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Author Topic:   mounting a kicker
adaco posted 04-20-2002 01:34 PM ET (US)   Profile for adaco   Send Email to adaco  
On a 17'Montauk, what is the best type of mount for a Merc. 15 hp kicker. It is not an extra-long shaft and if simply mounted over the transom, is not quite long enough for constant water contact. I would prefer some form of fixed mount / extender rather than a swing mount, but open to any suggestions.
Tom W Clark posted 04-20-2002 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

By far the best method is to mount a long shaft (20") kicker directly to the transom. This is what Whaler recommends as well. A shortshaft (15") motor will be too short to work effectively. You do not want an extra long shaft (25") kicker, though it would work.

If your Mercury 15 hp motor is a 15" shaft, then the easiest thing to do would be to convert it to a 20" shaft by purchasing a shaft extension kit from your Mercury dealer. It should cost about $100 -$200.

Clamp this motor directly to the Montauk’s transom without using any pads. Just let the clamps dig into the Fiberglass. Use auxiliary bolts with fender washers and nylocks if you want a little peace of mind.

Kelly posted 04-20-2002 03:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kelly  Send Email to Kelly     
Why no pad? Kelly
scotts152001 posted 04-20-2002 11:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for scotts152001  Send Email to scotts152001     
On a newer Montauk where the rub rail wraps around on the transom, do you need to remove the rub rail?
Also, I assume that you need to remove the lifing eye. Do you need to plug the hole for the lifting eye?
Tom W Clark posted 04-21-2002 01:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

The reason for no pads is that the kicker will be more securely attached to the boat if the clamps are allowed to dig into the fiberglass. No flex, less chance of slippage. The Boston Whaler Owners manual (at least from the 1960's to 1980's) said to do exactly this. I think it looks nicer as well without any black pad or screw-on type pads which result in yet more screw holes into the hull.

If the kicker stays on the boat all the time, then the damage to the gelcoat is irrelevant. You'll never see it.

Now I understand to reluctance to crunch the gelcoat on one's boat, but let's face it, whether you mount the kicker with or without a pad and whether you use the auxiliary bolts that some kickers allow, you are going to mark up the transom once you mount the kicker. I just think one should get over it and get on with it and make it as secure as possible.

Now having said all that, there are plenty of Whaler owners out there who do use a pad (or pads) to protect the transom. As long as the kicker doesn't fall off then I see nothing wrong with doing so.


You do not need to remove the stern eye on the Montauk, but usually need to on the classic Outrages. On my Outrage, I removed one of the stern eyes, filled the hole, mounted the kicker and then reinstalled the stern eye in a more convenient location just to the side of the kicker.

I do not know about the rubrail on the Brunswick boats but if the kicker can fit over it then I would leave it in place.

gunnelgrabber posted 04-21-2002 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
Tom and Arch:
It seems you guys vary in your recommendation on shaft length for the aux. engine.(20"-25")
Could you clarify this a little bit for me ? Thanks....LM
acseatsri posted 04-21-2002 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
On my 18OR, the 20" is the right length. Keep in mind that you are installing this toward the side of the boat, away from the deepest part of the "V".
Kelly posted 04-21-2002 10:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kelly  Send Email to Kelly     
I hung a 15 hp Nissan on the back of my 17'. The 15 is pretty big for a kicker, and I thought something would be in the way. Nothing was. It will even tilt up and turn without hitting the rail.

Mine is a 20". That seems to be the right length. In my opinion, the kicker looks as natural as can be mounted on the transom without a bracket of some sort. Now if I get a new motor, the kicker is history.


lhg posted 04-21-2002 11:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom W's advice is absolutely on the money.
You want 20" shaft only, mounted and thru bolted right on the transom. There is plenty of instruction here for repairing the transom gelcoat and bolt holes if you ever take the motor off.

Besides trolling, the real purpose of a kicker in offshore duty is to get you home safely, when the going gets rough. This engine should be mounted to the boat as solidly as the main engine. If it's going to save your life, it needs to be tough and able to take big seas punishment, and keep it's prop in the water, and not some jerry-rigged lift bracket.

I think 6 - 8 HP is about right for a Montauk, and that 15 is too much.

Incidentally, the correct way to use these for offshore trolling duty is to tighten the swivel (engine turning) bracket so the engine faces straight ahead, like they do with a sailboat. The main engine is used like a rudder, still steering with the wheel. The ultra-professional way to rig one of these, any size Whaler, also includes a dual engine control, so you have the throttle/shift at the helm also.

andygere posted 04-22-2002 01:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I have a 15 hp kicker on my Montauk, and I agree a long shaft clamped directly to the transom is the way to go. Mine is mounted to a high quality OMC lift bracket which works OK, but it would be much simpler to mount it directly as Whaler intended. In terms of motor size, the 15 is fine. If you ever need it to get you home when the main motor quits, it will be a lot faster than with a 6 or 8 hp. The weight is no problem either.

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