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New boat shopping

Old 06-30-2010, 03:07 AM
  #1  
model mojo
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Default New boat shopping

Hi All,
I'm window shopping for a decent sized boat that will handle the open water of lower San Francisco Bay (on the peninsula). I was wondering if there is something better/faster/more reliable/prettier than the following setup:
MHZ Apache 61" hull w/ the twin S6 outdrives and the 40 cc Blata geared motor.
I love the scale look of the setup, but realistically how smart is it?
Any experience with this drive system or hull?

Thanks for any thoughts or advice.

cheers,

Dan
Old 06-30-2010, 04:55 AM
  #2  
danielplace
 
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Default RE: New boat shopping

That hull might be fine(bit expensive, but nice) but personally I think one 50cc twin like the RCMK 520 with single stinger or a scale straight drive would serve you a lot better, handle better, go faster and be more dependable. At 1/3- 1/2 the price.
Old 06-30-2010, 04:58 AM
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Default RE: New boat shopping

Hi Dan,

I would skip such a rig for such running - It is a great setup but not ideal for rough (or salt) running.

Running in the rough (and the salt) is where the KISS approach is better all around.
The Blata and twin stern drives would be a maintainance nightmare in the salt (I would also not consider the geared Blata mated to the twin gearbox - too much overdrive - just go with the non geared blata and twin box should such a setup be of consideration).

I would look at something like an Expresscraft GTX with a single drive and a single zenoah or RCMK. I would pack the hull with flotation for weight (and buoyancy). You could have this rig in the water for less than a pair of stern drives - it will be easier to build and maintain, will spend countless more hours bashing waves and not waiting for parts.

Pic of my buddies GTX with single mod zen http://imageevent.com/justaddwata/beachpondwithgtxs


Theres plenty of other hull combinations that will run well in the rough - but at 65" the GTX is one of the larger affordably priced boats that run well with a zen and have good scale looks.
Old 06-30-2010, 08:20 AM
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Default RE: New boat shopping

i agree 100% with the KISS factor on this one.
Old 06-30-2010, 09:22 AM
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Default RE: New boat shopping

I agree with them all! We have nothing but salt water to run in here in Bermuda and the guys manage to keep their boats in good shape. My mate has a 65" GTX with a QD25ht and the boats is very fast for it's size and runs great in the rough! You can view it on youtube doing a test run along with a AC Razor(White) and Insane(Blk./Red).... RC Boat Racing Bda. Expresscraft GTX 65"!
Old 06-30-2010, 12:06 PM
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Default RE: New boat shopping

I think this is the video Bermy posted

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB_X5RirKi4[/youtube]
Old 06-30-2010, 12:43 PM
  #7  
bermy100plus
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Default RE: New boat shopping

Yeah,thats the video!
Old 07-01-2010, 01:44 AM
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model mojo
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Default RE: New boat shopping

Thanks everybody for the great advice!
I'll check the 65" GTX out along with the various motors you've all mentioned.
Is there an outdrive system that stands out more than the others for all around performance and reliability?
I've seen so many brands and configurations, but its hard to tell true quality from pictures.

Cheers,
Dan
P.S. What a great video, and Justaddwata, your site is really impressive!

Old 07-01-2010, 03:25 AM
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Default RE: New boat shopping

Thanks Dan

Theres a number of strut options that work well. You could go with a Strudder setup (inline strut with rudder) like that sold by Bonzisports.com


http://bonzisports.com/out_drive.html

or an offset stinger/rudder setup like those sold by Speedmaster and the like.


http://www.rocketcityracing.com/prod...6&item_id=1376
http://www.whhonline.com/product_p/rmb90.htm

There are other more complex drive options but again I think the more simple a setup you have - the less to break (and the easier to clean/maintain).
It is not that failures are common with boats - just that larger boats encountering larger forces (like waves etc) can test components more than normal.

Reason for recommending a single zenoah or RCMK was that in the event of swamping the boat it will be significantly easier to flush out and get refired than multi cylinder power plants. Plus the boat runs quick with zen or RCMK (video above reinforces that!!). In choppy or lumpy waters you are unlikely to test the top speed of the boat - consider the scale of the boat to the waves - they are big waves!!.

If you did not find it on my pic site- take a look at some of the build pics I got from the guys in Europe - they have some different ways of doing things and impressive workmanship - http://imageevent.com/justaddwata/mo...ipsfromgermany
Old 07-01-2010, 06:28 PM
  #10  
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Default RE: New boat shopping

Yo model mojo...fun positoin you are getting ready to start. I LOVE boat shopping!!!

