What is the purpose / benefit of a jackplate? What is the purpose / benefit of a jackplate?
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    What is the purpose / benefit of a jackplate?
from Kennyboy (  
12/21/2006 6:02:00 PM


 I've seen a lot of comments & questions here re: Jackplates. I have seen a couple on boats at a dealer, but I don't quite understand what the purpose of one is. Do you use a jackplate instead of "trimming out" your outboard? If so, how is that better?

Thanks for the info.


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   plate from GotMyAlly (  12/21/2006 6:14:00 PM
 The jackplate gives the motor more leverage to lift the boat. It is just a longer lever arm...kinda like a longer breaker bar gives you more leverage. You don't use a jackplate instead of trimming out, but it might let you trim a little less and still achieve the same lift. Than in itself would give you a little more performance because more thrust would be going straight back instead of up in the air. It also gives you the ability to fine tune the motor height.

   And from Nightmare  12/21/2006 11:06:00 PM
 In addition to GMA's points and concerning motor height, it's hard to impress on a person who hasn't played with a jp just how much difference it makes on performance. Unbelievable amounts of potential are lost when a motor is set too low. It's like running with an anchor thrown out there dragging behind you. And that's just it - drag. The more lower unit in the water, the more speed lost. Less than a half inch of adjustment from optimum can lose 5-7 mph. Besides the extra motor being dragged through the water, it's also keeping more of the hull from coming unstuck from the water surface...More hull contact, more drag, less speed. Last but not least, some hulls will experience chine walk at wot just from having the motor set too low. Just normally not any reason to have to drive a 'walking' boat at speeds less than 70.

Now, it's possible to adjust motor height without a jp but it involves unbolting the motor from the transom and moving it to a different set of holes (of which there's 4-5 sets available. The problem is that you can't fine tune it since the holes are spaced 1.5" apart. Plus, every time you mess with dismounting the motor from the transom, you risk not getting a good seal on the holes where the bolts pass through the transom and water intrustion is death on a transom over time.

Did we mention props? If you have occassion to use a variety of props, it's almost a given that motor height will need some adjustment since different props tend to like different height settings.

When a mere 1/4" can make the difference between the perfect spot and something less (or much less), you can see why the adjustability of a jp is the cat's azzz.

   Thanks Guys from Kennyboy (  12/22/2006 9:36:00 AM
 Makes a lot of sense - thanks for the info.


   How do know where to adjust from Nitroman (  12/22/2006 10:24:00 AM
 What is the process to adjust your motor height with a jackplate? Do you adjust on the water? Are there pre adjustments marked for motor heights on the jackplates. Very interesting stuff. I am just starting the process to upgrade motors and never thougth much about jackplates until recent posts.

   nitroman.... from GotMyAlly (  12/22/2006 10:47:00 AM
 It is all trial and error. You have to run it, get a feel for what the boat is doing, and then make a small adjustment then go run it again. Repeat until the performance starts to drop off, then lower it back down 1/4". Some can be adjusted on the water; some are easier to do on the trailer. Also make sure you have a water psi guage...it is easy to get one too high with the jackplate if you are trying to squeeze every last bit out of it.

   Hydraulic Jack Plate from Shane (  10/28/2007 4:36:00 PM
 I bought a jackplate from magemarine.com and gained 9 MPH on my 19' tiderunner. I can adjust the height of my motor with the flip of a switch and installation was a snap. The hydraulic option was a little more expensive, but definitely worth the extra cost.



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