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Kicker Motor Experience...


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Hi All,

I am considering adding kicker motor for my boat. For safety reasons (backup if main engine fails) and trolling.

I have some concerns about the extra weight on the transom though. Maybe it’s unfounded. I’d appreciate your experience adding a kicker.

I would add it to the port side of the boat so when I am alone it probably balances out.

I am told by the dealer that the whole kicker package will add about 100 lbs. 9.9 Yamaha

My boat is an 18’ fibreglass Stratos 375 XF with a Yamaha F115. Hull weight is about 1700lbs. The boat is rated for a 140HP engine and a 1600 pound load (occupants, engine, fuel, gear) I am not that close to that load. Seems like a very stable boat right now.

I am wondering if adding a kicker will cause the boat to list much or interfere with down rigger cables? Anything else to consider?

Would it be an idea to add weight to the front of the boat for balance? I do have an electric trolling motor I could add to the front of the boat.

I guess there is no real way to know until it is done, but by then it’s a little late!

Really appreciate experiences others have had adding a kicker.

Thank you, Glenn

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A picture of your boat and transom would be helpful.  On that size boat I doubt the extra weight from a kicker would create any problems but you could test it out by having someone sit on the port transom and see how the boat reacts to the extra weight.


Other things to consider:

Are you looking at a remote control kicker or are you going with a tiller model?

How are you planning to steer the kicker?

Do you have an auto pilot now or plan one in the future?

How do you want to control the throttle?

Do you have easy access to the kicker where it will be mounted or will you want electric start and trim?

Can you mount the kicker directly onto you transom or will you need a bracket?


My main point is to plan everything out before purchasing anything

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i'm in the process of mounting a 9.9 merc four stroke to a 26' boat i just bought. it is remote controls which i think is better than tiller controls. it doesnt have power trim so what i'm doing is using a panther lift tilt and trim. the one on the boat doesnt work so i bought the front bracket with motor and actuator for 225.00 off fb market place. started changing the bracket out and realized all i really needed to do was change out the motor and actuator. got that done in nothing flat. then i kicked myself for not getting what i needed for a lot less money. these are about 600.00 or a little less new. there was another one for 200.00 and i bought it for a spare off fb market place. if you dont get power tilt on you motor you may want one of these. i think cmc also make one. if you want a used one check out fb. 


i'll be starting out with an ez steer set up to steer my kicker from my big motor. they make brackets outboard to outboard or I/O to outboard. if this doesnt work i'll be getting the garmin reactor 40 auto pilot for just under 2600.00 for it. it's just for the kicker. i would go ahead and get the garmin but i already have auto pilot on the big motor and right now 2600.00 isnt in my budget.

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I had a similar concern putting the Yamaha 9.9 on my 16 ft. Starcraft with a 70 hp. 1984 Evinrude [ should have got the 60hp. instead for better trolling control ; my 8hp. Evinrude kicker was getting old and tired ] Have had the Yamaha for 2 years and never looked back ! The 4cycle engines are an amazing improvement !

To deal with your specific concerns stern weight was NEVER a problem for us !

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Thanks guys, so many good suggestions here.


Isn't that incredible! So simple and never thought of it... I'll give that a go. I'll start weighing people at the marina to see who is the right weight!


>>you could test it out by having someone sit on the port transom and see how the boat reacts to the extra weight. <<



Boat 1.jpg

Boat 2.jpg

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with that boat i dont think a kicker weight will be that much of a problem. but if it is just add a set of electric trim tabs. they will level the boat and will give you a much better ride in rough water. if i stayed out and let the water get a little to rough i could lower my trim tabs and run 10 mph faster than i ran without them.

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You may want to have your batteries on the starboard side to balance things out. Also your bow will come up a bit more so you will need to trim differently from what you are used to. The 100 pound yammy is a tiller and not a remote control kicker. You should either install electronic remote control steering and speed control or hook the kicker to the main engine and install cable remote controls.

Good luck

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