This article describes in detail the process of installing an auxiliary or kicker motor on the notched transom of a Boston Whaler OUTRAGE 22. This beautifully done project was planned and performed by John Flook, who also wrote this article and provided the photographs. John's 1992 Boston Whaler, OUTRÉ is a wonderfully detailed boat with many carefully added systems and enhancements. This kicker motor installation is the latest improvement.
I knew going into this project that I wanted a four-stroke motor for an auxiliary engine, preferably a high-thrust model, and one that had full remote control capabilities, including:
In this way I could operate the auxiliary motor from the helm just as if I had twins. I was also looking for—if there were such choices—a high output charging system and an engine that could be started manually. I was anticipating there might be circumstances when I would want to use the quiet four-stroke motor as an on-board generator. It might also be nice to be able to start the kicker by hand if the boat's batteries were discharged too far to start the engine electrically. I'd had positive experiences with a Yamaha 9.9-HP Hi-thrust four-stroke kicker on another boat, the main motor of which was also a Yamaha. I looked carefully at all the other brand offerings (like Mercury, Bombardier, etc.), and I found none of them had everything I wanted. I stalled out trying to prioritize those features I felt were critical if I couldn't have everything. In correspondence with friend and frequent forum contributor Tom Clark, he mentioned an associate with a Yamaha T8 outboard with electric tilt, and suggested I take a hard look at that model of auxiliary engine.
I followed up Tom's recommendation of the T8, and I liked what I saw. The Yamaha T8's electric tilt solved the riddle of how I was going to mount the kicker from choices of on the transom, on a lift bracket, or on whatever, and also solved the problem of how I would secure it when not in use. I would mount it right on the transom and simply tilt it to the full-up position when it was not being used. Also, having remote power tilt added another convenient remote control option!
The T8 is a four-stroke, hi-thrust outboard with electric tilt, and the T8PLRC model (which I purchased) is set up for remote control and omits the usual tiller arm. It does have an external shifter handle on the starboard side of the motor with a bracket in front of it to capture the outer casing of the shift cable, as well as that of the throttle cable that enters the lower cowling front through a grommet. A full factory-installed wiring harness pigtail leaves the front of the motor, along with the positive and negative battery cables. The harness is wired for a remote key switch, tilt, electric choke, alarm and neutral safety switch, and, when coupled with a Yamaha key switch, it has extra splash-proof bullet male connectors for a tachometer and other gauges and accessories.
The charging system has a 6 ampere output. I would have preferred more, but that capacity seems to be about the norm for 9.9 HP and smaller motors. It does not have an external recoil starter rope, but it is a fairly simple process to remove a few screws, pull a cover off the flywheel and have the ability to wrap a rope around the perimeter of the flywheel to pull start the motor.
Another important issue that I considered and with which I struggled was whether an 8-HP engine were enough power for an Outrage 22. Initially my thinking had been to find the largest horsepower that I could within a weight range of 120-125 pounds. That had me pointing to engines of at least 15 HP and maybe more, but Louis Kokinis, who has a beautifully matched and rigged 15 HP Mercury for a kicker on his fine commercial 22-foot GUARDIAN hull, told me that if he did it again he would not go with an engine as large as 15 horsepower. So I adjusted my thinking to a 9.9 HP model of some make. When I was alerted (by Tom Clark) to the electric tilt option on the Yamaha T8, I resolved to gamble that I would be satisfied with the power the T8 provided on my Outrage 22.
As far as I am concerned, my "gamble" on the T8 paid off in big numbers. I found that the T8 will push OUTRÉ to nearly 6-MPH, which is just about hull speed. This is plenty fast for an emergency back up if the main motor failed, unless I wanted to accommodate the weight of a much larger and heavier motor that had the capacity to get us up on plane. And I don't. Additionally, the elephant ear propeller on the T8 actually will bring the boat to a stop when reversed better and quicker than the propeller on the 225-HP main motor.
Does the T8 have the horsepower to operate as a kicker on an Outrage 22? YOU BET!
By combining a 2004 Yamaha kicker and a 1992 Evinrude main engine, I was mixing and matching both motor brand and era. I wanted to control both of them like identical twins from a dual top-mount (or "binnacle" mount) control that would replace the single OMC top-mount control currently on my console. I had already had positive experience with a Yamaha Model 704 dual control on another boat and liked it a lot, but I was concerned with the likelihood that I would, at the least, have to figure out how to adapt the existing cables to my Evinrude 225, if not replace them entirely.
