How to choose a kicker motor?


Butt Ugly

I am ready to purchase a kicker for my boat. I just don't know what is best for it, and I get differing opinions from the dealers I have spoken to. One says a 6hp is all I would need, while another says I should really have a 15hp. I know there seems to be some really knowledgeable people here, and I haven't been steered wrong from the questions I have asked here, so I hope I can get some advice on this purchase.

The boat is a 17.5' K&C with a mercruiser 140. I am going to be buying a Yamaha 4stroke. I want it mainly for trolling while fishing, but it also will be nice to have to keep me off the rocks in case of main engine failure, and avoid the near disaster I almost encountered this last weekend. Thankfully there was a boat within 100yds of me when I lost power, and I only hit the leg 3 times and the hull twice on the rocks bfore getting pulled to safe harbour.

I will need to know what hp (high-thrust?) would be best for my situation and boat size, as well as how to measure correctly for the leg length. There is what looks to be a pretty heavy duty stainless steel kicker mount on the back of the boat, and I will take some measurements if someone wants to tell me what and where to measure.

I am ready to order the motor today if I knew what to order. The dealer could have the motor in 4-5days, so that means I only have to risk my life one more weekend before I have some form of auxilliary power.

Please reply with your suggestions.

I have a 21' with a 9.9 4-stroke, so a 6 should do you fine - but... I wish I had a 15 so i could run it at lower RPM and it would be a little quieter, something to consider if noise is a concern.
A friend of mine cheaped out, went for a 6 and regretted it every time he went out, it didn't have the guts when he needed them, in a cross current or stiff breeze.

Also a long leg and the right prop is important too.

Go for a 9 and Be Happy![8D]
I had a 7.5 honda on my 17.5 Double Eagle and it wasn't enough power with the wind and tides, so I have had a 9.9 evinrude and a 9.9 hi thrust yamaha both had plenty of power.I'm going to try the 8 yamaha on the new boat.The honda was a short shaft and in a following sea it would raise the back of the boat up and lift the motor out of the water,not good so I have always bought the longs.The 9.9 hi thrust yamaha is 23 inches from the c clamp mount to the flat plate above the prop[sorry dont know what it's called]If you need more measurements let me know the boats in the shop.DAN
I've got an 18ft Harbercraft (on the lighter side for weleded alum.) and the 6hp I have pushes me along at 6mph with the stock prop. I would not recommend a 6hp for trolling as it is a single cylinder and vibrates heavily when compared to a 2 cylinder. I bought mine as an auxillary not to troll with (my main trolls perfectly) and I was concerned about weight and $$. I would strongly suggest the Yamaha 8hp high thrust - have yet to hear much bad about them.
I have a Yammy 9.9 high thrust and love it. My previous 8 hp Honda couldn't push my 18 ft boat in the wind and tides, so I would recommend a 9.9. Don't go 6hp, especially if you think it may have to motor you in someday if your main engine conks out. If you are in heavy weather a 6hp will take you many hours to get you in.
my boat is a 23 ft i have a 9.9 high thrust on it more than enough for what I need just make sure its a high thrust 8 or 9.9 yammy you will have no problem.

Yamaha 8 high trust here as well. So far only good times with my 18ft Trophy. Even with the soft top up in heavy wind conditions is pushing the boat with no problem if the rpm's are high enough.

Have a High Trust 8 hp on my 18.5 Double Eagle and pushes it fine.
Ok, sounding good! I might lean towards the T8 (high thrust) just due to dollars, but the T9.9 isn't out of the race yet.

For leg length, I have about 22-23" from the top of the lowered motor mount to the trim plate when it is even the the bottom of the hull. My assumption then is the 25" leg?

On yamaha's website, the T9.9 doesn't show a tiller handle, so does that mean it comes with controls, or are they considered an extra? I do like the idea of control from the helm.

I guess if I ended up with helm controls, I would need to find a way to link the yammy with my outdrive for steering, or could you just mount the kicker straight and use the outdrive like a rudder?

Maybe dumb questions, but I am learning!
Yamaha T-8 exta long leg with power tilt , pushes my 5,000 lb. boat perfectly!
I have an 185 Explorer with a 15HP Merc works just fine all the power I need in cross currents, wind , etc.
Yamaha 8 hp High Thrust works great on our 17' Tyee. (5 - 6 mph) Stay away from a single cylinder as the vibration will drive you nuts.
Had Yamaha 9.9 hp High Trust on 26 ft boat, great engine, better charger than High Trust 8 hp, but has crappy cold start. :(
quote:Originally posted by Butt Ugly

For leg length, I have about 22-23" from the top of the lowered motor mount to the trim plate when it is even the the bottom of the hull. My assumption then is the 25" leg?

Can anyone confirm this for a leg length? I am ready to order my motor today.
Go with the long shaft (25") that’s what your auxilliary bracket is setup for.
You can get a steering bar to control the kicker from the helm.
Works good and is nice to troll with.
Let the guys you buy the motor from to set it up.
I made my own but it’s hard to find parts and make brackets.
my 2 cents
The place I'm getting the motor from mostly deals with power equipment, but is the only yamaha place here on the sunshine coast. He doesn't seem to know much about outboards or boats for that matter, which is why I've come here to ask my questions because I know you guys do.

There is an incredible wealth of information from the folks here at this site, and I've been able to make some pretty well informed decisions based on the answers I recieve here.

I might try to phone and talk to a dealer in the big city to ask about the options available for the T9.9 regarding controls. Checkpoint Yamaha was always good to me back in my motocross days. I'm sure they can tell me anything that my dealer here can't.
It is really easy to hook up the controls on the kicker and the box if you are handy on fixing things you can make brackets and a guick connect with some S/S threaded rod took me about 2 hours just had to make sure of clearences etc. I also put a CMC tilt bracket on it too so I dont have to hop over the boat and tilt the motor, getting lazy in my old age LOL

Good luck on your decision Wolf
A power trim kicker, in my opinion is a good idea for safety reasons. When you lean way over the back to pull it up, you stand an excellend chance of falling overboard, only to have the thing come down on your head on the next wave. Power trim is a $600 option, and I feel worth it if your kicker is mounted offboard of your transom. If it is right up on the transom, no bracket, then, well, it's not a big deal.