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Thread: Kicker for long distant travel

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    Member ACBMAN's Avatar
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    Default Kicker for long distant travel

    I will start taking summers off soon and thinking about putting a kicker setup on my 29' Aluminum Chambered Boat for much better range on much less gas. The boat is 8.5' wide, I have twin 225 Yamaha now and on a good day get just under 2 MPG, hope to double to triple that at 6 or 7 knots. Any thoughts, motor size, high trust, extra long shaft? Plan to build a nice setup that can be run from inside the cabin with maybe a TR-1 GPS autopilot. Thanks for any input.

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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    I have a Bayliner 2556 and a 15hp high thrust mercury on it. I got the long shaft but wish I had gone to the extra long shaft as it will start cavitating around 5kts. As far as motor size anything bigger than about 15 or 20hp would be a waste in my opinion because you will only be able to push your boat so fast until you get enough hp to get it on plane. Even if you went to a 75hp kicker on your boat you would burn a lot more fuel but would only gain a kt or two over running a 15 or 20. For sure I'd go with an extra long shaft and high thrust is a must pushing bigger boats.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I have a 15hp mercury Bigfoot high thrust on my 23' trophy. It does pretty good.
    The nice part about the Bigfoot motors is they are designed for pushing heavy loads.I believe they were originally designed for pushing big aluminum pontoon boats on the lakes down south.
    So bigger gears with a lower gear ratio.
    It certainly uses less gas than my I/O main engine.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Watched a BC fishing show this morning and guides boat sounds similar to yours.
    His had twin Yamaha 250's and his kicker was a Yamaha T25 High thrust 4 stroke.
    He also had a stern wheel which was pretty sweet.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I don't think you'll be able to get 6-7 knots out of a kicker, more likely 4-5 if you'r not fighing a headwind or tides. And even though the kicker will be burning only 2 gph, That puts you in the 2-3mpg mileage range if you're not fighting a headwind or tides.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I don't think you'll be able to get 6-7 knots out of a kicker, more likely 4-5 if you'r not fighing a headwind or tides. And even though the kicker will be burning only 2 gph, That puts you in the 2-3mpg mileage range if you're not fighting a headwind or tides.
    Possibly Paul. My kicker only pushes me at 4.5-5.5 knots. I have never calculated the mileage with it but I know it is a lot better than my main which gets 2.4 mpg last I checked. I 'm guessing it's not double that of my main but it might be close.
    granted that's with a 23' fiberglass boat and a 15 hp bigfoot kicker.
    Now fighting the wind and tides is a whole nother thing altogether.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Member Tolman24's Avatar
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    I had a chance to test the theory of longer travel on a kicker 3 weeks ago. Lost my main at Rugged. Came home on my Suzi 9.9 kicker, not HT. Top speed in my heavily loaded 24' Tolman (3 day camping trip and 3 adults) which is a pretty light boat was 6.5 miles per hour or ~5.6 knots. This was the speed whether at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle which indicates to me that this is hull speed on this boat. I didn't try full throttle as I didn't see the point and didn't really want to stress my only working motor. It is what I was expecting as hull speed as well. Higher throttle got me more RPMs and engine noise but not speed. I do not have it linked to my main yet but will after this. It is a tiller steer model. After 5 miles or so I decided to try something and locked the kicker straight ahead, lowered the main and used it as a rudder driving from the cabin and it did a better job of steering a straight line than trying to use the tiller peering around the cabin. I can't tell you what my mileage was but I think it was in the neighborhood 8 - 10 MPG based solely on picking up the tank and shaking it when getting it home. I get about 4.5 MPG on average with my 115 main. I will say coming in from Rugged at 5.5 knots seems like a slow trip. About 3 hours if I remember correctly. This was in pretty favorable wind and weather conditions. A little south wind if I remember correctly. I believe the tide was nearing slack but still going out when I started and was just past slack when I got in. Ken

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I agree with what Ken said above. I have a 9.9HT on a 31 ft boat, and I see 4.5 kts. I think you will be limited by hull speed, and more horsepower will just burn more gas in good conditions. If you run Garmin, I recommend a GHP 10 or GHP 20 autopilot. It integrates with the autoroute function on the Garmin. I cam be at Montague and plot a 70 mile course to whittier automatically, and it will keep me away from shallows and rocks and make all of the turns automatically. You just have to watch out for other boats.
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