a vibration standpoint; this puts you in the
9.9- to 15-hp category, which is where I
would’ve started as well.
■ You want a “high output/thrust” model
to give you more torque rather than speed,
which will allow you to run a prop with a
■ While off plane, your boat has a hull
speed that it won’t exceed no matter what
you do. This could be around 6-10 mph,
which is data I’m sure you can find from
Whaler. Take this into account as well as
your fishing style and location (e.g., are you
bucking currents upriver?).
■ I am 90 percent sure you’ll be looking at
a 20-inch shaft to keep the important stuff
in the water when it gets a little rough or all
your crew decides to move forward!
■ Unless you want to be overboard running
a tiller, you may want some type of remote
option on your new outboard. There are
many controllers that can dial in your speed
in small increments; check this out as well
as shift and steering. Some steering setups
are simply tied to the main engine with a
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He cruises a
30-footer in the
books include Don
Maintenance Manual, and This Old
Boat, the DIY boaters’ bible.
President of ABYC,
and boatyard, and
owned a marine
supply store. He
sails a classic 1976 Irwin ketch, which
he completely restored.
He’s lived aboard
for most of his life,
can fix any system
aboard, has writ-
ten two books,
filmed DVDs on
East Coast cruising, and has won
awards for his tech writing.
Our tech editor
grew up powerboating, waterskiing, fishing; did two
wrote The Voyager’s Handbook and
hundreds of tech articles.
Online you’ll also find other experts on trailers, fishing, props, cruising, and many other topics of interest.
In the end I think you’ll find a high-
output 9.9- or 15-hp will give you every bit
of what you need for trolling and help you
get home if need be. You’ll most likely need
a bracket, and consider having your new
engine run off the same tank as the current
engines; it saves some hassle but involves a
bit of initial installation. If you’re unsure how
to do this, consult a qualified mechanic. Find
one at www.abycinc.org
As an additional resource, dig into the
owners’ forums for your boat. You might
find an owner who has experience with other
options I haven’t listed here.
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