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Thread: Kaama Surface Drives Slow to Plane

  1. #1
    Registered doright's Avatar
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    Ninja Kaama Surface Drives Slow to Plane

    I have recently become an accidental boat owner and need a little help/advice. I've inherited a 1986 Formula 357 Kaama. My previous boating experience was with merc outdrives or true inboard V drives with big props. This boat has the Kaama Surface Drives with those funky little weird shaped props.

    OK, here's the question (finally!) When I open the throttles both engines rev smoothly at about 5200 rpm but the boat seems to take a long time to get on plane. I'm keeping the drives down until she reaches plane speed. Then it feels like the props finally grab and she planes and levels off. The rpms drop to about 3500 when this happens. They pick up when I raise the drives to the "cruise" or "max" positions.

    Is it normal to take so long to plane? Is it normal for the props to "grab" when planing occurs? Am I supposed to raise the outdrives before starting my run? Is there a book I can use to learn about the Kaama modifications and operating techniques?

    Any and all ideas warmly welcomed.

    Doc

  2. #2
    Registered doright's Avatar
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    Also, how do I check out the engines to determine age, originality, etc. Is there a number I can check via the Internet?

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Platinum Member mcollinstn's Avatar
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    Cuda just bought a Kaama boat. He has the takeoff procedure. Seems that tabs and trim position matter and they aren't either one full down.
    I see London, I see France...

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Platinum Member X-Rated30's Avatar
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    I tried to respond to your P.M., but your box was full. I could tell you more with more info. (i.e.: engines, props, gear ratios,etc.)

    I am curious about the "funky little weird shaped props". Most of these things spin pretty big wheels compared to Bravos. Do the props not bite at all as you throttle up, or do you just shove it up and wait for them to catch???

    Also, I think I have someone in the market for your boat. (Don't get too excited -- I didn't know how much you wanted to get rid of it, so he has no idea of price ) Nevertheless, he might be more interested if I could tell him more.
    www.cameronmurraylaw.com

  5. #5
    Registered doright's Avatar
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    Sorry about that PM being full. I travel a lot and have been away.I've got the most recent survey of the boat, including a bunch of pictures, being put on disc so I can email it to anybody interested. Unfortunately, my computer guy had heart trouble Monday and is in the hospital. Planned to video on Sunday. 8 1/2 inches of rain! Golf ball hail. Road to Marina flooded and closed.

    I'm having piss for luck with this project. That's how I got the boat in the first place...piss for luck.

    About those props. They're steel and instead of being rounded on the ears they come to sharp points. I mean, a really big Ninja could throw these things for weapons. They are four bladed and the local guys who own similar boats tell me they are about a thousand bucks apiece. I own another boat with mercruiser outdrives and those props are larger diameter than on the Kaama.

    The engines are carbed 502's. I had them checked and run by two independent racing motor builders before running them and was told by both that they are strong and reliable. As for gear ratios, I haven't got a clue.

    The take off goes like this. Surface drives down, tabs up. Advance throttles from 1000 rpm to full throttle over approx three seconds. Boat begins to move. Nose goes up. Musst stand up but even then cannot see over nose. Continue to spin at 5200, boat slowly gathering speed. This goes on for what seems like 15 or 20 seconds. Nose drops and props seem to grab because rpms drop to about 3500 even tho throttles are full open.

    At this point I raise the tabs to "Cruise" level and if I keep on blasting full ahead I'll raise em to "Max" level and begin to trim out. Rooster tails from Hell ensue. Meter is inaccurate so I don't know exact speed. Based on my previous experiences on boats and motorcycles combined with the fact that I'm passing cars on the 55MPH adjacent roadway, I'd guess I'm doing about 60.

    Haven't been able to trim appropriately however, as the port tab will not lower fully. Haul out and repair scheduled for next week.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you may lend.

    Doc

  6. #6
    Registered doright's Avatar
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    Are you going to be at Tickfaw?

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Platinum Member X-Rated30's Avatar
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    Originally posted by doright
    Are you going to be at Tickfaw?
    More than likely.

    As for the getting on plane part, I'm stumped. If you ever get the chance to put up pics, I wanna see pics of the props. If you want to know the dia. & pitch, you can pull them off and it will be stamped on the back side of the hub.

    Your friends are probably right about the prices on them give or take $250.00 ea. I am tempted to run over there for a look, but I guess I'll wait for the pics.

    I have never seen a Formula set up with Kaamas. What kind of trim tabs are on it?
    Last edited by KaamaScarab30; 04-09-2003 at 07:16 AM.
    www.cameronmurraylaw.com

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Platinum Member mcollinstn's Avatar
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    Should be big K-planes on a 357.
    I see London, I see France...

  9. #9
    Registered Rambunctious's Avatar
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    Hi DOC!!!!

    welcome back from your travels

    i've been checking my mailbox every day for a video

    here's the plan, since your a doctor, fix your computer friends heart, then he can send me the pics, take your boat to florida and make the video!!!!!!!in the sunshine, maybe I'll make the video with you .......


    Cuda has a post in the formula section on how he planes off his 302 (although a shorter boat)

    I would put some tab down to help get on plane. but what i have read, this is typical of the surface drives, spinning up, then grabbing as you accellerate..... just watch the start of the big cats in the offshore races sometime. they have surface drives.
    takes them forever..

    I might feather the throttle at say 3000 to 4000 untill hooking up, then hammer it. but who am i to talk, I only want to BUY ONE that I've seen a video on

    the good news is those engines are making power to 5200!!!!!

    post another question on the tech section titled "what engines do I have" and you will get lots of help on where to look, what to look at, and then what you have.

    See ya SOON!!

  10. #10
    Banned cuda's Avatar
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    I put the drives a quarter inch above idle, tabs at -1. Give it the gas. The engines will rev up, then you feel the props grab. Gas it some more, and when you get up on a plane, back off the throttle, raise the drives and tabs. I don't think it takes any longer than a conventional drive, but the engines spinning at high rpms makes it seem that way. Bow rise is minimal, my 242 with twin alpha's rises more.


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