After buying ''Lazy Ka'' I looked at
used outboard motor options for budgetary concerns . . . In other words, I wanted to save a few
shekels now to be spent later on other mods I anticipate in future weeks.
After much research I settled on a used copy of the 3 hp, 2-cycle, Gamefisher motor, sold
for several years by Sears & Roebuck; Circa 1985-ish to 1995-ish.
Gamefisher motors trade regularly on Ebay for between $200.00 and $450.00
(plus typically $50.00 S&H,) depending upon condition. The 10-year old copy I bought
was in almost never-run condition, at a winning bid of just under $400.00.
These motors were manufactured by Tanaka, and were also sold under the Tanaka
badge and the Aquabug name as well. Sears and Tanaka continue to support
these fine motors by making parts readily available online.
FYI, there were two smaller models at
1.75 hp and 1.2 hp that share many of the parts of the 3.0 hp Gamefisher. These weigh in
at about 20 lbs and 15 lbs respectively. Though likely underpowered for
Potter applications, where currents are present, these motors may work very
well for lake sailors. These motors continue to be
popular for trolling and other small boat uses, frequently selling on the
secondary market for as much as the 3.0 hp model.
The almost bulletproof Gamefisher motors share several attributes with the
Honda; features that make the latter so attractive to Potter owners in the first place. Below are my
personal considerations in
choosing the Gamefisher:
I believe there can be no argument
that Honda makes a superior motor, but I found the compromises
minimal for the cost savings.
Now the downside of the Gamefisher.
To make the motor compatible with my P-15, a few minor modifications
Extension & Air Cleaner
The stock Gamefisher tiller (A)
is originally mounted beneath the air
cleaner assembly (B)
and was attached at point (C). The tiller cannot be raised past the
air-cleaner; free movement of the tiller to clear the transom
was blocked by the air-cleaner.
extended the tiller to clear the air filter (C to D) by way of a piece of scrap
I had laying around the house (a short piece of wall-shelf
mounting material) and some stainless-steel nuts-'n'-bolts purchased at
the local hardware.
The stock Air-Cleaner assembly on these
motors seems to be a weakness. I have noted several Ebay offerings
mention the assembly as damaged or broken. My motor arrived with the
assembly broken as well (Pictured here.) A stronger assembly was
fabricated from a PVC cap and off-the-shelf replacement stainless-steel
screws . . . see (B) Above.
The Gamefisher motor has no provision to be locked in the elevated
position with the prop out of the water. My simple remedy is a
piece of plastic pipe cut and trimmed to maintain maximum
elevation when inserted in position, as illustrated (E)
in these photos. I then attached a line and brass clasp to
prevent loss when under sail.
The Gamefisher motor is a long-shaft design. I found on my first
outing, that I could not raise the prop out of the water
resulting in speed and performance being lost to drag. I
corrected this by modifying the motor-mount with a 2"x12" block
13.5" in length. (see the photo to the right.) This added
elevation was just what the doctor ordered to overcome the drag