Discover Adventure With Vance Manufacturing’s USA-Made Jack Plates
If you’re a true boating enthusiast, you’ll know that there are few things that parallel the feeling of water cutting smoothly underneath you and wind whipping across your face along with peace of mind that your esteemed boat is safe from any obstacles in the water. At Vance Manufacturing, we are dedicated to providing you this experience, regardless of boat type, expertise level or even budget. We believe that a jack plate is a necessary addition to almost all boats, as it exponentially widens the range of activities and adventures available to you and your boat. That’s why we’ve created this resource guide to help you decide on the perfect jack plate for your unique situation.
What is a jack plate?
A jackplate is a mounting bracket for your outboard engine that is designed specifically to allow for setback and vertical movement of your engine along your transom. There are different types of outboard jack plates on the market, including hydraulic jack plates, which allow you to adjust your engine’s position on the go, and manual jack plates, which require a few hand tools and elbow grease in order to make adjustments to your engine’s position.
What is the advantage of a jack plate?
Boat jack plates are used for a variety of different reasons, and they offer a multitude of advantages over boats that lack one. The top advantages of using a jack plate are:
- Provides enhanced fuel economy
- Allows you to safely navigate shallow water
- Decreases drag, thereby increasing speed
- Provides adjustments necessary for transoms that were rebuilt (i.e., too low for current engine)
- Offers better handling
- Allows planing with ease
Does a jack plate make your boat faster?
Transom jack plates are not specifically intended to make boats go faster, but a lot of people see this benefit nonetheless when using a jack plate. When your engine is adjusted to be in trim, your boat will produce less drag. Less drag improves your boat’s overall efficiency but can also lead to an increase in the speed of your boat because you will be dealing with less resistance in the water.
Does a jack plate really help?
Of course, we believe that no boat is complete without a jack plate. Marine jack plates ensure that your boat can safely get wherever it needs to go, enhancing fuel economy along the way. We may be biased, so we want to give you an idea of what real Vance Manufacturing customers have to say about the efficacy of our jack plates:
“Jack plate worked like a champ.” - Rusty Albritton, JPL4400
“Exactly what I needed to finish a long project that will ultimately be customizable for a multitude of engine and use configurations.” - Chris Albertelli, JPL2410SB
“Installation was easy. Fit and finish was exceptional. It put my motor in the sweet spot I was looking for. Easy to adjust at the lake in the water.” - Randy Hendrix, JPL2410SB
“On my 6 mt jon with a Honda 20 hp (by far too small, due to local limitations) this jack plate solved all my prop ventilation problems.” - Thomas Beller, JPL2712SB
“I wanted to make my boat more comfortable and move the tiller handle forward a few inches. This new system is beyond what I expected. It has top quality hydraulics, relay, wiring and switch. The linear slide is much smoother than what I had. The machining and workmanship is more than what I expected. I can go most places a mud motor goes with a lot better handling and performance.” - Jim Stancil, HYDKU6000
What’s the best jack plate for me?
If you frequently find yourself in and out of shallow water (for bass fishing, venturing to secluded areas, avoiding no-wake zones):
Your best best is to invest in a hydraulic jack plate for your craft. Because you’ll be sailing waters of different depths more often than not, you will need to have on-the-fly control of your engine as the water gets shallower and your boat subsequently begins to react differently. The ability to adjust your engine in these situations will help you stay in trim, ensuring maximum fuel economy and keeping your engine (and boat) safe from any accidents caused by an uneven distribution of weight and force.
If you want to optimize your boat’s fuel economy and have the ability to adjust your engine on occasion when you find yourself wanting to explore a new area:
While a hydraulic jack plate will always be more functional and user-friendly, sometimes it makes more sense to opt for a manual jack plate instead. Manual jack plates are significantly more cost effective but also less adaptable. These jack plates must be manually adjusted and preferably when the boat is stationary and out of water. A manual jack plate can be a great option for those looking to increase performance but save money on high-powered engines that sail in waters of constant depth.
If you’re interested in adding lift to your outboard jet engine, but do not need a lot of setback:
A vertical extension might just be perfect for you. While they don’t offer as much flexibility as hydraulic or manual jack plates, they are the most cost-effective way to get started with outboard engine lifts, especially when you are wanting to install a jet to prop conversion. Because you won’t have as much flexibility in terms of movement, we recommend consulting with our team to determine which unit at Vance Manufacturing will help you achieve the results you want (i.e., 4 inches of setback vs. 5 inches of vertical movement). Our award winning staff will facilitate your questions and needs and be there with you every step of the way.