View Full Version : kicker motor on a prostar

04-27-2017, 12:12 AM
Is this a little nuts???? can I mount a kicker motor to the swim platform of my 88 prostar 190???
The backstory.
I have to negotiate a 1 mile long access river to get to the lake where my boat will summer. Its shallow. This is my first inboard and with my past boat, an I/O, I would hit the bottom pretty often, maybe every 3rd trip down the river... keep in mind, I would travel the whole river at headway speed with the motor tipped up as high as possible.. granted with the I/O, I just scrapped up the skeg a bit without any real prop damage... Spinning that expensive prop and possible damage to the prop shaft has me worried.
So finally, back to the question
I have been wondering if I can build a simple reinforced L shaped bracket to mount a 4 hp kicker motor or electric to get down the river... again only looking at headway speed. I was thinking 1.5 " plywood and C-clamps to attach it to the swim platform... any yahoos out there want to encourage me? I could use it.

04-27-2017, 12:16 AM
You still might hit your running gear. It may not be as bad as if you were running but the prop, rudder and skegs will still be low. I would like to think that low of speed it would be ok. Also the draft of your inboard might be less that your I/O.

04-27-2017, 02:52 AM
Your swim platform should definitely be strong enough to handle it if that's what you're wondering. I see nothing wrong with that.

04 Star Rider
04-27-2017, 06:39 AM
Do what you gotta do. What is your plan for the kicker when it's time to run the boat at speed?

04-27-2017, 10:49 AM
I think the issue is the weight/balance of the motor on the platform when you are running at speeds. There is a lot of play when they are pulled up all the way, and it would be constant movement.

04-27-2017, 11:11 AM
A little electric motor should easily be detachable and stored away in the bow. That's what I would do.

04-27-2017, 11:14 AM
He says the boat will "summer" there so I assume the kicker motor will be removed before going with much speed with the real motor. If that is not the plan, it should be. I think it would be ok unless the platform is showing some weakness as it is an '88. We certainly push and pull our boats by hand with the platform from time to time.

04-27-2017, 11:47 AM
Is the bottom of the river mud, or rocks?

04-27-2017, 02:19 PM
If the bottom is mud I'd just run the boat prop, dead slow. Bumping in and out of gear. 2mph will take you 30 minutes.

Is that really the only way to get to the lake? Are you the only one using this lake? Why isn't there a ramp in the deep end? If your platform isn't compromised for some reason a small motor shoukd be fine.

04-27-2017, 03:51 PM
Dumb question. Presume you cannot trailer her over to this lake?

First thought is you were intending to go fishing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

04-27-2017, 04:21 PM
I'd say that's a big risk with 1800 bucks in gear scraping anything... but it's your boat... how shallow is shallow - draft should be about 24" on that rig... a little ballast up front may buy you a few inches in the back - take the prop off for another 6 inches... get you to about 16ish draft... possibly -

D. Newland
04-27-2017, 04:33 PM
Is there some kid on the lake with a small Whaler or other runabout that can pull you through there for a little cash?

04-27-2017, 04:38 PM
Reminds me of this picture from a few years ago.
Honestly I don't think its a horrible idea. I did something similar on a small 16 sailboat a few years ago.
They would come out of the water when on plane. I'm sure it would mess up a surf wake though.
I think its worth a try if the other option is 'No Mastercraft"

Id check out:

04-27-2017, 06:59 PM
You could remove the prop and refit it once you arrive (can be fine by a diver) but really there is a nice lake and NO way to launch into it?

04-27-2017, 07:16 PM
1 mile? Swim it in with a rope tied around your waist. It might take hours. Seriously, If it was hitting the skeg on an i/o propped up, you run the risk of hitting the fins, or worse yet the rudder,prop or shaft.

04-27-2017, 09:19 PM
May be a stupid and expensive idea but contact an underwater salvage company and see if they will sell you some used underwater air lift bags....float it out. For that matter, maybe a few towable tubes strategically placed under the stern would lift the gear high enough. If you try it, make sure to video the experience.

DISCLAIMER- I am not an engineer and didn't sleep in a Holiday Inn last night

04-27-2017, 09:40 PM
Yes, the access river is the only way onto the lake. The kicker motor would not be permanent or for fishing... just for getting down the river. Yes the boat will stay down there for the season. I have thought of removing the prop for the few extra inches. The level of the river varies some though last fall was the shallowest i have ever seen it. and where its shallow its pretty hard. The factory specs on the I/O say the 36" motor down, 15" motor up, though I think its a little more than that... over the whole distance there are a couple of areas that are the worst. i have considered other ideas like: adding the ballast to the front to raise the back up a little. I have also wondered about strapping a barrel under the swim platform to raise the back. (no kicker in this case). I think the wood of the swim platform is in decent shape and think this will work especially going slow... I am glad to hear others think its at least feasible. thanks guys.

