Actually, I have given this a fair bit of thought. While it is nice to think that maintaining your diesel will make it run forever( or that you could always sail into a marina), all too often it will fail at the worst possible moment and a lot of sailboats do end up being towed in to repair facilities (here is a link to a blog that I read that proves my point- BitterEnd
). It seems that since most of us cruisers carry an outboard for the dink anyway all it would take to use it as an emergency engine would be a different type of bracket for the stern (with the variety of stern shapes it would probably take several different designs). With my stern which is almost plumb, a mount that slid in some tracks so that I could lower it to use (or lower to mount in the dink) would work. If you could leave it on this bracket permanently so much the better, you wouldn't have to hoist it onto the stern pulpit. About the only objection I would have to it is aesthetics, but an outboard on the pulpit really doesn't look too good either. You can use the dink as a tow boat but it doesn't work very well in rough conditions, and if you lash it in a hip tow arrangement you have a hard time getting in and out when you need to change throttle or shift gears. Seems like an opportunity for our engineers on Sailnet to me.