backing off
          Smoothly Stick the tear-aid patch over puncture
          : Reinstalling the inner bladder and making sure it is straight,
          : Then re-zipping the outer shell
          : repair the outer shell if needed.
          Blow up your boat and go


          I maybe wrong but it seems to me there are more steps with the bladder boat.

          The beauty of the urethane tape is that itís so supple and stretchy you can make it airtight even when you use it along seams, rub strikes or corners.

          Good Boating

          Jim King

          Alaska Series Inflatable Boats, Commercial quality at Wholesale prices River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks, Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable Sport Boats, Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies. WWW.alaskaseries.com (907) 248-2900

          Comment


          • #6
            Jet ranger

            I would love to have one of these boats.
            I was talking to Glen Alsworth from Port Alsworth at lake clark, and he bought two of these for use on shallow rivers over in his neck of the woods.
            He said that he was amazed at how well they did. His guys travel accross Lake Clark to these small shallow rivers, and just head on up.
            he said they are tough as nails.
            I asked him if he had any punctures or any problems with the boats?
            He said "No ,, infact. we inflated both of them this spring, and never had to top them off (add air) all summer and into the fall".
            I guess this is due to way the seams are put together. Here is a picture of how they use 4 layers on every seam to prevent leaks, or weeping. Unless you get a puncture, or the air valves fail, you just pump them up once.


            He had 20hp jets in 2 cycle on them.
            used them to haul people gear and game.
            cool little boats.
            Hope I can get one for my fleet in the near future.
            I would also like to get me anouther Cataraft, as it has been 3 years since I had one in my fleet. I have been using a long tail mud motor on my self bailing raft this past summer, and I would like to try it out on a Cataraft to see how it does. I have entertained the idea of putting a long tail mud motor on a boat such as the Jet Ranger also..
            http://www.mudbuddy.com/Longtail%20Mud%20Motors.htm
            if anyone has any experience,, please let me know?
            I have talked to the manufacture of Mudbuddy, and they have never used their motors on inflatables before, as most of their clients are swamp type duck hunting users in rigid hull aluminum boats.
            Mike S, has used the Catarafts about as much as anyone for both remote and road system type use. I have never tried to push one up river with a motor, How do they do Mike? I saw some pictures that were posted of his cats going accross a lake, at it looked like pretty fast speeds. that would be nice to be able to move around like that for multi purpose boat use of just one craft.
            Anyway, If you call old Glen Alsworth at lake clark, he can fill you in on more details on the Ranger boats. When I talked to him he was too busy to visit for very long, as that time of year for hauling hunters around in in his airplanes.
            Max
            When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

            Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Right you are!

              Originally posted by Alaska Series Inflatable Boats View Post
              "Well there he goes again" was the way the great President Ronald Ragan would respond every time his opponents on the other side of the isle would make outrageous statements.

              Iím sure when Mike generically stated ďthe brand you mentionedĒ he wasnít implying the Alaska Series brand. My boats donít have such problems!

              Iím a bit confused though when I compare the ease of repairing the standard airtight chambers of a non-bladder boat and a bladder boat.
              Maybe Mike can tell me what I missed

              I maybe wrong but it seems to me there are more steps with the bladder boat.

              The beauty of the urethane tape is that itís so supple and stretchy you can make it airtight even when you use it along seams, rub strikes or corners.

              Good Boating

              Jim King

              Alaska Series Inflatable Boats, Commercial quality at Wholesale prices River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks, Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable Sport Boats, Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies. WWW.alaskaseries.com (907) 248-2900
              Jim,

              I appreciate you weighing in on this. You are correct that I was speaking of the other brand he mentioned (JPW) and not your boats. Hopefully you saw that. I was trying to keep the names out of it, but it appears that I was misunderstood. Probably my fault (I'm really tired today). I'm not aware of whether your boats are leakers or not, and nothing I said was aimed at you or your products in any way.

