A new beginning.
The boat was working well but I wanted more speed to get to my favorite spots more quickly, I also needed some more power to get over some of the rock ledges and swift currents they made at certain times of the year. I’d been looking around for the right engine for my use, I wanted something that was easy to work on, ease of getting parts, and good gas mileage. I decided on the Continental/ Teledyne 4A084 Army surplus motor. These were also called a Hercules in their earlier form. These motors were used to power a number of machines most known is the generator. The Army has a very low horse power rating on these motors, about 25, my guess would be closer to 40 in their stock form.
I ordered my engine from Airboat Pros, they just happened to have a few laying around. The guys at Airboat Pros took their time and tore the engine down to put new gaskets on it, give it a coat of paint and test run it. I couldn’t wait to get it here. The day it came I was ready to to go, I had already had the old motor off and the stand set to the needed height for this motor. It took me two days to get the motor mounted and ready to go. On the third day I was on the river. I had a smile from ear to ear when I pushed the pedal and it rose to the top of the water. I was up the river in no time! It did have a few bugs at first, it was getting too much gas because of a float problem. It had heated up on me so I shut it down to allow it to cool before heading back to the dock. That was it for my first trip.
After going to the local surplus store for a new carb I was ready to go again the next day. I’ve been pulling this over with a rope start for now with no problems. I had plans to put on a starter generator setup on it later as nobody had come up with a good setup yet. My second outing went off with out a hitch, I enjoyed a day of riding and stopped in a few of my favorite places to do some Small Mouth Bass fishing. I did find the the 48″ three blade Ultra Prop that I had been using on my old setup was a bit to small. I gave Don at Arrow Props a call and he set me up with a two blade 52″ wooden prop. I used the boat as in for a few days until the new prop arrived with no problems.
The new prop came in the evening a few days later, I put it on and could not wait to get out on the water the next morning. I put the boat in, took off from the ramp allowing the motor to warm up then hit the pedal. It was a little slower getting on top of the water than my old prop but as I pushed the pedal I new I had some speed and again had a smile from ear to ear. The boat was perfect in my eyes, just what I was looking for. I was very happy and spent many hours on the water exploring my new distance capabilities for boat rides and fishing new spots. It was while on these new expeditions I got ideas on improving the boat.
I decided to cut a few feet off the front of the boat because it had a long rake on the bow. The slope was over 6 feet before it got to the deepest part of the hull. When I stood on the front deck it would pull the back of the boat up because the deck part did not touch the water. I decide to cut almost 3 ft off the front and make the rake sharper for more stability when standing on the deck. I hoped that the weight that would be off would also help the performance of the boat. After making the changes I was very happy with the results, I shortened the hull and added some surface area to the fishing deck.