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HARDWORK 07-30-2008 05:40 PM

Outboard motor bracket
I am thinking of mounting an outboard motor bracket on my Catalina 30. The main use would be for storage for the motor for my dinghy, plus being able to lower it for easier mounting on the dinghy. I also think that I could use it as an emergency engine if my diesel failed. Has anyone here tried something similar ?

Vitesse473 07-30-2008 11:20 PM

Do you have an emergency engine on your car? Having a spare outboard is overkill. Just make sure you properly service your diesel motor, and always carry a few extra parts like an impeller, belts and filters (fuel and oil). That diesel will run for 100 years (subscribe to US Boats if you want extra assurance).

Re; the dinghy. Engine size always depends on the size of the dinghy, and how many passengers you plan to carry. For a Catalina 30, I am guessing you would want a dinghy for 2 people, max 4. Therefore, do the math on the weight, and size an engine accordingly. I would advise against strapping a 10hp motor to your transom, as you'll easily take a knot or more of speed off your performance. Weight on the transom of any boat is often overlooked by many, and the result is a loss in boat speed.

sailingdog 07-30-2008 11:56 PM

While the idea of an emergency engine is nice and all... it isn't a good idea in reality. You have a sailboat...if the engine dies, one would hope that you would be able to use the sails. :) If you're too close to shore to safely use the sails, you have an anchor.

Most sailboats that use an outboard as an auxiliary, like mine, have to have a long or extra long shaft version of the outboard engine. This is not what you want on an inflatable dinghy.

Most reasonably sized dinghies that will fit on a Catalina 30 will be happily powered by a 4-6 HP outboard. This is light enough that you shouldn't really have any trouble mounting it or de-mounting it. Store it on a rail-mounted outboard motor bracket, a bit forward of the stern.

jrd22 07-31-2008 12:33 AM

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.


sailingdog 07-31-2008 12:56 AM


You'd need a hell of a dinghy motor to move a 40' Brewer Pilothouse sailboat.

camaraderie 07-31-2008 09:58 AM

Hard...I see nothing wrong conceptually with hanging 80 pounds off the back of the boat...but i would be concerned about the structural integrity of the C30 transom in heavier seas with something like that. I suggest that you visit some of the C30 owners group forums or write to Catalina directly to understand how to do this so that it is structurally sound.

Personally, I think it will detract from the look of the boat and the re-sale value and you can accomplish the same purpose by simply lashing the dink to the boat and driving it if the main engine fails.

SVDistantStar 07-31-2008 02:18 PM

I bought my Pearson 36 without an inboard motor. We built a custom bracket to bolt an off the shelf bracket so i could fit a medium shaft outboard on the back of the boat to move it around. Once i put a diesel back in the boat i plan on leaving my bracket in place on the stern. Ive got a 9.9 longshaft that i use on it now that i will leave back there.

In this picture you can see the bracket ive been using for the last 2 years. Also thats a 40hp outboard on there. I would keep useing it, but it died.

Now in this pic you can see the first bracket i made. This one was junk, i bought the motor mount at a marine junk store for $10 and found the 2 peices of angle iron in the boat yards scrap pile. But it did get me from the yard to my anchorage with a 15hp motor.

I say go for it if its what you want. Also look at it this way, you always have something grab onto and pull yourself onboard.

HARDWORK 08-11-2008 02:57 PM

Thanks for the thoughts
I did, in fact, mount a bracket on the stern, for storing the dinghy motor, a Tohatsu 3.5 four stroke. Raised, it will serve as storage, lowered I can sit in the dinghy and move the motor onto the dinghy. It will move the boat enough to give steerage and possibly get me out of the way of other larger vessels (tugboats and barges) on the intercoastal if need be.

Omatako 08-12-2008 02:11 AM

IMO the amount of vertical motion developed at the transom even in a small sea is enough to have the prop constantly in and out of the water. Keep in mind that the distance from the cavitation plate and the prop is less than a foot.

Given that the OB motor is kind of out of reach it is clear that the throttle will be set to a given RPM, directionally locked and the boat steered on it's own rudder.

There is little question in my mind that the OB will overspeed again and again as the prop clears the water then gets buried again. I wouldn't bet any money on the durability of the OB. (or the transom :p )

I don't believe it to be a workable solution unless you're in a very flat-water environment. I agree with Cam, in emergency make the dingy fast and push the yacht with that.


dave22q 04-09-2013 01:57 PM

Re: Outboard motor bracket
sounds like incompatible uses-- dinghy low power short shaft. auxulary moderate power long shaft. unless your boat is configured to use an auxilary outboard you have a number of issues starting with how you start, shift or adjust throttle. hanging a swing bracket on the stern will create an access issue unless you have 5' arms

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