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CraigCat
 BoatUS Boat Groups/Manufacturer Forums>>CraigCat
Subject Topic: Any CraigCat Owners? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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cctowboat1
"Seaman"




Joined: February 23 2007
Posts: 20
Posted: February 23 2007 at 16:23 | IP Logged Quote cctowboat1

Anyone out there own one of these CraigCats?

Looking for information on how they are. I heard they are a blast and looking to get more user/owner  imput

 

Bill

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TRKJ2001
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: April 05 2007
Posts: 1
Posted: April 05 2007 at 09:40 | IP Logged Quote TRKJ2001

Quote: cctowboat1
Bill, I've owned a CraigCat since 2003. I love It.  I live in the Rochester NY area. I've modified a few things, but I've really enjoyed it.
                                       Take Care
                                           Ted K.

Anyone out there own one of these CraigCats?

Looking for information on how they are. I heard they are a blast and looking to get more user/owner  imput

 

Bill

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cctowboat1
"Seaman"




Joined: February 23 2007
Posts: 20
Posted: April 05 2007 at 11:05 | IP Logged Quote cctowboat1

Ted

What have you done for modifications?

Also what are the roughest seas have you been in and how does it go.

Do you run it in Lake Ontario?

Bill

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lakeshebyville
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: July 04 2007
Posts: 6
Posted: July 04 2007 at 12:26 | IP Logged Quote lakeshebyville

I own one and would be interested to hear about modifications, too.  I'm not too impressed with engineering of the CraigCat.  I bought mine in 2005 with 25hp Merc and it has always been hard to steer.  Steers easy one direction, but turning the other direction, while under power, requires two hands on the stick.  I have adjusted the torgue equalizer on the motor, but it doesn't seem to get any better no matter where I put it.

I boat exclusively on freshwater, but I did take it to Florida for a week the year I bought it.  Flushed the motor and washed the boat down after every trip out into the ocean.  A week after I got home, the steering cable was froze up.  Called CraigCat and they told me that I should not be using that steering cable in a saltwater environment.  Imagine that.  They're built in Florida, the steering cable manufacturer is located in Florida, the CraigCat is advertised as being a dive boat....but you shouldn't operate it in saltwater??  Anyway, I bought a new steering cable for 170 dollars (they don't offer one for saltwater use, by the way) thinking this might be a blessing in disquise and I might get my steering problem solved.   But after installing the new cable, it's still a bear to steer.

The other problem I see is that if the steering is turned either righ or left, the prop has the ability to come up and impact the rear of the pontoons.  Mine are full of nicks already and I can see the time when the rear of the pontoons are torn clear through because of this.  I called CraigCat, thinking they may be interested in hearing some feedback from owners for future engineering changes and  suggsted that cut the pontoons at a 45 degree angle so the prop could swing right and left with no chance of impacting the pontoons, but their reply was "they had never heard of that problem before".  Hard to Imagine.

Well low and behold, a friend of my son saw mine sitting in my yard one day and thought it was the coolest thing he'd ever seen, so went a bought one.  I saw him on the lake this year in it and asked him how he liked it.  He told me his steering's stiff, the prop hits the pontoons occasionally and he's picked up more women in it that any other boat he's owned. 



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Lake Shelbyville, Illinois
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cctowboat1
"Seaman"




Joined: February 23 2007
Posts: 20
Posted: July 04 2007 at 13:14 | IP Logged Quote cctowboat1

 

 

I own one and would be interested to hear about modifications, too.  I'm not too impressed with engineering of the CraigCat.  I bought mine in 2005 with 25hp Merc and it has always been hard to steer.  Steers easy one direction, but turning the other direction, while under power, requires two hands on the stick.  I have adjusted the torgue equalizer on the motor, but it doesn't seem to get any better no matter where I put it. Did you buy the CraigCat from a dealer? Is your problem in it turning to Port? If it is you have the wrong prop on it. I know of an owner that had the same problem, he had a 25hp 2 stroke. He brought it to CraigCat in Orlando and they told him he had the wrong prop and told him which one to buy. After that he had no problems  and was very happy, it went much faster and turned with ease. My 25 4 stroke takes very little effort to turn either way

