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lostcoast 06-06-2008 02:37 PM

Outboard Mount and the transom of a Cal 20
Hello All,

Im new to the forums and sailing, just having purchased my first sailboat - a 1968 Cal 20. Im pretty excited, the boat is in fairly good shape but there are defininetly areas that need attention. The outboard well has been closed up and the previous owner installed a outboard bracket on the transom. While I like the configuration of this setup, the mount + motor ( a pretty small & light Merc 5hp) torque petty hard on the glass of the transom, causing the glass to bend outward at the top of the mount and push in at the bottom of the mount. The PO backed the installation of the mount with a chunk of PT 2x8, which given the look of the transom, isnt sufficient in this application.

The question I have is there anyone out there that has installed an outboard mount on the transom and if so, how did you reinforce it? Im thinking of running two vertical peices of aluminum L metal on either side of the backing plate to stiffen that section of the transom up. Any advice out there?

Finally anyone have a good method to get mildewy black spots off of the nonskid area of the deck? I scrubbed and scrubbed with a brush but couldnt get them to come clean ~ I was thinking of a bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide solution in the sun but am not sure how this will affect the gelcoat/paint.



sailaway21 06-06-2008 04:23 PM

Mayber it's just me but I'd far rather have the O/b in a well. I have a Cal 21' and the O/b is mounted on the transom where it can easily come into contact with the Cal's rather long rudder. You're also likely to have as much fun beefing up the transom as you would reconfiguring the well.

Don't miss this thread and Jim H's link within it for an amazing well displayed and well done restoration of a mighty Cal 20.

Try a bit of bleach in your cleasning solution for the black spots. It shouldn't be a real strong solution to do the job and probably will not do much to harm what is no doubt already pretty faded gel-coat. (g) If the deck is painted it probably will do little if anything to hurt it. Once the mold and mildew are killed they clean up a bit easier. Clean it up well and then get some non-skid wax on it soonest for future protection. "Woody" wax seems to work well as a non-skid wax.

lostcoast 06-06-2008 05:53 PM

Thanks SailAway,

Ive looked at Jim's gallery on a daily basis since I bought the boat. While mine isnt quite as rough, pretty much everything that he did for Aurora I hope to do for [name tbd].

Unfortunately refurbing the well would mean pulling the bottom & top covers, filling the holes adding the backerboard to the well, and dropping a fairly greasy outboard in my cockpit :D I also have a youngun who I would like to keep away from the motor.....I have however read the perils of the prop & rudder.

Hopefully as I can put work into the boat, I can fix up the well and get a newer 4-stroke to drop in the well. In the mean time, reinforcing the transom *seems* to be the quickest way to get the boat in the water and sailing.....

Ill give the bleach solution a shot....what is non skid wax comprised of? Im assuming that it wouldnt make the deck as slippery as snot! Where can I find "woody" wax?


sailaway21 06-06-2008 07:02 PM

You want to wax for the protection of the gelcoat/paint. You don't want the slipperiness that is normally assosciated with wax though. That's where a non-skid type wax comes in. I've only used the Woody Wax although there are others out there that have non-slip properties as well. The Woody Wax seems to be a favorite of many. I got mine here: - Proven boat care, finishing, waxing, and maintenance products.

And I also buy my Poliglow from them which works well on an older boat but you really don't want to use on the deck.

It sounds like you need some further backing, probably with 1/4" plywood or better, in a wide pattern on the inside of the transom to distribute the load stresses of the O/b better. Depending upon access to the area, that might be as simple as rebedding the bolts for the O/b bracket with a sheet of plywood inside to distribute the load or it could be, as they say in the Navy, a full-fledged evolution.

If you've other priorities and plan on restoring the well at some point in the near future I'd motor minimally and gently.

If you don't have an absolute blast with this boat you'll likely be the first person who has not!

You might PM Jim when you get enough posts in to qualify for PM'ing. I think it's ten required with the Song Chain in Off Topic being a good way to get there. Jim is here infrequently but is a great and helpful member. Feel free to PM me as well if you think I may be of service to you.

lostcoast 06-06-2008 07:47 PM

Many Thanks, sailaway. That is great info and I appreciate the offer of help! I cant imagine not enjoying the boat and am looking forward to cleaning her up and getting things fixed up. I have several sailor friends who highly recommended the Cal 20 for our local conditions and I was fortunate to find one reasonably nearby and in decent shape.

I think that I can access the transom from the cabin under the cockpit so it shouldn't be too bad (fingers crossed). Apparently the previous owner used the boat this way for about five years so hopefully no real damage has been done.


Calabego 11-12-2008 05:28 PM

My cal has the same transom mount and does flex a little with the weight of the OB. You can crawl past the quarter berth and gain access to the transom for this task. I'd also tighten all the nuts for the various deck fittings while you're back there. A 1.5x1.5' square piece of marine ply backed by fender style washers might be overkill, but they'll distribute the weight of the motor under power or while hanging out of the water to reduce the flex of the glass. Mine has been operated for at least a decade with the motor hanging from the transom with no issues.

campuscab 03-02-2013 01:34 PM

Re: Outboard Mount and the transom of a Cal 20
Mine has an outboard mounted on the transom. The Cal guys said that it is easier to maneuver and it does not splash water like It does mounted in the well. So as soon as the ice melts, it is frozen in the Detroit river now, I will let you know if mine has any flex.

BillA98272 03-02-2013 01:48 PM

I congrats on the Cal20. I just this week bought a 1972 Cal 29. I'm faced with the same situation. I have a Yamaha T9 electric start trim and tilt. The boat has an Atomic 4 that is not running. I believe it to have a stuck valve and previous owner pulled head off and didn't repair or reinstall the head. Now it's a bit rusty. I plan on pulling the motor and installing the yamaha then rebuilding atomic if it can be saved. I don't know the pluses and minuses of inboard vs outboard. My first sailboat as well. I will be sailing in Puget sound and San Juan Islands and they can get some pretty stout currents.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using Tapatalk 2

Sea Dawg 03-02-2013 02:12 PM

Re: Outboard Mount and the transom of a Cal 20
Our problem was with a Catalina 27. Here's the previous weak bracket which also didn't let the larger 4 cycle swing clear of the motor well or out of the water...good luck as I can relate to your difficulties.
Here's a cardboard mockup of transom in the garage...
Here's what I custom made to extend and angle properly...
Here's a home made davit to avoid dropping a $1400 motor....
Here's the finished product...

campuscab 03-04-2013 01:26 PM

Re: Outboard Mount and the transom of a Cal 20
2 Attachment(s)
I am going to leave mine on

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