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Power Traveler
Posted by 180pilot on Jul 18 2005
Just got back from a trip to look at the Power Traveler Proto-Type in Boise.

I hope I've seen the future of an aircraft hauled jet river boat, but it appears more work on the design is needed.  The first impression is the size, 17 ft. it looks BIG.  The welded aluminum transom looks bullet proof.  And, as with the rest of their products, the build looks heavy duty all around. The staff mentioned testing with the Merc 25 hp. on a local river with two aboard and kind of alluded to the fact it could use more horse power.  It appears the flexible hull just infront of the transom where the typical cavitation problem occurs with inflatables is still somewhat of a  gremlin.  Their R&D consists of "cut and try" with some hulls being sent to Tracy Harmon at Alaska Raft and Kayak for testing.  I'm hoping a hull re-design will help the power problem, as 40 hp. motors are real heavy, my Tohatsu 30 hp. 2 stroke with pump  weighs 101 lbs., a little less than the Merc 25. It's the lightest engine per horse power that Outboard Jet makes a pump for.  The staff at Aire is considering trying a "tunnel" of sorts in front of the pump intake.  I have to think the folks at Aire, dedicated down river rats, have a lot on their plate with this new craft and the difficulties involved with jet propulsion. I've been thinking that an underwater video camera of the hull dynamics in front of the pump intake with different loads in the boat could help speed the development.

Aire is also capable of making very nice fuel bladders, and I mentioned it would be great to use bladders for fuel going up river and then when the fuel was exhaused, to be able to roll them up and out of the way for the paddle back down stream.  I also talked to Tracy Harmon before July 4th, for a moment, as he was swamped with business, and he was going for some more test runs with the 25 hp.  Tracy, if you have any new info, please jump in here. Over and out.

Next: Inflatable Jet Boats Alaska Series Inflatable Boats Jul 19 2005

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