Kicker on a CC?

SkaterRace

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
754
I have a 21.5ft center console in Canada on the St Lawerence River, I mostly run the river with a bit of Lake Ontario. I currently have a Mercury 225 XL Verado on it that is in good condition and runs well. I would say I fish maybe half the engine hours I'm on the water with the rest running around for fun.

I'm thinking of adding either a Merc 8hp or 9.9hp kicker engine to the back of it and getting a steering linkage and fuel line to run directly to the main tank (not sure of details yet). The goal was to save money on fuel, lower hours on my primary (more $$$ engine) and as a fallback safety if I were to have an engine failure for whatever reason. In theory, my insurance covers a tow of up to 50km however that does not cover half of where I go and when I checked they say up to 3 hours to get to half the places I am in - low coverage/high response time.

All said, does a kicker make sense for me in your opinion? I've been reading a bunch of why kickers are pointless and why they are awesome. I'm a bit torn.
 

Scott06

Vice Admiral
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Apr 20, 2014
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5,737
I have a 21.5ft center console in Canada on the St Lawerence River, I mostly run the river with a bit of Lake Ontario. I currently have a Mercury 225 XL Verado on it that is in good condition and runs well. I would say I fish maybe half the engine hours I'm on the water with the rest running around for fun.

I'm thinking of adding either a Merc 8hp or 9.9hp kicker engine to the back of it and getting a steering linkage and fuel line to run directly to the main tank (not sure of details yet). The goal was to save money on fuel, lower hours on my primary (more $$$ engine) and as a fallback safety if I were to have an engine failure for whatever reason. In theory, my insurance covers a tow of up to 50km however that does not cover half of where I go and when I checked they say up to 3 hours to get to half the places I am in - low coverage/high response time.

All said, does a kicker make sense for me in your opinion? I've been reading a bunch of why kickers are pointless and why they are awesome. I'm a bit torn.
If you go in remote places sure it makes sense for back up. Im not sure of fuel or lowering the main engine hours it will pay for itself. Downside is it will clutter the stern some and you need to be able to pull it up or tilt up when at speed.

Back in the day lake trout fishing with my grandfather there were many a day when we came back on the trolling motor due to issue with main. Its ok if the weather is nice and you are not out of beer yet...
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
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Nov 20, 2001
Messages
15,581
Kickers make no sense if you have tow insurance available. Especially if you’re going to use a common fuel source

Have been towed in 3 times in 25 years of boating. Fifteen of those years fishing 30-40 hours a week. All three where fuel related. All three would have prevented the use of a kicker as well.

You can buy a lot of fuel for the money it cost to buy a kicker, bracket and maintain it.

A 9.9 isn’t going to cut it when push comes to shove…
 

JimS123

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Jul 27, 2007
Messages
8,017
I've had a kicker on every boat I've owned since 1970. They have never used a common fuel system or battery. My current 2 boats had kickers installed before they hit the water the first time.

We troll with long lines in the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. 1.8 mph to be exact. The original purpose of the kicker was for trolling because the main usually will not go that slow. I won't use add-ons to make the main go slower.

50+ years of boating and I never had to call for a tow.......until 2 years ago with a brand spanking new boat. The main failed in the Upper Niagara River in view of Niagara Falls. I probably could have gotten all the way home with the kicker if I wanted to go slow and accept all the extra time. We opted to call TowBoat and let them take us. What the kicker DID do was get us to a safe harbor at shore where I could easily anchor in shallow water out of the current. If I ever had thoughts about not having a kicker THAT trip confirmed my choices.

If the extra cost was a concern to me, I would take up a different hobby.

A kicker makes sense no matter what type boat. My CC was easily fitted.

And, of course, that's just my opinion. The majority of boats don't have one.

