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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Prop and Jack Plate Questions #13609058 06/26/20 04:55 PM
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Brock Landers Online Content OP
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I was talking with a co-worker a few days ago about putting a jack plate and new prop on my boat. He suggested installing the plate before getting a new prop. My question is: what are the benefits of a jack plate, and how much setback is best? My boat is an 18 ft Kenner Vision (non-tunnel hull) with a Merc 115 Optimax that still has the aluminum prop.

Re: Prop and Jack Plate Questions [Re: Brock Landers] #13609096 06/26/20 05:28 PM
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Might want to make sure your engine isn't mounted to low. I have that same engine on a nitro and I know its mounted to low. I just deal with it as I dont have an easy way to raise it up. Also, I was told on my nitro that adding a jackplate isn't recommended for my boat can cause other issues.

Re: Prop and Jack Plate Questions [Re: Brock Landers] #13609114 06/26/20 05:46 PM
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Brock Landers Online Content OP
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Oh, it's definitely mounted too low. The motor mount bracket sits right on top of the transom and is bolted through the uppermost holes. I just wonder what kind of performance gains you get by moving the motor further away from the transom.

Re: Prop and Jack Plate Questions [Re: Brock Landers] #13609125 06/26/20 05:56 PM
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It makes adjusting the height of the motor much easier for fine tuning prop/boat setup. It also helps with bow lift. Definitely would wait to get another prop until after you install the jackplate if you plan to get one, the SS prop doesn't flex like an aluminum prop and will need to be setup differently whether on a plate or not. Pitch needed may differ between SS and aluminum and also with or without plate...


1999 Triton TX21/225 Mercury Optimax
Re: Prop and Jack Plate Questions [Re: Brock Landers] #13609148 06/26/20 06:13 PM
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Brock Landers Online Content OP
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Another question: is a hydraulic jack plate worth the extra money? I've always thought they were best suited for the tunnel hull flats boats that fish the skinny water along the coast.

Re: Prop and Jack Plate Questions [Re: Brock Landers] #13609160 06/26/20 06:22 PM
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If you change props a lot or want to get the most performance out of the boat they are worth it. If you just want to get the boat setup and don't need to wring a couple more mph out of it after getting on plane probably not. The other place they are nice is if you go into a lot of shallow water areas.


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Re: Prop and Jack Plate Questions [Re: bronco71] #13609178 06/26/20 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bronco71
It makes adjusting the height of the motor much easier for fine tuning prop/boat setup. It also helps with bow lift. Definitely would wait to get another prop until after you install the jackplate if you plan to get one, the SS prop doesn't flex like an aluminum prop and will need to be setup differently whether on a plate or not. Pitch needed may differ between SS and aluminum and also with or without plate...

^^^^ He's correct on all the pieces coming together as a system. Change one aspect, and the best fit for the other variables changes also.

I have a big Ranger with a 12" Atlas. Unless I'm in certain extreme conditions, there's one jack-height that's a decent choice for most runs. I probably like it most for being able to move around in timber areas with less chance of banging into trees/stumps with the prop. I raise the JP all the way, but keep the lower unit near level. This gives the best forward thrust I can get at the highest prop level I can have. If you must resort to trimming to reduce your prop draft. the motor angle causes the stern to bog down more as you add throttle, making the draft worse.

Re: Prop and Jack Plate Questions [Re: Brock Landers] #13609490 06/26/20 10:59 PM
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I've rigged several of those, what you need is height adjustment, do do NOT need much setback on that hull. 4" rapid jack would be my choice, but that aluminum prop's gotta go too, you'd really like the way a merc trophy would run on that setup.


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Re: Prop and Jack Plate Questions [Re: Brock Landers] #13609512 06/26/20 11:31 PM
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I guess I should have been clear I was stating what I have, not that I was recommending it for that hull. I like the hydraulic in my case for stump avoidance. Not jacked like Pat's though!!!

Re: Prop and Jack Plate Questions [Re: Brock Landers] #13609727 06/27/20 02:54 AM
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A 4" bob's hydraulic would be great on that hull. But if you're not typically negotiating shallow bays it's not going to get used much.
The thing we most need to remember, CC's are not Bass hulls, they don't run the same, they don't have pads and are built to run pretty flat to the water. When you try to force a straight V hull to lift, it's not going to be happy.


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