The whole subject of interchangeability between remote controls and cables and two differing brands of motors is still a little foggy to me. I had hoped to come to a full understanding of all my options before I made a decision, but, unfortunately, I never reached that comfort level. After throwing the question up on the continuousWave forum, and gleaning what information I could from a well-known Whaler dealer that had a close relationship with a Yamaha dealer, I did not get the warm and fuzzy feeling of knowledge that I was looking for. I then tossed the question out to my local (non-Whaler) marina and Bombardier (nee-OMC) dealership. They came back to me that the Bombardier dual top-mount control would work well, might possibly need some minor adaptation of wiring harness connectors for my main motor, and would operate cables with threaded ends at the motor that would work with the Yamaha kicker. (Such cables are variously referred to as "international cables" and "Teleflex-style cables" by those I worked with. I am still not sure of their correct nomenclature.) I would need new key switches, not only for Yamaha kicker,but also for my Evinrude 225, due to the fact that the new Bombardier dual remote control does not have an integral key switch like my old single control did.
The top-mount dual remote control throttle and shift with tilt and trim is made by Bombardier (nee OMC). Beneath it are the ignition and safety switches. As a nice bonus, the control fit into the same holes that previously mounted a single OMC remote control.
All photographs by the author unless otherwise noted.
Dual Remote Throttle/Shift
The Bombardier top-mounting dual remote controls were adapted to work for both the Evinrude and the Yamaha engines.
As it turned out, the Bombardier dual remote top-mount control not only fit into the opening in the console binnacle for the original single control, but it used the same screw holes and attached cables in the same way with the same hardware. Eureka! Given that I was replacing an OMC control, and that I had an OMC main motor, choosing the Bombardier dual remote control was a great decision!
I chose a 20-inch shaft length on the new kicker, as recommended in my Outrage 22 Owner's manual. I hung it on the port side of the transom because I have two batteries on the starboard side in the splash well, and to mount it there would have created interference. I hung it as far from the main motor as possible for clearance so that full turning of the new kicker would not cause its lower unit and my port side trim tab to exchange molecules. I found two things right off the bat:
I removed the original lifting and towing eye from the transom, and repaired the hole temporarily with 3M 4200 until winter (when I will plug, epoxy and gelcoat the opening). I use the towing eyes to tie the transom down to the trailer when towing, and I was now one attachment short. I added a stainless steel eyebolt to the port side of the kicker motor transom bracket, and I am temporarily using that as a trailer tie down attachment on the port side of the transom. I raised the kicker engine's transom bracket as far as it would allow me while still getting a good bite on the transom with the integral screw clamps mounts. Then I drilled the transom and installed two through-bolts on the upper pair of mounting holes on the engine bracket, and drilled and installed two lag screws on the two lower holes of the engine bracket. The kicker engine height in relation to the transom was effectively about exactly the same amount as my main motor, which later would also help create a more level connection for the steering tie bar and, for good propeller bite, keep the ventilation plate well below the bottom of the hull when tilted fully down.
Transom Stern View
The auxiliary engine was mounted to just clear the trim tab. This necessitated the removal of the port ski tow eye, which was used for trailer tie-down. In its place an eyebolt was added to the auxiliary engine's mounting bracket.
Trailer Tie Down
This eyebolt provides a temporary anchor for the trailer tie down.
Elevated Mounting Height
The auxiliary engine is mounted at an elevated height to locate its propeller and anti-ventilation plate in the proper position in relation to the hull bottom. This height also helped align the engines so the tie bar between them would be level.
Auxiliary Full Up
The auxiliary engine is tilted to the full up position. This is its normal stowed position when operating with the main engine at speed.
Main Engine In Tilt Up Position
The Evinrude 225-HP outboard can be tilted to the full up position and the boat run on only the auxiliary engine. The pivoting and rotating joints of the tie bar accommodate any angle between the two motors.
Some time ago I relocated the fuel/water separator filter on my Outrage 22 to just underneath the port side gunwale from the starboard splash well. I was uncomfortable with the way the separator would become immersed in the splash well in following seas or other conditions when water came over the transom. This original filter was a single input and single output Racor model, so, using the same location, I installed a high-volume double-input, double-output Racor. I have two separate fuel lines coming from the separate pickups in the tank to the separator inputs, and two separate output lines, one to each motor. I have not yet installed separate shut-off valves (or petcocks), but this addition will be accomplished shortly.
Dual Fuel Lines
Dual fuel pickups from the fuel tank feed a manifold atop the fuel/water separator filter from RACOR. Each engine is fed via its own fuel line and primer bulb.