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airshot

Rear Admiral
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Jul 22, 2008
Messages
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I have a small kicker on every boat I have had in my 60 yrs of boating except for my canoe, kayak, and Jon boat ! Everything I take onto big water has had a kicker. Cost savings....no way, but the piece of mind is worth it. On my 22' cuddy, my 9.9 two stroke would push me about 12 mph, plenty of speed to get back in... My current 16' has a little 2.2 hp two stroke, folks laugh but it works ! Had an electrical issue on the main motor and used the little Merc to get back....5 mph over 8 miles out but made it back without paying for tow services, even used it to load boat on the trailer !! I will always have a kicker motor on any boat big enough to handle one. Not for cost savings, but to be self sufficient and not have to rely on others.
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
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Nov 20, 2001
Messages
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We troll with long lines in the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. 1.8 mph to be exact. The original purpose of the kicker was for trolling because the main usually will not go that slow. I won't use add-ons to make the main go slower.
Interesting

How long is "long"?
My "shot gun" is back is 300'

Boat rods at 175' and 150'
150' planer board lines, 6 lines per board (70'-150' in 10' increments)

Surprised no down riggers?
Hottest rods on the boat in the winter time

4-5 knot tide
2-4 knots trolling speed
How do you measure speed?
I use GPS with paddle wheel compensation
 

JimS123

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Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
8,017
Interesting

How long is "long"?
My "shot gun" is back is 300'

Boat rods at 175' and 150'
150' planer board lines, 6 lines per board (70'-150' in 10' increments)

Surprised no down riggers?
Hottest rods on the boat in the winter time

4-5 knot tide
2-4 knots trolling speed
How do you measure speed?
I use GPS with paddle wheel compensation
River trolling is for Muskies. The river current where we troll is about 1.5 mph, so a GPS is of no value. I use a paddle-wheel, which is very accurate. My speed is 1.5 mph with respect to the water. So our land speed is slightly above 3.0. We always troll with the current.

The "long" lines for us are 30 yards. With a double jointed Pikie Minnow at that length they go down about 15 feet. I watch the depth finder and track the 19-20 foot level.

Ontario trolling is for Salmon and Lake Trout. Only wind to deal with, thus paddle wheel and GPS agree closely "most' of the time. Downriggers?, of course.

I run spoons back about 20' from the cannon ball, at a depth of 80 feet. Out about 8 miles from shore.
1713475018943.jpeg

Used to live by a Loran, but GPS now is a godsend. When you have to go to work and only get Saturday to go fishing, if the lake turns over and its pea-soup fog, you have to go anyway.....LOL.

1713474966794.jpeg
1713475067981.jpeg
 

cyclops222

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Mar 21, 2024
Messages
257
I boat out of Clayton, N Y. WE have sudden strong winds and currents to over come at times My smallest river boat has a Evinrude 30 hp AND a 9.9 hp as the kicker. Both bought brand new in 1999. Are 2 strokes with electric starters. They are coupled together with a quick disconnect bar. More than 5 times I had to run BOTH to get enough power to come back against the current and wind........ Both start instantly every time.
Trolling and moving around fish areas I only use the 9.9.

I like the safety and no Tow Boat policy. I have several other boaters who would come and save me if needed.

You would need about 20 to 25 hp as a bad weather booster And trolling motor. Make sure whatever you buy is using the same gasoline as the big motor . All you need is a fuel valve that can select either engine alone or both engines getting fuel at the same time. you can also do a....Y connector with separate valves for each engine. BUY NEW only. Your life in the off seasons demands it to work instantly every time.
 

JimS123

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Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
8,017
Make sure whatever you buy is using the same gasoline as the big motor . All you need is a fuel valve that can select either engine alone or both engines getting fuel at the same time. you can also do a....Y connector with separate valves for each engine.
Good idea in principal. However, if you have a fuel problem, neither engine will run. My personal setups have different gas tanks for the main and kicker. Also the mains are electric start, while the kickers are manual. If the battery goes dead, my kicker will always run.
 

airshot

Rear Admiral
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
4,455
c NEW only. Your life in the off seasons demands it to work instantly every time
Many folks at our local marina would differ with you. There seems cat be a general consensus that new motors are are not adjusted properly and causing many issues. My self alone have towed in 5 new engine owners be cause they failed to start while up river. Discussions at the dock seems to find many are now looking at going back to older, better made outboard motors. I am sure this might be an isolated issue, but the more I search, the mire I find issues and unhappy new motor customers. Some even commented how embarrassing it was to have their new motor towed in by a 1992 model outboard !!
 

