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Author Topic:   Kicker Installation
compounder posted 01-29-2001 03:10 PM ET (US)   Profile for compounder   Send Email to compounder  
I'm thinking of removing the OMC auxillary bracket that's bolted through the transom of my Montauk and mounting the engine directly to the starboard side of the transom. Is there some sort of aluminum or stainless transom "protector" that I can buy to keep from gnawing up the fiberglass? Will I need a long shaft motor? My present 15hp Nissan will put the center of the prop exactly even with the bottom of the hull if mounted on this high portion of the transom. I have considered buying one of the extra-long shaft "sailing" type kickers with the "high-thrust" prop. Any ideas or advice?
andygere posted 01-30-2001 01:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
My Whaler manual says not to use a transom protector, but rather clamp the motor right to the fiberglass so the clamps bite. (ouch!) I'll check what it says about shaft length. Why are you getting rid of the bracket? I am reconditioning mine right now. I like getting the motor out of the way when at the dock, fishing, etc.
lhg posted 01-30-2001 02:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
There is previous discussion on this if you dig way back through the Forum. But in a nutshell, Andy's advice is correct, for the safest, all weather installation, sit it right down on the raised starboard transom.
If you ever remove it, it is easy to repair the gelcoat scratches from the clamps. On this side, it's weight will counter the propeller torque of the main engine. Those lift devices are specifically not recommended by Whaler for heavy duty use and can fail, with resulting loss of the engine or your ability to get home in bad weather. And don't worry about the transom angle. The engine will angle in, but it makes no difference at the prop whatsoever. They even recommend putting two 3/8" bolts through the lower engine bracket holes for absolute security. A 20" shaft engine is mandatory for proper running in any sea condition, to avoid constant spinning out, and to keep the powerhead dry, and usually 8-10 HP is all that's needed. A 15" shaft engine is worthless with the engine set up high like this. They also recommend that you tighten the steering in the straight ahead position, and use the main engine as a rudder for steering. When running on the main engine, the kicker should be lashed against it's tilt stop. This kind of a secure installation is designed to get you home in offshore, adverse conditions should your main engine fail. This is the kind of information, and installation information, for which Boston Whaler became famous for offshore safety in it's early days. I ran a Nauset with a kicker installation according to these instructions by Whaler, and it never let me down. Nor did I have to worry about in general boating conditions when it was not being used. It was totally secure on the transom and did not bounce around.

If you go to Rendezvous, Page 3, there is a picture of a Nauset with an installation like this. Connecting the steering of the main engine can be done, but it is not necessary.
I prefer not have all the extra gear on the engines.

lhg posted 01-30-2001 02:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Further to the above, if you have an oil injected or 4 stroke main engine, your kicker should be a 4 stroke, preferably of the same brand, so the gas connector can simply be switched between engines. If your main engine is non-oil injected, your kicker should be 2 stroke, so it also can use the same pre-mixed fuel.
compounder posted 01-30-2001 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Thanks for the replies.
I'm considering getting rid of the bracket because,since switching to a 15hp kicker,the weight seems too much. The OMC bracket is rated for a 15hp, but it just does not seem comfortable with this much weight, and it extends that weight out to the rear. The 15hp is a short-shaft engine----I think I am going to sell it and go with a 20in shaft engine mounted directly to the transom. I am going to look into having a stainless steel protector fabricated. I would think that applying that to the transom and through-bolting the engine and the plate would provide a secure installation without eating into the transom. I believe that Whaler's advice on mounting directly to the fiberglass assumed that the engine would not be through-bolted.
andygere posted 01-30-2001 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I beleive I have the same OMC bracket and motor (15 hp Johnson) and I'm rebuilding my bracket to stiffen it up. All the pivot bolts are steel, not stainless and have rusted quite a bit. I'm replacing them with stainless bolts, and using rubber bushings to replace the destroyed plastic ones. I always secure the motor to the lifting eye with a stainless cable that is short enough to keep the powerhead out of the drink of the motor ever slipped off the bracket, or broke away entirely. For steering, I have a tiller extension that I find to be more convenient if I'm trolling by myself. While using the main engine for steering works at slow trolling speeds, it is not good for any kind of tight manuevering. For example, sometimes I use the kicker when working a shallow shoreline casting crankbaits. I'd rather foul the plugs on the kicker and get home on the main. The same goes for dragging the prop around in the shallows....when it's dicey, I tilt the 85 clear and use the little guy. By the way, the previous owner of my boat machined a pair of tapered aluminum bars that are tapped and bolted the the transom from the inside. The auxillary bracket bolts on to them via threaded holes from the outside. This is a very clean looking installation, and it solves the problem of the kicker being mounted at a weird angle.

In the end, I think there are pros and cons to both types of installation, but they both get the job done. Let us know what you decide to do.

Dick posted 01-30-2001 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Befor you sell that 15" motor check with Bay Manufacturing 419-499-4602. They make shaht extension kits for most popular motors. Very good quality and would probably save you money in the long run.

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