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Author Topic:   kicker question: transom height?
gcl posted 03-18-2004 03:49 PM ET (US)   Profile for gcl   Send Email to gcl  
Those of you that frequent this website can attest to the fact that I have spent most of the winter investigating various aspects of "kicker" engines on a smirkless 16' (Nauset). I greatly appreciate the numerous responses I have received to by various queries. I now have another stone to turn.

I am leaning towards acquiring a "long shaft" small outboard to use as a kicker. I was excited to read that Boston Whaler actually designed my model boat to accommodate having a kicker mounted directly to the transom. So, looking at the various "long shaft" engines I learned that such a beast is designed to sit on a 20" transom. At the direction of an outboard dealer, I measured the height of the transom where the engine would be mounted and low and behold it was 23". I reported this to the dealer and together we measured the distance on the outboard from the inside of the mounting clamp to the top of the cavitation plate and it was 22" - thus the plate would be 1" higher than the bottom of the transom. The dealer informed me that such an arrangement could result in the engine overheating and damaging the powerhead.

So, my question is: those of you that have mounted kickers directly to the transom on boats such as mine, a.) is the cavitation plate higher than the bottom of the transom ? and if so, b.) has this caused a problem for you ?

Any information received would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Sal DiMercurio posted 03-18-2004 04:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
I've got a 20" kicker on my 25" transom, but it's way off to the side & about 22", never had a problem.
As long as your prop is biting & not venting , there's water going into the engine.
I'm certain your not running a surface piercing prop, & it will blow out if even 1" of the prop gets above the surface.
It's no big deal to hang the kicker on the transom & try it,.....[ i'm sure it works ].
Tom W Clark posted 03-19-2004 09:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

What the dealer told you is ridiculous. We are talking about a kicker motor here after all. The kicker will not push the boat onto plane. In fact, the fastest it will push the boat will be about 6 or 7 knots, regardless of what size kicker you put on there. The lower unit will always be well submerged, even if you were to use a 15" shaft motor, though the short shaft will not be able to generate enough thrust for satisfactory operation.

Yes, most 20" shaft motors will measure about 22" or 22.5" from mounting clamp to cavitation plate.

No, it will not be a problem. At all.

gcl posted 03-19-2004 11:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for gcl  Send Email to gcl     
Sal and Tom, thank you very much for your responses. The best way to separate fact from fiction is to listen to the voice of experience. Thanks again.

I do have another question. Will a kicker cause the boat to lean to the side it is mounted on while at rest and underway ? If so, I imagine it could be counteracted by placing an external gas tank on the opposite side of the boat from which the kicker is mounted. Is "balance" an issue ?

A broader question: Economics aside, is having a kicker on a 16' Whaler, overall, an asset or a liability ? (I'm hearing both, depending on the individual.)

Thanks for giving this matter your consideration.

PS My reason for reviewing this matter is that I am looking to be able to troll at slow speeds.

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