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  #1  
Old 05-27-2013, 09:18 AM
Ver88 Ver88 is offline
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Default Kicker Question

Can anyone tell me the advantages of buying an actual kicker motor vs. a small portable motor? I know they are proped and geared differently, and also have the electric start and trim. But are they designed with more robust transmissions or any other equipment that would be beneficial in a back trolling situation? I would use the motor to back troll into the wind or just hold position. In some conditions this involves a lot of shifting from neutral to reverse. Would a mercury pro kicker be better in this type of use vs. a regular 9.9 mercury? Any other advice in a kicker purchase? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2013, 09:57 AM
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moose-hunter moose-hunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ver88 View Post
Can anyone tell me the advantages of buying an actual kicker motor vs. a small portable motor? I know they are proped and geared differently, and also have the electric start and trim. But are they designed with more robust transmissions or any other equipment that would be beneficial in a back trolling situation? I would use the motor to back troll into the wind or just hold position. In some conditions this involves a lot of shifting from neutral to reverse. Would a mercury pro kicker be better in this type of use vs. a regular 9.9 mercury? Any other advice in a kicker purchase? Thanks.
Essentially, kickers are built to do exactly what you'd be asking it to do. "Regular" small portables are built for "all around" performance not the day in day out, low RPM grunt of a specialized kicker. In my eyes, it's all about having the proper tool for the job.

Slight disclaimer... I personally know a couple guys that have been running small portables as kickers for years without any issues. They did so primarily for financial reasons. On the other side of that coin, I ran a regular small engine on a previous boat and had too many problems to mention. All due to me asking it to do things it was not designed to do for any length of time. Back trolling, hours and hours of lower RPM running...

That said... On all my boats from here on out... specialized kickers models only.

As said... Your mileage may vary.
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2013, 12:22 PM
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KPKyllo KPKyllo is offline
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I'm with Dan. There are other advantages that a Mercury Pro Kicker has besides electric start and trim and tilt which aren't evident by looking at them but will control your boat better while on the water including:
  • 20% larger prop increases control especially at low speeds.
  • Taller gearcase puts the prop deeper, below turbulent water, for improved performance.
  • A low 2.42:1 gear ratio delivers thrust and maneuveraility that big loads demand.
  • Oversized Antiventilation Plate. Oversized design prevents air from being drawn into the prop, which increases efficiency.
I know they cost a bit more than regular kickers, but I think they're worth every penny. I use mine alot.
I can't speak for the other brands since I've never had anything but a Merc., but I have heard good things about the Yamahas also.
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  #4  
Old 05-27-2013, 01:30 PM
Phil T Phil T is offline
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From 1984 until 2009 I used a standard Mercury 9.8hp OB for a kicker. That's why I know about the limitations of a barely long enough shaft and a prop that's made for forward motion but not so much for reverse.
In 2009 I bought a Yamaha T8, whose prop has equal thrust forward or reverse, and it's the same length as my main engine. The two small OB's aren't comparable when discussing kickers. However, if the same OB was to be used both as a kicker and as the main engine for a 14' boat, I'd have to think about my choice. The T8 would be really slow as a primary OB on a cartopper.
Each will do the others job, but not very well.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:29 PM
mudpusher mudpusher is offline
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I've had a regular Honda 9.9 as a kicker for five years, about five hundred hours. In march of this year installed that same motor on our new boat, a 2005 Ranger 1850. It putts along at just above an idle all day long, day in and day out. Forward or backward. I have no complaints.
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  #6  
Old 05-27-2013, 07:41 PM
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1860Angler 1860Angler is offline
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The other thing that I have not seen mentioned is that the ProKicker has a heavy duty mounting bracket that is designed to take the abuse of bouncing around back there on the transom, and the tiller model has centering straps that keep the motor straight when in the up position. ProKicker for me!
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  #7  
Old 05-28-2013, 08:16 AM
Ver88 Ver88 is offline
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So in addition to some of the convenience features, would the pro kicker be more durable for this type of use? I would be running it as a tiller on a 17 foot lund if that matters?

I have used an 8 horse merc 4 stroke for this use in the past, but had some problems with the shifting mechanism and the transmission.
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  #8  
Old 05-28-2013, 09:00 AM
Big_Island Big_Island is offline
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I'm using a standard 4 stroke Evinrude 8.0. On the face of it it should be perfect because I have an 18' boat. However, though I have an 18 footer it's light in comparison to something like a Pro V or Impact, so it pushes me faster than I should be going. At idle I'm putting along at 2.2ish MPH. Doesn't stop me from catching fish, but it's faster than it should be.

One thing to consider is that finding very flat props for small hp motors is difficult. I have a 7" or 8" pitch prop, can't recall, but I wish I had a 5". That would help immensely, but no one make one. So I either need to use a sock to slow me down or add a troll plate (which I do not care for).

If you can afford it, buy a proper kicker.
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  #9  
Old 05-28-2013, 10:10 AM
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I also believe that the pro kicker, and Yamaha T series have a small alternator in them to keep the battery charged up? At least that is what I was told at some point??
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  #10  
Old 05-28-2013, 11:11 AM
Burr Burr is offline
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Besides the high thrust prop, which you can get close to with an aftermarket prop on the regular 9.9, it's the mounting bracket, and the durability of that bracket that make a Pro Kicker a hands down winner.

My 9.9 portable rattled and squeaked from about 3 years old on. My Pro-Kicker remains tight and rattle free going on 7 years.

Go with the Pro Kicker. There are other differences as mentioned, faster trim, bigger alternator, etc - but the bracket and high thrust prop are the big improvements.
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