Making a test run on Mississippi River

FTuesday August 14th,
made the test run on Mississippi River below Bellevue, IA, launched at ramp, then pumped aboard about 150 gallon of water into trash containers, buckets, etc. to provide about 1200 lbs. of weight to simulate our estimated trip weight. the water plus the material we had on board, ie extra motors, lumber, seats, anchors, and other items gave us an estimated weight of about 2000 lbs. the weight only lowered the boat about 4 inches so we still had plenty of freeboard. Total weight capacity is 2500 lbs. In the photos, notice the containers of water.

Adding water for weight, about 1200 lbs

Then headed out into the river and downriver. checked the speed with the GPS, about 5 mph at the 1/4-1/3 throttle, top speed was about 8 mph. floated a bit to check current speed which was about 2 mph or less. also checked speed with only the 10 hp running 1/2 throttle which was about 3.5 mph. went down river for about 4 miles and turned around, upstream gave us about 3.5-3.8 mph with same throttle setting and about 7 mph at full throttle. was using the 14″ pitch prop, but believe the 12″ pitch prop will give better performance and gas mileage. in the 1 hour, 4 mile downstream trip, we used a little over one gallon of fuel, but this included quite a bit of idling before the downstream leg, and some full throttle running, we think we can get about 4-5 mile per gallon on the trip.


Heading downriver

Nice calm day — view from pilot station



trash container contain 1200 lbs of water to simulate weight of cabin and equipment used on trip

Front Mounted 3 hp Outboard- can also use on Canoe

50hp Mercury for Main motor, with 10hp mounted along side (oh left)

On the way back up river we dumped the extra water and got the full throttle speed up to 12 mph.

Back to ramp, loaded boat, back to Andrew, then lowered canopy and retarped the boat so is ready for storage for the winter.

Next Page:: Designing and outfitting the boat

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tom Haynie
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 00:34:55

    Belleview, our third day and first night running into the dark – one beautiful area. Your 50 looks great, with your mechanical inclinations and preparation I bet its the only motor you’ll use. Great setup, great preparation – I look forward to following your progress.


  2. bob bruninga
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 13:47:14

    Way to go Cousins! I envy you guys.


  3. lkstan
    Nov 07, 2014 @ 21:08:25

    test a comm


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