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blueroof

kicker motor on console boat

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I'm going to put a kicker on my boat, a Ranger Reata. I'm debating whether I should install the motor so it controlled from the console, or as a tiller steer. It costs quite a bit more to have it installed to the console. I'm imagining that the console install will also limit the maneuverability a bit compared to running it with a handle.

Anyone run a tiller kicker on a console boat? Any positives or negatives for each install that I'm missing? Any feedback appreciated.

thanks, LB

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Wait for PerchJerker's response on this one. He runs the same boat, with a tiller kicker. After fishing out of that boat, the way it handles is pretty much unbeatable. Lots of guys though would rather sit down all day fishing, if you prefer standing tiller is the way to go.

Dave, when you reply to this, you should post up a pic of your command center. It is really awesome the way you have it set up.

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Shane - I'm getting a 9.9. Suzuki came out with a new HT with power tilt. I believe the tiller setup is what I want. I stand and fish most of the time and don't like cranking on the steering wheel at low speeds.

I would love to hear how PerchJerker has his motor rigged. Are you using the Panther 35LE mounting plate? Are you running any steering or throttle controls other than the handle of the motor?

thanks, LB

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Been in Perchjerker's boat many times. He has the tiller setup and that's pretty much it. I run a Yamaha T8 tiller and have the option of connecting it to my main engine and steering from the console but very seldom do. Perchjerker and I are fishing tonight (maybe!) and I'll make sure he gets back to you. He's spent a lot of time getting his Reatta setup and it is sweet.

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My kicker is tiller steering with a cheap quick connect rod to the main motor for steering when trolling crankbaits. It works well for my style of fishing.

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Just throwing out the other side of it here.

I got a T8 Yamaha hooked up to the console on my 2007 rig. It works out ok, but i called and inquired about getting an 08 tiller swapped out this spring and they wanted $400 more for the exchange.

The only issue i had with the console is that on windy days last fall, the front end was harder to control or keep on a line. But this spring, i simply put down my auto pilot and use the co pilot remote to steer up front and that is like a rudder in the front of the boat. I can leave the kicker running straight ahead and just steer with the CP

i dont even need to turn the motor on, it just takes the boat in that direction with out turning the wheel. In windy conditions, I turn it on to get the turn a little quicker.

Obviously i didn't do the exchange to a tiller, but i was seriously thinking about it. Now that i found an easier way to be lazy, why spend more money? grin

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My preference is for tiller kickers over console kickers, but it really depends on how you fish and what you want to do with them.

A big benefit of console-controlled kickers is your big motor turns when your kicker turns, so it acts like a big rudder and makes the boat really responsive in turns. Downsides are throttle control is a lot more touchy with the remote control unless you go with a TrollMaster throttle, I don't like feeling like I'm tied to the console when trolling, and I don't like to have to be turning the steering wheel all the time.

With my tiller kickers I've thought for years about going with a detachable quick-connect steering bar to tie it to the big motor at times (like Chuck N was talking about), and a TrollMaster throttle, but I've never felt enough need for them to actually get them. Throttle control is very precise with the tiller motor. And occasionally when trolling I'll use the big motor as a rudder and steer with it while the kicker is running and pointed straight ahead --- I do it a lot when the kids are in the boat and I have them turn the wheel to make s-turns for me. Works great.

I really like the tiller kicker for contour trolling since it's so responsive and easy to operate ---- one hand on the motor and one hand on my fishing rod and I'm in control, not like fighting a steering wheel and throttle and needing a 3rd hand to fish with. I also use my kicker a lot for vertical jigging deep mid-lake structures in summer, I mark the fish on my electronics and hover over them with my kicker (this technique works better with a transom motor (gas or electric) than with a bow motor). I don't do much backtrolling but the tiller kicker works better for that too than a console kicker in my opinion.

I tend to hop around a lot in the boat when trolling and always be fiddling with something or looking for something, and the tiller kicker works well for me in that situation. Sometimes I stand, sometimes I sit on the rear deck, sometimes I use a stand-up pedestal with a butt seat. I feel it gives me a lot of flexibility and freedom of movement.

Ranger makes a "static bracket" for kicker mounting that sells for about $200 I think, personally I'd go with that if your kicker has power trim.

I used to have my kicker on the port side of my boat but this year I had it moved to the starboard side. In the past I've always had them on the port side but decided to change for a couple reasons - the Reata is so wide that I'm farther away from the console than I wanted to be, and I fish a lot with 3 or 4 of people in the boat and due to the layout with the full windshield and second console it felt like someone was always in my lap unless there were only 2 of us in the boat. Now that I have it on the starboard side I am closer to the console and I put the other guys on the port side so no one is between me and the console --- makes it much easier to get to the vhf and the other electronics, the stereo, the livewell pumps, etc. etc. So far I've been very happy with the switch.

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Hey guys, thanks for all the great info. It looks like I'm set on installing it as a tiller for now. I can add a trollmaster and/or rigging to hook it to the main motor later if needed.

Perchjerker, thanks for the starboard install info.

LB

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Blueroof,

I have the same boat as you and Perchjerker, and run the tiller kicker. So far I like the tiller style and have no regret about doing it that way. Like Dave said if you end up not liking the tiller you can always get the bar to attach to the main motor and a Trollmaster. That way you would have both tiller and console controls.

Matt

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Funny thing...I just went to cabelas web site after looking into one of these troll master controls. They are out of stock on all makes and models. this must be a hot commodity?

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I think they discontinued the first model, the Trollmaster Pro. But they have the Pro 2 and the Pro 3 in stock for my motor.

They are very popular with the guys that troll a lot with console-controlled kickers, they are so much more precise at speed adjustment than the shift lever. I've only heard of a couple guys that are using them on tiller-controlled motors.

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Question, do you use the troll master instead of or in addition to the console throttle control. I currently have a 9.9 Johnson consol controlled and wouldn't mind using the troll master but don't want to rip out a bunch of rigging.

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Go to the troll master web site, they have pictures of step by step installation.

It looks like you would have to remove the throttle assembly bracket and then slide out the arm from the front shift lever to install the troll master. Probably could just let it sit in the basin under the motor?

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Installation is a little different on every motor, but basically the trollmaster is a seperate mechanism that will control your throttle under the motor cover. All the existing control functions on your motor stay there and continue to work, plus you have the new control mechanism under the motor cover connected to the trollmaster remote control via the cable.

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This sounds great, the only thing I would worry about is that it sound like one more thing to trouble shoot. I have way too many gadgets allready. I have a counsole controll 9.9 merc kicker on my sportfish. The really cool thing is when you are trying to land a fish on the back casting deck the tiller controll is not in the way. You do need to have more than one person for this to work though.

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