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TOPIC: Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt

Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 8 months ago #93419

  • billr
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My 14T Power Cat with short shaft Bearcat 55 has been stored down at my beach since July 2013. She rises and falls with the tide.
She fired up first turn of the key yesterday.
Took her out for a spin, today too.
I'll post pics later, yes she's a mess and not a show boat haha.
Hope some of you are firing up your four strokes for the season?

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 8 months ago #93681

  • Kelly
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I've been using mine since we put it on the boat last two months ago. Lovin' the Bearcat! I haven't put it in the salt yet...still gun shy to do so since it's never seen salt.
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1958 Uniflite>
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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 8 months ago #93713

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Kelly they are fine in saltwater if you flush and rinse them.
One of the worst things you can do is accept at face value many of the posts over on that forum you belong to. There's one thread I have seen about Bearcats and saltwater that is laughable at best.
One of the "esteemed" members over there who posts like he has a resume on Bearcats was once at a meet (Mayfield Lake, 2008 I believe, I was driving Frankenmerc's blue go fast boat with his wife Dlani) and drove his SKagit around all day at 5mph. I saw about 5 people as passengers so wondered if it was because the wife was aboard etc. At the end of the day I walked up as we were trailering up and asked why only 5mph. Was told there was something wrong with the engine. I said wait a sec, push the control lever to full ahead and pulled his cover off. Looking in his carbs the butterflies were barely opened. Looked down and his throttle cable was broken. I showed him the 2 minute diagnosis and have forgotten his reply, but Frankenmerc saw me do this if you want to confirm it. Mind you, this person posts like they are a competent mechanic over there.
So there's a data point.
There are more, like one time at an event at Lake Stevens and three boats went dead in water, one of which had a Bearcat I sold. All three captains had not opened the vent on their fuel tanks. Great group. And there are even more examples that I have actually either seen or received a phone call about.
So, bottom line use common sense, rinse and flush, lube religiously, follow your manual NOT posts by keyboard boaters and you can enjoy saltwater if you choose.

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 8 months ago #93714

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Pups like the no smoke Bearcat:)
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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 8 months ago #93741

  • Kelly
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Hey Bill, sounds like you may not hang out with that group any longer? That's too bad if you don't.

I don't let any forum post bother me. I've been around forums for 14 years and have seen all sorts of keyboard mechanics and "tough" guys post some of the most ridiculous things I've ever read. At the same time, I've learned a lot from some genuine folks who've "been there, done that" and willingly share online.

I don't claim to be an expert outboard mechanic, or boat restorer etc... I just enjoy having a cool old boat with a great outboard sitting on the transom that doesn't burn my wallet every time I take it out.

Maybe I'll see you on the water some day, fresh or salt water B)

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 8 months ago #93762

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Yes they sip fuel compared to the two strokes built in their era.

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 7 months ago #94972

  • 4stroke
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Holy Crap it's almost June and I haven't even pulled the cover off the boat yet! Time to get the Homelite ready for another season!!!!

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Dick Johnson

1989 16ft Sylvan

'57 Evinrude 18 (finally found a decent one)
'58 Johnson 5.5
'72 Johnson 6.0
'61 Homelite
'64 Johnson 18
'65 Homelite 55
'66 Homelite 55
'68 Bearcat 55 (3)
'70 Bearcat 55 (2)
'71 Bearcat 85 (Sold)

Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 7 months ago #94973

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Just curious. Can these old 4 strokes run unleaded gas as is? If not can modern hardened valves be installed so that they can run unleaded? What about alcohol in the fuel?

The reason I ask is I've see a few of these come up over the past few weeks, pretty reasonably priced, and I have been tempted.

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 7 months ago #94978

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Another question. One of the motors is a Fisher Pierce 55 hp. I can get it with a junk boat and decent trailer for $300. The motor hasn't been started in years. The motor turns over by hand, nothing is frozen but a freeze plug has pushed out on the lower end of the engine. Do these freeze plugs usually save the engine from freezing? Or is this a deal breaker?

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 7 months ago #94992

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Usually the freeze plugs save the motor, but not always.
I have a recent customer that just got one for a couple hundred bucks, all cylinders 185psi, another one at 165psi on all four. Book says lower limit is 110psi, 130psi will run acceptable, my experience is 160 or above will be a nice motor IF tuned properly, rigged properly.
Yes they can run unleaded, the F models and the E models with the -A- block have hardened seats/valves for unleaded. However, there are lots of earlier Homelites running unleaded. If you aren't running at prolonged full throttle, engine tuned properly, prop selected properly, pulling 5500rpm at wot, valves adjusted correctly, they seem to last a long time. You can use lead substitute fuel additive too.
Alcohol is a problem for accelerator pump rubber boots, and fuel pumps. See www.bearcat55.com or www.homelite55.com

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 7 months ago #94994

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Are parts available for these things?

