How to Mount an Auxiliary Outboard

Updated February 21, 2017

Auxiliary motors range from 5 to 25 horsepower and may weigh less than 45.4 Kilogram. Sometimes called a "kicker," an auxiliary outboard can add the few extra horsepower needed to improve your boat's acceleration. If your boat is a sailboat, the auxiliary provides power when a wind is absent. You can even use a small auxiliary outboard as a trolling motor and prevent damage to your large engine that occurs as the result of low speed operations.

Move the auxiliary outboard to your boat's transom. Lower the auxiliary outboard's mounting bracket over the transom to its intended location.

Tighten the screws on the mounting plate, if the mounting plate does not bolt through the transom. If your auxiliary uses mounting bolts, align the mounting plate with the bolt holes in the transom and slip the mounting bolts through the holes.

Thread the nuts onto the mounting bolts. Tighten the mounting bolts to the torque recommended by the motor manufacturer.

Attach the fuel lines to the motor's fuel connections. Make all fuel connections according to the motor manufacturer's recommendations.

Connect the auxiliary steering system, if your boat is so equipped. A sailboat steers by its rudder, so the auxiliary motor should be locked in place for propulsion straight ahead.


Make any electrical connections to your motors with proper connectors, not with household wire nuts. Wire nuts are open on the bottom. They will admit moisture through the bottom, leading to corroded and unsafe wiring.


Use only Coast Guard-approved fuel hoses, which are clearly marked "U. S. Coast Guard Approved" followed by the approval number.

Things You'll Need

  • Torque wrench
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About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.