I have a 60" MHZ Apache with the Blata/gear box/twin S6 and it is a HOOT to run in rough water. We run down here in Lake of the Ozarks, MO with real boat traffic EVERYWHERE and plenty of wind on occassion. For scale looks and general sport boating the Apaches are tough to beat in my book and the MHZ hulls are really built like tanks. They are expensive to be sure with the shipping and exchange rates but they are epoxy layups and the strength to weight ratios are "top of the line." It is not a speed demon (probably around the 40-45mph mark) but really fun to run.

The guys are VERY right above you REALLY got to stay on top of maintenance and service on the gear boxes and drives. ESPECIALLY if you are going to run ANYTHING in salt water both inside and out. Corrossion X or Rustoff will be your best friends for sure.

For simplicity and staying on the water with as little as matinenance as possible the Speedmaster Stingers and 6" Rudder standoffs are a REALLY nice way to go and keep the overall pricing down. If you like the Apache look the Aeromarine 56 Apache has been built and run MANY times over and can handle just about anything you can throw its way.

on a side note, GizmoMotors is the RCMK dealer and they just released a 55" Donzi ZR hull and a 60" Apache that look like nice boats. I have not seen them in person (yet) but the pictures look VERy promising.

Not to sell my soul or pimp myself out but I am just getting a Mystic finished and have pondered selling the Apache to make room the garage...the maintenance factor is going to be a big piece of the hobby puzzle for you with where you want to run...

I just built a 55" Dumas Scarab for my wife and went with Speedmaster Stinger/Rudder/Tab combo with a RCMK EVO and a clutch so she could launch/retrieve it easier and she could do the maintenance on it herselft and it really turned out a fun boat. Speedmaster stuff is well made and designed and lots of people can offer help and guidance through experience.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:48 PM
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gtopillado
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Default RE: New boat shopping

Dan,
I live in Redwood City. Give me a call (408)425-2453.
Dave
Old 07-02-2010, 02:58 AM
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model mojo
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Default RE: New boat shopping

Thanks guys!
Great advice for sure.
There's nothing better than honest, informed opinions, so I truly appreciate your responses.
So you guys have talked me into the single motor/simple drive system. I honor your advice!
I do have to admit I have a soft spot for the apache style hulls. I remember that Dumas 55 boat when it first came out. My older brother had just purchased the Dumas Scarab 45 like two months before, and we were wishing we waited. As such I want something larger than the 45" hull, since that was getting tossed around alot.

Well there's lots of versions of even a Zen. I found what looks to be a decent one:
GZ-1 HIGHLY MODIFIED 26cc CNC MACHINED ZENOAH ENGINE. Is this overkill?
I can't tell how best to rank the various engine manufactures and models...
At 26cc I assume this will get a 60-65" hull moving reasonably well. Would the Quickdraw 35cc get me the added performance for the money or is it not worth the extra cost?

Just to throw this out there, how does the Expresscraft Apache compare to, say the MHZ, the Aeromarine Apache hull or even the GTX hull noted above?
with that length I'm wondering if it would be better handling in the chop than the others...
This is how its advertised:
Length of the Hull - 70 Inches
Beam - 14 Inches
Weight - 9.8lbs
Price - $300.00 (w/Hatch)
Recomended Motors: 23cc Zenoah, 30cc Homelite, 35cc Quickdraw,
Recomended Outdrive: ExpressDrive Surface Drive
Prop Size - 470
What motor would be best suited in this beast?
Again, its hard to rank all these products.

Dan
Old 07-02-2010, 05:26 AM
  #13  
Justaddwata
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Default RE: New boat shopping

Hi Dan,

The expresscraft apache is not a real pretty boat. It looks like it was made using sheets of plywood with barely a rounded edge to be found. It paints up ok (not with me painting it though) but for where your looking to run I think the boat a little narrow and a little low in freeboard to work well. It also has a long, tall nose that catches the breeze and might be harder to control on more open waters. I have had one for 10 years or more (not running presently). They do respond well to small power plants and are light yet solid. A few pics of mine (please excuse the hideous paint) comparing with a GTX for a buddy who was considering twin inline zenoahs - both tight - http://imageevent.com/justaddwata/mo...nfo/apachepics

