Viper/Merc 200 Setup


The junkpile Viper is almost ready for rigging.  New coring has been vacuum bagged into the hull, as well as new dashboard, transom, stringers and gussets. The hook in the bottom has been removed, 1/4" added to the pad height and the transom raised 5" (engine to be mounted flat on transom).  I have a mildly ported 200 Merc with 20" offshore midsection and CLE gear foot. The midsection has been rebuilt with new tilt tube, bushings, solid mounts, & all SS hardware replaced.   I am planning on running center opposing steering. Fuel cell will be in the center behind the drivers seat, batteries on the port side rear as you have recommended in a previous article.  Trim pump starboard side rear. 

Should the propshaft be 2" below the pad for this setup?  Prop type and size?  Also, the boat will have the factory windshield, if that makes any difference.  Any changes or recommendations you can add would be greatly appreciated. 

Chris Brabender,



You’re in for one hell of a ride. Try the engine height at 1” to 1 1/4" below the pad. This is a starting point. Be careful and learn all the little quirks that are to come up. Since you are going to drive from the center, then center as much of the rigging as possible. Start with a 14x28 cleaver or something like that. Something neutral in lift characteristics. The windshield is going to be a plus. Help hold the nose down. Take it slow and good luck. 




Please submit whatever questions you have to  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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