how to choose correct setback on jack plate

How to Choose Correct Setback on Jet Plate: Explained


A jack plate could speed up the process by raising the prop to its highest point. The true value of a jack is measured in years. The space between jack plate and the superstructure is known as the setback.

The leverage of the engine on the boat increases with the setback. The bow is raised from the water with the help of this leverage. The setback also keeps its blade or stream far from the hull’s tumultuous water. This can help to improve overall performance.

So, how to choose the correct setback on the jack plate? 

Selecting the proper setback on the jack plate is crucial. The setback enables the system to fully tilt up without hitting the transom. But it requires the Jack plate to be completely raised. It’s less expensive than just a frame and has more adjustability. It’s also lighter.

This article will help you to learn more about how to choose the correct setback.

Jack Plate For Your Boat

Jack plates allow you to alter the position of your outboard motor. It allows you to achieve optimum results out of your sailboat in just about any situation. 

But it can be challenging to choose the right plate. Because you need to deal with so many possibilities for lift methods, coatings, and setbacks. Here’s everything you need to know regarding picking the right jack plate for your boat.

Importance of Jack Plate

Your offshore is rarely in the optimal position for your operational environments if it’s fixed in place. Whatever you’re doing, a jack plate allows you to shift your engine vertically and horizontally. It would help you to have the propeller and shafts in the proper position. 

Traveling in Shallow Water

Raising your motor raises the prop just above the ground, which reduces turbulence. It can be happening because your boat’s speedometer is not working properly.

Having Difficulties Getting Started

Reducing your propeller can help you in getting a stronger hole shot. While increasing it can make it easier for your sailboat to be started easily.

A Faster Top Speed and Greater Gas Mileage

The majority of boat designers use a cautious prop pitch, and drag grows dramatically as speed is increased. Lifting your motor lowers the amount of prop in the water. 

Lowering the amount of power required to maintain speed. Keeping the cavitation plate of your motor just above the waterline can greatly increase performance.

A Motor That Wants to Vent and Slip When it’s Under Load

A drop-down plate allows you to lower the propeller. It assists in propelling the boat through the water.

It is time to have your boat out of the water. Unless you can install a stern brace, you could use your jack plate to elevate your motor high enough to keep clear of the ramp.

On a Jack Plate, How Do You Choose the Right Setback?

The greater the setback, the greater the engine’s pressure on the boat. This leverage aids in lifting the bow from the water. 

In addition, the setback maintains the prop or jet far from the choppy water. It could also benefit overall efficiency. Your motor cavitation plate should be somewhat (1 inch) well above the bottom of the boat stern as a basic guideline. 

You don’t want your engine’s cavitation sheet to drag in the water. If the engine is just too low, this might result in spraying, drag, and lost RPMs. Outboards have a wide range of prop positions. 

The suction plate is estimated from the base of the clamping bracket to the end of the prop.

On a “normal” bay boat with a flat transom, you’ll generally want a 6-8″ setback. And figure out how high you can mount the motor. Outboards mounted too high can cause problems.

The flatboat can be equipped with a 4″ Bob’s. Whereas the bass boat was equipped with a 12” permanent plate.

But the farther back you sit, the more plane leverage you have. If you lift it too high and never have a tunnel hull, you’ll lose water.

There is no definite guideline regarding how much offset your boat needs. It all hinges upon whether bow lift you require. And also depends on how much the engine must be moved to shove into fresh water.

 Every clearance is required to pass hydraulic power rams, swim decks, and other obstructions. 

If you don’t have adequate setback and clearance concerns, your hydraulic guidance may touch the tip of the boat stern as you tilt the motor up. We have jack plates in a variety of lengths, so you won’t need a setback bracket.

Which Coating Is Most Appropriate For a Setback?

On our goods, we offer four different coating options, within each set of benefits.

1. Aluminum in its Natural State

Although raw aluminum corrodes, it does not erode as quickly as steel. When you’re on a low budget and only work in water, this is a fantastic alternative. These parts, on the other hand, degrade swiftly in brackish and saltwater.

2. Powder Coating in Black

This is a form of baked-on paint with a lustrous finish. This layer isn’t corrosion-resistant, and it can wear away over time. If you only work in freshwater, this is a good alternative, just like raw aluminum. 

Blackjack plates, on the other hand, are ideal for fishing and waterfowl hunting since they do not reflect light that can attract game. You can easily powder coat at your home.

Here are some recommendations of the top powder coatings that are currently on the market. 

Product 1
Product 2

3. Anodized Aluminum (Clear and Black)

Anodizing oxidized aluminum’s surface, resulting in a hardened, highly corrosive coating that won’t peel away. We use two types of anodized aluminum to create jack plates. When contrasted to raw aluminum, clear anodizing has a little gold hue.

This provides better corrosion resistance than raw aluminum, making it suitable for use in brackish and saltwater. Our black anodized plates have a more durable surface that resists seawater corrosion than our clear anodised plates.


Few of the common questions are here-

Is it true that a jack plate makes your boat go faster?

In bass boats, jack plates boost performance by elevating the blade to its highest altitude. It also reduces drag which eventually increases speed and fuel economy. On top of that, a setback significantly means a longer sailboat. On something like a chop approaching the bow, the ride should be improved by putting the motor back more.

Is it necessary to submerge the cavitation plate?

The cavitation plate should indeed be flush with the surface of the water. Like a rule of the thumb, about every one foot rearward, it ought to be about 1 inch well above the keel. It would be the same if you do have a euro transom, brace, or another similar device. You can raise the outdoor motor on the transom. If the cavitation plate is submerged, raising the motor may improve the performance.

Is it true that a Jackplate will offer me an additional bow lift?

Certainly, a jack plate would be beneficial. It shifts the center line back on the hull, giving the motor more leverage over the boat. As a result, the bow is lighter and easier to tote with the motor/prop combo. There are no drawbacks to installing a jack plate as provided as the boat’s stern is in great condition and capable of handling it.


I hope you have learned all about how to choose the correct setback on a jack plate.

It’s not that challenging. You are capable of doing it by yourself with the help of the article. Make sure to take professional help if anything goes wrong.

That’s all for now.

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