An Outboard Motor For "Lazy Ka"

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:

$1,100.00 (or a little less if you're lucky) - - - $200.00 - $450.00 (Ebay)
29 lbs +/- - - - 25 lbs +/-
Air Cooled - - - Air Cooled
Centrifugal Clutch - - - Centrifugal Clutch
Turn the motor 180 degrees for reverse - - - Turn the motor 180 degrees for reverse

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 were necessary:

Tiller 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.

I 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.


Motor Elevation
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.


Motor Mount
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 problem.


Lazy Ka's Mod's:

Mods list updated: 03/26/2007


Page updated:  Monday March 26, 2007