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2021 coastal flats 195 w/ 90hp Suzuki. 1999 fish master 1436 w/ 20hp suzuki
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Discussion Starter #1
Ive just bought plans for a salt boat works micro skiff, the 12ft one and I was wondering how big. of an engine I could safely put on it. The website recommends 5-6 hp but ive seen some with 9.9. If I did use a larger engine would I have to reinforce the transom? Ill take any recommendations on brands for the engine too, I've been rocking Suzuki the last couple years but I just want to hear any ideas.
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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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It looks stern heavy already with the outboard that is on it. If you want more horsepower then that means more weight which will most likely negatively affect performance and draft. If you want more horsepower add some length and width to it.
 

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That "stern heavy" photo might have more to do with what's in that cooler - and where it is... but Smack is on the money.. Since that size motor is a clamp on proposition you do have the option of borrowing a 9 horse and giving it a try... to see how it fares. If it were me, I'd check with the folks you got the plans from before building up the transom. They'll advise you what's do-able...
 

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2021 coastal flats 195 w/ 90hp Suzuki. 1999 fish master 1436 w/ 20hp suzuki
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Discussion Starter #4
It looks stern heavy already with the outboard that is on it. If you want more horsepower then that means more weight which will most likely negatively affect performance and draft. If you want more horsepower add some length and width to it.
That "stern heavy" photo might have more to do with what's in that cooler - and where it is... but Smack is on the money.. Since that size motor is a clamp on proposition you do have the option of borrowing a 9 horse and giving it a try... to see how it fares. If it were I'd check with the folks you got the plans from before building up the transom. They'll advise you what's do-able...
Alright thanks for the info! Ill see if I can borrow a couple sizes and figure out which one works the best.
 

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2019 Jackson Mayfly, Jackson Kilroy DT
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It looks stern heavy already with the outboard that is on it. If you want more horsepower then that means more weight which will most likely negatively affect performance and draft. If you want more horsepower add some length and width to it.
I know that it's wood and can be modified as needed, but it kinda looks like length and width have already been determined. It probably isn't a bad idea to beef up the transom especially since you're still in the building stage. If nothing else, you'll have peace of mind that a larger, heavier outboard won't be a problem. Looks great by the way!
 

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One last point... whatever you do, add a leash to any portable motor (and short enough to keep your power head dry if a screw mounted motor jumps off the transom and heads for the bottom) installed on a small skiffs. Those simple clamping screws on portable motors can come loose on you over time...
 

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2021 coastal flats 195 w/ 90hp Suzuki. 1999 fish master 1436 w/ 20hp suzuki
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Discussion Starter #7
One last point... whatever you do, add a leash to any portable motor (and short enough to keep your power head dry if a screw mounted motor jumps off the transom and heads for the bottom) installed on a small skiffs. Those simple clamping screws on portable motors can come loose on you over time...
Don't worry I will make sure to, over the summer the 20hp flew off the back of my Jon boat and was held in by a piece of paracord tied to the drain plug! talk about a close call.
 

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It's hard to tell in the pics, but is the transom just a single sheet of 3/8" with a clamping board in the middle and no knees? If so I would definitely add some support before going with a bigger motor.

The problem with a lot of these designs is if they have been around for a while then they were designed to be used with lighter 2-stroke motors. The 4-strokes are heavier so adjustments need to be made. You can see that boat sitting stern low already, and there's little doubt you will weigh more then that cooler.
 

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I Love Skinny Water
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It's hard to tell in the pics, but is the transom just a single sheet of 3/8" with a clamping board in the middle and no knees? If so I would definitely add some support before going with a bigger motor.

The problem with a lot of these designs is if they have been around for a while then they were designed to be used with lighter 2-stroke motors. The 4-strokes are heavier so adjustments need to be made. You can see that boat sitting stern low already, and there's little doubt you will weigh more then that cooler.
I don't know anything about building boats. But I was think the same thing. He needs to add more to that transom
 
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2019 Jackson Mayfly, Jackson Kilroy DT
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Use the smaller motor. You don’t want any extra stern weight. More speed sounds cool, but that hull is not made to go faster than designed.

Nate
I think that it's hard to resist the potential for the extra speed with a 9.9 (along with a reinforced transom). You know that after mounting the 5-6hp, Coastalkid will always wish that he had just a "bit more". I would say that it's easier to make the decision now than to wait sometime down the road. I think that the weight issue will be able to be remedied by balancing the gear (fuel, batteries, cooler, etc.).
 