04-27-2017, 10:01 PM
You could easily temporarily mount a trolling motor to the platform. You could also have a person or two sit on the bow to look for rocks, assuming water is clear. If there are only known sections where depth/rocks are a problem, you could walk boat thru those areas. It's amazing how little water is necessary for a direct drive to float clear of the lake bottom. But you have to remember, once you get below what is required to float, you are in a bad way.

04-27-2017, 10:10 PM
You said the bottom was hard... like rocky? I'm out. Borrow someone else's boat, find the best route, then take the MC.

Some fish finder equipment can give u a pretty good picture of the bottom. You may try to borrow something from a fisherman. I don't fish and don't know much about the subject but once when helping install a slalom course my friend had something to scan the river bottom looking for the course anchors.

Or could you clamp a piece of bar stock to your first tracking finaking sure this piece is lower than any running gear. Then if your "feeler" hits something you can back out of there.

I can't believe your lake is that hard to access.

04-27-2017, 10:20 PM
I like the barrel under deck idea and / or airbags or floats under the boat.
Trolling motor to the shallow spot then Floats under the boat and walk it through the shallow area.
People or ballast in the bow may help too.
Make sure your fuel tank is as low as you are comfortable with during the trip.

04-28-2017, 12:03 AM
either remove the prop and put it back on when you are at home or what i do and i am in a better situation than you i go through 2 lakes and 2 channels that are shallow is i purchased a disposable prop from ski-it-again and use that to get the boat home then swap out for a good prop and do not worry about it. if you swap props like that however get yourself a prop puller or else you will hate life.

good luck

04-28-2017, 08:08 AM
It's been done before.

04-28-2017, 12:27 PM
Does anybody else have an inboard on that lake? I assume since this is a one way in and out situation that somebody before you has tried this.

04-28-2017, 01:18 PM
I regularly mount an electric Trolling motor to my 2013 X30 for fishing. It works great. It's kind of nice to troll slowly in complete silence. The only bad thing is pushing a 5000lb boat with a little electric motor drains the batteries. I will have to get a picture of it.

04-28-2017, 09:43 PM
There are just a few inboards on the lake, maybe 3-5?, not sure how they get down... my prostar was a late season purchase and while I had always wanted one, it just sort of came about by chance... I remember a guy that used to do some maintenance on my old boat talking years back about one of the inboard guys on the lake always getting towed down the river by a rowboat with an outboard, (that particular guy is long gone). I am not sure how the other guys do it. maybe they just risk it ? or maybe they get towed down by a jet ski? thats what I would do if i had one. Thanks for all the ideas.

04-28-2017, 10:33 PM
What lake is this? Would love to see a google map of it.

04-28-2017, 10:34 PM
fill the nose with weight

04 Star Rider
04-29-2017, 04:46 PM
Be careful with the barrel under your platform. Those brackets are designed to have forces pressing down. Not sure if the forces up will do any damage.

09-11-2017, 12:23 AM
Hey guys, wanted to follow up.... Well, I did use a kicker motor to pull my boat out today, I built a simple transom out of 2x8's, I was planning to use plywood, but this is what I had hanging around. I then clamped it to my swim platform using C clamps. I did this so I could travel down the long and shallow access river that is the only way to get on and off our lake. This worked amazing well. I didn't end up using additional weights or anything.
Finally, I talked one of the local guys that repairs a lot of boats. He told me that in general, if someone has a ski boat he just wont take it down the river. He said, a couple of the people have them get them towed down by row boats with small outboard, a couple get towed down by jet skis and a couple just go for it... thats what I did in the spring when the water was really high, like at least a foot higher than normal. (in general, there are probably only 6-8 ? ski boat total on this lake)

09-11-2017, 02:22 AM
Great temporary solution that is completely removable. Got to do what you have to to get your ski boat on the lake right? ;)

09-13-2017, 11:41 PM
For anyone wondering, This was a 2 hp Johnson outboard. a 4hp would have been better. It was tough or at least nerve racking navigating from way in the back on a narrow river with shallows and rocks. Part of my thinking in using the kicker was that at least if I nick the bottom the prop wont' be spinning with force... If I had dive gear or a lift I could have also pulled the prop to save damage in the case of a bottom strike.