In June of 1996 a friend and I made a little trip on the Yukon River. June 1st we left from Eagle, Ak. and headed downstream. We reached St. Marys on the 10th and spent two days resting before heading back upstream. On the evening of the 21st we pulled into Fairbanks for a total distance of nearly 2100 miles. I'll save the stories of fishing, bears, moose, fishing, fox, wind, fishing, rain, snow, and fishing for another time. Suffice it to say I'm glad I made the trip but I'm not in a hurry to repeat it anytime soon. The important thing is "how did the Go-Devils work".
We made the trip with two boats, each with a 25 hp Go-Devil for power. One motor was brand new with only three hours on it. The other was my demo motor from 1995 and started the trip with 84 hours on the meter. The demo motor was instrumented with oil pressure, oil temp, and voltmeter. Other than the instrumentation both engines were box stock with no modifications or special preparation. The shafts on both outboards had what I called the Alaska grease mod (since renamed to lub kit). This is a method of keeping pressure on the grease in the shaft to assure water and silt stay out. Obviously it worked since Go-Devil is now offering it as an option. More on this later. Both props were freshly rebuilt (not new) 9x8 three blades and they looked great the entire trip.
When we arrived back at Fairbanks each motor had accumulated 149 hr's. We used a total of 402 gallons of fuel (201 per boat) which comes to 1.35 gallons per hour. We changed oil and filters three times on each motor and didn't use any oil between changes. Shaft grease consumption was very low because of the Alaskan grease modification, with total grease used of only three tubes. We changed plugs once, not because of a problem, but simply as insurance. If you're waiting to hear about problems you'll be disappointed. There weren't any. The outboards started when the key was turned and ran until we shut them down at night. Fairly anticlimactic but comforting! Speed varied widely and was effected as much by wind as current. Our top speed on the GPS was 24 mph downstream with a tail wind. The lowest speed we registered was 8 mph against the current and bucking the wind. This was the trip of a lifetime for an old man. Can you imagine how many war stories you can come up with from a trip like this?
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