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Jack plates

Old 02-05-2010, 06:24 AM
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Default Jack plates

I am looking at putting a jack plate on my boat. I have a 2006 21' Seapro bay boat with a tunnel hull. I don't know if I need a hydraulic or a manual plate. I have a friend with a ponga that put a manual on his. He said that once he got it adjusted he never moves it. I don't know if that is a realistic expectation for my boat. If it is, hydraulic seems to be a waste of money. Does any body have some input?
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:01 AM
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I know three of "my" key concerns would be the thickness of the transom......how far I have to reach out to the kicker to lift and lower the jack plate/ motor. How low the kicker/ jack plate would be sitting on the back of the boat. What would I "normally" expect for wave conditions while trying to raise or lower the kicker/ jack plate. These three conditions would dictate to me if hydraulics was needed or not.

You might want to post this same question over in the Boating forum, you will be targeting a more specific group for this type of question.

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Old 02-05-2010, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
I know three of "my" key concerns would be the thickness of the transom......how far I have to reach out to the kicker to lift and lower the jack plate/ motor. How low the kicker/ jack plate would be sitting on the back of the boat. What would I "normally" expect for wave conditions while trying to raise or lower the kicker/ jack plate. These three conditions would dictate to me if hydraulics was needed or not.

You might want to post this same question over in the Boating forum, you will be targeting a more specific group for this type of question.

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What?



The hyd. lets you make adjustment on the run and for conditions. With a tunnel it allows you to raise the motor high to run in very shallow water. On some hulls the engine may ventilate if too high. Expecially during a hole shot or rough seas.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:24 AM
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I had a hydraulic jack plate on my previous boat and for normal running I would have it about 3 inches up. What I liked about the hydraulic was the ability jump up on a plain in very shallow water. I could bring the engine all the way up and push the tabs down a little and punch the throttle and the boat would pop up on a plain very quickly. On my current boat the engine is mounted on a bracket with a 24" off set. This allows my engine to be mounted about 3" inches higher then normal in effect like having manual jack plate. The boat will run shallow but I lack the ability to get it on a plain quickly from dead stop in very shallow water.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by A Few Dollars View Post
What?



The hyd. lets you make adjustment on the run and for conditions. With a tunnel it allows you to raise the motor high to run in very shallow water. On some hulls the engine may ventilate if too high. Expecially during a hole shot or rough seas.
Yeah, that one kind of lost me too, especially the part about transom thickness.

If you want a jackplate to increase speed in normal conditions, the stationary units are fine. You just have to keep messing with height until you find the best spot. I personally would be concerned with getting one that's the proper set-back as that too is critical for optimum performance. That's the only area where a hydraulic won't make any difference.

For across the board performance, I'd pony up the extra bucks for a hydraulic. You'll only have to do it once.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:32 AM
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If your running a tunnel you are totally under utilizing the boat without a hydraulic jack plate. I've got two Bob's machine shop jackplates and I love them. Some others have mentioned the Atlas jack plate as I believe it is not hydraulic but something else. I never understood the manual ones - seems like if you need a manual then your transom and motor weren't aligned to right height to begin with.

I would HIGHLY recommend installing a water pressure gauge when (if) you do install a hydraulic plate as most damage occurs to the motor by inexperienced users who do not realize they are running with the motor too high out of the water. In hairy (shallow) situations where you start raising your motor to prevent lower unit and prop damage you just keep an I on the water pressure gauge to ensure you haven't raised the motor too high.

Installing a jack-plate also lets you motor out at slow speed real shallow instances when you don't want to burn up your trolling motor batteries. With a tunnel hull you will be able to get on plane in more shallow places. The Texas guys use foils on top of there motors as well with jack-plates and tunnels. This additionally helps with hole-shot and maneuvering ability.

If you have a motor hoist the plates are easy to install as well. Good luck!
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by izalost View Post
If your running a tunnel you are totally under utilizing the boat without a hydraulic jack plate. I've got two Bob's machine shop jackplates and I love them. Some others have mentioned the Atlas jack plate as I believe it is not hydraulic but something else. I never understood the manual ones - seems like if you need a manual then your transom and motor weren't aligned to right height to begin with.

I would HIGHLY recommend installing a water pressure gauge when (if) you do install a hydraulic plate as most damage occurs to the motor by inexperienced users who do not realize they are running with the motor too high out of the water. In hairy (shallow) situations where you start raising your motor to prevent lower unit and prop damage you just keep an I on the water pressure gauge to ensure you haven't raised the motor too high.

Installing a jack-plate also lets you motor out at slow speed real shallow instances when you don't want to burn up your trolling motor batteries. With a tunnel hull you will be able to get on plane in more shallow places. The Texas guys use foils on top of there motors as well with jack-plates and tunnels. This additionally helps with hole-shot and maneuvering ability.