But if I were shopping for your application I would consider the 56" Aeromarine Apache which is a larger boat in many ways (be it shorter). It too is quick with a zenoah - have seen a guy run one on his way home from the hobby shop after just buying it. It is quick. I owned one with a QD35 which was a blast too (regret selling her to this day). http://justaddwata1.multiply.com/pho...6_Apache_sold#

MHZ hulls are nice but in no way worth the 200-300% difference in price - plus the US dealer hard to recommend. I am just not sure I would want one to beat on - sort of like taking a Bentley into a paddock (to me anyway)
Some reference pics of the $350.00 Expresscraft 65" GTX, $944.00 MHZ 65" Firewater, and $779.00 MHZ 63" XXX Muscle. http://imageevent.com/justaddwata/my...sonshots636565


I have 3 of the Expresscraft GTX hulls (possibly another this weekend ) so can certainly say I have a bias there. But please dont think Expresscraft and I are partners - they dont like me (and MHZ hate me) - who knows
Here is a GTX I picked up recently - more to show you how they can dress up (you dont really want a stern drive in the rough). http://imageevent.com/justaddwata/myboats/xxxgtx

Another apache that is back in production is the Ballantine Griffin - she is 65" long and adorable (to me). A very solid boat that use to be made with a 62cc zenoah - monster of a motor. The hull is back in production by another builder so not sure details on price (they started molding them last month). I have had one a few years - nice boat - http://imageevent.com/justaddwata/myboats/griffin and http://imageevent.com/justaddwata/ph...boatingoct2006 (dont look at the huge fountain - you will fall in lust)

I think if you asked 20 different boaters who modifies the best motor you will probably get 15 different answers. The topic usually inadvertently ends up in heated discussion which ultimately gets removed (or locked down). There are several very good modifiers of motors out there. The good ones do charge a lot for what they do but usually deliver the goods. There are a few that claim a lot but tend to fall short in what they deliver. Personally I would suggest going stock for what your doing. Stock Zen is great and very reliable. More power - go with a stock RCMK (not much more money) which makes notably more power (from what I have heard - yet to try one personally). I would recommend this for all boats mentioned with the exception of the Ballantine 65 - it will work but might appreciate a little more HP. Possibly the QD35 (I will discuss next) or inline Zenoah or Inline RCMK (Gobs of power).

The Quickdraw 35 is a great motor but was a greater motor years ago when there were less options for bigger boats. The price of the QD is high (seem to have priced themselves out of the market a bit) and the power falls a little short of what is coming from stock inline motors costing half the price. The QD35 is slightly heavier than an inline motor (both with clutches and pipes) and has a higher COG. The cost of repairs to the QD can get high quick (I have had $600+ rebuilds that take a few weeks there and back after a hydraulic) which the inline zenoah will never come close to (if you were to completely destroy one zenoah in an inline and it will cost you $200 and you could replace pond side in 1 hour - but you wont completely destroy a zenoah). I do love Quickdraw motors and the service and support they provide are the standards against which others can be measured. But I would be very reluctant to take a QD35 out jumping waves as they are a little too easy to hydraulic (huge crank that does not stop easy). I still run them but tend to use a lot more care (now I have had a repair or two).
Old 07-02-2010, 12:49 PM
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Default RE: New boat shopping

Good points and detail for sure JAW! I am curious which QD35's you are running now. I heard QD has moved from the A4P, to the A5P, and now a newer version altogether? supposedly the newer version is supposed to be a bit less RPM sensative?

I forgot all about some one remaking the Ballentine hulls again! SO COOL! That 65 is a very nice looking hull...even knowing the MHZ hull prices are not cheap, for build quality and longevity I do not regret spending the extra cash for the MHZ Epoxy layup The 60" Apache has delt WELL with anything from little wind ripples to full boat wakes. Once last season we were running off a friends dock on the main channel and I was not watching the water close enough and the bow was easily 5-6' off the water (yes that is FEET) and the transom was a good 12-16" off...it came down transom first full bore and stuffed into the face of the next wave...didn't swamp and no stress cracks; not a one. It actually looked a lot like the old video of Team Apache from the heli when he came off the wave and stuffed it off the coast of FL YEARS ago. Needless to say we were all grinning ear to ear just after it happened once we knew the hull was still in one piece! I was a bit more careful after that but from then on I was sold on their construction and build qaulity. I have seen other hulls split in less serious driver error situations (I would have taken full credit for the disaster and expected to ) If you want to look into MHZ I have had good luck through the German Main Co. and with the recent strengthening of the GreenBack to Euro they are a bit more "realistic" but shipping is a hassle.

