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What Size Kicker Motor for 17’ Boat: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to selecting the right kicker motor for your 17-foot boat, there are several factors to consider. The size and weight of your boat, the intended use, and your personal preferences all play a crucial role in determining the ideal kicker motor for your needs. In this article, we will explore these factors and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions to further assist you in your search for the perfect kicker motor.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Kicker Motor

1. Boat Size and Weight: The size and weight of your boat are essential considerations when selecting a kicker motor. A 17-foot boat typically falls within the range of 1,500 to 3,000 pounds. It is crucial to match the horsepower of your kicker motor to the size and weight of your boat. Undersized motors may struggle to provide sufficient power, while oversized motors can be excessive and inefficient.

2. Intended Use: The intended use of your boat plays a significant role in determining the ideal kicker motor. If you primarily use your boat for trolling or maneuvering in tight spaces, a smaller motor with lower horsepower may be suitable. On the other hand, if you frequently navigate in rough waters or require more power for water sports or longer trips, a larger motor with higher horsepower would be more appropriate.

3. Fuel Efficiency: Fuel efficiency is an important consideration, especially if you plan on spending long hours on the water. Higher horsepower motors tend to consume more fuel. Therefore, if fuel efficiency is a priority, you may want to opt for a smaller motor with lower horsepower.

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4. Transom Height: The transom height of your boat is another crucial factor. Most boats have a standard transom height, and it is essential to choose a kicker motor that matches this height. An incorrect transom height can affect the performance and efficiency of your motor.

5. Budget: Your budget is always a significant consideration when making any purchase. Kicker motors come in a range of prices, and it is essential to find a balance between your budget and the features you require. While it may be tempting to opt for a cheaper option, compromising on quality and performance can be counterproductive in the long run.


Q: Can I use an outboard motor as a kicker motor?

A: Yes, you can use an outboard motor as a kicker motor. However, it is important to ensure that the outboard motor is compatible with your boat’s size and weight. Additionally, keep in mind that outboard motors are generally more powerful and may consume more fuel compared to dedicated kicker motors.

Q: What type of fuel should I use for my kicker motor?

A: Most kicker motors are designed to run on gasoline. It is recommended to use high-quality gasoline with the recommended octane rating specified by the manufacturer. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding fuel type and any additives that may be required.

Q: Is it necessary to have a separate battery for the kicker motor?

A: While it is not necessary to have a separate battery for the kicker motor, it is highly recommended. A separate battery ensures that the main engine and kicker motor do not drain the same power source, preventing potential battery drain issues and ensuring the availability of power when needed.

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Q: Can I mount the kicker motor myself, or should I seek professional help?

A: Mounting the kicker motor can be a complex task that requires precision and knowledge. It is generally recommended to seek professional help or consult the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper installation. An incorrect installation can lead to performance issues, damage to the boat, or even potential safety hazards.

In conclusion, selecting the right kicker motor for your 17-foot boat is a critical decision that should be based on various factors such as boat size and weight, intended use, fuel efficiency, transom height, and budget. By considering these factors and addressing any specific concerns through the frequently asked questions section, you can make an informed decision that will enhance your boating experience. Remember to consult with experts or manufacturers when in doubt to ensure optimal performance and safety on the water.