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Old 09-10-2019, 11:43 PM   #1
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Smile Get home kicker

We just purchased a 34í mainship in Sitka AK and we plan on bringing her home up to Homer AK in the spring. She has a single Perkins that runs great and is very similar to a Perkins we had in a 40í trawler 8 years ago. Iím wanting to put a get home/ trolling kicker on her for the ride home. Any input on hp , make, steering integration. Iím looking into a 25hp Yamaha high thrust and trying to get it with fly by wiring with a panther remote steering system. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:57 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Congrats on your new boat. Feed the diesel clean fuel and I would not bother with the outboard.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:49 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard. Congrats on your new boat. Feed the diesel clean fuel and I would not bother with the outboard.
Agreed. Maintain your engine and related systems.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:30 AM   #4
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It can be a long haul across the gulf to Homer. I can understand how having a kicker would make you feel a lot better about the trip. I think Mercury makes some 30 inch shaft motors in the lesser power range. A hydraulic lift plate might help and make mounting easier.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:38 AM   #5
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It's a big trip but can't you just hug the coast?


Not a good investment, those are about $3500.


won't look too cool either



U can buy lots a spare parts and do a super maintenance on the engine,
change hoses belts etc. pay a mechanic to adjust the valves

have extra everything fuel filters belts
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:00 AM   #6
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I experimented with a bracket I clamped to the swim platform and a 20HP O/B. In anything but extremely calm water it would cavitate badly. The long shaft created a lever movement that twisted the hell out of the teak platform even though I thought I had accounted for it in the cobbled together bracket I had made. I tried to offset the torque with lines to the aft cleats but that didn't help at all.
In 11 years of running my olde MSI the only time the engine let me down was fuel related, if you have all the original copper and valves I suggest you consider ripping it all out and installing new lines and valves and upgrading your filter systems. As had been said, proper maintenance and clean fuel is time and money well spent.
A tender with a decent sized motor will tow her pretty good, we did that with a RIB and a 15HP once, not fast and not pretty but got the job done.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:45 AM   #7
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trolling kicker

Interesting responses, I think having a kicker is a good idea. Heck they install them in Flemings and what have you, only different. I hang out a great deal at a marina called French Creek on Vancouver Island on the other side of the continent. At my hang out marina (not my boat marina which is an hour drive north of me), just about every boat large and small has a kicker on it.

I live in the land of great sports fishing and trolling is very popular. A small kicker is great as diesels don't like to be run slowly for long periods of time and your proverbial 9.9 hp engine will give you enough speed and slow speed mechanical resilience to handle your needs. Its perfectly normal here to see a boat leave with two outboards, each two hundred horsepower or more, yet right beside the two is the 9.9 kicker. Its almost more unusual to see a boat leave without a kicker. If you plan on a lot of slow speed trolling (is there any other kind), don't use your diesels, instead the kicker.

You can of course buy a used one but right now in my area because the season is coming to an end, many of the boating power retailers are running specials clearing out there old 2018 motors, still in the box, still under the same warranty as a new 2019 one. I used Craigslist under "boat parts" to find my new Mercury 8 hp motor still in the box which is 2018. The advertising for the 2020 model is word for word the same as the 2018 advert which means nothing of any substance has changed.

I have one engine like you but mine is gas. But I plan to use the 8 hp for a back up should the stern drive new Mercury conk out. But I also joined C Tow as plan B and the 8 hp as plan C. I don't fish much but if I do, I'll do it from the dinghy trolling.
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Old 09-13-2019, 01:34 AM   #8
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With twins, not for us, with a single I see the need.
There are issues attaching an o/b to the swimstep, not submerging it, cavitation, etc.
Towing with the dinghy might be better, but where to attach the towline to the dinghy, is there a strong point to tow on?
A better idea might be lashing the dinghy alongside as the power unit,"towing on the hip".
You`d likely go through some fuel pushing/pulling a load like that, so think about the fuel supply. A gas main and a 4 stroke o/b would be a good start for a fuel supply.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:25 AM   #9
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It should be easy to do, taking into account the need for an acceptable bracket off the (hopefully) soon to be re-inforced swim step. OBs rule the waves, mounted on all manners of vessels. Heck, OA is now selling a 40' quad.

I saw a 30' Bayliner this summer in Wrangell that had a 250 HP OB off the stern. He'd removed the gas inboard. Looked fine and the owner was quite happy.

All types of kicker/trolling outboards on the backs of purpose built recreational fishing boats. Stop by the OB shops in Sitka, I'd guess you'd get a few thoughts.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:38 AM   #10
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Towing with the dinghy might be better, but where to attach the towline to the dinghy, is there a strong point to tow on?
A better idea might be lashing the dinghy alongside as the power unit,"towing on the hip".

I once had occasion to use this technique when my sailboat engine died in the Sea of Cortez on the way to mainland Mexico & there was no wind. Slow, but worked well getting us into port. As I recall, back in the 80's there was an article in a boating magazine about a get-home device for a Willard 36 that worked off the generator. Anyone else remember anything about that?
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:24 AM   #11
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Welcome aboard

In my experience, people here on TF who scoff at the idea of a 'get home kicker' live well south, have one or more tow services nearby, and are in waters infested with many more boats who could help.

Where I live (north coast BC) most recreational trawlers have kickers. There are no tow services, we can go days without seeing another boat, and some areas are so steep, narrow, mountainous & twisting that there's zero radio reception...you have to be able to reach a safe anchorage on your own if the main engine fails.

