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How To Make Your Boat Faster
Wilson Custom Marine could take a 55 mph runabout and have it running close to 60 mph after blueprinting the bottom.
4. Jack Plates
Speed Gain: 2-7 mph
Cost Per MPH Gained: $106.42
Bottom Line: A good move for overall performance with any outboard
It’s irrefutable that the less there is of a given appendage in the water, the less drag it will create. Hence the development of jack plates for outboard motors. A jack plate installs on the transom, and the outboard motor is mounted on the jack plate. Raise the plate and there’s less of the outboard motor’s lower unit in the water. This reduces drag and improves efficiency. Among the most popular jack plates are the corrosion-resistant aluminum models from CMC Marine (cmcmarineproducts.com).
Manual jack plates don’t allow you to change the height while the boat is under way; electrohydraulic versions let you adjust engine height on the fly using up/down switches at the helm. Additionally, because the plates position the motor between four and 10 inches farther aft, engine trim will have greater influence, which improves efficiency as well. Installation is straightforward, involving no more than drilling a couple of holes and filling some old ones for manual plates and running hydraulic hoses and wire harnesses for the power versions. If you install a jack plate, you should also install water intakes on the outboard’s nose cone (“low-water pickups”) to ensure a steady flow of cooling water as the lower unit is elevated.