I boat exclusively on freshwater, but I did take it to Florida for a week the year I bought it.  Flushed the motor and washed the boat down after every trip out into the ocean.  A week after I got home, the steering cable was froze up.  Called CraigCat and they told me that I should not be using that steering cable in a saltwater environment.  Imagine that.  They're built in Florida, the steering cable manufacturer is located in Florida, the CraigCat is advertised as being a dive boat....but you shouldn't operate it in saltwater??  Anyway, I bought a new steering cable for 170 dollars (they don't offer one for saltwater use, by the way) thinking this might be a blessing in disquise and I might get my steering problem solved.   But after installing the new cable, it's still a bear to steer. Like any boat the cable if properly lubricated should last for a long time

The other problem I see is that if the steering is turned either righ or left, the prop has the ability to come up and impact the rear of the pontoons.  This should only happen if you don't have the engine all the way down. The new models have a button you have to hold in while trimming the engine up to prevent that from happening by accident in case your finger hits the trim up button. You could modify by putting a switch between the engine and trim switch to prevent that. The new button is somewhat awkward and think I may replace with a pull switch. Mine are full of nicks already and I can see the time when the rear of the pontoons are torn clear through because of this.  I called CraigCat, thinking they may be interested in hearing some feedback from owners for future engineering changes and  suggsted that cut the pontoons at a 45 degree angle so the prop could swing right and left with no chance of impacting the pontoons, but their reply was "they had never heard of that problem before".  Hard to Imagine. You'd think that cutting the pontoons at 45 may solve the problem, maybe it may affect the planning of the Cat? Good thought and I think I may call and ask them that. You would think if it was OK to do that they would have done that.

Well low and behold, a friend of my son saw mine sitting in my yard one day and thought it was the coolest thing he'd ever seen, so went a bought one.  I saw him on the lake this year in it and asked him how he liked it.  He told me his steering's stiff, the prop hits the pontoons occasionally and he's picked up more women in it that any other boat he's owned.  I agree it does not have power or hydralic steering but I think it steers without much effort. Does his steer easier than yours and turn the same both ways. If it does then like I said earlier, I think it's a prop problem. I'll call the guy who had his problem solved by CraiCat and see if I can get him on this forum to talk to you

Having a blast with my CraigCat

 

 

 

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lakeshebyville
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: July 04 2007
Posts: 6
Posted: July 04 2007 at 16:56 | IP Logged Quote lakeshebyville

It turns easy one way (can remember which) and hard the other way.  I called the factory in Orlando and asked them about props because I was considering a stainless prop.  They told me they had no experience propping it with stainless.  When I told them the problem I was trying to solve, they said I must have the trim tab set wrong.  I've been boating 30 years, outboards, inboards, IO's and everything in between.  I know how to adjust a torque tab. 

Since then, I bought a 4-blade composite.  Still steers the same.  If you find out what brand, pitch and dia your friend is using, I'd certainly be interested.

As far as the steering cable is concerned, EZ Steer does not recommend lubrication of any kind on the cable.  This came from the owner of the company when I called to order a new cable.



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Lake Shelbyville, Illinois
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RC Kingsbury
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Joined: July 04 2007
Posts: 2
Posted: July 04 2007 at 21:08 | IP Logged Quote RC Kingsbury

[QUOTE=lakeshebyville]

It turns easy one way (can remember which) and hard the other way.  I called the factory in Orlando and asked them about props because I was considering a stainless prop.  They told me they had no experience propping it with stainless.  When I told them the problem I was trying to solve, they said I must have the trim tab set wrong.  I've been boating 30 years, outboards, inboards, IO's and everything in between.  I know how to adjust a torque tab. 

Since then, I bought a 4-blade composite.  Still steers the same.  If you find out what brand, pitch and dia your friend is using, I'd certainly be interested.

As far as the steering cable is concerned, EZ Steer does not recommend lubrication of any kind on the cable.  This came from the owner of the company when I called to order a new cable.

 



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RC
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RC Kingsbury
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Joined: July 04 2007
Posts: 2
Posted: July 04 2007 at 21:37 | IP Logged Quote RC Kingsbury

Happy 4th JULY

I am the guy that cctowboat told you about. I bought my 2005 Craig Cat used in Florida in March 2006. It had been used in salt water buy the previous owner & I have used it in salt water also. I also use it on the Merrimac River in Northeastern Mass as well which is tidel (salt & fresh depending on tide) all summer. I have trailered it to northern Maine fishing (fresh water). I also had the problem of two men a boy steering to the Port, Starboard steering was fine. Last winter I took my boat to Craig Cat in Orlando & both Bud & Eric Craig were more than helpful. If you will send me your E-mail address I'll send you my phone number so we may talk & I can tell you how I cured my steering problems. It is a complated story & I do not type that well.

My CRAIG CAT is a blast & every thing I thought it would be.

