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What Size Kicker Motor for 20 Foot Boat?

When it comes to choosing the right kicker motor for your 20-foot boat, there are several factors to consider. The size of the motor plays a crucial role in determining the boat’s performance, fuel efficiency, and overall safety. In this article, we will discuss the various factors that should be taken into account while selecting the appropriate kicker motor size for your 20-foot boat.

Factors to Consider

1. Boat Weight and Size: The weight and size of your boat are significant factors in determining the appropriate kicker motor size. Generally, a 20-foot boat falls into the range of 2,000 to 4,000 pounds. Consider the weight of the boat, including passengers, fuel, and equipment, to understand the power required to propel it efficiently.

2. Intended Use: Another crucial factor is the intended use of your boat. If you plan on using it for fishing, you may require a more powerful kicker motor to navigate through rough waters and against strong currents. On the other hand, if you intend to use it for leisurely cruising, a smaller motor may be sufficient.

3. Speed and Performance: Decide on the desired speed and performance of your boat. If you want to achieve higher speeds, you’ll need a larger kicker motor. However, keep in mind that larger motors consume more fuel.

4. Fuel Efficiency: Fuel efficiency is an essential consideration for many boat owners. Smaller kicker motors tend to be more fuel-efficient compared to larger ones. If you plan on long trips or extended use, it’s wise to choose a motor that provides a good balance between power and fuel consumption.

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5. Budget: Your budget plays a significant role in determining the size of the kicker motor. Larger motors are generally more expensive than smaller ones. Consider your budget and weigh it against your requirements to find the right balance.


Q1. What is a kicker motor?
A kicker motor, also known as an auxiliary motor, is a secondary outboard motor installed on a boat to provide additional power and maneuverability. It is usually smaller in size compared to the primary motor and is used for trolling, maneuvering in tight spaces, or as a backup in case the main motor fails.

Q2. Why do I need a kicker motor for my 20-foot boat?
A kicker motor is beneficial for several reasons. It provides additional power for trolling, allowing you to maintain a precise speed while fishing. It also acts as a backup in case the main motor malfunctions or runs out of fuel. Additionally, a kicker motor can help maneuver your boat in tight spaces, such as docking or navigating through shallow waters.

Q3. What size kicker motor is suitable for a 20-foot boat?
The appropriate size of the kicker motor depends on various factors, including boat weight, intended use, desired speed, and budget. As a general guideline, a 20-foot boat would typically require a kicker motor with a minimum power output of 5 to 10 horsepower (HP). However, if you frequently encounter strong currents or rough waters, a more powerful motor may be necessary.

Q4. Can I use the same brand for both my main motor and kicker motor?
While it is not necessary to use the same brand for both motors, it is recommended to ensure compatibility and ease of maintenance. Using the same brand can also simplify the installation process, as the mounting brackets and controls may be designed to work together seamlessly.

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Choosing the right size kicker motor for your 20-foot boat is crucial for optimal performance, fuel efficiency, and safety. Consider factors such as boat weight, intended use, desired speed, and budget to determine the appropriate motor size. Remember to strike a balance between power and fuel consumption to ensure an enjoyable boating experience.