              Regarding the urethane tape, I was speaking of the tape AIRE supplies with their boats, and the ease of use associated with it. I was not speaking of the Tear Aid tape you mentioned (though I thank you for mentioning it). Tear Aid appears to be pretty good stuff, especially for boats that cannot be patched from the inside or those that may have chronic seam leaks or wicking issues along the edges of the fabric. It's relatively new though, and I'm curious how it will hold up in really cold weather up here or on hypalon /neoprene. So far, so good though...

              By "ease of use" I was not talking about how fast the repair can occur, but about how easy the tape is to use and how there are no exposed edges to catch since it is applied inside the shell. I was referring to a tape patch on the INSIDE of the boat (inside the shell, over the inner bladder). As you know, patches applied to the OUTSIDE of a boat (as they almost always are with single layer boats in the field) have a tendency to catch edges and peel over time, and can eventually leak again. This is ESPECIALLY true with patches applied by customers who either lack the expertise or conditions necessary to effect a good patching job. A bladder boat allows a patch to be easily accomplished in the field, by even a beginner rafter, with no edges to catch or peel. This can be done in the field in about fifteen minutes, depending on the location of the puncture. On the AIRE catarafts most punctures are easily repaired WITHOUT REMOVING THE BLADDER (in contrast to what you indicated), but some punctures in remote parts of the tube may require removal of the tube from the frame. This is because the zipper flange that provides access to the inner bladder is usually located at the midpoint of the tubes, along the inside edge where it is most protected.

              Last week I saw several of your boats being repaired at Alaska Raft and Kayak, and all of them required external patching. As you know, Tracey does a pretty good job patching boats, and I doubt those patches will have to be replaced. Still, I prefer to see my patches on the inside of the tubes where there is little chance that the river will tear them off in the future.

              Hopefully this clears up your question.

              -Mike
              Michael Strahan
              Site Owner
              Alaska Hunt Consultant
              1 (907) 229-4501

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Fish Mongolia View Post
                We need to manage the use of jet boats sensitively in Mongolia. Herders have complained about the noise and disturbance caused by jet boats used by other outfitters. My take is we should work out a voluntary code of practice to manage this... 1) let the herders know what we are doing and why, 2) minimize disturbance by only using motors once a day for upstream travel and float back to camp, 3) don't run jets for a specified period after spawing to avoid disturbace to gravels / redds, 4) use 4-strokes in preference to 2-strokes - less noise and less pollution 5) put a sensible max HP limit on motors (I read the Kenai debate on these forums..so lets say 60HP?) I'd be interested in the Alaskan experience on this.
                Thanks for the feedback on the boats, anyone have any comments on the use of jet boats in wilderness areas, are there any regulations in Alaska concerning this?
                Attached Files
                Live the life you love. Love the life you live

                Comment


                • #9
                  Why pay for repairs that don't color match?

                  Originally posted by Michael Strahan View Post
                  Last week I saw several of your boats being repaired at Alaska Raft and Kayak, and all of them required external patching. As you know, Tracey does a pretty good job patching boats, and I doubt those patches will have to be replaced.
                  -Mike
                  Why would anyone bring an Alaska Series Inflatable boat to ARK and pay a premium for a repair? Especially when I would repair their boat for free! My customers also know I use factory glues and the exact same factory fabric, so their repair is an exact color match. Without an exact color match repairs start making your boat look like a patchwork quilt.

                  Most of my customers know I only service Alaska Series boats and not any other brand. This way I donít have the waiting list or backlog on boat repairs. I get so few boats that need repair itís quite easy to get most repairs in and out of the my shop in the length of time it takes for the glue to cure and to air test the boats.

                  Repairing inflatable boats isnít rocket science. Once you have the right tools, knowledge and workspace. The toughest part of doing an inflatable boat repair is having the compatible fabrics, glues and solvents for the boat youíre working on. Since I get my repair fabrics and glues from the factory that makes my boats, you canít get any more compatible than that! Most of my repairs blend into the lines of the boat so well you have to look hard to see them.

                  Good Boating

                  Jim King
                  Alaska Series Inflatable Boats,
                  Commercial quality at Wholesale prices
                  River Rafts, Catarafts, Inflatable Kayaks, Inflatable Canoes, Inflatable Sport Boats, Inflatable Jet Boats, Tenders and Dinghies.
                  WWW.alaskaseries.com
                  (907) 248-2900

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Repairs

                    Originally posted by Alaska Series Inflatable Boats View Post
                    Why would anyone bring an Alaska Series Inflatable boat to ARK and pay a premium for a repair?...Repairing inflatable boats isnít rocket science...
                    I don't know the answer to the first question.

