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jake73

Kicker motors

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My wife and I are considering going to a larger boat this year. We currently fish out of a 24' and are thinking of going to a 27' to 30' range. I have seen a few boats of this size with kicker motors. Does anyone have any advice for me on the size of kicker I will need? Also how well does a kicker work on a 30' boat? I'm just looking to keep hours of the main engines and the fuel bill reasonable.

Thanks for the advise!

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It really all depends on how slow you want to go and the prop size. Personally, I hate my kicker on my 25 grady but I know other guys swear by them on all different size boats. I find it to be a bit tougher to control the boat with my kicker but it is mounted way off to the side due to a pair of outboards for main power and I dont have any controls connecting it to the helm. With a 27 to 30' boat I would thing a 15 hp 4 stroker would work great. Just remember to isolate your batteries, if you run your riggers, electronics, tunes, and anything else you have on board, that little kicker may not keep your starting bank fully charged (I learned that little piece of advice the hard way). :thumb:

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Best set up I saw on a 27 sea ray amberjack.

15 HP. With a wheel and controlls on the transome. Also he had the motor mounted mid ship

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Speed and boat control are my top priorities. Sometimes boat control suffers when kickers are used. Take a wave to the bow that turns the boat 30 or more degrees and most kickers just don't respond quickly enough. Like everything there are pros and cons. :)

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I would not go larger than a 20 HP OB for a kicker especially if you’re planning on a trolling speed control like a TrollMaster as they only work on OBs with one carburetor. I fished on a wooden 32’ boat that used a 2 cycle 20HP outboard for trolling.

Selecting a kicker should be based on engine displacement. The Honda BFP20 has 350cc, Yamaha T25 is 498cc and the Tohatsu 20 is 351cc. The shaft length for 20 to 30 horsepower motors shows 20†shafts as the longest posted on the OEM websites.

If you’re not concerned about having a TrollMaster the Evinrude direct inject 25 and 30 horsepower ETECs have 577cc of displacement as well as having a 56 amp alternator but the shaft size is 20â€.

Tohatsu makes Mercury small four stroke motors. The Tohatsu 20 is 351cc, with a 12 amp alternator and 20†shaft. The Tohatsu 25 and 30 horsepower motors have 3 cylinders and 526cc with a 15 amp alternator and 20’ shaft.

A 20 HP outboard should handle a 27†to 30’ boat in most trolling on conditions. On days when the waves are 4' or better using a 20HP or even 30HP OB will be somewhat difficult trolling into the waves. The shaft length of 20†might be an issue depending on how it’s mounted on the transom. A 25HP or 30HP ETEC would have the best torque but speed control for trolling might be challenging, but the ETEC 15HO has a botton on the tiller that when pushed increases RPMs by 50, that option may be available for other models.

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Best set up I saw on a 27 sea ray amberjack.

15 HP. With a wheel and controlls on the transome. Also he had the motor mounted mid ship

midship is in the middle from front to back, do you mean centered on the transom?

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Jacob, don't take this the wrong way, but, when you can afford to go to a 30' boat, you don't usually have to worry about gas consumption. Mounting a "kicker" on that size of boat, well, looks kinda silly imho.

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Yep...I agree with Ed...the only reason to me for a kicker motor on a 27 to 30ft boat would be ....a backup motor if your main single motor failed. Such as a single motor 27 to 30ft Sportcraft or similiar boat. Have seen one 28 Cherokee with a small diesel engine installed when it was buildt at the Kaleva,Mi plant.That worked pretty good as they were able to hide most of the motor below decks... From what I had heard,I guess it was real cheap on fuel for trolling . It had enough power to maintain boat control in a 3/4 ft sea without running the main engines...or so I was told anyway..

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the two tough jobs in mounting a kicker is getting as close to center line of the boat as possible and clearing the water while up on plane with the main motor

you don't need a lot of power to troll 3 mph and the fuel you save is minimal compared to the saving of wear and tear on the main engines

the hp is needed to steer the boat most cases to move the stern of the boat sideways needs power to steer more than make trolling speeds

you can help a lot by off setting rudders out drive or motors twards the kicker to help the steering but best to mount kickers as close to the keel of boat as possible

there is no such thing as too big a alternator on a kicker any thing less than ten amp these days is just not enough

but be cautious looking at alternator spec. true alternator out put is not the charging capacity and also look at the rpm the specs are rated @ some rate their out put at or near full throttle that's a unrealistic number for a guy that trolls with his motor

true charging out put is at trolling speed and will differ from boat to boat and alt out put minus what power is used to keep the motor running = true charging capacity

how a kicker motor is mounted on a transom has every thing to do with how happy and usable a kicker is on any boat

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Great fine point tuning Frank. Eric, that Cherokee I believe was once the charterboat Drifter out of Ludington. It's still there with a different owner, and he uses that diesel to this day. Quite a unique idea and option. The single engine boats in that size range are certainly in need of a kicker. I usually think of most boats 27'-30' with twin screws, but Cherokee and Sportcraft, now both out of business, did have singles at times.

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Thanks everyone for the great advice, it's very helpful. We did end up with a 32' wellcraft. I am planning to run it for a while and make a decision on a kicker after I fish out of it a few times. I will keep you posted and thanks again.

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