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VS-MasterAngler

Jackplate.... YES or NO??

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Most say they don't need it or recommend it.  There are a few guys on here that will give you a better interpretation of why.  Whichwaysup, NagJuice and conocean, they will all concur I believe.

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Unless the design of the boat/hull requires it, or particular fishing needs require it - I would not install one.  JPs add weight and stress to your transom which will lead to stern squat and an increase in hull draft.  Top speed increase is not noticeable in most cases.  Just my advice and opinion.

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Speed gains will be minimal to none.  Draft increase is minimal as well and can be compensated with shifting some things around like troller batteries.  This isn't a Jon boat so stress on the transom I wouldn't be to concerned with especially with only 6" setback.

It boils down to where and how you use the boat.  Do you run a lot of shallow water?  Do you idle to and from spots across shallow water?  Do you need to get up on plane in shallow water?  Having a jackplate helps me get up on plane in shallow water and that's my biggest plus.  Burry tabs, raise the plate, hammer the throttle! Idling in shallow water without having my prop in the air is a plus as well.

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4 minutes ago, Lap it Up said:

Speed gains will be minimal to none.  Draft increase is minimal as well and can be compensated with shifting some things around like troller batteries.  This isn't a Jon boat so stress on the transom I wouldn't be to concerned with especially with only 6" setback.

It boils down to where and how you use the boat.  Do you run a lot of shallow water?  Do you idle to and from spots across shallow water?  Do you need to get up on plane in shallow water?  Having a jackplate helps me get up on plane in shallow water and that's my biggest plus.  Burry tabs, raise the plate, hammer the throttle! Idling in shallow water without having my prop in the air is a plus as well.

Couldn't agree more. I fish in a lot of no wake areas where you need to idle along a shallow flat to get to where you want to fish. Having the prop always pushing directly forward is huge for this. I wouldn't have a boat without one. 

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I want one so badly I can taste it.  my last one had one and I liked it as an insurance policy on the lower unit.  Those 6 inches can make a big difference.  I does not improve running performance, but it is really nice in shallow water conditions and helps get up in tight water.  

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1 hour ago, whichwaysup said:

I does not improve running performance, but it is really nice in shallow water conditions and helps get up in tight water.  

You're right but you can get even skinnier using a TM and you won't blow out all the fish in the process! 

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I would not add one. Just in my experience, two of my friends have 18.5 MAs with jack plates and my 17 MA has a much drier ride and is more balanced w/o a jackplate. I can also get my bow up much better than they can using the tabs. I will say it would be nice sometimes to have the jackplate when idling a shallow flat.

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There's a lot of good info, pros and cons on this thread.  I am not totally against having a JP.  They can be beneficial for certain boat setups.  I installed one out of necessity to get my prop into cleaner water with less ventilation.  Idling in shallow water is nice, as is powering the boat onto the trailer at a shallow ramp.  However, in general, there are things to consider before you decide to move a 400+ LB motor back 6 or more inches from the transom.  The balance of the boat will change.  Other things to consider are hull slap and porpoising.  Ask guys with your same model boat and motor before you leap.

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You know what would be REALLY cool for this forum?   If we were all registered based on our boat make/model - and we could send out surveys to folks with the model/year/specifications we were targeting for questions like this -  

It would be nice to have a quick answer like "Do you have a jackplate on your MA 18, and do you like it?"  Bam, you get a quick poll result and know the general consensus.

Okay, back to work.   Dang I wish I were out fishing right now.

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