                    I think one issue folks run into with repairs is simply a lack of knowledge, experience and therefore confidence when it comes to repairing their own boats. Tracey does a repair seminar in which he calls this the "Attitude" of repair, and I think he's right. So are you. This isn't hard to do, but it does require the right tools and conditions to make it work. Because most boaters lack the experience though, they often look for quick fixes and plan to take it to someone like Tracey when they get it back home. I was in there the other day and they have boats stacked to the ceiling awaiting repairs, so what I say is true. Many of these repairs could be done by the owners, but they don't think they can do it.

                    I recommend to anyone out there that you take Tracey's repair clinic at the Great Alaska Sportsman Show this coming spring. It's free and it could help you develop the "Attitude" for repair, and save you a chunk of money.

                    -Mike
                    Michael Strahan
                    Site Owner
                    Alaska Hunt Consultant
                    1 (907) 229-4501

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jeez,

                      Mike I gotta hand it to ya. You took what could have been an informative thread about the Jet Ranger and Power Traveller and turned it into a advertisement for Alaska Raft and Kayak and a pisssing contest. I'm sick of every raft topic coming back to you. For once I would like to hear about great products made other people than ARK. Unfortunately your ego outweighs your wisdom and your nothing more than a distraction to these threads.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        back on track

                        So lets get back on track....Since starting the thread I also fired off a couple of emails and got some private messages back from the forum; here's the feedback & re-cap

                        1) Jet ranger

                        Originally posted by fishermann222 View Post
                        I have Jim Kings Jet Ranger and I love it. It will go where no other boat will go. If you get into rough water, heavy rapids, it will cavitate (sp?) though. It is slow, and with three people in it it will go upriver but you will not break any records on speed. I love mine. Hopefully in the near future Jim designs a similar boat suited for a 40hp motor, that would then be the ultimate raft.
                        Jet ranger with 20/25 jet might be underpowered for what I want to do, i.e. upstream with guide and 2 pax. Jim read my post, and suggested that his bigger Alaska Ranger boats with aluminum floor might fit my requirements better. As fisherman222 says, similar boat for 40hp might be the answer.

                        I quote another owner;
                        "Jet ranger would be limited to the guide and 1 passenger going upstream...Class II is doable. You would cavitate but doable
                        he also reckons that its the best boat to do that because of the material, especially the bear claw bottom armour:
                        I have beached my jet ranger several times at full speed and I just get out drag it across the shallows and keep going. I would not a have a jet raft with anything but the thick grizzly hide bottom that Jim King put's on his raft.
                        I don't know Jim, but I do know his factory makes bomb-proof and Mongolia proof boats. And I have had good and quick feedback from him regarding my enquiries. Thanks Jim!

                        2) Cats with motors
                        I got good feedback from JPW:
                        We have had up to 70 hp motors on the eltigre size of boats. I personally have used a 25 hp motor on Daddy cats.......A Daddy cat has a relatively short waterline for hauling gear. The combination of larger tube diameter and a longer waterline would make for less drag by having less draft.

                        So obviously length and design of tube is important when designing motorized cats...and that has been dealt with on Mike's other threads here.

                        Jack put me in touch with Dave Jones www.alpenview.com who has
                        a 30 hp honda motor on an Eltigre set of tubes. Also with riverboatworks responded too...Ron says:
                        I have just designed a couple for some fishermen who use them on the snake river in Idaho and use 45 hp motors on them. They want 18' boats and I think the Eltigre is a great choice....I have gotten a frame design from www.alaskaraftandkayak.com. These guys use and rent big catarafts with big motors for hunting and fishing, and have really perfected the motor mounted frame for catarafts.
                        This confirms Mike's advice in this thread that Alaska Raft and Kayak are the guys with experience in this.

