Size Kicker Motor For 18 Foot Boat

As a boat dealer that specializes in fishing boats, we frequently buy kicker or auxiliary motors. If you find that the idle speed is too high, a kicker will be quite helpful. 

Many different sorts of boaters like the possibility of using a backup kicker motor.

So, what size kicker motor for 18-foot boat do you need? 

Figuring out the kicker motor size you need for an 18-foot boat is quite easy. The horsepower of a kicker motor is 1/4 of the length of a boat. But generally, an 8 HP kicker motor is more than enough for an 18-foot boat. Along with the size, look for a kicker with fuel injection.

When selecting your next kicker, there are a few things to keep in mind. Are you interested to know more? 

Keep on reading to the next section.

Size of Kicker Motor for Your 18-Foot Boat 

A 9.9 HP with four strokes weighs more than 100 lbs. Even 25-foot boats can lift with that. In some situations, it’s necessary to touch up the bottom paint to increase the waterline. On the port side, the side the engine was put on.

For an 18-foot boat, an 8 HP kicker motor is well enough. If you choose mercury outboard, look out for its 9.9 pro kicker problems.

However, remember that some lower-powered boats may find it more challenging to take off.

Size Kicker Motor For 18 Foot Boat

Things to Consider While Choosing a Kicker Motor

Boaters must make a number of decisions. And take a number of factors into consideration when selecting an auxiliary outboard. Undoubtedly, a significant factor in determining whether the purchase turns out to be a good one.

Having a kicker definitely pays off for fishermen. However, the most recent portable outboard motors have numerous functions that earlier models did not. 

When buying an auxiliary outboard motor, keep these features in mind. These new updates on a kicker can really help you take advantage of the technology. 

Engine Injection

Like the Suzuki BT type shown below,  the newest compact engines come with fuel injection. Leaning over the transom to try to start a shaky outboard is not annoying. But it may also be dangerous. 

This is an excellent feature for a kicker motor. We strongly advise a fuel-injected auxiliary motor when purchasing new.

Control Mounted on a Handle

Older portable outboards needed the operator to reach alongside the cowling to change gears. Or lean out over the transom if the engine was bracket installed.

Unless it was set up as a remote-controlled engine. Thankfully, newer engines have friction on the tiller handle itself for the throttle, shift, and steering.

Power Tilt

Some kicker motors from more recent models, like the Suzuki in the image, feature power tilt. This is a fantastic convenience feature.

Because it eliminates the operator from leaning over the transom while operating the boat.

Tiller Handle Mounted in the Center

However, for boaters who intend to steer from the kicker motor itself, a center-mounted tiller. This can really help when the boat is in port or idling somewhere.

In case you have a remote-control kicker. Or you decide that the kicker motor’s handle should be locked. And if you use your primary engine as a rudder, it may not matter.

Shaft Length

The anti-ventilation plate on the kicker motor should be parallel to the hull’s bottom. By putting the engine a little deeper, many boaters will sacrifice some economy.

In exchange for a more dependable push in choppy water. When installed off-center, the kicker will need a shorter shaft length than the primary motor. 

Because it will have a shorter transom height (unless the boat is flat-bottomed). 

The shaft lengths for motors like the Yamaha 9.9 HT are 15, 20, and 25 inches.


Charging Mechanism

Your boat’s electrical system may be strained by running electronics, pumps, and entertainment. No matter which kicker you use, it’s likely that you’ll need to practice amp management.

The 9.9 hp models from Honda and Suzuki, provide a 12 amp charging output.

Benefits of Having a Kicker Motor

Confused about whether you should buy a kicker or pull back? Take a look at the pros of a kicker –

Compared to a Primary Engine, a Kicker Motor Will Use Less Fuel

The two-cylinder 9.9 motors will consume less fuel at idle than your main engine will.

But when you’re trolling, that kicker isn’t operating at idle. 

That tiny motor is probably going at three thousand RPM. And burns close to what the main engine idles at if the boat’s in current. Since nobody installs fuel flow sensors on their kicker motors. 

We have no reliable indicator of how much they actually burn. This is very reliant on your primary motor. A Yamaha F150 trolls at 0.6 GPH, as far as we know. Remember to match the horsepower your boat needs for the main engine.

Your Trolling Speed Is Slower With a Kicker Motor Than With Main Engines

This is wholly accurate and, in our opinion, the only valid defense of a kicker. Even while most current outboard motors include a “troll control” feature. These kicker motors typically can only lower their idle speed to 700 rpm. 

And then increase it in 50 rpm steps after that. If you find that the idle speed is too high, a kicker will be quite helpful. If you think that trolling speed is slow enough, save the kicker cash. And invest the $4k in a quality sonar system.

If you feel like your motors are running at excessive rpm. Check if it’s the spun prop or lower unit. Because spun prop usually feels like the prop is slipping as the rpm increases. 

For fishermen, the kicker is beneficial because they have to keep their boats idle. And a kicker can fill in the job of running. Without losing much fuel or engine power. 


What Size Should A Kicker Motor Be?

Most boaters choose a kicker with 9.9 horsepower. Which is the starting horsepower for High Thrust models. Anything smaller than that will be a typical, low-thrust model. For a kicker, these motors are used as frequently as high thrust ones. The size of the motor is roughly ⅕th of the boat’s weight.

Is A Kicker Motor Necessary?

If you find that the idle speed is too high, a kicker will be quite helpful. If you think that trolling speed is slow enough, save the kicker cash. and invest in a quality sonar system, it will save you money in the long run. Compared to your primary engine, a kicker motor will use less fuel.

Why Do Fishing Boats Have Kicker Motors?

In a big boat, a kicker motor is frequently used for trolling. Most outboard motors simply can’t go at a slow enough speed for trolling some fish. Therefore, fishermen will utilize their main motor to travel to their preferred fishing location. Then they use the kicker to troll lures.


With that, the article covers everything on what size kicker motor for 18-foot boat. We hope the article helps you weigh the pros and cons of getting a kicker. 

What did you decide? Is a kicker worth it for a fisherman? 

Best of luck with your fishing journey!

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