How A Jackplate Can Improve Your Boat's Performance
Increased boating area accessibility, optimal ‘setback’ and improved boat performance, can they really all be improved by a jackplate? Read about the benefits of installing a jackplate on your vessel and what you should consider before you do.
What is a jackplate?
A jackplate is an electro-hydraulic adjustable engine attached between the boat's transom and engine. The purpose of a jackplate is to raise and lower the engine within the water with precision, and at the touch of a button.
How does a jackplate operate?
The operation of a jackplate is controlled at the helm. The engine positioning is adjusted to maximize your boat's performance in a variety of conditions.
The use of a jackplate can assist the vessel in getting onto plane at takeoff, increase top speed, reduce fuel consumption, allow access to shallow waters, reduce corrosion, and increase ease of overall boat handling.
What are the benefits of a jackplate?
Increased boating area accessibility, optimal ‘setback’ and improved boat performance are the 3 key benefits of using a jackplate. With the touch of a button, the jackplate will raise the engine so that the boat can access shallower waters. The action of raising the engine all the way up and bringing it down as the boat gets on plane also allows boats to get on plane efficiently in shallower waters. Lifting the engine higher in the water also reduces drag, resulting in increased speed at the same RPM and better fuel economy. The opposite can be applied in rough waters, through lowering the engine deeper in the water to assist the vessel in remaining on plane while in rough seas.
The benefit of achieving optimal ‘setback’ on a boat is about increasing the space between the motor and the transom, adding weight to the rear of the boat, raising the bow. When the motor sits further away from the turbulent water close to the hull and access the most efficient water column for optimal motor function, increasing overall boat performance.
An added benefit of a jackplate is the ability to lift your motor out of the water when docking to reduce corrosion.
What size jackplate do I need?
The size of jackplate you require is determined by the engine size and setback requirement. Dometic offer a wide range of jackplates in three different series, Standard, Xtreme and Mega, which are rated based on engine horsepower. The next option is the setback which refers to how far the outboard is away from the transom. The setback of your outboard directly influences the bow lift. Setback is offered in ranges from 4” to 12”. The selection of setback is often best advised by the boat manufacturer or naval architect.