 

 



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RC
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lakeshebyville
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: July 04 2007
Posts: 6
Posted: July 05 2007 at 07:30 | IP Logged Quote lakeshebyville

Happy 4th back you..

I PM'd you my e-mail address.  I would be very interested to learn how you solved the problem.  Thanks



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Lake Shelbyville, Illinois
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cctowboat1
"Seaman"




Joined: February 23 2007
Posts: 20
Posted: July 05 2007 at 07:32 | IP Logged Quote cctowboat1

 

lakeshebyville

 

If you don't have one you may want to add one of these http://www.go2marine.com/product.do?no=52011F

 

If after putting on your new cable and it steers hard out of the water then you have another problem with other steering componets, I found this on Boats.com

Regardless of the type of engine controls and steering system your boat has, you need to make sure that they don't seize up over the winter.

Work from one end of each system to the other and use a weather-resistant grease or spray to lubricate any moving surface.

On a stern drive or outboard, for example, lubricate the steering arm connections, the rams on the hydraulic steering, and then spray the inner workings of the shifter box by the helm.

Move the shift and throttle levers to fully extend the control rods at the engine, lubricate the exposed rods, and then return the levers to their normal position.

If it only steers hard while underway, it's gotta be a prop or trim problem. Don't know what you mean by a torque tab? Do you mean the zinc trim tab? RC can tell you about that also, he had that problem and they helped him with it.

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lakeshebyville
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: July 04 2007
Posts: 6
Posted: July 05 2007 at 10:44 | IP Logged Quote lakeshebyville

cctow,

Yes, I have a similar item that I use on all my boat cables.  I even used it on the CCat after pulling it down to the Fla Keys.  Actually, the manufacturer of the steering cable, EZ Glide, recomended that I never lube the cable.  Said that the cable is pre-lubed and should never require additional lubrication.  In fact, he said that they removed the lube fittings from the manufacturing process because people were over-lubing the cable, then calling him and complaining that their cable was stiff.  My guess is, a lot of people were using grease instead of a lower viscosity oil and trapping moisture in between the cable strands creating more problems than they were solving.

Myself, I lube all my cables during winterization with a 50/50 mix of trans fluid and 30W motor oil.  I've never had to replace a cable (except for the CraigCat) in all my years of boating.

As far as the CraigCat is concerned, I feel it is definately a prop or engine height problem because it steers fine on the trailer.  This problem is actually such a PITA that I considered a hydraulic steering system over the winter.  I just wasn't sure if I could incorparate the stick into the steering system.  I really like the stick concept, just wish it wasn't so ornery to use.

Haven't heard from RC Kingsbury yet about his mods, but I'm excited about maybe getting this problem solved. 

Thanks for the help your giving.  I have renewed hope that I will start liking this boat again.



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Lake Shelbyville, Illinois
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lakeshebyville
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: July 04 2007
Posts: 6
Posted: July 05 2007 at 10:51 | IP Logged Quote lakeshebyville

Oh yeah...the torque tab.  Yes, the anode..trim tab...the little hangy down thingy behind the prop that you loosen and turn to correct for steering torque.  Don't know the official name for it, but I pretty sure we're talking about the same thing.  I set it up according to the CraigCat instructions and have since had in every position it would go.  I can make the problem worse, but I can't make it better. 

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Lake Shelbyville, Illinois
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3 DOG
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: June 25 2007
Posts: 8
Posted: October 11 2007 at 21:25 | IP Logged Quote 3 DOG

I have a 2000 CraigCat and had the steering problem.  Had the cable replaced and it is fine now.  Had a host of problems with the Merc 25 but finaly found a good mech and it runs great.  We love the boat.

Looking to use it as a tender.  Anybody ever hoisted the CraigCat with a harness?

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Mr_Super-Hunky
"Seaman"




Joined: April 24 2008
Posts: 99
Posted: April 25 2008 at 22:48 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

Hello fellow Craigcaters.

 

I had just purchased a new (2003) craigcat E2. The boat has never been in water and the engine has been stored in a barn.

The engine is the Mercury 25 hp 2 stroke.

I may possibly put on the stainless steel prop along with a torque tab to avoid/prevent some of the issues a few members have experienced with the steering.

 

I had spoken with Eric Craigcat today and asked his opinion of that boat and its engine.  He spoke very highly of the two strokes in terms of being lighter, a bit quicker and easier to work on but then theres the issue of pollution and noise.

Anyway, for the price of $2,500 for a brand new (2003) E2, I thought I got a very good deal.

