How fast does your small boat go? - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 10-16-2018, 08:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How fast does your small boat go?

When it comes to small boats, there is clearly a minimum level of power required to get a boat on plane at altitude. I believe that 75HP is likely enough power to get a 15-17 ft. boat on plane up high.

Does anyone on here have a 15-17 ft. boat with a 40-60HP outboard? What kind of performance are you getting at altitude (up in the mountains, not front range).

MPH/RPM/outboard type/prop pitch?
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I had a 16' Lund Pro Fisherman Tiller (1984) That I had equipped with a 40HP Johnson.... Worked like a champ... Lost a bit of HP at altitude (11 Mile; Grandby; Taylor etc) but no big deal...
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My last boat was a 1992 17' Tracker, side console, 60 hp 2-stroke. I ran a 14 x13P prop. Had a 14x15P that I could only run down at 2000' elevation.

Anyway, with the 14x13 I got 34MPH at the Crack, 29MPH at 11-mile. GPS speed from the Lowrance.
Got like 23 mph at Taylor res.

14x15 at Fort Peck I got like 37-38 MPH.

Never checked rpm much wide open is wide open. Seems like wide open was 6000.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Prob pitch and size has been mentioned. You definitely want the right prop. Can you max out the rpms. I think there are a couple of places that will let you demo props with a deposit.

How much does the boat weigh? How much does your passengers and their gear weigh? What's the weight distribution in the boat? Smaller boats are pretty weight sensitive. Is it just you and Boon in the boat? Or, you Ovey and Riv? Makes a difference.

How can you help the boat? The right prop is a given. Smart Tabs or even manually adjusted trim tabs can make a big difference. Hydrofoils give a cheap boost in performance...especially when it comes to planing out or the ability to run flat at slower speeds without the bow pointing to the sky.. And we could talk about jetting...but if using the boat at both high and low elevations..that could be a pain.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Forgot to mention. I had a 13 foot Glastron with a 90 horse that would run 52 at Pueblo. But would only run in the low 30's at the mile. Had a 14 foot Glaspar with a 40 horse that would only run 28 at Pueblo and maybe 17 to 18 at the mile. However, I used the same props on both Pueblo and the mile.

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Old 10-16-2018, 11:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hobie, I could talk for hours about all of this. Your questions are all valid and I have dissected all factors ad nauseum. Slayer and IFSH's responses are what I expected to hear and confirm some suspicions I have. The suspicion being that there is under-performance with my outboard rather than it not being strong enough outright.

I'm pushing a 16 ft. aluminum Fisher with a 50HP Mercury EFI 4 stroke. Without typing a book, some key tests are that I cannot get this boat fully on plane at Eleven Mile when I am alone with a 9P 3 blade prop. I neglected to mark down the RPMs but I'm guessing that they were around 5.5K and barely touching 20MPH. I also ran the boat alone at Blue Mesa alone with a 7P 3 blade prop and could not rev limit the RPMs.

Obviously, when I start adding people things go downhill from there.

The boat has a hydrofoil, but that seems to just change the angle of the hull to allow for the least water resistance... while not on plane. Boon and I took the hydrofoil off at Willies with the 7P prop and it was a disaster... no hull angle control.

My brother and I got the boat up to 23 MPH on Chatty last year with no gear, and he is my size. The outboard starts instantly and idles well. I have changed plugs, fuel filter, and have a new primer bulb coming in the mail. I see people at these lakes with more people in their boats and smaller motors on plane...
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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7 pitch prop? Somethings wrong big time. Are you cruising around with the anchor out?
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Do you have power tilt and trim? Which trim hole on the motor mount are you using? Is the motor mounted high enough on the transom?
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Power trim, yes. Motor is mounted in the lowest holes on transom but the anti cav plate is right where it should be in relation to the keel (even). Boon thinks is't a smidge low but I have a hard time believing that that would cause this much of a problem. We're talking like a quarter inch low.
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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7 pitch is terribly under-propped. 1/4 inch will make no difference. A 4 stroke normally uses a higher pitch than a 2 stroke anyway. Have you tried a taller prop?
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