"New" Viper Setup

Hello Randy, 

I currently own a 1988 Viper that was purchased from an out of business Hydrostream dealer.  It has never been rigged nor seen the water.  I also have a 1977 1500xs Merc that I plan on using on this boat.  I would appreciate your comments regarding setup on this boat, especially the following:

Should the engine be set straight on the transom or should I use a jack plate? What type of jack plate do you recommend? Manual or hydraulic?

Due to the fact that this boat's transom has never been drilled, I am uncomfortable drilling the old Mercury bolt pattern as any newer motor will require that this transom be redrilled.  In short I don't want to make a mess here.  Is there any way you know to adapt the current BIA bolt pattern on the transom to the older Merc bolt pattern? 

What type of prop do you suggest for this setup? 

What is your suggestion regarding setting up dual steering? 

What type of performance can I expect from this setup? 

Any other suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.   I have taken a long time to start this project as I don't want to make mistakes with what is as close to a brand new Viper as one can get in 2004. 





You have the rig to die for there. I understand the wish to drill the BIA pattern so we will have to drill a jack plate of some brand to fit the 1500XS. Bob's made a 4" model that you could cover with a flat 1/4" plate on the back. Then draw out the pattern needed. The clamp screws will be a clearance problem because you need to mount the motor almost flush with the transom. Careful calculations will be needed and maybe a 5" or 6" will have to be used. Stick with a manual plate as I can't imagine how hard it would be to make a hydraulic plate work. Maybe a CMC? Position the propshaft just below the pad and try to find the old inline chopper props in the 28 and 30 range. You have 2 to1 gears so big pitch is in order. The Yamaha drag props also work good on that setup but might be harder to find. Expect mid 70's pretty easily. 80 if your patient. 

Take your time with the adapter to the jack plate and have fun with the result. 




Please submit whatever questions you have to IHRTechTalk@yahoo.com.  All questions and answers selected will be displayed on this page as they come in.  Note: though all boaters are welcome, priority may be given to I.H.R. members.  Randy can not be held responsible for any advice given.  Though his information and expertise is second to none, he has no control over what you do with your boat.  It is up to you to boat safely and act responsibly, and his advice is only to be used as a guidance for your high performance boat/motor of which you are the one responsible for the risks involved.

Mark C.


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