If you have a motor hoist the plates are easy to install as well. Good luck!
Good point about the water pressure gauge, but I've never been a fan of Doelfin's or other such devices unless they're installed on a heavy, underpowered boat that has difficulty planing without some help.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:43 AM
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Here is why a manual jackplate makes sense, for the previous poster who didn't understand their purpose.
FOr the $200 or so that they cost it lets you dial in engine height perfectly within a few minutes after installation. Without it you would have to constantly haul the boat out and pull the engine off to try different heights until you find the perfect setting. It is basically for fine tuning. I am considering one because I think my engine is a bit too low right now. I figure if I pull it off mount it higher and I am wrong then I have to go through the same process again. But if when I pull it off I put a jack plate in between there. Then I can adjust it much easier.

Plus you can get some with setbacks so they act just as a bracket would, by putting the engine further back.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Freeebird View Post
but I've never been a fan of Doelfin's or other such devices unless they're installed on a heavy, underpowered boat that has difficulty planing without some help.
No true tunnel hull manufacture puts on a Doelfin. They make custom fiberglass or stainless ones.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ucf_motorcycle View Post
Here is why a manual jackplate makes sense, for the previous poster who didn't understand their purpose.
FOr the $200 or so that they cost it lets you dial in engine height perfectly within a few minutes after installation. Without it you would have to constantly haul the boat out and pull the engine off to try different heights until you find the perfect setting. It is basically for fine tuning. I am considering one because I think my engine is a bit too low right now. I figure if I pull it off mount it higher and I am wrong then I have to go through the same process again. But if when I pull it off I put a jack plate in between there. Then I can adjust it much easier.

Plus you can get some with setbacks so they act just as a bracket would, by putting the engine further back.
Dial an engine height in perfectly with a few minutes? Only if you have a reference point from other folks who are intimately familiar with your boat and have the same power.

My take on this will probably be a little different as my experience with jackplates has been limited to high performance applications with speeds over 80MPH. Adjustments as small as an 8th of an inch can make a big difference, and tweaking them takes time.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by izalost View Post
No true tunnel hull manufacture puts on a Doelfin. They make custom fiberglass or stainless ones.
That's not what comes to my mind when I think of a tunnel boat, but I have zero experience running flats boats. I assume those type plates only aid in getting on plane in shallow water as opposed to any other benefit.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ucf_motorcycle View Post
Here is why a manual jackplate makes sense, for the previous poster who didn't understand their purpose.
Oh, I perfectly understand there purpose. I also understand that it is for you to fix a motor that is at the wrong height very easily. My point is that should not have to be "fine tuning" your motor height if it was installed at the correct height to begin with. But, enough about your problems.

To the OP - In a shallow water boat you will incur many different circumstances that require different engine height locations. A manual jack plate is for fixing a motor that is at the wrong location and then leaving it at the "fine tuned" spot. A hydraulic jack plate is much better because you can raise and lower the motor to your specific situation.

Just sayin....
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:57 PM
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Water pressure guage is a must and low water pick up is an added benifit. Hydraulic is the only way to go. Being able to adjust for different conditions is priceless. Quality trim tabs will work better than a dolefin. Also you might exsperience porposing from the set back( I did ) and the trim tabs took all that away.
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by izalost View Post
If your running a tunnel you are totally under utilizing the boat without a hydraulic jack plate. I've got two Bob's machine shop jackplates and I love them. Some others have mentioned the Atlas jack plate as I believe it is not hydraulic but something else. I never understood the manual ones - seems like if you need a manual then your transom and motor weren't aligned to right height to begin with.

I would HIGHLY recommend installing a water pressure gauge when (if) you do install a hydraulic plate as most damage occurs to the motor by inexperienced users who do not realize they are running with the motor too high out of the water. In hairy (shallow) situations where you start raising your motor to prevent lower unit and prop damage you just keep an I on the water pressure gauge to ensure you haven't raised the motor too high.

Installing a jack-plate also lets you motor out at slow speed real shallow instances when you don't want to burn up your trolling motor batteries. With a tunnel hull you will be able to get on plane in more shallow places. The Texas guys use foils on top of there motors as well with jack-plates and tunnels. This additionally helps with hole-shot and maneuvering ability.

If you have a motor hoist the plates are easy to install as well. Good luck!
http://www.boatownersworld.com/thmar...rine_atlas.htm
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:48 PM
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Man that Atlas looks Bad A**!
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by A Few Dollars View Post
What?
Sorry, my bad. I had one of those brain farts and I was thinking/ talking about one of these......http://www.garelick.com/product.php?pnumber=71057
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