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Gas Cat or Hydro with what engine?

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Gas Cat or Hydro with what engine?

Old 11-24-2020, 07:55 PM
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ChrisK7
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Default Gas Cat or Hydro with what engine?

I've been out of the boating hobby for the last 10 years and I'm getting the itch to build either a gas Cat or Hydro. I would love to hit 50+ mph if possible with a single engine in at least a 48 inch hull.
I don't compete and don't care about being scale, just want to build a fast boat to have fun with at the river.
With all the engines out there now and different tuners where do I start?
26, 27, 28, 30cc? Is it as simple as bigger goes faster or is there more to it than that?
Are the Zenoah's still the ones to have or are there newer engines out now that perform better?

As for hulls, I'm doing a lot of looking and really can't make up my mind between a Cat or a Hydro.

I don't mind building so I can go either way, wood or glass.

I'm mainly interested in some of the best running engines out there and who they are and what you all have to say about them.

Any info, tips, or links to building posts, pictures, or video's greatly appreciated.

What do you like and why?

Old 11-24-2020, 10:10 PM
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You do know how to open a door for a serious debate, don't you?
There's more than "Bigger is better" when it comes to what engine and going fast. There's also a lot of things to look at when dealing with what kind of hull to get.
Let's start with the hull question, what kind of hull do I buy/build? This is answered by looking at what do you want to do with the boat. You need to look at the answers to the following questions:
  1. Do you want to be able to turn both ways or just run laps in one direction?
  2. Are you looking at getting a very large boat or just something that can handle a gas engine?
  3. Is the Umatilla River, where you're looking at running, fairly smooth or is it rough and shallow? I'm thinking Coe Street Park as one of the few places that would be possible to run due to the width of the river at that point
The reason these questions are important is that they will determine what style boat is better for you:
  1. If you don't mind running laps in one direction, a hydroplane would be fine, as long as the water is fairly smooth. If you want to be able to turn both left and right, go with a cat.
  2. You need to remember, speed and size means a wider turning radius. You said you want at least a 48" boat so, that said, you can plan on a controlled turn of at least, roughly speaking 10ft
  3. I'm assuming the Umatilla is the river you were referring to. That said, a hydroplane doesn't like more than an inch or two of chop as a general rule. If the river is normally rougher than that, look at getting a cat
As far as engines, there are Bonzi, Hanson and several others. While they are all created more or less equal, it really depends on how much of a modded engine you want. One thing to remember is that, generally speaking, the more modding, the more it's going to cost and the more finicky it's going to be

Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 11-24-2020 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:39 AM
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I did pick up a couple of small electric boats, a Genesis and the Proboat U31 I think its called. I run them on the Columbia river. It can be like glass sometimes and others there are whitecaps. I'm leaning toward the Cat but the hydro sure is a hoot on the flatter water.

Old 11-25-2020, 02:04 AM
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One other question, on the Zenoah engines with the two coils, red and black, is it a better idea to go with the Gizmo single coil? I would assume less weight and maybe more reliable?

The J&G 30 plus pro mod billet crankcase 29.6 crank engine seems to be the highest performance engine I've found so far. And probably the lightest.

What carbs are people using? There seem to be at least 4 or 5 different Walbro carbs on the engines to choose from these days too.

Old 11-25-2020, 02:49 PM
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Can't help you on the carb question. I know that, for a gas scale hydroplane I'm building, I've purchased a CMB 27cc with a tuned pipe. This is a "spendy" set up since the engine alone is $950 or so but, then again, I'm building mine to race so I need light weight and lots of power and RPMs. The one draw back with the CMB is that it requires 100+ octane aviation fuel, something else that's a bit "spendy"
Old 11-27-2020, 02:41 PM
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You can go stock or modified. The best bang for the buck either way right now in my opinion is www.gizmomotors.com . The great prop makes a huge difference. On my Insane f-41 I'm using a www.dasboata.com 7414/3 that really woke that boat up! Yeah, it's a little pricey but I've spend a lot of money at $85.00 each that just didn't work as well.
Old 11-27-2020, 02:49 PM
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Thanks guy's, I decided on the Gizmotors modified 30cc Zenoah they have with their billet case. Should be a good start. Now I just need to decide on a hull.
Old 11-27-2020, 04:15 PM
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Now comes one of the hard parts, picking out your hull as thee are many very good ones to choose from. I got my F-41 a I did some trading for a new hull in the color I wanted. Aeromarine makes some really nice Cat's but they're hard to get unless you know the right people it seems. AC Model Boats makes the R-42 now under new ownership but hopefully with his other line of boats he's now using composites instead of wood (fiberglass rails and a carbon fiber transom doubler).
I'd go with Speedmaster hardware and a Zippkits exhaust system. Look around at all of these sites as you may see other things that you might like.
Old 11-27-2020, 06:24 PM
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I had an Aeromarine Cat years ago. It was a great boat. There is a guy from CA that sells glass and carbon hulls on the Facebook groups. His boats look pretty good and his pricing is right in line for what you get too I think. I just haven't seen anyone mention them anywhere yet.
Here is a link if anyone knows anything about them I'd like to know more about them.
Fiber 47" Storm cat Gas, Electric, Nitro 2
Old 11-27-2020, 06:38 PM
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I went to look at the boat and found everything but the boat at the link you posted
Old 11-27-2020, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisK7 View Post
I had an Aeromarine Cat years ago. It was a great boat. There is a guy from CA that sells glass and carbon hulls on the Facebook groups. His boats look pretty good and his pricing is right in line for what you get too I think. I just haven't seen anyone mention them anywhere yet.
Here is a link if anyone knows anything about them I'd like to know more about them.
Fiber 47" Storm cat Gas, Electric, Nitro 2
I don't know what's up with Mark yet as he could be making splashes (copies) of other hulls. The guy hasn't got the best reputation in the world being thrown off eBay a lot over the years. I'm just giving you a buyer beware on him.
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