I'd really like to hear about your experiences with this boat as it is so unique. There just has to be a ton of good stories out there; lets hear some!.

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3 DOG
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Joined: June 25 2007
Posts: 8
Posted: April 26 2008 at 08:40 | IP Logged Quote 3 DOG

Looks like you got a good deal.  Just the motor alone, if brand new, is worth around that.  You can't get them anymore.  Not much goes wrong except the stearing and the engine if not maintained.  You will love the boat.  I have mine for 5 years and still use it often.
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Mr_Super-Hunky
"Seaman"




Joined: April 24 2008
Posts: 99
Posted: April 26 2008 at 12:54 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

Yea 3 dog, I think I did get a good deal. The boat will be complete but it is actually being pieced together using three other leftover Craigcats as donors for parts.

You see, a local marina started to carry the Craigcat boat line 5 years ago and soon after, went out of business.

The marine store had a "everything must go" sale, regardless of price and so people cherry picked everything and anything.

Some people bought only the mercury 25 hp engine while some just bought the pontoons to make a fishing rig etc.

The guy I am buying the boat from purchased 5 of the leftover Craigcat boats but they were not all complete. A few had engines, some did'nt.

He only has one Mercury 25 hp engine left...(mine!), but he still DOES have 3 other Craigcat boats complete minus the Mercury engine.  I know that at least one of the boats is a "hybrid" model that comes with a 50 lb Minkota electric motor that is powered by a small generator.

If anyone wants to build a Craigcat, you could buy the boat from him and put on your own engine.  I think he only wants around $1,000 for the complete boat (minus the Mercury engine) but I'm not sure.  He did offer the other boats to me for $1,000 each.

Anyway, I'm really excited about this little boat and would like to hear from other Craigcat owners as well.

Thanks for the reply.

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cctowboat1
"Seaman"




Joined: February 23 2007
Posts: 20
Posted: April 26 2008 at 16:14 | IP Logged Quote cctowboat1

Mr_Super-Hunky where are these Cat's located?
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Mr_Super-Hunky
"Seaman"




Joined: April 24 2008
Posts: 99
Posted: April 26 2008 at 22:37 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

Arizona
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giorgi3
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Joined: June 17 2008
Posts: 4
Posted: June 17 2008 at 17:45 | IP Logged Quote giorgi3

Quote: Mr_Super-Hunky

If anyone wants to build a Craigcat, you could buy the boat from him and put on your own engine.  I think he only wants around $1,000 for the complete boat (minus the Mercury engine) but I'm not sure.  He did offer the other boats to me for $1,000 each.

 

 

Sounds interesting. How do we get ahold of this person?

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giorgi3
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Joined: June 17 2008
Posts: 4
Posted: June 17 2008 at 17:48 | IP Logged Quote giorgi3

Hey lakeshelbyville,

 

I used to boat there!  How high is the water level? I imagine it's way up right now.

 

Anyway, did you ever get you craigcat steering working right?  Interested in selling it?

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cctowboat1
"Seaman"




Joined: February 23 2007
Posts: 20
Posted: June 17 2008 at 18:07 | IP Logged Quote cctowboat1

lakeshebyville

Did RC get in touch with you?

Also interested if you got your turning problem fixed

I'm almost convinced it was a wrong prop problem

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Mr_Super-Hunky
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Joined: April 24 2008
Posts: 99
Posted: June 18 2008 at 14:03 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

After doing much research and speaking with Robert and eric (roberts son) Craig, as well as taking a 100 mile trip on my new craigcat (New '03), We have all concluded thast there is NO problem with the steering but rather the engine being used.

Virtually everyone who has a 2 stroke 25 hp engine on their Craigcat is going to have some difficulty steering the boat to the left while turning right will be almost effortless.

This is due to a term called "adverse yaw" (known to everyone in the aviation realm) and better known amongst boaters as "prop torque".

You see, in an airplane, the propeller spins while the plane stays stationary but why does'nt the propeller stay stationary while the plane spins around it??. Well, only because the plane has much more resistance than the prop, but there still is some small effect of the plane wanting to spin around the prop. This is why planes have a trim tab (control) to slightly counter this effect.

A boat is very similar in this respect as with using a 2 stroke engine, in a tiny way, the boat wants to spin (or at least turn) in the opposing direction of the propeller (just like a plane does). When you turn the boat in the natural direction of these forces..i.e a right turn, the result will be almost effortless because you are actually being slightly helped with the turn.  When taking a left turn, you are opposing the natural forces of the prop and thus it is much more difficult to do.  This is only natural and is an example of basic physics.

