Trouble getting boat to plane
1998 Stratos 1999 175hp Evinrude
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Posted on Wednesday Oct 30, 2013 at 8:19 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 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 the boat is so light and there is already so much weight in the rear i.e. batteries, fuel, etc.  Any ideas or tips for this problem would be appreciated.  I know the motor is sounds.  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 Wednesday Oct 30, 2013 at 9:21 PM  
You want your motor trimmed down for the best hole shot.  My jack plate is not adjustable, so I can't help you there.
You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish (REO Speedwagon)
Posted on Thursday Oct 31, 2013 at 10:00 AM  
I run a stratos with an evinrude...my rig is 95, 18ft. boat 150 motor, and it gets out of the hole pretty well. I'd think with the 175 that yours would get out even better. I run a jackplate...it helps with the hole shot by having the motor back from the transom a few inches. The heighth of your jackplate would have an effect on hole shot if it were too high, as the motor needs to be trimmed down as far as possible coming out of the hole. The bow will rise, but your boat should level out pretty quickly. If the bow rises up to where you can't see and stays up like that you might not have the motor trimmed all the way down...also if your motor isn't putting out enough RPM,s the bow would stay up like that....Motor trimmed all the way down, throttle wide open, that boat should jump out of the hole.

With a jackplate as you come up on plane you can trim the motor up and gain speed and RPM,s. If you have the jackplate too low you'll not get the best top end out of the motor, too high, you'll hear it as it over revs, and it will not pick up enough water to cool the engine, and overheat. My stratos gets squirrely around 65 mph, so I run my jackplate a bit low to hold down top end a bit. Another thing about those older stratos boats. When you shut it down, ease it down to avoid the wave over the transom deal. You have one of those older boats up on plane running well and shut it down too quickly, that backwash will come clear up to your driver's seat.

The four blade prop was the right thing, and to me a stratos is not a light boat. Four blades is a power prop.
Posted on Friday Nov 1, 2013 at 10:12 AM  
I'd check your lower hull - make sure you aren't carrying a bunch of water between hulls - pull the plug and run a coat hanger wire in there and twist it around - I've seen em full of water and debris to where they just don't drain -- 

The jackplate does offset MORE of you weight rearward, and if the motor is not trimmed fully down would cause the bow to rise - hammer down and it should take you no more than 6 second to be running flat - what you describe is TOO much weight rearward - 

One thing you can do is reposition TM batteries to forward hatch - will cause you some wiring and loss of front storage, sometimes worth it though - OR if you can't solve it otherwise trim tabs will help --


I would say check your prop bushing but since you changed props would not be an issue - If your livewells are full just remember a gallon of water weighs 8# - so two full livewells at 30 gallons each you are carting an extra person  - use forward livewell if it has them --
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