                        This comment really answered my question on the nail....
                        .... I had the best success with conventional outboards mounted at a height that puts the outboards cavitation plate 3" above the bottom of the tubes....I don't think jet drive is practical for an inflatable cat. The cavitation problems are many because the tube wakes mix at the center and put a lot of air in the water. Conventional outboards are far less susceptible to cavitation than jets. I have built several motorized cats with JPW tubes. They are great boats for many situations but high speed travel in shallow rivers is not one of them. A john boat with a jet drive is the best choice for this job. A motorized inflatable cat needs 14" - 18" inches of water and will make a maximum of 6 mph with a load.
                        Thanks Jack, Dave & Ron!

                        3) for NORTH2AK and anyone else interested...I attached some photos to my last post...you can see more at www.fishmongolia.com

                        4) No offence guys; I mentioned this forum to a friend last night, said I was surprised how active it was; he quite rightly pointed out that theres probably not much daylight up there in Alaska right now.....which could explain why you are all sat infront of your computers.... :-) Likewise the rivers are freezing over here now...so I ain't fishing.

                        5) anyone want to enter the debate on use of jet-boats in wilderness areas
                        We need to manage the use of jet boats sensitively in Mongolia. Herders have complained about the noise and disturbance caused by jet boats used by other outfitters. My take is we should work out a voluntary code of practice to manage this... 1) let the herders know what we are doing and why, 2) minimize disturbance by only using motors once a day for upstream travel and float back to camp, 3) don't run jets for a specified period after spawing to avoid disturbace to gravels / redds, 4) use 4-strokes in preference to 2-strokes - less noise and less pollution 5) put a sensible max HP limit on motors (I read the Kenai debate on these forums..so lets say 60HP?) I'd be interested in the Alaskan experience on this.
                        I am learning and gleaning useful info from this thanks to all, I will study the problem some more....
                        Live the life you love. Love the life you live

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Power Traveller

                          Has anyone actually used the power traveller in a shallow river with the 25/20 Jet? I haven't heard anyone actually using this boat for this purpose. And the only information I've heard is what Tracy at ARK told me about it. And from he said it doesn't really sound like this raft is made for shallow rivers or the abuse of dragging on rocks at 20 mph. It would be nice to hear from some actual users of this boat.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ?

                            Originally posted by FBKShunter View Post
                            Mike I gotta hand it to ya. You took what could have been an informative thread about the Jet Ranger and Power Traveller and turned it into a advertisement for Alaska Raft and Kayak and a pisssing contest. I'm sick of every raft topic coming back to you. For once I would like to hear about great products made other people than ARK. Unfortunately your ego outweighs your wisdom and your nothing more than a distraction to these threads.
                            .......huh?
                            Michael Strahan
                            Site Owner
                            Alaska Hunt Consultant
                            1 (907) 229-4501

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ?

                              Originally posted by FBKShunter View Post
                              Has anyone actually used the power traveller in a shallow river with the 25/20 Jet? I haven't heard anyone actually using this boat for this purpose. And the only information I've heard is what Tracy at ARK told me about it. And from he said it doesn't really sound like this raft is made for shallow rivers or the abuse of dragging on rocks at 20 mph. It would be nice to hear from some actual users of this boat.

                              .......huh?

                              I'm sorry about how you are feeling, but I'm not responsible for it. The slant you accuse me of would be easier to see if I stood to gain from it. But I don't. I'm not a retailer, I'm not in the repair business, and I derive no benefit from what boats someone purchases. I'm just trying to provide what information I have.

                              It happens that I have about twenty years' experience with AIRE products, including a lot of R&D work on outboard applications on catarafts. That is germane to this discussion and has nothing to do with my ego at all. Information was requested on this topic and I offered it.

                              If you re-read what I said you will notice not a single negative comment about the Jet Ranger. Nor is there anything about a contest between any of the companies involved.

                              As the moderator of the rafting forum it is natural for me to post here. It is also expected that I remind you that personal attacks are not welcome here, regardless of whether they're leveled at this moderator or someone else.

                              -Mike
                              Michael Strahan
                              Site Owner
                              Alaska Hunt Consultant
                              1 (907) 229-4501

                              Comment

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