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Author Topic:   Hydraulic Jack Plate on 1998 20-OR
boxers posted 12-15-2002 11:43 AM ET (US)   Profile for boxers   Send Email to boxers  
I am in repowering mode this winter and have seen articles referring to hydraulic jackplates. It seems to make sense that you could optimise the relationship between the prop and the bottom of the boat to varing degrees based on the conditions. For pulling a skier the motor would be in the lowest position. Conversely when running down the intracoastal at full speed the motor could be raised resulting in better ecomomy and performance.

Do any members out there have any real world experience with these systems? Is this just one more thing to go wrong and require maintenance?

captbone posted 12-15-2002 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
not worth it
Bigshot posted 12-16-2002 10:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
To drop it down to ski or run it higher at speed is not really worth the extra cash as the bone stated above!

Depends on where and how you drive. Usually you only run a hydraulic plate if you run in shallow water frequently. Most use the manual jackplates so that you can get the "Optimum" engine height and leave it there. The setback allows you to run higher because the engine is in "cleaner" water. I think every boat should run a manual jackplate but that is just my opinion. At roughly $150, it makes a lot of sense. At $600+/- for a hydraulic plate, make sure you need one.

Seabrook posted 12-17-2002 03:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Seabrook  Send Email to Seabrook     
Agree with Bigshot. For performance, a hydraulic Jack Plate may be overkill. But for shallow water, they are worth every penny. I have one on my 1984 18 Outrage to run the shallow bays and flats.
captbone posted 12-18-2002 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
check to see if you will have to increase cables, steering, etc..... this can add a big cost and headache for some boats. Benefits are there but not as great as everyone thinks.
jimh posted 12-18-2002 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Since the setback dimension of a "jackplate" is normally small, say typically 6-inches at the most, the existing cables will usually all have enough slack to accommodate the setback without replacement.

This is especially true of the engine electrical cables--they are often coiled up somewhere to take up the slack anyways. The engine shift cables are also usually long enough to still work with a 6-inch set back.

The steering cable (mechanical steering) may be the one that will be a problem. Often these cables are practially cut-to-length, and getting a few extra inches to reach the engine when on a jackplate may be difficult.

Seabrook posted 12-19-2002 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Seabrook  Send Email to Seabrook     
jimh, you are dead on. On my 18 Outrage, everything was fine except the steering cable. I had to replace it....but was glad I did. Steers GREAT with that new cable!

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