The solution is simple. You can either use a 4 stroke engine which will spin much slower thus having less effect on your opposing forces, or if using a 2 stroke engine, you MUST set the trim tab ALL THE WAY to the right and in ADDITION, you MUST add the small little trim bracket that further helps counter this situation. Mercury marine sells this little bracket that simply bolts right onto the existing holes on the side of the lower shaft just above the prop.

The combination of BOTH the trim tab being positioned all the way to the right AS WELL AS the Mercury trim bracket that bolts on the side of the engine will be just enough to fully compensate for the strong torque of this super-fast spinning 2 stroke engine. (NOTE: Moving the trim tab on the engine all the way to the right alone is NOT enough to compensate for the opposing torque forces, you MUST also bolt on the Mercury trim bracket. Cost is only a few bucks!).

This is why everyones engine turns to the left effortlessly when on the trailer because there are no opposing (adverse yaw) forces.

The 4 stroke engine does'nt have nearly the amount of opposing forces as the 2 stokes because they spin so much slower. The "catch" is that the 4 stroke engine is nearly 40 lbs heavier than the 2 strokes and thus the Craigcat with the 2 stoke engine will be a little quicker. Actually, I think the 25 hp 2 stroke motor will be just as fast as the new 30 hp 4 stroke due to the weight difference!. The 25 hp 2 stroke is definitely faster than the 25 hp 4 stroke for several reasons: (prop speed and much lower weight).

After taking a 100 mile trip at about 85% full throttle, I averaged about 1.5 to 2 gallons per hour. (The 1gph fuel consumption may be a bit of a stretch! but may also get better over time).

In smooth and even choppy water the boat does great but don't take on a large wake head on as the landing will be brutal!. Without any form of a "V" hull, there is nothing to cushion the landing if you get up on a wake.  I have found that approaching larger boat wakes parralel or at a slight angle works out much better as you don't get slammed on the landing.

This is a very fun boat but I must admit I am eyeballing a small inflatable tunnel hull cat like the Zapcat, thundercat, Dux etc to do some wave jumping. Only problem is my wife is not keen on the idea without any form of a seat. I am now searching to see if you can get a small inflatable cat with a mini bench seat for two or possibly 2 buckets. I have'nt found anything yet.

 



Edited by Mr_Super-Hunky on June 18 2008 at 14:08
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Mr_Super-Hunky
"Seaman"




Joined: April 24 2008
Posts: 99
Posted: June 18 2008 at 17:43 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

Btw, as far as the effects of the opposing forces mentioned above, I forgot to mention that the only reason these forces are so prevelant on the Craigcat is because the 2 surfboard-like pontoons with no form of a keel poses very little resistance to turning.

If this boat had a good sized keel, or was simply much heavier to provide more resistance to these opposing forces, the adverse yaw (prop torque) effect would be much less, possibly unoticable. It's only because this boat is so extremely light and has no form of perpendicular resistance (A keel) that it is so suseptible to this phenomina.

Just think if you could mount an outboard engine on the back of a innertube. Since there is no keel to "stabilize" the craft and since it is extremely light with little resistance, the tube would always want to turn in the direction that the prop was pitched. Turning in the opposing direction could still be done, but only with more effort as it would be less effective and certainly less efficient.

Using a fast spinning 2 stroke engine on the Craigcat which has little resistance floating on top of the water and having no keel, you will experience some of this effect while turning to the left. As stated, the proper position of the trim tab along with the Mercury bolt on bracket will effectively neutralize this situation.

Now, if the 4 stroke engine was only 40 lbs lighter, there would be an obvious, clear solution. (assuming money was no object!)!

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newfields
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Joined: October 13 2008
Posts: 19
Posted: October 13 2008 at 22:40 | IP Logged Quote newfields

Can anyone provide a link to the Mercury trim bracket that is mentioned? I looked on the Mercury Marine site and other sites but I can't seem to locate one for the 25hp Mercury.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Tim
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lakeshebyville
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Posts: 6
Posted: October 14 2008 at 06:01 | IP Logged Quote lakeshebyville

Quote: newfields
Can anyone provide a link to the Mercury trim bracket that is mentioned? I looked on the Mercury Marine site and other sites but I can't seem to locate one for the 25hp Mercury.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Tim

Mercury Quicksilver part number 821077A-1 Tab Kit-Torque (9 dollars) and a Power Tech Stainless Steel Propeller part number SRA3R12PM25 (250 dollars) will help (not totally eliminate) your steering problems.  Both of these items are worth the investment and are available through CraigCat. 



