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Kenai legal motors: what's actually on the water?

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  • Kenai legal motors: what's actually on the water?

    Trying to understand the 50HP regulations.

    Is a Yamaha 60/40 Jet legal on the Kenai?
    The regs talk about prop-shaft HP, but this motor doesn't leave the factory with a prop,
    and the motor is factory marked as a "40", not a "60".
    Are boats using this motor anyway?

    Also, I've heard of boats having twin 40's or 50's,
    but tilting one up and running single engine while on the Kenai.
    Is that happening? Is it legal? (not always the same thing)

    Finally, also heard of boats having both a 50HP main motor and a small kicker motor.
    Is that legal? Is it happening anyway? (again, not always the same thing)

    What is the law? What is the practical application by law-enforcement?
    Don't wanna re-ignite a debate about what shoulda/woulda happened with the new 50HP law,
    just looking for some practical first hand info about what's actually happening on the water.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  • #2
    I can answer one of the questions for you. A 60/40 jet is not legal even if it came from the factory with the pump. This has been discussed quite a lot this winter. Try the search function or go back through the pages and your other questions can be answered as well.

    Found a link that will help you:
    Last edited by spoiled one; 03-12-2011, 10:29. Reason: add a link
    sigpicSpending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.


    • #3
      Thanx S.O.,

      Your link to the DNR answered the Yammi 60/40 part of my question.

      I have used the search function, but all I found were arguments about:
      "saving the river", "Guide VS Private boats", "Special Interests and the Governor", etc.

      Anyone, got an answer about twin-engines with one tilted-up? Or the 50HP + a small kicker?

      Thanx, Dave.
      "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.


      • #4
        I use a 50 hp main motor, and a 9.9 kicker, I never run both at the same time. I have never been stopped or even looked at by an officer, I spend 3 to 4 weeks a year on the river. Not a guide just a fisherman. The 9.9 makes it a lot easier to back bounce when the tide is slow moving.


        • #5
          It is fine to have twin engines on your boat, if you have twin 50's you can run that on the river legally but one would have to be raised out of the water. If you had twin 25's you could legally use both because the total rating is not over 50. As far as the 9.9 kicker goes it is perfectly legal to use that to back troll/bounce you just cant use both your main engine and your kicker at the same time. There are a lot of others on the river that do this for the same reason as you stated and they also are better on fuel.
          Also what ever engine you use be it your kicker or your main it has to be either a 4 stroke or a clean burning 2 stroke such as the evinrude E-TEC or similar DFI type 2 stroke.


          • #6
            I can't speak for the legality of it, but I used to have twin 40's on my boat and I'd run one and tilt one up... (above the bridge)
            we used to put in at EagleRock and run down to the dip netarea that way and no one ever stopped us, or said anything...../John


            • #7
              I put my 25ft Duckworth in the Kenai about 5 years ago since I was having the trailer redone. I launched it by my cabin and used a 9.9 hp kicker to get it to the dock. I checked with the Kenai River Center and the said that this was OK as long as I did not use the main for power in the river. I suggest you contact them and get written approval. If they are not the ones, then they are good at directing you to has the ultimate authority for your issue on the Kenai.
              2009 Seawolf 31'
              Fully Loaded


              • #8

                I was thinking of getting a Klamath GTX with two 50hp motors. I checked with the Kenai officials. They assured me that if I has one motor tilted up it would be legal to run with one 50 hp. They said that they see that quite often. They said that often you can't get the second motor all the way up because it interferes with your steering which they understand. I currently run a 15 ft Sylvan with a 50 hp Merc. (which is for sale on Craigslist) I want to go to something larger.
                Help keep discarded plastic from our waters.


                • #9
                  The functional word in the regulations is "operate". Only the motor(s) in operation are considered. If it's out of the water and/or shut off, then it isn't operating. If you can't fully tilt the 2nd motor, then take the prop off so there is no question that it is not operational.
                  Winter is Coming...

                  Go GeocacheAlaska!


                  • #10
                    Thanx guys! Ya got it all covered. Great resource! One last question;

                    How far upstream can ya go, before you'd want to have a "jet" instead of a "prop" on your boat, even though this would mean "losing" 15HP of thrust?

                    Thanx, Dave.
                    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.


                    • #11
                      You can run from the mouth to Skilak lake with no problem. Above sunken island you will start seeing more rocks but there is plenty of water to run easy enough. Just above the Moose river is the naptown rapids it can be rough but doable if you can read it. Just below Skilak the river gets really wide and looks like you could just run through the middle you want to stay to the right side if you are headed up there is a big gravel bar there that can be hard to read but if you stay right you will be fine. Other than that it's easily run with a prop. Can't really use a motor above Skilak.


                      • #12
                        Another thing that might help is putting the motor on a jack plate that mounts to the boat transom and can lift and lower the motor to different heights for maneuvering thru the rapids and shallow water. Also remember you can't have a boat over 21' on the Kenai and there are areas along the river where fishing from a boat is not allowed, like Swiftwater Park to Centenial Park cause of the bank fisherman.


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