Jet Boat Fishing in Bristol Bay Alaska

Fishing for Salmon in Alaska’s Bristol Bay can be a challenge all by itself. This area is a Sport Fisher-man’s paradise so the area is filled with commercial as well as pleasure fishing boats during the season. Being able to maneuver fast in these waters is a plus. Steve Tutt has owned many Jet Propulsion fishing boats and has made a name for himself in this area of the world. Steve has found that Jet Propulsion fishing boats idea for the conditions found in the Bay. One thing Steve found out that fishing in crowded waters can be a bit of an issue with Jet Propulsion. Controlling the Jet Boat and nets in neutral position can be a problem since the boat tends to circle. It would be easy to snag a line or another fisherman’s net. Steve began looking for solutions to see what could be done.

 

His efforts first lead him to the option of retrofit-ting one of his boats with a Marine Gear. Although possible the cost would be in the 6K to 8K range plus the cost to retrofit. Besides that the weight to Horsepower ratio would be affected by this change. Not a good solution. Both of these issues did not make this option appealing since he was looking at changing 5 to 6 vessels. Steve also looked at mechanical options but none would give him the flexibility to control everything from the boats wheelhouse. Steve then began looking at the Bell Housing Logan Clutch option for a solution.

Steve met Logan Clutch at one of the Workboat Shows and was very interested in what Logan had to offer in a Bell Housing style clutch that could bolt directly to one of his engines. He was delighted to find that the Logan Bell Housing clutches would be half the price of the Marine Gear. With the Logan information he was off and running. He would use the standard LC311 Logan Bell Hydraulic clutch. Steve had a shaft flange machined to adapt to his particular driveline/u-joint arrangement recommended by another manufacturer. This was the typical 1510 or 1610 series flange with the appropriate u-joints. A standard 2-1/2” marine propeller shaft flange with standard keyway to match the clutch shaft was used with a female adapter machined for the flange. A machine shop shortened the output shaft so they just had to receive the adapter. His 450 Horsepower Engine and Jet drive could not be disconnected when required. This gave him the control needed. Steve has since converted other boats with similar success.

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