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Thread: Kicker engine transport on Hwy.

  1. #1
    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Default Kicker engine transport on Hwy.

    You guys run with the kicker in the up postion or down ? Seen both on the hiways mine is higher the the outboard when down but sticks way the heck out when up. Got a extended kicker
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    I travel with my lift up and the outboard in the run position.


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    Up puts a heckuva lot more stress on the transom. Put it down, and examine the distance between it and the road. Will it hit? If so, remove it; its just a kicker.

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    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Have lots of distance from the road and its higher then my lower unit. I thought just the opposite on it being up.I thought since it was closer to the transom it would ride better and not bounce as much. I forgot to add it's mounted to my swim deck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    I thought just the opposite on it being up.
    Well let's hear from others. That's the beauty of a forum; we all say our piece, all of us sometimes teach, sometimes learn, and sometimes both.

    I think driving with a kicker up puts more stress on what its attached to because of the "lever-effect". Putting weight further astern more-largely stresses whatever the kicker is clamped to, since weight is farther back.

    I drive across many frost heaves on my way to the water, so I'm real interested too in what the right answer is. I rebuilt a transom once, and hope to never do that again.

  6. #6

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    C-dory Marine recommends putting mains down if possible to save stress on the transom. Some guys can't, and have had no trouble for whatever that is worth. Engineering wise, it probably doesn't matter with a 6 hp kicker, but if you have a big one, I'd run it down if possible.

    For those that think up is less stressful, remember your boat was designed to have them down. There is all kinds of strength in reserve in the transom in that position. When they are up, they have a tendency to want to rock back and forth making them more of a dynamic load than a static load. When down, there force is relatively in a constant direction which is better for the transom as it isn't getting hammered back and forth while you drive.

    And then we go back to the original question.....does any of this matter????? Probably not much with a kicker.......

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    Mine is on the swim platform as well - I run with it down and strap it in placed so it can't bounce.

  8. #8

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    Better be a strong swim step, check it strength, you seen mine now, but the original broke and if I had not checked it on a regular bases it would been dragging on the safety chain next trip. I built a custom Aluminum swim step and kicker mount.

  9. #9

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    I trailer with the kicker (18 hp 2-stroke) in the back of my pickup and just put it on when I get to where I'm going. Garelick, the manufacturer of my kicker mount, said it's best to travel that way and that having the kicker on the mount while trailering can cause too much stress on the transom and cause (at the least) gel coat cracking. Lots harder on the transom with a kicker on the mount going down a potholed road than in rough seas. If trailering with the kicker on, I'd suggest having the kicker in the down position. If in the up position, all that weight sticking out from the boat is like a fulcrum. And if in the down position, I'd probably secure it so it doesn't move any. It is a pain, though, lifting the 100+ pound kicker up onto the mount. Every year, I swear that kicker gets heavier.

  10. #10
    Member Bob the fisher's Avatar
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    Same here, I have a 5 horse merc kicker that is mounted on the swimstep and I travel with it in the down position using a strap to further secure it from bouncing... I have yet to have any problems with it... "fishon"



    Quote Originally Posted by rambling raven View Post
    Mine is on the swim platform as well - I run with it down and strap it in placed so it can't bounce.
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    I vote down. In the case of mine, with hydraulic tilt, if it is in the up position you are putting stress on the hydraulic ram every time you hit a bump. Even if it has a manual lock for the up position, even bump lifts the motor and slams it on the stops. In the down position, the force is going straight through the pivot point.
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    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Dan forgot what yours looked like, Problem with mine is it's electric start and it's all wired through the hull no way to disconnect it unless I cut the battery cable. Do they make a marine plug so it can be mounted on the outside of the transom. If that's the case I will just take it off and put it in the truck after all that swim deck is pretty old but no visible cracks
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  13. #13

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    I agree with most here regarding transporting with the motor down if at all possible (if you don't go as far as taking it off and putting it in the boat/truck completely). I think those that you see with it in the "up" position either have a very long shaft and it would be hanging too low or they are lazy/forgetful and just didn't bother or forgot to lower it after loading it on the truck. I know a number will run on the water with their kicker "up" to keep it from dragging. Some probably are in a hurry or just forget to go lower it after loading the boat on the trailer. It definitely would put a lot more torque on the transome that doesn't need to be there. The transome may be built for heavy loading, but why put excessive forces on it for no reason, not to mention put all the extra torque on the engine lifting mechanism, whatever it is.

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    Does it even matter? There really isn't a lot of difference between trailering it on the road or running in anything but calm seas is there? I mean except for the occasional frost heave bump or driving down the Denali Highway. I do understand that while afloat it is a softer gentler "bounce" (well hopefully) but the motion is greater than you should have on the road.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskanmutt View Post
    Does it even matter? There really isn't a lot of difference between trailering it on the road or running in anything but calm seas is there? I mean except for the occasional frost heave bump or driving down the Denali Highway. I do understand that while afloat it is a softer gentler "bounce" (well hopefully) but the motion is greater than you should have on the road.

    Big difference. When you hit bumps on the road, the read of the boat is usually at the extreme end of the arm from where it is pivoting (wheels and/or hitch). This means it is moving a much greater distance. Also, bumps on the road are much more sudden (jarring) then one the water. Usually, the rear of the boat is the most stable location on the water. Movement over waves tends to rotate around the stern of the boat more than anything when under power. Yes, there is still some jarring, but not nearly anything like you would see when on a trailer. If the motor is in the "up" position on the trailer, it is adding more of a lever arm effect at the mount location to magnify the impact. If you want to feel the difference, just grab a stick. Bounce it up and down vertically (with it facing straight up/down). You will be pretty stable. Now, extend it out away from you and bounce it up and down. A tad bit more work to hold it, isn't there?

  16. #16
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    The other thing to consider is that if you do trailer with the kicker in the up position, put a bungee over it so that it cannot lift up and slam down on the stops. I have watched this following another boat on the road to Seward, and it is painful to watch the beating going on.
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  17. #17

    Default watch when you cross a ditch

    it may be fine when in down position on flat ground, be careful crossing a ditch such as where a driveway enters a road, that is where you will come closest to hitting the ground.

    up position definitely exerts much more moment force (twisting leverage) on the transom than the down position.
    if you can leave it down, that is better

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    polar wire sells quick plugs & a bunch of marine wire stuff too

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    Strapping all the motors down is important, so they will not just fly one way or the other when cornering. I travel with mine down, do not forget to raise them before you start to back into the water, just in case the boat slips on the bunks, always have your safety chain on till the boat is floating in the water.

  20. #20
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    I had a shock absorbing motor mount arm that I bolted the base to the trailer. The mount then pinned into the base, lowered motors into the V mount on the top of the arm, lowered a bit to put pressure on the arm and compress the shock in the unit. Motors were up, supported, not on the stops built into the motor mount, and never had an issue. I bought them from Cabelas I do believe. Solves all the problems you guys are talking about. They even had holes to where you bunge cord over the lower unit back the mount. First thing I would do when in the boat launch line was unbungie, raise motor, unhook shock unit and throw systems in truck. Put the plug in the boat and ready to go!

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