Trouble getting boat to plane
1998 stratos 285 pro elite
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Posted on Wednesday Apr 9, 2014 at 7:51 PM  
I have a 1998 Stratos 285 Pro Elite 18ft Bass Boat with a 1999 175hp Evinrude Ficht Fuel injected motor.  It also has a hydraulic jack plate.  I'm having trouble getting the boat to plane.  It takes approximately 10 seconds to plane with 2 passengers fully loaded with two full live wells in the back.  I haven't ran it by myself to see what the WOT rpms are however I did switch from a 3 blade 23 pitch prop with exhaust holes to a Renegade 4 blade 23 pitch prop without exhaust holes because I was told that might help.  It seems no matter where I trim the motor coming out of the hole I get the same results.  The bow pops up extremely high to a point where I cant see.  It takes even longer to plane in turbulent water for obvious reasons.  I was told the jackplate could be the problem because its putting the motor too far back from the boat and there is already so much weight in the rear i.e. batteries, fuel, oil etc.  Any ideas or tips for this problem would be appreciated.  I know the motor is sound.  All cylinders were checked last month and all 6 were either 100 or 105.  Plugs were also replaced.  Thanks in advance for your help.  Also I'm not real familiar with jack plates so any advice on them is appreciated.  Are they worth it?  Are they strictly to help top end speed? Will adjusting the jack plate help coming out of the hole?
Posted on Thursday Apr 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM  
I run a 95 18 ft. Stratos with a 150 and a jackplate, it jumps right out of the hole...I run the four blade prop. I assume you have the motor trimmed all the way down when you're comin' out?
Posted on Thursday Apr 10, 2014 at 11:19 AM  
Yes the motor is trimmed all the way down and the jack plate is down as far as it will go.  The motor seems to dip really deep in the water when I first try to come out of the hole.  
Posted on Thursday Apr 10, 2014 at 12:19 PM  
Where is your prop located in relation to the bottom of the hull? On mine, the horizontal part of the drive shaft...the bullet shaped area on the lower unit is about level with my hull bottom...If I put a level on the bottom of my hull the top of the bullet shaped part of the lower unit would be in line with the hull bottom, which basically puts that part of the lower unit below the lowest part of the hull. You could have your jackplate too low. 

 
Posted on Sunday Jun 1, 2014 at 5:10 PM  
Trim tabs are supposedly made for this.  Smart tabs from Nauticus might be worth reading into.

Posted on Monday Jun 2, 2014 at 10:20 AM  
Take your jackplate all of the way down, and trim the motor all of the way down. See if she will come out of the hole like that. If she does a better job of coming out, slowly bring the jackplate up until you reach the point that it won't come our of the hole as well and take the jackplate back down to where it is at it's highest and still coming out of the hole. 

If that doesn't work then you might look at a having it re-propped. The right 4 blade should give you a better hole shot and control. 3 blades are usually better for top end when propped right. 

This is all assuming you don't have a fuel delivery problem.  

I have an 18.5 ft Cobra with a Merc XR6 150 and use a 25 pitch Tempest with no jackplate. It doesn't jump right out of the hole, but it gets out quick enough. I get good top end speed, and I am only getting up to 5800 RPM with 1/4 of a tank, a light load.  
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