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1999 Air Tique 176

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  • NautiqueJeff
    replied
    It is! It is a very cool little boat.

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  • BrianW
    replied
    That will be so fun to drive.

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  • NautiqueJeff
    replied
    Today was winterization day for this boat. We pulled it out and drained the engine.

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    Unfortunately all of my regular indoor boat storage places are full this year with my other boats, so I had to come up with some sort of solution for this boat, because I didn't just want it sitting out in the elements all winter. I decided to try to squeeze it in under my back deck, and it worked! This thing is so small that it fit in that area pretty well! I think that with the dust cover keeping out the leaves and things, and the deck keeping the rain and snow off of it, it should stay pretty nice, at least until a real indoor spot opens up.

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  • offshorejay
    replied
    I picked up a beautiful low hour 97 176 a few years back. It had the factory prop and smaller brass rudder. I replaced the rudder with the 11A tuneable rudder and run a 422 prop. The boat only gets used in the slalom course. The tracking and stability in the steering is significantly better with the updated setup. When the factory setup was on the boat, a shorter line skiier could pull the boat around in the course. The 176 had a different feel than the 196. Because of the short length, the boat almost felt like it being pulled sideways, as if you were changing lanes in a car. Counter steering against a skiier was somewhat difficult because it felt like you had to change the direction of the boat rather than just load the steering against the skiier pull. The 11A tunable rudder makes the boat track the same as a 196 in my opinion. keep in mind the rudder port needs to be replaced as well. The rudder shafts are different sizes.

    With this setup, a driver, 100lbs under observer seat when driver is alone, back seat out, 1/4-1/2 tank of fuel, you will have an incredible ski wake.



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  • NautiqueJeff
    replied
    Cruising down the lake in this boat tonight...

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  • 75Tique
    replied
    Jeff, havent been on here in a while so I am just seeing your 176 thread. Having my own for 2 seasons now, I really wanted a clear understanding of the rudder story. Not that it was important or necessary for anything, I just wanted to know, since I have heard conflicting accounts. Here is what I could piece together.

    I had heard, as many had, of the legend of the crappy stainless rudder being there because CC wanted to detune the boat so it wouldnt perform as well as the 196. Jody Seal seemd to have the best answers, which he shared on a number of sites. This came from BOS..

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    I asked Jody if the boat was originally produced with the 11A rudder (the larger standard Nautique rudder) but I never got an answer back. Maybe as the test prototype, maybe into production, who knows, but I have never heard of a 176 with an original 11A out in the wild.

    Then, as the story unfolded, it ends up there were two rudders on the 176 once it went into production, The small bronze one

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    or

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    and the ugly stainless one.


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    No one seemed to know which of those came first. This post suggests that the bronze one came first, then replaced by the stainless one, not because the bronze was so great, but because it was bad at low speeds, reverse? maybe turning too? I dont know.


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    In my research, I stumbled on this old post from Craig Warner at NECC.

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    His post suggests the stainless was to detune the "brass" one. Which brass one? The small one pictured above or an 11A, tho I have never seen anything that suggests a boat left the factory with an 11A. So Craig's story about detuning conflicts with the post above about improving from the small bronze to the stainless.

    Here is a comparison of the stainless one to an 11A

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    Last winter, I called NECC to talk to Craig about it to see what his recollections were. Unfortunately, he was tied up at the time, but the guy who answered had been around forever and remembered some of the story. He said nothing was ever swapped to detune the 176. that CC wants all their boats to perform optimally, why would they downgrade performance and that the 176 was not in competition with that 196, they were two different boats, two different markets. He said the swaps NECC did were to replace the crappy bronze one with the better performing stainless one.

    So there you have it. Still clear as mud.

    Mine has the crappy stainless one and I have no complaints at all about performance or maneuverability, but I am neither a professional driver, nor a 39 off slalom skier. That being said, I do have an 11A laying around that I might put in this winter. As I spend more time skiing and driving in the course, I wonder if it might help tracking a bit. Certainly cant hurt, and since I have it....

