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PART 2 - Motor
Kind of an oxymoron, a drift boat with a motor! This was perhaps the biggest pain to figure out for me. I knew tons of guys run motors on their drift boats, and most just slap it on the transom and call it good. Perhaps they'll mount a backer board, but that's about all the thought that goes into it. I tried this method but wasn't totally satisfied with the results. The transoms on the drifters have a severe angle, causing the motor to run almost underneath the boat. Also, the anchor and motor utilize the same space so every time you drop the anchor you need to be careful it doesn't hit the prop. You can partially correct the angle problem by running your motor on the shallow water bracket. This almost corrects it, but not quite. Also, when launching the boat, the angle isn't enough to keep the motor out of the dirt on a steep launch. Don't ask me how I know! After quite a bit of research I found most people just put up with the short-comings and mount it right to the transom. Well, that's not good enough for me; I wanted a "better mousetrap". I looked around for something to cut the angle down as well as provide a little additional height as I launch at a few steep sites and don't want to rip the motor off. What I ended up with is a product not exactly designed for drift boats, but it'll do the job.

It's called a stainless steel jack-plate. I picked it up at Cabela's for about $120. It's rated for motors up to 20 hp and not recommended for 4 strokes because of torque issues. Since mine's only a 6hp motor I didn't think it would be a problem. They do have another model rated for 4 strokes but it's twice the price. This product corrects a few problem areas for me. First, it's got a transom adjustment range to correct the trim, or angle of the transom. Also, it provides a little more height as it lowers and raises by about a foot. Lastly, it pushes the motor back by about a foot as well. I had a little clearance problem with my anchor. Every time I lowered or raised the anchor with the motor down it would hit it!
The only drawback to this system is the fact you'll need to run a tiller extension. Either that or you'll be sitting behind your rear seat! I got a nice one for about $30 that extends to 6'. I'm still not perfectly happy with this setup but it looks like about the best remedy. I wonder if there's a way for the manufacturers to re-design the transom to more easily accept an outboard?
Installation was relatively easy, drill 4 holes through the transom and bolt it up. Enclosed was a template and all the hardware needed to complete the job. I did end up using different bolts than what came with it. The bolts were a little long for this application, they're meant for larger boats with a thicker transom. I added a backer board to even the load on the transom. I didn't want to use wood for the backer as it wouldn't last very long, absorbs water, etc. I opted for a thick plastic. After looking around at a half dozen hardware stores and finding nothing I had an idea -- a cutting board. I dug around in the kitchen and found an old white thick plastic cutting board. I trimmed it down to size and mounted it - Perfect!
I've been running this setup for several months and have had no problems what-so-ever. As I said earlier, I wish the boat manufacturers would re-think the transom mount issue, but until they do, this setup is probably about the best we can hope for.
   

   
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