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Jackplate advice

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My son just bought a used Nitro Z-7 , 150 Merc. Optimax equipped with a jackplate. Our previous boat was a Fisher marine with a 50.  How does one approach driving a boat with this setup.  Can I read instructions somewhere on proper driving technique?

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First you are located in NE PA. I know there are lots of clubs out in that state. I lived near Harrisburg PA and fished with many of them.  There are no book on this stuff.  You will need to start by lowering the jackplate and tucking the engine down in.  As you come out of the hole there is a seat of the pants feel to bringing up the trim and the jackplate.  The easiest way is to ride with someone that has one and then driving with them on your boat.  If you really want hands on training I suggest you contact a friend on mine in the York area. Find Susquehanna Fishing Tackle and ask to talk to Mike or George.  They both do some guiding and may be willing to work out a small fee to help you out. If not they will know someone that will.  It is not hard but takes some seat time. I also recommend you watch a few videos on you tube.

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Unless its a hydraulic plate ,drive it just like a boat without one. Tuck it in to get it to break over and trim up from there.

When you find the sweet spot ,remember where it is on the trim gauge for reference and you'll have a idea of where to go to.

That's a easy boat to drive. You shouldn't have any issues at all.

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Is it a hydraulic or manual jackplate?  If it's manual, the answer is easy....Just drive it, you can't move it while running anyway. 

 

If it's hydraulic you can adjust on the fly, but in terms of what you need to do while running the answer is still nothing.  You can make adjustments on the fly, such as lowering the plate for better handling in rough water or raising it for better performance (keep an eye on water pressure if raising)...But it's not something that needs constant input in order to drive the boat.  

 

9 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

You will need to start by lowering the jackplate and tucking the engine down in.  As you come out of the hole there is a seat of the pants feel to bringing up the trim and the jackplate.

You're describing trim and not jackplate operation.  If the plate is at an appropriate/universal setting you don't need to adjust it every time you take off (and you shouldn't). 

 

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Sorry Logan I have been with guys whose boats like to jump over best with the plate down and some prefer it to be up high on take off. I agree with the statement the rest is trim related.  One of the boats that liked the plate all the way down was an old Stratos my friend owned. At least that was what he felt , I am not sure since I never drove it.

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It is hydraulic, and my old boat had power trim so I understand that aspect of it. Guess I was wondering whether to start with it all the way up, down, or in the middle of the range. I would have assumed in the middle, but wanted to ask. I will look for videos. With the Fisher (SV-16 GT) I had a hydrofoil and that pretty much took the power trim out of the picture except for small adjustments. That thing was a dream to drive (although at top speed of 33mph). It kept us safe since 1987. (really liked the six gallon tank HA!) This Nitro is a whole nother ball of wax for us. Thanks for the replies guys.

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Search for prop to pad height for your particular setup. Thats going to be a good starting point. There are folks on here that are setup gurus. I'm not one of them but I'd start around 3" below pad for general use. That could mean mid to low on the plate just depending on exactly where the plate is mounted on the transom.

 

 

 

 

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The centerline of the prop shaft is normally 3” to 3 1/2” below the center of the boats plane surface. Trim the engine so the cavitation plate level with the pad surface, then measure from the prop center line to the pad, use a straight edge like a flat board. Mark the jackplate with a sharpie at 3 1/2” for lower position and leave it set there when running at speed, don’t raise higher then 1”  without checking the upper water intake ports don’t suck in air. 

Raising the engine with the jackplate when running slow, not on plane, for shallow water is OK.

Drive the boat like you always did, trim the engine down, not the jackplate, to get up on plane then trim up to increase speed. If you lift the engine up using the jackplate be careful and watch the water pressure doesn’t jump around or drop below 10-15 psi indicating it’s sucking air.

Tom

 

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