I used a Yamaha key switch with integral warning horn and kill switch, and a 26-foot 10-pin Yamaha wiring harness. Ultimately I cut this cable back to about 19-feet and re-attached the end connector with Waytek fully-insulated heat-shrink butt connectors or each wire. (The next shortest Yamaha pre-made length harness was 16-feet.) The new Bombardier dual remote control came with a pigtail and Deutsch 3-pin connector for Trim and Tilt (TNT) on each motor and a long 2-wire pigtail with splash-proof bullet connectors for the neutral safety switches. I don't have the Deutsch tools for making up new connectors, so I bought a 3-foot 2-wire extension and a 3-foot 3-wire extension which each had a male Deutsch connector on one end and female Deutsch connector on the other end. It was then simple to cut the extensions to the desired length and use Waytekfully-insulated heatshrink butt connectors to make neat, secure, and permanent connections for the separate wires. I staggered the locations of the butt connectors both here and on the main harness so they wouldn't look like a snake swallowing a pig, and double wrapped the entire new pigtail with 3M Scotch® Super 33+ vinyl electrical tape. I followed the same process to adapt the previously separate wires behind my dashboard to the new Bombardier key switch, with a 2-wire, 3-wire and 6-wire Deutsch extension. Now all my electric connections for both motors have Deutsch quick disconnects. I currently have the Yamaha battery cables wired to battery #2 and the Evinrude wired to battery #1, with a 4-way battery switch. I may delve further into this arrangement at a later date.
Ignition and Kill Switches
Each engine has its own ignition switch and safety lanyard or "kill" switch.
I have Teleflex Seastar hydraulic steering with a front-mount cylinder on the main motor. I stumbled across a Teleflex a trolling motor bracket and tie bar that is made for the exact hydraulic steering system I have, and I purchased one. It consists of:
I spent the better part of a day heating and bending a dog leg into the stainless rod and shortening it to the right length. Now the two motors are attached to each other via the steering arm all the time, and both can be raised or lowered in tandem or separately, with no interference.
Auxiliary Engine Tie Bar Link
This stock Teleflex bracket bolts on to the hydraulic cylinder and provides an articulating link for the tie bar to the auxiliary engine.
A stock Teleflex tie bar was heated and bent to this customized shape to link to the auxiliary engine.
The original cables for my Evinrude 225 simply and quickly connected to their side of the new dual remote control, and that was that. I wanted to run the cables for the kicker in the port side rigging tunnel, but I had already run the Yamaha wiring harness, a pretty sizable cable, on that side and had a bit of a time getting the end connector to go around the fuel fill and vent lines which cross the port side tunnel and take up nearly all the space available. It may be that by temporarily removing those two lines the cables could be run in the port tunnel, but I wasn't up to it. Instead, I measured for the starboard rigging tunnel. I used a string and tried to measure conservatively, that is, I always tried to err towards more length rather than less length, and decided I needed 25-foot cables. My marina promptly told me that above 20 feet those cables came in even 2-foot increments, so I could have 24-foot or 26-foot cables. I went with 24-foot, and I think I could have gotten away with 22-foot. I know I could have used 23-foot cables if there had been such a thing. As it is, there is rather tight loop in the kicker cables in the splash well. I have heard that is a good idea, anyway, so I guess it's OK. The little plastic terminals screwed on to the ends of the cables and connected to the respective linkages without any problems.
The engines in the full left position. This shows the many cables connected to the Yamaha T8 auxiliary engine to provide full remote control operation.
Engine position at full right turn.
Late in August of 2004 I had an opportunity to thoroughly test the new kicker setup at Don Jahncke's Mullet Lake Rendezvous, and I am simply blown away with how well it works! On Saturday, August 21, we ran from Don's family cottage on Mullett Lake through Indian River to Burt Lake, through Crooked River to Crooked Lake, through Pickerel Channel to Pickerel Lake, and back to Don's cottage again, a trip of about 60 miles. All of Indian River is designated as idle/no wake, and many sections of Crooked River are the same. While running in the lakes at speed, I'd raise the kicker, and between the tilt motor and the steering tie bar, the motor was as secure as I would ever want it to be, and it would simply turn to follow the main motor when I steered. When we'd slow down and approach an idle/no wake zone, I would lower the kicker while underway, start it, put it in gear and guess at the speed it needed to match the speed the main motor was pushing the boat. I'd then take the main motor out of gear and shut it down, picking up propulsion now entirely from the kicker. I'd reverse the process at the other end of the no wake zone, and I was able to do all of this without leaving the helm.
I didn't realize the amount of sympathetic vibrations that are present throughout my Outrage 22 when the big Evinrude 225 2-stroke is idling, but it turns out that the little 8-HP four-stroke kicker is not only silent, but the entire boat is quieter and rides dramatically smoother due to the smoothness of the new motor.
Main and Auxiliary
Both engines are down in operating position as OUTRÉ is underway at low speed. Compared to the large 3.0-liter V-6 main engine, the Yamaha T8 four-stroke appears quite diminutive. It can push the boat to hull speed in displacement mode, about 6-MPH.
Photo Credit: Ron Burmeister
This is one cool set up! I can't wait to try it out on the Lake Michigan salmon!
If you have a comment or question about this article, please post it in the message thread reserved for this purpose in the Whaler Forum.
There are several excellent discussions of kicker motors and their installation available in the archives of the forum:
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Last modified: Saturday, 18-Feb-2012 09:47:15 EST
Author: James W. Hebert
This article first appeared July 10, 2004.