Auxiliary motors or kicker motors as they are commonly called, are used for a few different reasons. Fisherman typically use a kicker instead of their main motor when they want to troll for fish at slower speeds while boaters with larger rigs who run farther offshore like to have them as a back up in case their primary motor dies on them. Either way, having a secondary motor is a popular option for a lot of different types of boaters so here are some things to take into consideration when choosing your next kicker.
With Memorial Day weekend in a few days and the fourth of July not too far behind, I feel that reminding everyone of proper boat ramp etiquette is important. There is no doubt that the launches will be packed with boaters all ranging from the seasoned experts to the noobs or novice first year boaters. For things to run smoothly at crowded boat launches there is a certain set of rules that need to be followed by everyone. If you are an inexperienced boater just learning the ropes, I would recommend giving this article a look to familiarize yourself with the do's and don'ts while launching your boat at a busy public ramp.
Whether you run the same lake all season long or adventure out to explore new bodies of water, you should always be cautious about seen or unseen hazards wherever you go. Even if you know the lake like the back of your hand and have run the same area year after year without incident, conditions can change and new hazards can emerge that you may not typically have to worry about. Those routes that were normally your safe passage to the other side of the lake can become a danger zone due to variables such as unseasonably low water levels or high water and fast currents. These things can bring on potential threats that can cause major damage to your lower unit or even the hull of your boat.
So far this year Mercury Marine has introduced some pretty cool features and upgrades, but the introduction of their completely new line-up of four stroke outboard motors has to be the coolest. These engines were designed from the skeg up to not only be a powerful machine, but a lightweight, compact, fuel efficient work of art. “These outboards set a new benchmark in the marine industry,” said Mercury Marine president, John Pfeifer. “They are the quietest, lightest, smoothest, quickest and most fuel-efficient engines we have produced in this range.” In my opinion, they don't look half that bad either.
Its spring time here in Michigan and boaters are starting to get the itch to bring their boats out of storage. This is also the typical time of year that most boaters take advantage of so that they can prep, clean, and check their boat for any possible problems that may surface once summer is in full throttle. If your not one of these boaters, maybe you should give this this check list a look. I mean, it is only going to benefit you in the long run.
Determining the right propeller for your boat is obviously not the only thing you can do to reach optimal performance, but it is one of the easiest. When selecting the right propeller for your rig, you can look at a number of different things such as going up in pitch, down in pitch, run an aluminum, switch to a stainless, or even go to a four blade. Before you can do any of that though, you have to think about how you use your boat and what your looking to change about your current performance. From there you can begin your selection.
One of the bigger concerns boat owners have when repowering their rig with a specific brand motor is whether or not there is a certified service center in their location. This is actually a good concern to have when you think about the possibility of any warranty or major service work needing to be done. I have even seen boaters sway to a particular brand based on what their local marina is certified to work on. That kind of limits your options at times but at least someone in your area can work on it. No matter where you are, there is a place in Grand Rapids that is certified to work on your motor no matter what brand you have.
One of the bigger features Mercury developed for the 2018 boating season is actually designed specifically for a few of their smaller outboards. The new 15hp and 20hp EFI Four Strokes to be exact. These outboards have not only been upgraded to an Electronic Fuel Injection system, but they are also getting a fresh new look with some pretty cool features. If you haven't seen these in person, you should probably check them out. Especially if you are considering a new 15 or 20hp outboard this season and I will tell you why.