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cashcrews

'06 Alumacraft Dominator 165CS performance

Question

cashcrews

In June I purchased a 2006 Alumacraft Dominator 165CS and powered it with the 90hp Evinrude E-tec (max hp is 90.) It's a great fishing platform with the primary attributes being that it's very wide and stable in the water. As far as top-end performance, it seems to be a bit of a disappointment over what I had anticipated. She seems to push lots of water (meaning it rides with a lot of boat contacting the water surface.) Top end speed was about 33-36mph depending on the props tried (Hustler Alum., OEM Alum., Turbo SS in both 17 and 15 pitches.)

We're getting to the end of the boating season, and I might be able to try another prop or two, but I'm starting to think that I've probably reached max performance characteristics for this particular design of boat. I'm thinking it probably could have been rated for 115, which may help to improve the ride characteristics.

Is anyone else running a similar setup, and if so what have you found for performance?

Cashcrews

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Fishing Junky

Hey Cash. Got to ask the obvious first. Are you trimming your motor up after you get on plane? What rpm's are you getting with the props that you have tried? Is your motor sitting right on the transom?

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cashcrews

I'm trimming the motor up quite a bit to try and gain bow lift, etc. RPM's have been low with almost all the props tried. The 90 E-tec is rated for 4500-5500. Most of those props are in the 4600-5200 range. Best overall performance has been with a SS Turbo 15 which got me about 5000 rpms. I had the dealer adjust the height of the motor through all the positions with all the props tested.

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Fishing Junky

How has it been out of the hole with these props? What's the weight of the boat? When trimmed up how is your wake behind you?

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cashcrews

I'm not really sure how hole shot is measured or evaluated, as this is my first boat of this type (everything previous was at best a glorified 14-footer.)

It seems to get on plane within a few seconds, then I start trimming it up until the motor starts ventilating. The wake is generally flat out the back, but the boat drags a lot on the water it seems; so there's lots of spray off the sides of the boat.

According to Alumacraft website, the boat is 1175# empty, and the engine is 320 lbs. Tests are done with a full fuel tank, 23 gal.; one person and typical fishing gear in the boat.

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Fishing Junky

It seems to me that you are close to where you should be with what you told me. I checked the specifications of your boat on the Alumacraft website, man is that thing wide. Meaning more water drag. I would say everything is normal for what you have been trying. I agree a 115hp limit would be good for that boat. I would try a 13 pitch prop and raise the engine a hole or two. All props are not created equal, so what brand is best I wouldn't know. Look under the bottom of the boat and check for any dents in the hull. Check it well. I doubt there is any damage, but hey, ya never know. I would try and max out my rpm's with just me in the boat and say 1/2 tank of gas and my gear. I'm not an expert by any means, just tryin' to help ya out.

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Northlander

Get weight towards the back of the boat. That dominator with a 90 will probably only get upper 30's. The Dominator is a tank in the water. Not the best hull design if ya ask me. The 2xb hull adds a lot of up front weight.

I run a 115 yamaha on a Lund Explorer and only top out at 43mph with a half tank and me in the boat.40 with 2 guys and full tank. So I doubt you will get over 40 with the Dominator.

Plus your pushing it with a Evinrude, that dont help. wink.gif

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cashcrews

Northlander, I didn't buy an Evinrude for speed, I bought it so I'd get home.

Thanks for the advice, it generally confirms what I suspected with regards to the performance of the boat.

If there's anyone else out there that has this boat with a 90hp of any brand, let me know about your experiences with it.

Thanks,

Cashcrews

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Northlander

Oh man crews I hope you dont live far away. wink.gif

I have access to a lot of props. Let me know what ya want to try out and Ill see what I can do. E-mail me.

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LwnmwnMan2

Cash -

I don't have your boat OR your motor, however, I DID buy a new boat this summer, and have the same issues as you.

I bought a Tracker 18wt, with a 115, last years model.

I have the same thoughts as you, that it just doesn't want to get all the way on plane, and seems to be constantly pushing water out.

I think what it is, is just getting accustomed to a wider boat.

I was running an '86 Grumman 16' before, and the boat that I have now, makes that Grumman look like an oversized canoe.

Maybe I should have gotten the 135, but again, it was a 2005 setup left over yet this fall, so I couldn't pass up the deal I got.

I've just chalked it up to saving $6k, over having the extra 20 hp.

I will say though, that on the 16' Grumman that we had, even with 3 adults, 4 year old, gas, etc., it still planed out very well with an 85 hp Suzuki, so you SHOULD be right in line with that 90.

Again, I think maybe it's just the way the boat rides in the water????

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cashcrews

Lwn, my thoughts exactly. I think it may just be the design of the boat (being so wide) that is causing the way it rides in the water. If there was one thing I would like to improve, it would be the bow lift. Speed isn't that much of a concern to me.

Northlander, I'm sending you an email...

Cashcrews

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Fishing Junky

Quote:

I'm not really sure how hole shot is measured or evaluated, as this is my first boat of this type (everything previous was at best a glorified 14-footer.)

It seems to get on plane within a few seconds, then I start trimming it up until the motor starts ventilating. The wake is generally flat out the back, but the boat drags a lot on the water it seems; so there's lots of spray off the sides of the boat.

According to Alumacraft website, the boat is 1175# empty, and the engine is 320 lbs. Tests are done with a full fuel tank, 23 gal.; one person and typical fishing gear in the boat.


Cash, If you seem to get on plane in a few seconds and your wake is pretty much flat behind you, that is a pretty good plane to me. What I don't understand is the part were you think you are plowing. Your wake would be pretty high if that was the case. Do you have a couple big trolling motor batteries in front of your boat?

