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Thread: Using Outdrive as Rudder While Running Kicker

  1. #1

    Default Using Outdrive as Rudder While Running Kicker

    Does anyone with an outdrive have their kicker fixed straight ahead and steer the boat with the outdrive as a rudder? How does it work and is the setup responsive enough to troll amoung a gaggle of boats and how does it work in the wind?

    Denny
    What-a-Day
    27' x 9.5' Glacier Craft - Volvo 300hp D4 Diesel
    Remember: Any fool can be uncomfortable.
    Denny

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtol View Post
    Does anyone with an outdrive have their kicker fixed straight ahead and steer the boat with the outdrive as a rudder? How does it work and is the setup responsive enough to troll amoung a gaggle of boats and how does it work in the wind?

    Denny
    dtol,

    I would not call my kicker in one of my boats fixed, yet it does stay where it is pointed, and I have steered many times with just the main (off as you mentioned). I think it did a barely adequate job in the best of conditions. As you probably would predict, it was slower to respond, it didn't turn as sharply, and was a good distance away to control the throttle. However, do note: this was in a 18 foot boat with a 115 hp main and a 6 hp kicker. I can only imagine how having a fixed 15-20 horse would work in a 30 foot cabin cruiser boat in windy conditions, a strong current, and a complete cluster of boats.

    Personally, I think what you are pondering probably won't work very well. A better solution is to get the remote steering system and the remote throttle system for your outboard so you can control the little guy from anywhere in your boat.

  3. #3
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtol View Post
    How does it work and is the setup responsive enough to troll amoung a gaggle of boats and how does it work in the wind?

    Denny
    In the conditions you are describing.....not really. Especially if in a larger boat.

    You really need the angle of the thrust to change to make it work properly.

  4. #4
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    I have my kicker connected to my outdrive via an EZ steer system. With the outdrive down the kicker will steer the boat OK but you still have to anticipate each steering change in advance to keep the boat on course.

    Last time out I pulled the outdrive up to see if the reduced drag would increase the efficiency of the kicker and found it was dang near impossible to steer the boat by using just the kicker.

    Leave the outdrive down for better results but you still need to steer the kicker and even then do not expect the boat to steer like it will when powered by the main engine.

  5. #5

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    Well, I have a couple of options.
    1. fix the 20hp kicker and try to steer with the outdrive as a rudder.
    2. remote steering, which would result in steering with the kicker only. The outdrive would have to be up.
    3. an EZ-connecting rod which would result in both the outdrive and kicker contributing to the steering. The problem here is that the kicker is on the swim step and it will be next to impossible to have the rod connected when the kicker is in the up opsition, say during running with the main.

    The boat is a 27ft Aluminum diesel powered Glacier craft. Its about done and need to decide what to do now. I would lean toward the EZ Steer if we could make it work. I would like to know more opinions about the performance with the kicker only with the size kicker and boat I have.
    What-a-Day
    27' x 9.5' Glacier Craft - Volvo 300hp D4 Diesel
    Remember: Any fool can be uncomfortable.
    Denny

  6. #6

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    I have used that very config for years, works great.

  7. #7

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    H2OMAN

    Are you talking about the outdrive as a rudder??. What size boat do you have??
    What-a-Day
    27' x 9.5' Glacier Craft - Volvo 300hp D4 Diesel
    Remember: Any fool can be uncomfortable.
    Denny

  8. #8
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    Generally speaking, any more than 10 hp is simply wasted energy on a kicker. Most people opt for the high thrust 8 or 10 hp models.
    I have the 10 HT Yamaha and it can push my Sea Sport up to 6 mph if I am not hitting a head wind. Seen a gent once with the same exact boat I have and he had a Honda 25 on it. He said he topped out at either 5 or 5.5 mph with it (forget the exact number as it was a couple of years ago).

    I run my kicker alot when we are searching for critters, sharks, or trolling. I run it wide open and it burns about 1 gallon per hour.

    The rods connecting the EZ steer to the outdrive are quick disconnects so they are easy to remove. I vote for your last option. But maybe some other GC owners can chime in and say what worked best for them.
    Cheers.

  9. #9

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    Yes, outdrive as rudder on a 28' boat.

  10. #10
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    You may want to consider one of these. http://www.remotetroll.com/index.php

    I seen one being used on a 32' Charter over in Valdez and it worked pretty slick. He was able to troll nice tight circles and did not seem to be bothered by any of the cross wind gusts. The only issue seem to be a little cavitation when the swell was up.

  11. #11

    Default 9.9 Yamaha throttle setting...

    I have a 9.9 High thrust Yamaha on my Sea Sport, it has a throttle adjustment (most all do) that keeps it set where you set it. The steering is the same way, "set it and forget it"! I have a long arm extension that fits on the handle so its right there, no reaching over far to get at the tiller. We all just fish, sit around and occasionally bump the tiller to adjust course, its hands free or basicly autopilot. And it did get me home from Caines once in the Seward afternoon chop when my main engine took a vacation.

  12. #12
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    It is possible to adequately power and control most any fishing boat up to 28-30' with a proper kicker. By "proper kicker", I mean the Yamaha 8-15hp motors with the big dumbo-eared prop ("high thrust"), comparable Mercury kickers in 9.9 and 15hp, or Honda's 9.9 and 15 kickers ("power thrust"). These motors have big props and low gears in their gearcases.

    If set up properly, the kicker can be used for emergency use, trolling use, and for controlling speed in a drift. Since most cabin boats drift with the stern to the wind, idling the kicker in reverse will slow a drift enough to help you reach bottom if bottomfishing or proper depth/line angle if mooching. It is WAY preferable to rack up hours on your kicker by trolling or drifting than on your main engine(s).

    I do a lot of trolling, and a lot of drift fishing. After fishing in and watching others fish in a number of boats, I have concluded that it is MANDATORY to have a.) a proper, purpose built kicker, and b.) full control of kicker throttle, shifting, and steering from within the cockpit. By cockpit, I mean the open deck fishing area out back. Some reasoning:

    1. not racking up hours on the big motors, as mentioned
    2. ability to run gear if fishing solo, or fishing with non-mobile or uninterested or inexperienced fishermen (i.e. once-a-year guests, old folks, bad drivers, wives, kids, etc.). You can't run gear from inside the cabin!
    3. better control, maneuverability, and response in high traffic
    4. better control in wind - for many cabin boats with the cabins up front, that front cabin catches a lot of wind and makes it tough to turn back into the wind. You need instant throttle and steering response to have a chance.
    5. substantially better speed control while drifting in reverse

    I've run tiller-controlled kickers (most with a pvc pipe tiller extension) for the most part. The coolest kicker control setup I've seen has throttle and a small steering wheel on the stern bulkhead - the operator can face forward, walk back and forth from downrigger to downrigger to adjust gear/depth, and run the kicker with minimal steps. In my mind, cockpit controls mounted on the rear of the cabin is a distant third in order of preference to tiller control or stern bulkhead control.

    Get one of those stainless steel hoop prop guards for the kicker, to prevent eating your downrigger cables when trolling in windy areas. Trust me, that's no fun to eat a cable.

    Oh, and don't fart around with autopilots or TR1s or other remote kicker controls - they work only for straight line trolling, and are next to impossible to use for controlling drift speed in reverse. What a PITA they are...

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