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Mercury "shallow water drive" opinions wanted

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  • Mercury "shallow water drive" opinions wanted

    Anybody here have experience with the "shallow water drive" system on small Mercury outboards? The following quote is from the Mercury website FAQ:

    "Shallow water drive is a preset position for operating the outboard in very shallow water. This position allows some forward thrust for navigating and steering while off-plane in areas where the outboard would normally hit the bottom."

    Let me know if you have used this system, and whether it is any good. Would it save me the bother of fabricating a transom extension for my 17' square stern? Thanks.

  • #2
    I can't help, but I'd also be interested. It's worth noting that Yamaha and Honda also offer a shallow-water-drive, from what I've seen.


    • #3
      If its the same thing as what my Tohatsu has, I'd say don't bet your money on it. Yes, I used that position (partway down position) sometimes, but it isn't very good. Prop is pointed the wrong direction, there is only one setting, and sometimes I have to sit on top of my OB motor until the prop bites before going forward to sit down. And sometimes that position just plain is not effective.


      • #4


        • #5
          the shallow run on the different eng's are just about all the same tilt the eng some this will cause the force of the water to go up some or all,, depending on the armaount of tilt, will loose speed some to a lot , this is about like a trim adj on the large eng's but only goes in locked steps no fine adj like the power trims, if you want to run shallow water all the time raze the eng verticaly,
          different ways to do it one way is to raze the transom up, there is a person on this forum that has dun a very good job on a large canoes an spent a lot of time at it , his way works very well,
          if you want to do it to a small boat/canoe bolt a large """ stromg""" block/ pice of wood on it [some trial an error] to get the correct hight for your boat/ canoe rig, as it will be fixed you will have to trade a little on preformance an depth of skag on eng. when you get the correct hight you will caverate some on hard turns at max speed this is the cheepest way to do it, [the amout of raze will be about 4 to 6 inches] this will work, an very cheep to do it , no special tools. [ just a saw an drill ] I ran one for 5 years [ I used maple wood about 2 inches thick ]
          SID roud:


          • #6
            PS: one more tidbit, the shollow run on the motors will work but it is harder to steer the motor because of the angle compaired to non shallow run, becauseof the loss of every thing l, you will comsune more fuel per HR , on long trips it counts, in Alaska with long trips on rivers, 20 t0 80 miles, one way , no gas there, you have to hall all you need, every bit counts


            • #7
              "off-plane" is one of the keys here.....your canoe will have to come off step to use this.....I find it OK in shallow backwaters lacking stated: you lose a lot of steering.

              Raising the transom is beneficial in most cases especially if the freight canoe has a narrow transom.....on a 19 Grumman I think I raised the transom 4"-5"....if you are running a lot of power, remember that this will raise your CG so be careful. The HB has a transom that should allow a similar transom raise.


              • #8
                It worked just OK for me.(moving slow on lakes) My 9.9 Merc claimed this "marketing term" and it worked ok for what I did but I would stop short on claiming shallow water drive... Your really just kicking the tail up!
                "If your not the lead dog.... the view never changes":cool:


                • #9
                  Lots of small motors have had shallow water drives through the years. Nothing new. I've got an old 64 pumpkin head 9.5 Evinrude with shallow water drive. Having it is better than not having it if you don't have a lift. They tend to push the ass end of the boat down with any power. That's not good when going up skinny water. I got by for years with a raised transom and shallow water drive and went about anywhere I wanted to go. They work but lifts are better. Zack


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