Just about everybody around here has a 9.9 hp outboard on the swim grid. Ours is mounted to a swivelling bracket so it swings and the leg/prop rests on the swim grid while not in use.

Most people use the Yamaha 9.9 high thrust. We opted for a Lehr propane outboard with a fibreglass 20 lb tank..the fuel never 'goes bad'. It's been back there about four years and still starts on the second or third pull on the original tank of fuel which has never been refilled.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:41 AM   #12
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Here's a few photos of our setup, on day one, before we got rid of the Livingston dinghy.

If you drive south from Prince Rupert, these brackets can be found at Ken's Marine in Terrace, BC. I'd call ahead to see if he has one because they're made locally and he could be temporarily sold out.

The propane tank lives on the aft deck, so if there's any leak it'll flow down and overboard through the scuppers.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:39 AM   #13
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:46 AM   #14
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Where I live (north coast BC) most recreational trawlers have kickers. There are no tow services, we can go days without seeing another boat, and some areas are so steep, narrow, mountainous & twisting that there's zero radio reception...you have to be able to reach a safe anchorage on your own if the main engine fails.

Just about everybody around here has a 9.9 hp outboard on the swim grid. Ours is mounted to a swivelling bracket so it swings and the leg/prop rests on the swim grid while not in use.

As was mentioned before, I think most boats up north are used extensively for fishing. Fishing in BC and AK is the local religion after all. A swim step outboard is often used as a trolling motor. Since they do have a trolling motor, they then set it up so it can be used as an emergency motor as well. Iím not sure how many would have the swim step mounted OB if they werenít using it for fishing.

Something I donít know, but if a gas outboard was going to be used for a get home engine, how much gas would it take to push a trawler any distance? I know on my boat, it doesnít take much power at all to push me along at 5 knots with a bit over a 38í LWL. A typical 9.9 hp would be able to do that, but for how long on a typical sized OB gas tank?

BTW, after 4 years have you seen any signs of corrosion with your Lehr? I still am very interested in a 15hp Lehr for my RIB.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:54 AM   #15
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As was mentioned before, I think most boats up north are used extensively for fishing. Fishing in BC and AK is the local religion after all...
We're outliers in this regard for sure. Our boat is basically a base camp to hiking and photographing adventures ashore, with a light smattering of fishing once in a while. Get expressions of numb disbelief from people all the time when we tell them we don't fish

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BTW, after 4 years have you seen any signs of corrosion with your Lehr? I still am very interested in a 15hp Lehr for my RIB.
Not at all, but it's only ever been in the water for testing purposes and our dinghy tilts forward enough to cover it from rain.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:02 AM   #16
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Saw this on YW yesterday. It is a 32' Fales in St Augustine. The steering looks like a challenge.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:46 AM   #17
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We're outliers in this regard for sure. Our boat is basically a base camp to hiking and photographing adventures ashore, with a light smattering of fishing once in a while. Get expressions of numb disbelief from people all the time when we tell them we don't fish



Not at all, but it's only ever been in the water for testing purposes and our dinghy tilts forward enough to cover it from rain.

Yeah, I get the same reactions when I tell folks that I donít fish. Youíve heard that golf is a great way to ruin a good walk? I kind of feel the same about fishing. I donít even crab as Iím too lazy. Love it when I arrive at a dock though to find that others have caught and boiled up more crab than they can eat. :-)

Thanks again for the feedback on the Lehr. I like the idea as I donít like carrying gasoline and I already have propane on board.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:01 PM   #18
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Saw this on YW yesterday. It is a 32' Fales in St Augustine. The steering looks like a challenge.
No challenge at all. I’m sure he uses the boats very ample rudder.
That tiller arm just keeps it approx dead ahead .. a guess.

Also a get home OB way out there in the Gulf of Alaska is very absurd unless it will run continuously on diesel fuel.

Murray wrote;
“Get expressions of numb disbelief from people all the time when we tell them we don't fish”
Same w me. Think the people of Thorne Bay would have considered us mure “one of them” if we were Arabs. And they are 99% Republicans.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:10 PM   #19
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A lot of really good points brought up in this thread! I have done this trip twice, neither time did I have an auxiliary for backup, just well maintained singles. Having to carry enough gasoline to be of benefit is a big consideration, also the longer your waterline the more likely the kicker is to lift out of the water as swells run under your vessel. The boats up here that have kickers are usually in more protected waters, and even when used for trolling the water has to be quite flat. If your boat goes slow enough to fish without a kicker, which is the number one reason for having one I believe, then you would never use it for fishing.

I am able to troll down under two knots, but have friends with larger boats who idle too fast to troll for salmon. Sea Tow now has service in Cordova, Whittier, Seward, and Homer. I will be adding their services to my boating "insurance" annually, as a tow up here can easily exceed $1500 per even (never needed to be towed, but I have towed others).
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:13 PM   #20
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trolling kicker

Interesting responses, I think having a kicker is a good idea. Heck they install them in Flemings and what have you, only different.
I'd be interested in seeing that. Large passage makers do come with an aux. "get home" engine, but that is more for issues in the middle of an ocean, not coastal cruising.

If you're trying to fish, I can kind of see it. I honestly don't think you need a kicker as an aux. There thousands of commercial fishing boats running asingle diesel that go very, very far offshore without a 'get home' engine.
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