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Lake Shelbyville, Illinois
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Mr_Super-Hunky
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Joined: April 24 2008
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Posted: October 14 2008 at 13:00 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

Tim:

Don't buy the trim tab!. I did and installed it on my 25 hp Mercury outboard and while it does work, it significantly slows down the boat and takes MUCH much longer to plane.

I could'nt take that thing off fast enough!.

Steering the boat with just a slight trim on the EZ-stik works SO much better. You will plane 3 times faster and go nearly 5 mph faster as well.

This "adverse yaw" or "prop torque" is realistically something you will have to live with if you are running a 25 hp 2 stroke. It's simple physics that cannot be overcome without a heavier boat or an actual keel.

You can P.M me if you want any further detailed info.

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Mr_Super-Hunky
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Joined: April 24 2008
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Posted: October 14 2008 at 13:08 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

BTW, installing a stainless steel prop will allow you to gain 1-3 mph top speed but also realize that using a stainless steel prop will actually make your prop torque steering situation a tiny bit WORSE... NOT better.

The reason is that a stainless steel prop does not flex anywhere near the amount your stock prop will and so a SS prop will *bite* into the water with a bit more affect due to the lack of blade flex. This in turn will technically make your boat want to turn to the right upon acceleration even more (although slightly).

Just don't waste $200 on a SS prop thinking that it may lessen your steering problem as it will *technically* make it a tiny bit worse upon acceleration. [Again, simple physics applied].

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newfields
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Joined: October 13 2008
Posts: 19
Posted: October 29 2008 at 12:47 | IP Logged Quote newfields

Thanks for that info. Do you have a link to that EZ-stik ? I tried googling it but didn't find it.

Tim
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Mr_Super-Hunky
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Posted: October 29 2008 at 13:45 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

Tim, the EZ-stik is the brand name of the steering lever on the Craigcat. If you own a Craigcat, you already have that control mounted between the two seats.

Do you currently own a Craigcat or are you trying to build something?.

If you are wanting to build a Craigcat type boat, inflatable pontoons would be a much better way to go. It would give you a suspension and lop off a lot of weight.

Personally, even though I own a new Craigcat, I think I could design a much better boat using the Craigcat concept as a model.

I would use inflatable pontoons with highjackers like on a zapcat as well as use inflatable seats w backrests. You would be able to jump it without killing yourself on the landing [due to the inflexable hard rotomolded pontoons] and the boat would be much lighter due to the inflatable parts [pontoons, seats, deck] thereby making the boat much faster with the same engine.

The use of highjackers would also track MUCH better than the surfboard like pontoons that have no *bite* in the water.

My inflatable Craigcat type boat concept would be able to jump waves safely [no hard parts to slam] with a MUCH softer ride [due to the suspension of the inflatable seats and pontoons] and go much faster[due to the much lighter weight].

Since the inflatable pontoons could hold much more weight, a person could easily put a 40 hp engine on it and go somewhere in the 40mph range.

Of course the sky is the limit with custom designs but I'm just wanting a very inexpensive boat to opertate while obtaining much better performance.

A 40 hp 4 stroke engine is almost as fuel efficient as a 25 hp 2 stroke. It would have a ton more torque as well as a lot more power and speed all while only using around 1-2 gallons of fule per hour. [jet ski's use 5-8 galls per hour!!!].

Something to think about.

 

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3 DOG
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Posted: October 29 2008 at 14:50 | IP Logged Quote 3 DOG

After doing a lot of research, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing on the market that even comes close to the Craigcat's durability and functionality considering weight and price.  I spend most of the time in displacement mode so when my 25 hp dies I will go to a lower horsepower 4 cycle engine to reduce the weight, noise and increase the range.
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newfields
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Posted: October 29 2008 at 15:34 | IP Logged Quote newfields

I do have a Craigcat. I guess the part I am confused on is this advice:

"Steering the boat with just a slight trim on the EZ-stik works SO much better."


What do you mean by just a slight trim on the EZ-stik?


Thanks,

Tim
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Mr_Super-Hunky
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Posted: October 30 2008 at 00:04 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

I mean when you are driving the boat, rest your left hand somewhere on the lever just to give it a slight bit of left [push gently backwars on the stick].

Also turning is not so power robbing if you just make a quick turn like a waterski does.

Pushing slightly backwards on the stick will compensate for the prop torque and keep you straight but it slightly cuts into your speed. The torque tab is MUCH worse as I installed it and could'nt get it off fast enough!.