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 7 months ago #95041

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yes, in the above post see www.homelite55.com

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 7 months ago #95130

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Another nice run tonight prior to high tide, forgot to take any pics though.
Going to pull her out of the water sometime this week or weekend as the tilt latch is getting tight after 10 months on a saltwater beach. So time for oil change, check plugs, gear oil etc.
Pumping water fine.
Oh, and I refilled one of the 6 gallon tanks.
I have to say that I sure like the Power Cat hull, what a nice little boat.

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 7 months ago #96010

Hi Bill,

I have my twins remounted on the Boston Whaler and started them up for the first time of the season. They started right up and ran great as usual. I'm planning a 4th of July saltwater trip which I hate to do but that's where the party is and I'm just going to flush the hell out of them after the weekend. Got a charging issue with my starboard motor - only starts a minimal charge after 5 minutes of running (and above 3000 rpm). Alternator wires get hot at the rectifier so I'm going to bypass the hi lo switch and try running 1, 2 or 3 wires to the rectifier and see if there are any changes. If I cant get it right by the 4th of July trip I'll be dragging along a back up battery for that motor. I also put in a couple of tachs on this boat so we'll see if I'll be needing to buy a couple of different props this season.

Paul

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 7 months ago #96025

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Paul
I have a guy in Penn that has some indoor stored Bearcats and parts if you are interested email me direct.

Yes with tachs you'll see what wot rpm is, nice!

Maybe your rectifier connections or rectifier going bad?
Which color wire(s) getting hot??

I picked up an F model recently with 190psi compression.
$60.00, teehee.

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 7 months ago #96061

Bill,

The Yellow and black were getting hot at the rectifier, saw some sparks at the yellow when I wiggled it so I'll clean up the connections and go from there. No dead short in the alternator but I'm thinking the magnets may be weak because after a few minutes it did produce a weak charge when revved up to 3k.

As for the motors in Pa, I'd love to increase the parts inventory but time and cash are tight as I'm still involved with this Whaler project (and have another one to follow). I'm also picking up 4 motors (supposedly 2 of them run) from a man in Ct. - but for a lot more than $60! I guess you don't see deals like that too often. I should be on the water in a week, can't wait to hear those 55's sync up again. If you do find out any details about the stuff in Pa. let me know, if I'm in the right mood it might be worth a drive out - another set of twins would be really cool on the '72 Outrage I bought last week.

Paul

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 7 months ago #96272

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Paul,
Will forward contact info tomorrow sorry I forgot...!

I have flywheels with magnets if you need them, had to change a flywheel on Rick's motor a few years back due to loss of magnetization.

Tonight I drove the saltwater Bearcat on the 14T back to the ramp. Got a bit snotty out there at high tide, a +12.5' tide tonight at 9pm here! The ramp to the dock was level.
SO had a bumpy ride for a few hours, I was thinking thank God I wasn't driving my old Skagit 14 it would have been pounding bad out there.
Got the boat back to the driveway on the trailer a bit ago and tilted her up started washing her down.
Flushed the Bearcat for the first time in 11 months too.
Fired right up haha.

I am thinking it is time to launch the Dolphin next.
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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 4 months ago #99670

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Kelly wrote:

I haven't put it in the salt yet...still gun shy to do so since it's never seen salt.


Dropped her in the salt today! It ran great and we had a blast. Came back to our lake and flushed her out. More trips in the near future for sure...I do want to get a kicker before we take an extended trip.
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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 4 months ago #99671

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close up...
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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 4 months ago #99691

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Nice. Probably be less people out at the ramps after this Labor Day weekend. I remember before craigslist put the boat trader magazine under, the issue after Labor Day would be double thickness!
Anyway, you are doing it right just flush and wash her down, lube and enjoy her.

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 4 months ago #99952

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You're right, we flushed, washed and lubed after the salt. I want this to be a classic boat I can pass along to my son so it needs to stick around!

With the weather in the 80's this past weekend, I was itching to get back out in the salt air...we only went out for about 2 hrs but it was as expected...awesome.

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 4 months ago #99953

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Re:Fired up the Bearcat yesterday, and today, in salt 3 years 4 months ago #99954

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Glory shot:
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