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Old 24-03-2013, 10:51   #1
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Can I Use a Short Shaft as a Kicker?

I just recently purchased a 25 MAC and in the market for a motor. The sailboat has a kicker bracket installed on the boat. My question is can I put a short shaft motor on the sailboat as a kicker or should I purchase a long shaft? Also the 25 MAC has a limit of 10 hp can I go bigger or should I stay under 10 HP? Cheers!
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:04   #2
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Re: Can I use a short shaft as a kicker?

A short shaft may not put the leg deep enough to be effective. A 10 hp motor is more than enough to power a boat that size and the bracket may nor be rated for more than 10 hp.
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:07   #3
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Re: Can I use a short shaft as a kicker?

Thanks for the info!
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:10   #4
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Ditto to above

Get a long shaft
Me personal experience, prop was out of the water in waves & not much control when in
Went to a long shaft...problem solved
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:40   #5
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Re: Can I use a short shaft as a kicker?

Is a 20 inch considered a long shaft or is it longer.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:28   #6
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Re: Can I use a short shaft as a kicker?

For which engine specifically? Go to the manufacturers website and they will have the specs for their long and short shafts.

There are two reasons you want the long shaft. It will be deeper in the water reducing the chance of propeller aeration in chop. It will be higher out of the water when you tilt it up.

10 HP (9.9 model most likely) will get a 25 foot sailboat around 5-7 knots, which is plenty good.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:31   #7
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Re: Can I use a short shaft as a kicker?

if the lower end unit is in the water reliably it will work, no matter what it is...
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:40   #8
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Re: Can I use a short shaft as a kicker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
if the lower end unit is in the water reliably it will work, no matter what it is...
Yes it will...if.

Your chances of keeping it in the water are far better with a long shaft though.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:46   #9
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Re: Can I use a short shaft as a kicker?

This isn't a dinghy... You want a long shaft for a sailboat.

Sailboats pitch and yaw, causing the stern to lift or lean and the outboard motor to cavitate.

The longer the shaft the better chance you have to keep the prop in the water.
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Old 06-04-2013, 16:37   #10
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Re: Can I use a short shaft as a kicker?

I have a short shaft on an 18 footer and in winds above 10 knots starts to cavitate past a fast idle. As is, it is mounted so far down I can barely reach the gear shift. It came with the boat but if it needed replacing, I would put on a longer shaft.
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Old 06-04-2013, 16:51   #11
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Re: Can I Use a Short Shaft as a Kicker?

a motor as small as 4 hp will likely get you to hull speed, so 10 hp should be more than enough.
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Old 06-04-2013, 16:55   #12
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Re: Can I Use a Short Shaft as a Kicker?

I had a 25 footer I fitted with a Yamaha 9.9 XL (25") shaft. It worked perfectly and rarely popped out of the water, even in 30+ knot conditions. When I first purchased the boat - which had been cruised up and down the east coast by the po - it was fitted with an 8 hp short shaft on this funky sliding arrangement. I only ever motored with that combo inside a marina and it worked perfectly but I had serious doubts it would stay that way in rougher water. Another factor to consider that unless the engine is centred on the transom, it will also have for more tendency to pop the prop out of the water as the boat rolls.
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Old 06-04-2013, 18:32   #13
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Re: Can I Use a Short Shaft as a Kicker?

Long shaft has the advantage of having the recoil starter in an easier postion to start when the bracket is lowered and the leg is in the water. Short shaft would necessitate you bending over and pulling the starter while in an awkward position. I can't do that anymore at my age.

You should really never start and outboard without the horizontal fin just above the prop being submerged. There is a chance of burning out your impeller if you don't get that leg in the water fast enough.
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Old 06-04-2013, 18:39   #14
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One thought - yes a long shaft is best on transom of sailboat (keeps drier longer). But lower units are easily interchangeable if you at all a mechanic and are not too expensive if you look for a used one.
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