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ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
Ventura 20, Auxiliary Engine
|Author||Topic: Ventura 20, Auxiliary Engine|
posted 02-11-2008 10:39 AM ET (US)
I'm always concerned with a single engine. If there is something that can go wrong, it will if you are out there often enough. In Newfoundland, I often Cod fish close to islands with large sea surges. Bad place to have your engine give up on you.
I have just purchased a 20 Ventura. Do many of you have an extra engine on your Boston Whaler boats? What size engine would you suggest for a 20-foot Ventura? My main engine is a 225 Verado. Would you purchase a small four-cycle, say 9.9-HP, and have it attached to your gas tank or have it independent and have extra gas with you for that motor? Would you buy a two-cycle engine? Your thought please.
posted 02-11-2008 01:24 PM ET (US)
I have a 9.9 2-stroke Evinrude kicker on the back of our Currituck. In calm to "mild" seas, with 2-3 people on board and at 1/2 throttle, it will move the 17’ really well. I have actually tied/locked it down straight to keep it from moving and used my main motor as a rudder when trolling – works great. Won’t go without it. Not to say that I am worried about the main engine (always kept up to par) but you never know what you might pick up while on the Chesapeake – i.e. broken crab baskets lines, etc. Me and a buddy were out in his boat one day and he picked up a partially submerged anchor line that someone had cut (guess they couldn’t get the anchor out)…that was a real quick fishing trip. Thankfully someone was kind enough to tow us back (could have been really expensive)
posted 02-11-2008 01:37 PM ET (US)
My 2 cents worth.
I never did put a kicker on my 23 Conquest single. Reasons were (1) looks, (2) clunky rigging of shifting and throttle, (3)balance, (4) a low power kicker isn't going to turn the boat into the sea and hold if there if there is wind and heavy seas, and (5) a modern outboard does fine trolling all day and a seperate engine isn't needed for that purpose.
I carried a sea anchor to hold the bow into the sea and slow down the drift in the event of engine failure in rough conditions.
My single Optimax let me down only once refusing to start due to a bad electrical condition. I droped anchor fairly close to the rocks and sorted out the electrical problems, getting the engine started after a short delay.
There is a value to two engines and that is why my present boat has two. However, both are capable of getting me home faster than putt putt speed and providing the power necessary to handle the boat in heavy seas.
If I did install a kicker on my old boat it would have been a low tech two stroke. (Maybe you can get a new one in Newfoundland). Those old engines stand up better to occasional use and have a higher horsepower to weight ratio. I would carry a seperate tank to minimize the fuel contamination issue.
When I researched the issue several years ago, there was an after market company that made a kicker bracket for Whaler, Euro transoms.
posted 02-11-2008 02:53 PM ET (US)
Just want to note that the kicker is dual purposed, not only is it a kicker, but it is the “main” for a Zodiac. With that said, handn makes some very valid points, however I think it is a personal choice and my previous response was based on my experiences and observations on the Chesapeake Bay. I have seen boats, loose power for whatever reason and get slammed into rock jetties, have their engines “cut” in two from unforeseen sunken objects (tree trunks) with no way to get back (putt – putt speed or not) or prevent further damage to their boats. Maybe these were the results of inexperience boaters - ????? I am not suggesting that the Bay is “dirty” (it is probably one of the most beautiful areas in the world – my opinion), but it is not “open water”. With respect to trolling, I guess I should have clarified that I don’t use the motor for trolling other than during its break in period. I figured it was a perfect opportunity to put in the required time at the required mixture. I also forgot to state that even after the break-in period, I still have a dedicated 6 gallon tank for the kicker and I couldn’t agree more with handn’s fuel contamination point. My new 305 has 2 engines on it so the need for a kicker isn’t that feasible (where would I put it) or ever probably necessary. Again, I think it is a personal choice. Given the environment one will spend the majority of their time boating in; it might not even be feasible. Am I going to take that 17’ 60 miles out into the Atlantic and expect that if the main goes, everything will be o.k. because I have a kicker – no. However, if I am out at my favorite fishing spot, not to far from home and something happens to the main that can not be repaired on the water, that kicker just paid for itself. It is just my opinion that it is a viable option depending on the circumstances, and if that option gives the owner some piece of mind, wouldn’t that just add to the overall boating experience?
posted 02-11-2008 08:50 PM ET (US)
Handn...you've strike a cord with me. I am a little worried about the weight and balance issue. The 225 Verado is a big heavy motor, not sure about adding another 100 lbs. It might take the shine off the performance. Looks...you're right, it's not the coolest look. And when I phoned my Verado dealer, the guys first comment was "Verado is a pretty dependable engine".
I like the sea anchor idea though. I haven't used one but it seems to make darn good sense. Have you used yours? Is it easy to set?
As for the power of the kicker, just tonight I had an engineer buddy of mine mention that you don't want a kicker that won't push you out of a scrape in bad weather...and that means adding enough HP AND WEIGHT which may possibly put your boat out of balance.
Thanks to everybody for weighing in....Pat
posted 02-12-2008 12:42 AM ET (US)
I work on outboards for a living...and I would NOT be comfortable without a second engine. I also believe it is important that it have its own fuel tank and line. Recommend a low pitch, high thrust prop so that you will have sufficient power to move the boat easily if the wind kicks up or you get in a tight spot.
And, most importantly, run that kicker before every outing to insure that it will do its job if called upon.
posted 02-12-2008 05:36 AM ET (US)
In a boat like a 20ft do you believe the second engine will through off the weight distribution? I'm concerned with solving one problem and creating another.
posted 02-12-2008 11:17 AM ET (US)
Nothing could be easier to use than a sea anchor. It is basically a windsock made of plastic coated canvas with a small hole in the tip of the cone so that it can be retrieved. I have mooring line tied on the straps at the big end of the cone.
For drift fishing, I cleat it off on the back of the boat. It cuts the drift speed in half and keeps the bow pointed downsea making the boat more comfortable to fish. With no sea anchor, the boat eventually turns crossways and rocks back and forth in the beam seas.
For emergency use, I triple the length of the line. If the line is too short, it holds the bow down making it possible for green water to come over the bow...not good.
Best of all a sea anchor is cheap. Mine cost about fifty bucks or so. A five gallon bucket will work as a sea anchor in a pinch but is difficult to retrieve.
I have seen people with no kicker, no anchor and a hand held vhf venture offshore with a junk rig. I guess the Coast Guard is there for those people.
An anchor is like an emergency brake. If your single engine fails and you are drifting for the rocks. Drop anchor until you can sort out the problems. The place for your anchor an on the bowsprit ready to be deployed rather than in a bag someplace down below.
My opinion seems to be the minority about kickers. Most careful single engine boaters have one,, and use it occasionally also.
posted 02-12-2008 12:42 PM ET (US)
I've seen two 210 Ventura's with kickers both plumbed to the main gas tank. The Ventura rides a little bow down. The only issue would be leveling the boat so trim tabs would be mandatory. I carry a Florentine Sea Anchor when I venture offshore. Both were equipped with 9 hp kicker's one Yamaha and the other Mercury.
Ventura rides bow heavy
Florentine Sea Anchor
posted 02-12-2008 08:18 PM ET (US)
bluewaterpirate...I have seems many of your photos and videos. You are hard core (very professional). You venture way off shore, use very well thought out reliable equipment and thus diminish the chance of you experiencing a big problem. We could all learn a few things from you.
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