 

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Wentland
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Joined: May 30 2009
Posts: 10
Posted: May 30 2009 at 02:14 | IP Logged Quote Wentland

I recently purchased a well cared for 2003 Craigcat with a Mercury 25 hp 2 cycle engine. I do not have a great deal of trouble with torque: however it does turn quicker to the right. I have an aluminum prop and I am considering the purchase of a stainless prop. Is it worth the money? I operate my Craigcat on the ocean on a regular basis. I do have problems getting in and out of the inlets with out getting a wave in my lap despite the installed splashoffs. What is the best way to navigate the inlets, fast or slow and careful. Any tips are appreciated. When there is an outgoing tide with incoming waves, the waves in the inlet get pretty big, and provide some excitement. The center consoles with the V-hulls open throttle and FLY through. Other than the inlet I have no problems in the ocean. I regularly fish the wrecks off Ft Lauderdale and Boca Raton. The inlets I was refering to are Boca Inlet and Hillsboro Inlet.

Does anyone have experience with lightning storms in a Craigcat? These are a daily occurance down here in the summer.

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Mr_Super-Hunky
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Posted: May 30 2009 at 14:35 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

Hi Wentland, welcome to the forum and congrats on your Cragcat purchase.

First off, when choosing a prop you must always think of compatibility. I run my 2003 25 hp 2 stroke in the colorado river which can get VERY shallow in spots and yes, I've munched a prop or two!.  For this reason, if there is ANY chance of hitting an obstacle (rocks, stumps, bottom) you ONLY want to use an aluminum or composite prop that will take the impact and not transfer it to your lower gears.

I recently purchased a comprop 4 blade composite prop from Cabelas (10x13x4) which is suppsoed to give a much better holeshot while improving turning and handling and keeping top speed unchanged.

I think a stainless steel prop may be overkill for a Craigcat because the boat is so extremely light, the prop blades are not going to flex much (if at all) which is what makes the stainless steel props shine...(lack of blade flex). In addition, a Craigcat rides *on top* of the water so the motor does not have much resistance in pushing the boat through the water. This is another reason why you may not see the full benefits of using a stainless steel prop for this particular boat.

I would suggest keeping the stock 10 3/8 x 13 aluminum prop. A possible suggestion would also try the comprop 10 x 13 4 blade. (they are really cheap...$64.00 @ Cabellas). I just don't think you will notice any gains by going with a SS prop on a boat that weighs nothing and rides on top of the water (no hull resistance). Besides that, the cheapest SS prop (Solas amita) is nearly $200 bucks. You would also be in danger of destroying your lower gears should you run aground or hit something with that hard prop......$$$$$$.

As far as waves go, do NOT take them head on or you will go on a bronco ride! Always approach larger waves on an angle so the boat will roll with them and not oppose them.  Your choice will be a pretty good *roll* by approaching them at an angle or get *smacked* by taking them head on and then *smaked* again when you flat bottom the landing.

Is it possible to take a video to see what you are doing and provide a link for us to view it? Most digital cameras can take short videos.

In any event, you have a fun little boat. Know however up front that there is almost nothing you can do to improve its performance. (That includes the SS prop per the reasons mentioned above).  You can't put a more powerful engine on it either as you will either sink the boat (weight) or you will tear the transom apart. I have gone over this time and time again with Bud & Eric Craig (boat designers).  Your boat was designed to ONLY use a 25-30 hp. that's it.

Also, be SURE to rinse your engine out every time due to the salt water.

Feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions as I have researched and analyized this boat every which way possible including several in depth conversations with the company owners.

BTW, you will need to place your trim tab as far right as possible and always keep a little back (rear) pressure on your steering stick in order to go straight but I'm sure you already figured this out.

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Wentland
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Posted: June 13 2009 at 00:14 | IP Logged Quote Wentland

Hey Super-Hunky did you get a chance to try out your comprop 4 blade composite prop from Cabelas (10x13x4) yet? Let me know how it worked out for you. How does it compare to the aluminum. Do you think there is an advantage to a 4 blade prop?
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Mr_Super-Hunky
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Posted: June 13 2009 at 00:33 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

Hi Wentland.

Funny you ask as I just took out my Craicat yesterday with the new 4 blade composite prop. The results are amazing!. The comprop 4 blade prop is a VERY noticable improvement over the stock 3 blade aluminum prop.

The boat will get up on plane MUCH much quicker and top speed will remain similar to possibly a hair quicker. I really could not tell much of a difference in the top speed other than I can now get there in seemingly half the time!