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cashcrews

FishingJunky,

The only weight of any substance up front is a single deep cycle battery and the trolling motor. When I'm on plane, the visible spray on the sides of the boat seems to start even or forward of the drivers console. This results in a wet ride under certain conditions. In most boats, it seems like that spray should be a bit further back.

Cashcrews

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Fishing Junky

If you leave your email, I will let ya know who to talk to on a prop. I'm sure it's the same guy Northlander might steer ya too. Like in my previous post though, I would raise the motor and max out my rpm's. When you raise the motor, it will be easier for you to get the prop to cavitate because of the heavy hull weight, so make sure you get a prop that really holds in the water to help prevent this. Do you have a trim gauage and tach? If so, how far can you trim up bebore the prop start to cavitate? Junky...

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cashcrews

No trim gauge in the boat. I've been getting my latest series of props out of Cromwell if that's the place you're thinking of...

Cashcrews

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Fishing Junky

Yep. Good luck Cash. If anyone can help ya, it would be him.

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JDM

I have a 17 ft, 8 inch Starcraft Starfish, which is pretty wide and deep, powered by a 115 Optimax. The original prop gave me 44 mph alone in the boat, but if I put three guys, full gas tank, full live wells, and gear in it, then it was slow out of the hole and I could get 36 to 38 MPH. I went from a 13 x 19 prop to a 13.125 x 17 prop (aluminum) and my RPM's only marginally increased. However, my hole shot with a heavy load is MUCH better. My top end with a light load is now 42 and didn't change with a heavy load. For me, it is about how slow I can go. I went from a 2.9 MPH from trolling speed to 2.3. My back trolling speed went from 1.2 to .9, all GPS with nothing to slow me down (wind or drift sock). From what I have seen, our boats are similar, so you are probably getting what you can expect with the 90 horse.

I was actually considering a 15 pitch prop to see what that would do. My goals are hole shot, trolling speed, and how well it holds in rough water. I am not looking to win any races.

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lawman

I have a 6yr old Aluma Craft Magnum CS with a 4stroke 115HP. Went for years trying to figure out why it was such a dog. It was the prop. The dealer had changed it out once for me but not enough of a change. This summer I went from a 21 pitch to an 18....what a difference. Went from top end 36MPH to over 42MPH and I havn't hit the top end yet.

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Giant_Jackpot

Where did you buy the boat? I would think the dealer should be able to tell you what to expect for speed. I just picked up a 185 Navigator from Dan’s Marine and they were right on the money with respect to top end and trolling (idle) speed. I had the correct prop first time out……

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cashcrews

I got the boat from a reputable dealer here in Duluth. They've been great as far as giving me props to try and adjusting motor height, etc. The problem for me, is that the Dominator was newly designed for this year, so there aren't that many people that have it yet. I'm hoping there's someone else on FM that has got this boat and might be able to compare notes...

Cashcrews

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PerchJerker

I am not familiar with your boat but previously had a couple Alumacrafts.

Call Alumacraft and talk to them, in particular talk to Vern if he is still there.

The first thing I would do is talk to them about props, but after that .......

Alumacraft leaves a small "flap" or "overhang' of hull past the back of the transom. It probably doesn't look like much but it's probably there. They (or you) can use this flap to adjust how the hull rides ---- specifically it can be hammered up a little for a few feet on each side of the keel to create less drag and give more bow lift. That might be just what you need.

I wouldn't try it myself, but I would talk to Alumacraft about how your boat is running and see what they suggest. Good luck.

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MIDNIGHT777

I have the Dominator 175 CS with 140 Johnson 4 Stroke (max is 150). I have it loaded down pretty good with 2 trolling motors, 3 batteries, 2 anchors, ect. I was a little disapointed with the top end speed also. I can get 40--43 (gps) with 2 people and a half tank of gas and gear. I was only disapointed because Alumacraft says 40 mph with a 115 hp engine. Now, I have not experienced with different props, but next year I am going to.

I thought the E-tec was supposed to be the best of both worlds.........fuel economy of 4 stroke, holeshot/top end of 2 stroke? confused.gif

Hope this helps...Matt

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Giant_Jackpot

Just to put a little perspective on things… When I was contemplating putting a 140 vs. 150 in the 185 Navigator, the dealer told me the 150 would get me about 5 mph over the 140. He also told that when he upgraded his 175 Tournament Pro form 150 to 175 he only got 3 mph increase in top speed. Just because you make what might seem like a big jump in HP does not necessarily mean you will get a lot of speed. There are others in this thread that can explain all of this way better than I can (engine displacement and other things). If it helps you at all, I had a 2000 Crestliner 1750 Fish Hawk tiller with a 70hp 4 stroke Suzuki and I could get 33 mph with full fuel (26 gallons), 2 guys, 4 Trojan batteries and all the fishing gear……. I hate to say it but after considering all the numbers, I would expect your boat to go faster than it is but I’m no expert…..

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hydro

In one of the posts above you mentioned that the spray line is in front of the console at WOT. While that may be normal for your hull and simply a function of the boat width and horsepower, there is one more thing you can check. The rear of the planing surface of your hull may have a “hook” that is keeping the running surface down. Try putting a 6’ aluminum straightedge up to the bottom of the boat and see if there is a gap just forward of the transom. If there is, that could be your problem. Unfortunately on an aluminum boat there is not much that you can do about it. This goes along with the idea above of bending the “lip” up, which the straightedge will also check.

Remember speed = money squared

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