cyclops222

Petty Officer 1st Class
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Mar 21, 2024
Messages
257
Excellent truthful observation about ....Newer is better. My old Evinrudes are still virgins from 1996 and 1999. I have towed in several new motors. Those 2 strokes with carburetors never have problems. With only oil as needed,
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
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Nov 20, 2001
Messages
15,581
Show of hands... who wants to trade in their (new) 4 stroke for a 20+ year old, oil belching 2 stroke?
 

cyclops222

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Messages
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My Chaparral 186 has the CARBURATED 5.0l v8. Another original virgin. Yeah
Only old 1 eye gets all the good stuff.
 

SkaterRace

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
754
If you go in remote places sure it makes sense for back up. Im not sure of fuel or lowering the main engine hours it will pay for itself. Downside is it will clutter the stern some and you need to be able to pull it up or tilt up when at speed.

Back in the day lake trout fishing with my grandfather there were many a day when we came back on the trolling motor due to issue with main. Its ok if the weather is nice and you are not out of beer yet...
The areas I go are not remote by any means, some of the most popular water around and I am within an hour or two of the coast guard station as well as along a busy shipping seaway.

Seems like as a backup not much sense.
 

SkaterRace

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
754
I've had a kicker on every boat I've owned since 1970. They have never used a common fuel system or battery. My current 2 boats had kickers installed before they hit the water the first time.

We troll with long lines in the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. 1.8 mph to be exact. The original purpose of the kicker was for trolling because the main usually will not go that slow. I won't use add-ons to make the main go slower.

50+ years of boating and I never had to call for a tow.......until 2 years ago with a brand spanking new boat. The main failed in the Upper Niagara River in view of Niagara Falls. I probably could have gotten all the way home with the kicker if I wanted to go slow and accept all the extra time. We opted to call TowBoat and let them take us. What the kicker DID do was get us to a safe harbor at shore where I could easily anchor in shallow water out of the current. If I ever had thoughts about not having a kicker THAT trip confirmed my choices.

If the extra cost was a concern to me, I would take up a different hobby.

A kicker makes sense no matter what type boat. My CC was easily fitted.

And, of course, that's just my opinion. The majority of boats don't have one.

View attachment 396938
Trolling is the biggest thing I would use it for, the current engine only works for that if going up current. I'm on the St Lawerence River and Lake Ontario as well. I'd love to troll more but sadly just not possible with my current setup as it seems way too fast even just in gear. It says it has a troll mode but I have yet to find it useful
 

SkaterRace

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Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
754
boating is one of the worlds most expensive hobbies and fuel is the cheapest part of it.

Kickers make sense.
Boating is expensive for sure, I do try to not spend too much on it where I can so that I can spend more on stuff that makes boater better. IE don't buy the marine whatever when you can get something equal for half the price or investing into something good will last 20 years not 2. Saves more money for fuel and wear/tear items when I use the boat more.
 

SkaterRace

Senior Chief Petty Officer
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Mar 20, 2016
Messages
754
Show of hands... who wants to trade in their (new) 4 stroke for a 20+ year old, oil belching 2 stroke?
My current 4 stroke seems quieter, more reliable, and cheaper to own than my old 2 stroke... however comparing an engine with 40 hours and one with an unknown number from 1977 is not really fair
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
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Nov 20, 2001
Messages
15,581
My current 4 stroke seems quieter, more reliable, and cheaper to own than my old 2 stroke... however comparing an engine with 40 hours and one with an unknown number from 1977 is not really fair
I know more than a couple of guys with over 3,000 hours on their 4 stroke outboards.

What was the life expectancy of a 2 stroke built in 1997? Hint….. replaced my first power head at 1,800 hours as PM
 
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cyclops222

Petty Officer 1st Class
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Mar 21, 2024
Messages
257
I still run 2 Everrudes from the 1980s every day. May to October. Still Virgins.
 
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