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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

After a lot of thought and research I finally started my jackplate build for my Saltmarsh 1444. My motivation is with my 2006 Yamaha 25MSH 15” shaft 2 stroke I have run out of transom attempting to achieve optimum height so my options are; raise the transom or some sort of jackplate. After combing the internet for what was available, I decided to build my own.


Step one: after measuring and measuring, looking locally for material I ended up ordering my material precut from MidwestSteelSupply.com and after 1 1/2 weeks it arrived at my door. They did a great job with all the cuts within 1/16” and the plate was perfectly square. Here’s what I ordered Order;


Contents

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6061 Aluminum Association Channel (61ACH326)

AluminumChannel: 3" x 1.75" .170

Quantity: 1

Length: 24.0000

Price: $27.41

Item Total: $27.41

6061 Aluminum Plate (6061ASHT3125)

Size: .3125

Quantity: 1

Width: 10.0000

Length: 14.0000

Price: $19.95

Item Total : $19.95


Order Totals

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Subtotal: $47.36


Shipping (UPS Ground): $13.61

ORDER TOTAL: $60.97


Step two(tools): the only reason I was able to do this myself is because of how well aluminum cuts. The only power tools needed are a plug router, skillsaw, drill, and a angle grinder and orbital sander to speed things up fit and finish wise. With the router all is needed is a wood upcut bit (1/2” in my case) and some standard wood bevel bits.

Now to start building...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Aluminum worked great and it ended up being 20% cheaper than trying to get scraps cut at a local fabricator.


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1/4” bevels cut on either side to fit the shape of the U channel and well as edges cleaned up with a 45 degree cut
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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3” long slots marked and ready to cut
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I bolted a small piece of angel to my router as a more accurate guide and used clamps as stops on the jig so I didn’t over cut. I plugged the router less than 1/16” at a time. The 1/2 bit was pushing my 2.5hp router but it worked.
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I’m using 1/2” OD x 3/8” ID bushings so I can replace them and it may help it slide a little smoother.
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All cleaned up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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U channel roughed up and holes drilled for the backing plate slots. I regular old wood blade on a skill saw cuts it like butter. I did mess up on my first cut so ended up a little short on material if you are wondering about the shape of the cuts on the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Bushings cut to height. They are actually Bronze if I said brass earlier. I’ll post links of everything purchased and a total cost at the end.
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Lots of sanding and polishing. I used my palm sander and went: 120g, 220g, 400g, flipped a used sanding pad and pasted some buffing compound on it, finished with a hand polish and aluminum treatment.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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I went with a 3” of adjustment. On the top of the plate there is 1 1/2” from the top to the slot and on the bottom of the plate 1”. This way I could always flip the plate and have another 1/2” to play with if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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For a little extra security I made a motor clamp bracket out of 3/4” starboard. Drilled and tapped 1/4x20 threads in the plate and it came looking nice.
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jackplate is almost done. If you haven’t guessed, I worked on it last week and I’m just getting around to posting. Planning to mount it today and run it in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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Just because I haven’t spent enough time on it... ha. I added some $5 amazon stainless rulers and center punched some marked on either side. I used two part epoxy so hopefully they will stay on. I figured when adjusting it might make things easier getting it level(if that’s an issue) and I’ll have some real numbers to go by in testing.
 

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OP this is pretty slick!

Nice. I wish I had known that wood working bits would handle aluminum when I made mine.
Nate
Be careful... They can but it's not the most ideal. Different cutting geometries on the bits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OP this is pretty slick!


Be careful... They can but it's not the most ideal. Different cutting geometries on the bits.
I had to play with the speed a little, used W40 as a lubricant to keep the aluminum from sticking to the tool, and did shallow slow cuts at a time (1/16” at most). Definitely wore all of my safety gear and had a vac hooked to the router. Still got aluminum all over my shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Unfortunately I have some bad news... it’s a little embarrassing but I didn’t achieve the results I was looking for, the biggest ones being; eliminate porpoising without having to run negative trim, slightly more speed from getting the cavitation plate above the water, and slightly higher rpms to get my motor more in the power zone(running low 5k loaded with current prop. That being said, the jackplate worked as designed and looked really good in the water.

So, I’m going to think on it for a minute but there is a very good chance I will be taking it off and running my motor how it was de before. I could just lower it down but I don’t want the setback if it’s not needed. I could also(by design) take the u channel off and use the slot holes in the backing plate to mount that directly to the transom and can adjust the height like that wi only 5/16” additional setback. Sadly it might be going up for sale if I don’t have a use for it in the near future. My boat is limited with its hull design and I didn’t achieve any higher numbers with the jack plate. It runs 29mph with two people as it was.
 
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