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5631 Views 16 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  ronin2024
Hey, I'm hoping I can pick some of your brains. This is my first post as I've just joined the site, actually I've just joined the salmon fishing club. Picked up an old Sangstercraft 15' with an older model Merc 80hp. It's set up well enough to get me going with rod holders, depth sounder, etc, but I'm not sure about trolling with an 80hp? I can't afford a kicker motor at the moment but am still dying to get out there this weekend. It seems to run slow enough to troll, but I'm not sure how slow is slow enough or if it's good for the motor?
Have been told to try ambleside or hole in the wall?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
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That 80 hp Merc is a two-stroke and using it to troll at low speeds can foul the engine. To minimize this make absolutely sure you have the right gas/oil mix and that the plugs are clean and gapped correctly. It helps if occasionally you go out of gear and rev the engine to clear out the carbon.

As for speed, that 80 is somewhat high for that 15-foot hull and getting it to rev down to about 6-700 rpm will still drive the boat at top hull speed. One trick that’s been used is trail a five-gallon bucket behind the boat to slow it. There are plates that attach behind the prop and some like them but I’d rather go with a cheaper sea anchor such as the bucket.

However, even if it trolls a tad fast you can take advantage of that. Get your lines down to where you want them, go into forward gear until your lines rise a bit, then go to neutral letting the lines sink. Rinse and repeat. Lots do this because it makes the bait rise and fall – and that catches salmon.

If I can be of help with that engine give me a call at Brigantine Marine in Langley.

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My buddy use to have the same set up and seemed to do fine trolling with it. I would still recommend you get a kicker motor when you can afford it.
I have a 25 horse on my 14' aluminum and I used to use the bucket method to slow me down too. It works okay but make sure you use floating rope or you'll always be worrying about snagging the motor.

I ended up just buying an electric kicker because it's so much easier and they're excellent for pushing that size of boat around. They're also much cheaper than gas motors and you don't have to ever buy gas. You can get an electric kicker and deep cycle battery combo for $300 or so.
I'm running a similar 18' hard top with an older 70 hp merc.

If you cannot afford an auxilary kicker, best advice is to at least invest in VHF radio, flares, tow rope, paddles, English/Japanese dictionary, etc

No matter how much care and maintainance you put into the old carburated 2-stroke it will let you down eventually.
100mile Gord, your wisdom and timing are uncanny. Had it out this weekend just to drop the crap pots and tour around a bit. Ran great until pulling the last trap and I went to restart it, nothing. I think it's the starter solenoid, full battery but all I could hear was a clicking coming from what I think was the solenoid. Oh well, got her going with the old pull start but I guess the salmon adventures are on hold for a while. Fun while it lasted, and I think you guys are right, will consider a kicker of some sort.
The crab were good though :thumbup:
Glad you made it back in one piece and with a dose of crabs.

I'm running a late 80's Johnson 8hp as a kicker. Even full out it still takes hours to get back where you can go with the main motor in no time.

I've parked my boat and I'm saving my toonies and loonies until I can find a lease return for the main motor.

I bought my boat for $2k with VHS, 2 electric downriggers, decent fishfinder, and kicker. Its still a money pit but it keeps me out of trouble. Its not unlike restoring an old VW beetle: you love it but you don't know if you'll get your money out of it.

Glad your safe: keep us posted with your (mis)adventures.
I have been saved so many times by my kicker that I am scared to go out without one. That`s why I tell everyone to get one. By the way, on two occasions when I was out with my friend with the 80 hp merc his engine failed. Once we got in because I insisted on bringing my kicker, the other time we got towed in.
Wow...that's what I was afraid of would happen to me...At the end of last year I bought a 17.5ft 89 Bayliner Capri with a 85hp Force engine and I was debating if I could afford a Kicker...I bite the bullet and bought a 9.9hp yamaha kicker...and I was sure glad I did...I was out crabing near the end of summer and I was pulling up my crab pods and the cooling hose gave way...If I didnt have the kicker it would have been along way back paddling...

So first thing I did after I replaced to hose was I installed a VHF radio and got my ROC (M) licence...
you can usually find the course through your local Power Squadron...I got my licence through Burnaby Chapter...check around because sometimes the pricing is diffrent between chapters....

No, this is your radio licence for your VHF I have had mine now for 15 years and all I do is keep sending them money every year and they give me a permit. You have to list all the channels that your VHF is set for though. It all depends on the arrear you are appling for. My radios are for the Prince George area. It says on my renewal application that all inquires are to made at Industry Canada District Office. I'm sure they have a different one for marine applications so I would check with the Canadian Coast Guard. :cheers:
You need your Restricted Operator's Certificate (Maritime) in order to transmit on VHF radio...You only need station licence if you are going into international waters or you are a compulsorily Fitted Vessel ie Commerical Vessel...you can still get a station licence if you are a Volunatrily Fitted Vessels but you have to apply to Industry Canada and you have to pay annual fees...But I think most of us here only need the ROC (M)...

Sorry that was going alittle off topic... :naughty:
I didn't think a Lic. for VHF was needed anymore. Granted a basic knowledge of how to use it properly is very important. There are things that all operators need to know.

I have a radio and would not neglect to use it if an emergency situation deemed it necessary.

Stay Safe,
My understanding is that you don't need it in Canada on the water. If you are land based in Canada you do or if you are boating south of the 49 you do. I also think that if you are on the water commercially you may need one....
here is a good link that explains the regs.....also give you the basics of what to say and how to say it and what channels are for what....


when i'm off Ambleside I always listen to ch12 so that I can stay out of the way of incoming/outgoing freighters. As well as monitoring 16 for emergencies and 88A for local fishing chat...
masterbaiter said:
I didn't think a Lic. for VHF was needed anymore. Granted a basic knowledge of how to use it properly is very important. There are things that all operators need to know.

I have a radio and would not neglect to use it if an emergency situation deemed it necessary.

Stay Safe,
You don't need a station licence anymore for Canada Waters (you do if you go into international waters)...but you do need a Restricted Operator's Certificate (Maritime)...It was confussing to me until I took the course...But if you do use your radio for an emergency the CCG will not come and arrest you...They will only do that if you abuse the radio. The ROC course is really to teaches you proper radio procedures so that you can get the right info out there so ppl can help you or you can help them...The course also teaches you about the DSC/VHF radios and how to use it properly...
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