The boat is much more enjoyable with this newly found acceleration. The only negative (not that it really is one) is that using this 4 blade prop throws a funky wake. Instead of a nice clean shot of water getting thrown out the back making a nice clean cut wake, the 4 blade prop sort of churns up the water much more behind the boat which I was not used to. The fact remains however that the boat is MUCH quicker out of the hole and seems to accelerate at any speed much better.  Getting used to the churned up water in the back of the boat is due to the fact that the prop is still a good distance in front of the ends of the rear pontoons and actually splashes water against them. Like I said, it's a very different churned up water disturbance in the back of the boat but the results of using the 4 blade are all only positive in every way.

. $64.00 @ Cabellas or many places actually.

. Composite material will break apart upon impact preventing your lower gears from geting destroyed if you hit something

. EXTREMELY light weight. The prop feels like nothing while holding it. (probably weighs less than your camera). You could easily keep one onboard somewhere as a spare that will add virtually no weight to the boat.

BTW, I found the quality of the prop (fit and finish) to be a bit rough but the proofs in the pudding so to speak as the boat DID perform much better. Even with imperfections and rough edges on the prop. For $64.00 it performed much better than my stock $100+ aluminum prop.

Hope this helps.

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Mr_Super-Hunky
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Joined: April 24 2008
Posts: 99
Posted: June 13 2009 at 00:38 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

Oh, one more important thing I noticed is that the effect of the prop torque (adverse yaw) seemed to be slightly better. While the boat still wants to turn right more than left, it was not as noticable as before.

The improvement was not huge or even big but it still was an improvement in that area so I'll take it!

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Wentland
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Posted: June 21 2009 at 11:08 | IP Logged Quote Wentland

I just ordered a Piranha 10X13 (1013D with MD3 Hub) composite propeller ($103.50). The blades are individually replaceable. The hub is guaranteed for life. It is supposed to perform better than the aluminum one, but we will see.

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Wentland
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Posts: 10
Posted: June 21 2009 at 11:11 | IP Logged Quote Wentland

I don't know if anyone scuba dives off their Craigcat, but I just installed dive racks on my boat. I have not tried them yet either. Craigcat no longer sells the double tank racks. They now sell single tank racks only.

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Mr_Super-Hunky
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Posts: 99
Posted: June 21 2009 at 13:37 | IP Logged Quote Mr_Super-Hunky

Wentland, thePiranha prop will perform better than an aluminum one; 17% better actually (tensile strength) but it still is a 3 blade prop which will not give the the bottom or mid range power of the 4 blade comprop.

While the Comprop does not have replaceable blades, the cost is only $64.00. (That's 2 new props which is still less than 1 Piranha), but more importantly it will perform much better due to the 4 blade design. The 4 blades, as opposed to three make the boat plane MUCH much faster....I can prove this to you at a cost of....you guessed it...$64.00!.

No, the prop is not rebuildable but it will take you nearly 3 comprops to equall the cost of one Pirahha with an extra set of blades. Cost however is NOT my concern; performance is! The fact is the 4 blade design simply works much better on a Craigcat as I've tested both a 3 blade 13'' and a 4 blade 13'' swapping props continuously throughout the day under various conditions.  Your holeshot and mid range power is MUCH better using a 4 blade as compared to a 3 blade. Your top end will reamin approx unchanged or if therre is a difference it will be very small.

The accelleration you will experience using a 4 blade prop over a 3 blade is like driving a Ferrari up to 55 mph instead of driving a Honda up to 55 mph. Both are very good cars but one will have a lot more noticeable zip to it in terms of acceleration.

The Piranha prop is a great prop, especially if your MAIN criteria is to be able to replace munched prop blades but if you are not constantly hitting or breaking your prop, a 4 blade will (factually) perform much better. Even Piranha themselves published a "shootout" between the comprop, themselves, and an aluminum prop and stated that the highest top speeds as well as acceleration wer both obtained using the comprop 4 blade.

Piranha is NOT selling performance in their replaceable blade design. They are selling convienience on being able to quickly replace broken blades (which is terrific for shallow water fishing etc) but if your MAIN goal is performance, you will only get that from the 4 blade 13'' design.... Note: an 11 or 12 inch prop will take too much off your top speed and a 15 inch prop will be way to slow getting on plane or carrying any amount of weight (including 2 large people).

The information I have provided is all factually based and tested under various conditions, it is now up to you to decide what to do with it and accept the results of your choices as the outcomes are all known and predictable.

Good luck.

 

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