JT (Apache57Stryker41) has done a couple of Aeromarine 56 Apaches with the QD and he says that is one of his favorite setups for the rough. You can find used 35's here and there but he recommended that if I find one used to just budget in having the lower-end looked at and the main bearing replaced by Todd because most under-prop them and cause over-rev, which will greatly reduce the bearing life for sure.

On a side note, RCMK (the engine company with the EVO and now with a Twin-Case Inline called the 520 EVO is beginning to offer hulls. They do a 1900mm Apache and a 1400mm Donzi ZR and the scale-ness is amazing. It looks like pricing is still going to be around the $500-600 range for the hull and hatch combo but we are starting to talk some pretty big boats and there is some work and material involved with building and laying up these beasts. I would really like to try a RCMK Donzi with either a single 520 and WD splitter gear box and twin drives OR a QD/J&G 35cc and M&D stinger style drive to see what she could do...ah, lots of ideas and so little hobby money this year!;( Tony here is doing a MHZ Skater Mono with a pair of CR RCMK RX motors and Speedmaster stinger/tabs/6" rudder standoff and we hope to whitness some testing in a week or two tops!...SWEET!!!!

again, what fun it is to shop!!! makes me get the itch again...
Old 07-04-2010, 05:24 PM
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model mojo
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Default RE: New boat shopping

This is great!
So I've been considering all of your advice and have come up with a couple setup options.
I found that GizmoMotors has most everything with the best prices. I also checked out the sites that JAW referred to and all the sites appear to sell the same gear more or less. For a setup here's what I have come up with.
Option one- most conservative: Aeromarine 56 apache hull with stinger outdrive and rudder offset and stock Zenoah.
Bonzi seems to offer the most complete package: BONZÍ Power Package - Clutch Package
[BZ2800C] which includes a Stock Zenoah G260PUM with Mounts & Clutch/Collet, water pump, header and tuned pipe for $645.
Engine Option two: For a few more bucks the S-254 EVO is hard to ignore. Is there a consensus on the durabiity of this motor compared to the Zenoah?
Engine Option three: the S-520 twin for $560. Would this be a better option than a stock twin Zen? I saw that Bonzi offers a Zen twin with no mods: BONZÍ I2Z Inline Zenoah Package [BZ2104Z] for $1300. It looks like there's a premium on the inline Zen's.
For the RCMK motors where can I get a clutch and all the engine gear like the one in FlogginHarvey's Scarab? The motor thing can get tricky.

Aside from the motor there's of course everything else. Rocketcity and others offer the Aeromarine hardware package for the Apache for $290. While convenient these types of packages make me nervous, as often the component quality is just average. I'd like to have higher quality gear as I've seen with the setups you guys have shown in various pics. I always try to place durability and performance ahead of saving a few $'s. Alternatively Bonzi has their own package with their outdrive. What is the best option for all this stuff? I'm not opposed to piecing it all together either.

Not to make this more complicated, but I took a look at the RCMK Apache hull. At 67.7 x 15" that's a big hull, possibly comparable to the MHZ or Griffin. If the longer nose means significantly better wave handling over the Aeromarine than maybe its worth considering. Would this hull have the same handling issues as the 70" Expresscraft Apache that JAW mentioned above? Again I plan on putting this thing in some fairly big, open, salt water so its gonna get pounded on. Whatever setup caters to this kind of condition is what I'm looking for.

Dan
Old 09-26-2010, 12:37 PM
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Default RE: New boat shopping

Dan, any luck on making a decision on a hull or engines?
Old 09-26-2010, 08:52 PM
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Default RE: New boat shopping

I just finished a 57" apache unknown hull brand but I love it I was on a real budget so I went with a sikk 26cc motor i got off of Jim's pretty much new for less than $200 bucks got the hull used from a member on here and it came with Whhobbies harrdware dual rudders and spd3 drive and clutch, the apache hulls ride well in rough water and my brother just had my boat gps'd at 46mph today and thats with a stock sikk that doesnt have much more power than a stock zen and with a better prop i think it still has a little more speed in it. But if I had the moeny I would definitly build a GTX the hull just looks awesome. Good luck. Scott

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