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Back Up Plan?


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Hey Gang,

 

 Hope all are well. I have a question about a backup plan if the main engine fails out in the middle of the lake. I have an 18' fiberglass deep V Stratos boat with a 115 Yamaha. I do take care of my stuff and service it well, but being that I fish alone (or with someone I care about!) in the back of my mind I do have a slight fear of being stranded in Lake Ontario due to engine failure with no way to get back or unable to control the boat safely with my engine not working. I do tend to only go out on reasonably calm water, nothing too crazy... just don't find it fun if it's too rough.

 

I just wondered what you guys think or do and is this a legitimate concern? I know there is C-Tow out of Toronto, any experience with them? I do have an electric motor with 75lbs of thrust and two lithium batteries which could probably go a long time. I have been considering a small 9.9 kicker motor as a backup, but have some concerns about the extra weight on the transom, listing and taking up space back there.

 

Any thoughts or suggestion would be great!

 

Thank you, Glenn

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The best solution would be a kicker (e.g. 9.8 or 9.9 hp). The electric trolling motor would only be potentially useful very close to shore. For peace of mind the investment in the kicker is wise. You will also save wear and tear on the big motor and save money on gas. It only takes once to experience being stranded out there and after that one time for me in 1980 I bought my first kicker and have never looked back.....I'll never be without one. A tip regarding transom weight of the kicker. It is nice to have all the frills on a kicker such as power trim/tilt etc but they add significant weight. Tohatsu makes a 9.8 that is about 90 lbs that is electric start and there may be others at around that weight but there are also ones with the features that weigh about 120 lbs or more.

Edited by Sk8man
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Thank you both very much. I am looking at a Yamaha with all the frills that comes in at about 100 Lbs. all in.

 

What did you do Les when you were stuck in 1980? You obviously made it back! :) Thank you for the response.

 

Glenn

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Luckily I had a really good friend who had a cottage come out and tow me back to the ramp at nearly midnight....not fun for either of us.

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I had a 9.9 two stroke kicker on my 13 ft Whaler for 20 years so I think you'll be OK :lol: When a true backup is being considered go with enough power kicker to get you back in as quickly as possible. That is the reason for the recommendation of a 9.9 hp for that 18 ft boat.

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Getting a kicker is a very good idea BUT getting a tow service is also a good idea. My family and I were stranded out in the lake several years ago, and both my main motor and kicker had issues. I had the tow service through my insurance so I didn't have to eat the $800 towing fee.

 I think Towboat is $79 a year last I looked. So if this is available in your area, I would highly recommend it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tow service subscription AND a marine VHF in case your situation turns dire and you need to involve other boats or coast guard.   Sometimes depending on your insurance you can add a towing service for a very reasonable cost.  

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Having been stranded before, I can say for sure that having a back up plan is crucial. Tow insurance is a must, and even more important is a Kicker
It always seems that break downs seem to happen at the worst possible times, like when storms are approaching with winds building. By the time you call for a tow ,it could be to late! So for me, I'll choice the Kicker as #1 on my back up plan. Electric motor won't be much help in building waves! Your boat will have no problem with the weight of a good Kicker, plus the saving in gas is a huge plus, also it will help greatly concerning boat control while trolling! Good luck


Sent from my LML212VL using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Rather than thinking of a 2nd engine as a "kicker", think in terms of auxiliary power. The auxiliary power should be of sufficient size to maintain headway and steerage in a blow. Many a "kicker" choice is selected/sized for trolling applications (using main power for trolling in rougher conditions), but the "kicker" cannot maintain headway/steerage if the main power fails in rough conditions. Don't undersize a "backup"... 

Edited by salmoseine
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I hava a 15hp yamaha 4 stroke kicker on my 18ft tracker that I rarely use for trolling on lake O because I do not have throttle control at the helm and its a huge pain in the butt to have to keep getting up to make speed adjustments. Besides my main motor (Verado 150) can troll down to about 2.0 mph. That said I do like having a backup out there, especially on boats our size. It does cause the boat to list slightly to port and stern while its sitting at the dock but I have not noticed any problems with the boat performance while on plane or trolling. Good luck!

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Hey Gregger300,

 

 I did look at a 9.9 with full control (agreed it would be a pain to adjust a tiller all the time for me anyway.) However it does add about 100 - 125+ pounds to the port side of the boat. I put 125 pounds on my boat to see how it would sit in the water with this weight on it. It does list about 1-1 1/2" I am told this will cause to the boat to feel as though the 'alignment' is a little 'off' all the time. Not sure if I would like that. A 9.9 isn't really all that small either. It has been suggested that a 5-6 HP would be enough not only for trolling if I want, but also enough to get me back if the main motor fails. Won't break any speed records mind you and I don't like to go out when it is rough anyway! So, I may just go with a long shaft tiller 5-6 hp at 60lbs, steering rod to the main engine and a throttle control of some sort. My 115 Yamaha does troll well and I am not too concerned about putting hours on it so may just keep the little motor as a backup. May be a pain to use the tiller, but really just use it rarely anyway.

 

I do have an electric motor up front to so I have heard that some guys set the 'kicker' straight ahead and steer with the electric. That could be an option to. I wondered why some guys had their electric motor out trolling for salmon... then I found out why!

 

Having said all of that, I wish they would come out with a small 5-6 hp 60lb motor with full remote controls. The controls can just be small as to not take up too much helm space. That would be ideal!

Any manufacturers listening!? ;)

 

Thank you for you input!

 

Glenn

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Glenn as I mentioned in my earlier post if you select the right 9.8 or 9 (one without all the frills but electric start) it may be about 90 lbs. Obviously you are free to do whatever you wish but in my own experience at least it could be a mistake getting a lower horsepower motor. Even on my 13 ft Whaler I initially had a 4 hp Evinrude and found that it was insufficient to get me back in when the high wind/waves came up. Most emergency uses happen when you least expect it so selection with that in mind you may wish to reconsider rather than being sorry later and having to get a larger kicker as I did. My 9.8 electric start Tohatsu weighs about 90 lbs. and will push my 3500 lb boat about 8 mph full tilt with more torque than my old two stroke 9.9 had Getting the right (sturdy) bracket and right length shaft are critical to performance however. By the way I use an electric trolling motor extension handle on the kicker to control the throttle and to make occasional adjustments to steering which I do with the main 135 hp motor because I sometime fish solo and don't use an autopilot. I am also able to steer with my main motor without a connection rod most of the time.

Edited by Sk8man
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Thank you Les, I do appreciate your insight and experience. I'll probably do something in the spring so I am considering all options. Just a little concerned about the weight. Of course being indecisive isn't helping either!

 

Glenn

Edited by GBalls
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