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Steering with a Kicker

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    Steering with a Kicker

    Hi Guys I recently fitted a 9.9 Mercury Kicker to my 2052 fishing boat 4.3 Mercruiser. I fish alone and troll with downriggers. I steer the kicker with an electric Intellisteer Type 4 with a remote hanging around my neck.

    The problem is this boat wanders under main engine even with the trim tabs down it barely stays straight, now with the kicker its worse, any wind, forget it. I am forever clicking left right left right, if I leave it I will go round in circles.

    Any ideas how to go straight without constantly adjusting?
    Trophy WA 2052 4.3 Mercruiser Alpha 1 Gen II
    Maple Bay, BC.

    #2
    Autopilot works pretty well. Also, if you add a connection rod (like EzSteer) and steer from the helm, it will be more stable because your outdrive will work as an additional big rudder.
    Alex
    1997 2859, 7.4 MPI, Bravo II
    1993 2452, 5.7 Bravo II - SOLD

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      #3
      I installed and then removed electric kicker steering from our 2359 for similar reasons. It seems the more wind surface the boat has, the more difficult it is to steer in any wind ! Add running water and it gets worse......
      We much prefer the EZ Steer connectors. If mounted correctly, using the correct length connector bar, you can raise and lower without removing the connecting rod. When you can no longer steer with that set up its time to get out of dodge...or switch to the main engine.
      2003 Trophy Pro 2359; Rebuilt 5.7L Vortec longblock (crate) using rest of the previous owners freeze destroyed 5.0L. Now fully FWC :) Alpha 1 Gen 2 drive.

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        #4
        Wind and waves will always make the boat wander and steering difficult. But if your boat is wandering when running your main engine, try increasing its moment of inertia in the yaw axis. Instead of putting all the weight in the center of the boat (or in one location), try to spread it out fore to aft. If you have the exact same weight aboard, but located at the very front and rear of the boat, that will make it harder to yaw the boat, making it harder for wind and waves to spin you around. It'll make it harder for your kicker to turn you as well, but presumably you have enough directional control to overcome that.

        Think of your boat as a broomstick you're trying to balance in your hand while it's standing straight up. Your hand represents your engine, gravity represents the wind and the waves trying to push your boat sideways (make the broomstick fall over). If the top of the broomstick is very light, then when the broomstick starts to fall to one side it's very easy to overcorrect when your hand (engine) tries to straighten the stick again. Repeated overcorrection to one side then the other results in the sensation of the boat wandering. But if you add mass to top of the stick (front of your boat), it helps make it harder to overcorrect, stabilizing it.
        1994 2556, 350 MAG MPI Horizon, Bravo 2

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          #5
          I've the same boat, but with a 8.0 Honda Kicker.
          I've mounted a removable seat on the transom and steer the kicker from there. With this setup I have no problem going where I want to, plus the benefit of sitting close to the rods and downriggers. I've been doing this for many years both with this boat and my previous one. There are pros and cons for EZ Steer systems. The pros are obvious. You can steer from the helm, which is much more comfortable, and a whole lot drier if it happens to be wet out. The cons are maneuverability when fighting a large fish. I can shift into reverse, change direction, and change speed very quickly with no connection to the main. It is very difficult to maintain a desired course if you are changing tackle or fighting a fish if you are solo. I wouldn't think that it would matter what system you have, if you are alone, having 4 arms would be a huge advantage! I seldom fish more than 2 rods, even with 2 people on board. Getting the non-fish rod up, 2 downrigger lines, and running the boat is all that I want to handle. My son, or fishing partner, gets to fight most of the fish!
          Bob Hawes.
          Kelowna, B.C.
          1998 Trophy 2052 WA
          4.3 Vortec, A1 G2

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            #6
            Thanks Guys, My motor does not have a tiller handle so that is out for me. I can try and put more gear and some lead up front when trolling, that makes sense, because having the trim tabs down pushes the V of the front of the hull further into the water and it wanders much less more weight will settle it further, but only to a point I guess.
            Trophy WA 2052 4.3 Mercruiser Alpha 1 Gen II
            Maple Bay, BC.

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