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Is a kicker motor outdated?

Old 11-24-2019, 07:10 PM
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Default Is a kicker motor outdated?

I had a boat with a kicker motor about 15 years ago... My main motor was a pos and it was all I could afford in my early 20s. Now I have a single newer (2014) outboard on my 25' whaler. I like to run 40 miles out but would like push it to 60 or 70 a few times a year. It didn't hit me to go back to a kicker until last weekend when I was considering an outboard bracket for my trolling motor.

Anyone still running with a kicker when running far offshore? I don't see them anymore. Instead only a bunch of 30+' boats with 500+ hp.
Old 11-24-2019, 07:19 PM
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is having a spare tire outdated ?
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Old 11-24-2019, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bcoastal View Post
I had a boat with a kicker motor about 15 years ago... My main motor was a pos and it was all I could afford in my early 20s. Now I have a single newer (2014) outboard on my 25' whaler. I like to run 40 miles out but would like push it to 60 or 70 a few times a year. It didn't hit me to go back to a kicker until last weekend when I was considering an outboard bracket for my trolling motor.

Anyone still running with a kicker when running far offshore? I don't see them anymore. Instead only a bunch of 30+' boats with 500+ hp.
going off-shore, i wouldnt want single power

twins or single with kicker

backups and redundancies are important when it comes to boating safely...
Old 11-24-2019, 08:47 PM
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40 no worries just need Boat US. 60/70 . I would have that kicker or wouldn't be going.
Old 11-25-2019, 01:27 AM
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a kicker motor is very much in style on the west coast.
Old 11-25-2019, 01:42 AM
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Offshore....out of seatow area....always comes
Old 11-25-2019, 02:16 AM
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I don't see boat with kicker motor a lot here in CA, but I have one. To me, it's as needed as a life jacket. Back in the day when my other boats had single engine and stalled, I didn't get assistance until 1 hr later. I was lucky that the sea was calm. Imagine if the sea was rough, then that would be shitty condition. Other boaters don't have it, but it's up to them. I see a lot of crazy boaters do crazy things often.
Old 11-25-2019, 05:20 AM
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I have a kicker. Sea Tow isn't available for a lot of places I go.
Old 11-25-2019, 05:39 AM
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What's the old saying? "It's better to have and not need, than need and not have".
Old 11-25-2019, 06:50 AM
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Kickers still seem common in the Pacific NW and Great Lakes regions. Seems this has a lot to do with slow trolling being a preferred fishing method - you can make small adjustments to speed easier with the kicker, and there is an added plus of not putting tons of hours on your big engine. On the East Coast, they have fallen out of favor in place for larger boats with multiple engines. Still, I remember a day when going offshore in a 21' with twin 75hp engines was a fairly normal thing. You would never see that setup now. THT is mostly going to tell you you need twin 300's (and preferably trip 300s so you can come home planing on 2), but a properly sized kicker is still a reasonable alternative. Just know, in the rare chance your main engine breaks, it is going to take a long time to get home. Also a lot of failures are due to fuel problems, so unless you have a separate tank for the kicker, you might still need a tow. TowBoat US has a 50 mile range. We go offshore within 50 miles on a well maintained single engine regularly. SeaTow where I am located will regularly come out 80-100 miles. You might want to look into them as an option if available in your area.
Old 11-25-2019, 07:21 AM
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Kickers are also seen a lot in the Chesapeake. Like other posters have said, works well for slow trolling.
Old 11-25-2019, 07:24 AM
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No
Old 11-25-2019, 07:34 AM
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I wonder how far a Rhodan 36volt 120 or minnkota 36v 112 would get you back? I have never seen a kicker on a boat in the gulf but we have a lot of oilfield, shrimp boats and cargo traffic. Salmon and trout trolling up north I have seen them use a small kicker. Modern 4 strokes are reliable but stuff happens.
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:03 AM
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If it gets you back home. What do you care. I would much rather come home slowly than not at all.
Old 11-25-2019, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by yhsesq View Post
is having a spare tire outdated ?
yes since many new cars dont have them.

Having a kicker for "backup" is a waste IMO. Maintain your motor and have seatow. If you use it to fish then yes get one. I run a single to bahmas few times a year.
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:46 AM
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what if your main <well maintained> engine goes south <due to an unexpected reason> around a jetty with high current?

Originally Posted by WPBTH View Post
yes since many new cars dont have them.

Having a kicker for "backup" is a waste IMO. Maintain your motor and have seatow. If you use it to fish then yes get one. I run a single to bahmas few times a year.
Old 11-25-2019, 10:53 AM
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Default Kicker versus more transom weight

Just bought a new Pioneer 18 cc. Wanted to power it with a 90 Suzuki and a 4 hp kicker. Dealer convinced me to join the mindless herd and put a 115 on it. Would only do 40 mph with the 350# 90 horse. So now there is more than 400# already on my little 18’ transom. I’m torn between lower transom freeboard and worry about getting home in a mechanical breakdMaybe I’ll install the auxiliary bracket and secure the little motor up front when I’m running for dolphin and wahoo far offshore of the keys.
Old 11-25-2019, 11:37 AM
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Just thinking out loud here. If you're 40-50 miles offshore, the run back with kicker power will take a long time. Even longer in headwind conditions. Hard to say if your crew would be more comfortable waiting for a tow rather than ambling along for 10-12 hours.
Old 11-25-2019, 11:58 AM
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If you are not using the kicker for redundancy, yes it is an obsolete idea with the advent of the EFI 4 stroke,. They are much better behaved at slow speeds than the old 2 strokes and I bet they actually are better on fuel than your kicker, particularly if it is 2S.
Old 11-25-2019, 12:04 PM
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if going with the kicker route I would definitely advise matching the main power type, i.e if it is 4s get a 4s kicker, else 2s kicker, so that you would use the very same fuel tank (assuming you don't have an OX66 )

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