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Mostly Harmless
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I think that it's hard to resist the potential for the extra speed with a 9.9 (along with a reinforced transom). You know that after mounting the 5-6hp, Coastalkid will always wish that he had just a "bit more". I would say that it's easier to make the decision now than to wait sometime down the road. I think that the weight issue will be able to be remedied by balancing the gear (fuel, batteries, cooler, etc.).
Yes, guys love to put 9.8-9.9 hp motors on nanoskiffs. It looks cool as they basically surf their boats through the mangroves. Overpowering still is not wise.

That is a 12’ skiff that the designer recommends be used with a 5-6 hp motor. If you pretend it is something it is not, you will not be happy. It isn’t fast, it isn’t roomy and it isn’t stable. On the other hand, it is ridiculously lightweight, should float very shallow and is cheap to outfit and operate. Why sacrifice any of it’s advantages to pursue one of it’s accepted weaknesses? There is usually about a 30# and $300-500 difference between the 5-6 hp line up and the 8-20 hp line up in most makes. You don’t want to add 30# to the bow of that little skiff to compensate for that. Also, when you step in the stern to start that heavier motor, it will squat dramatically. In the wrong situation, that can be dangerous.

Look up CurtisWright’s “Jealous of Shalla” build. It was enlightening regarding the effect of stern squat in nanos. His had less freeboard, but there are good lessons to be learned there.

Nate
 

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i lost a 15 hp johnson years ago , just popped off , lol. Skinny dipping in november to retreive. Not enough bourbon in the house to get warm....
 

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Yes, guys love to put 9.8-9.9 hp motors on nanoskiffs. It looks cool as they basically surf their boats through the mangroves. Overpowering still is not wise.

That is a 12’ skiff that the designer recommends be used with a 5-6 hp motor. If you pretend it is something it is not, you will not be happy. It isn’t fast, it isn’t roomy and it isn’t stable. On the other hand, it is ridiculously lightweight, should float very shallow and is cheap to outfit and operate. Why sacrifice any of it’s advantages to pursue one of it’s accepted weaknesses? There is usually about a 30# and $300-500 difference between the 5-6 hp line up and the 8-20 hp line up in most makes. You don’t want to add 30# to the bow of that little skiff to compensate for that. Also, when you step in the stern to start that heavier motor, it will squat dramatically. In the wrong situation, that can be dangerous.

Look up CurtisWright’s “Jealous of Shalla” build. It was enlightening regarding the effect of stern squat in nanos. His had less freeboard, but there are good lessons to be learned there.

Nate
After viewing your response, I think that I am now in your camp! You make some very compelling observations!👍
 

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I'm standing with the "try a different motor or two" proposition... It's the only way to actually see what that hull will tolerate and where you (and no one else...) will be running it... Many years ago my second skiff was a 12' very lightweight tri-hull that we ran with a 9.5 Johnson outboard... We fished two in that tiny skiff and caught a ton of fish. Wide open, flat out, I'm guessing we might have made 15mph (with the wind behind us...). I was just learning about small skiffs and it was a hoot.. This was early seventies when there was very little published info about tiny stand-up skiffs. It had a metal tiller extension that had a bad habit of occasionally coming detached while running (with the standard abrupt turn that those old outboards produced whenever it came loose..). My only excuse was that I was younger then (a lot younger - and all of my previous experience had been as a mate on more than a few charter boats..)

With portable outboards it only takes a moment to set up the motor on any skiff - then you get to find out first hand how it performs. Can't do that with larger boats with permanently attached motors...
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Assuming that the statement “just bought plans” is correct and the mostly finished hull photo isn’t yours, I’d see if they will let you exchange the plans for their 14’ model, as I think you’ll be much happier with it.

Unless you live on a canal and have to literally carry the boat onto a back porch, a 14’ boat is so much more versatile. Any 12’ skiff is basically a kayak and you’ll never be able to take somebody with you safely, unless it’s on a pond.

Even if you want to fish solo 100% of the time, a 14’ boat will generally float shallower, pole better, allow you to carry camping gear more easily, simplify rod storage, etc.

The other issue with the 5-6hp motors is they are on the ragged edge of being able to plane with 1 person and an extremely light load. It’s not a question of being able to run 25 mph instead of 20 mph, it’s coming out of a creek you’ve been fishing and having to cross a section of open water to get back to the ramp. Once the wind has picked up and it’s choppy, it can be dangerous not being able to get up on plane and just having to suffer the waves rolling into you.
 
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