    The 422 is probably fine. When I got mine, I needed to provide the prop myself. All advice was either 422 (12.5 x 15.5) or 654 (12.5 by 15) Seller tried a 1442 on it, but rake was too severe and it conflicted with the rudder. I ordered a 422 and 654 to try. Despite being billed as new, I am guessing the 422 was reconditioned as it vibrated so badly I could not test it. I was very happy with the performance of the 654 so just stuck with that. I see 44+ mph. Not sure if that extra 1/2 inch pitch will get you more speed or a reduction in rpm, so probably pretty much a wash. Unfortunately I can not recall right now what my WOT RPMs are. A neighbor of mine also has a 176, not sure what prop, and he sees 44+ as well.

    Well, that's pretty much all the 176 insights I can offer, other than it is my daily driver slalom and BF boat and I really enjoy it. Whenever the topic comes up on forums, Jody Seal always sings the praises of the little boat and what a phenomenal ski boat it is.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by 75Tique; 10-26-2020, 07:19 PM.

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  • NautiqueJeff
    replied
    I also replaced the blower hose (which was either invisible or missing), replaced the fuel pump diaphragm failure line and added a port to the flame arrestor for that line, rigged the mirror properly, and added the transom lifting ring cups to block the exhaust fumes from coming through those areas.

    I think the boat is a lot safer now with those things done, and I'll feel safe letting my son use the boat himself next year.

    We will still remove and powder coat the windshield frame this winter, and add a bimini top. We probably won't reupholster it this year, but that'll happen within the next few years too.

    I've been driving this boat pretty much every day. It is a fun little boat!

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  • NautiqueJeff
    replied
    I rebuilt the Airguides and cleaned up the dash a little bit last week. Replaced a few things like the broken horn button, burned out light on the bilge pump switch, etc. For details on that, see this thread.

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  • Skidave
    replied
    Yes, that is how older Moombas had their rudders. My friend had one 20+ years ago. First time on his boat, it caught my eye because it was so different.

    Sent from my SM-J337V using Tapatalk

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  • SilentSeven
    replied
    Originally posted by NautiqueJeff View Post
    Here's the funny-looking original mini rudder. I am also happy to see a nice Acme 422. That should be about the perfect prop for this boat. It should keep the RPM range under 4,300 (just 100 or so over the redline for the engine) and should give me 45+ MPH out of this little engine.

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    Speaking of wonky rudder assemblies...check this out. Couple of screen caps from a 97 Moomba for sale in the area on craigslist. Best I can tell is that the rudder shaft is mounted aft of the transom with a stabilizing bracket below the swim step.

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    EDIT - link to the listing if you want to see the whole boat...

    https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/b...199712951.html
    Last edited by SilentSeven; 09-21-2020, 06:41 PM.

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  • NautiqueJeff
    replied
    Oh, and here's something else cool. While we were working on the manifolds, I had the keys sitting in the cup holder by the dash. I looked up and noticed a White Lake Marine logo on the keychain. I then looked at the trailer, and found another White Lake Marine reference. Pretty cool that this little boat originally came from my favorite dealership!

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  • NautiqueJeff
    replied
    Andrew and I did some further testing today. He seems to like it. He drove it around until we were out of gas this afternoon!

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  • THE HECKLER
    replied
    muscle boat. I dig it!

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  • NautiqueJeff
    replied
    First run today. Unfortunately it looks like it has a cracked head, but it still runs well. The water we hoped was just coming from the bad exhaust manifold was also coming from a crack in the head. I guess I'll just have to swap the heads out for some GT40P heads. I'll probably swap to a different cam too while I am at it. No reason not to make this thing a rocket ship if I have to swap heads anyway!

    I'll probably run it as-is for the rest of the season, and then swap everything out over the winter. No water seems to be getting into the oil, so I don't think I'm hurting anything by running it like this. The crack is small, and just drips a little bit.

    I put about five hours on it today, and it is a blast to drive this little boat.

    Here's the first run!

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  • NautiqueJeff
    replied
    Got it in the water this evening, and it seems to run fine. It is safely on the lift, and ready for playing around tomorrow.

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