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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an old Achilles soft bottom inflatable dinghy that came with my boat when I bought it. It is about 7-8 feet long and has no outboard mount. I does have a couple rubber nubs 2-3" in diameter at the rear that would lend themselves to jury-rigging, but I don't think I would trust an outboard to them.

I am considering using epoxy/fiberglass to fabricate and essentially glue on a motor mount. Does anyone have any experience in adding structural parts to soft inflatables? Any suggestions as to what type of epoxy should be used?

I live aboard on a lake in Austin so I do not currently encounter any heavy seas. I will be stepping up to a better dinghy before I hit the ocean, but the one I have is fine for me right now and might be a little more fun with an engine. I have heard rumors that some type of mount is sold, but have never been able to find it on the internet. Any ideas?
 

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you might be able to get away with making a shell that fits nicely on the stern. what i would do would be to cover the hull with saran wrap, then put fiberglass and epoxy one the saran wrap to make a very nicely formed shell, then fiberglass on some sort of mount to the shell. then figure out how to attach it, like connection to tie points or oar locks. when it done you would need to trim the edges and smooth them real well.

or go look at some of the option made for this, there are lots of makers. here is a thread that shows some makers and there mounts http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/51831-unknown-inflatable.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the link. However, I dont think those designs would work with my model without getting in the way. I do like the idea of a shell mounted to the back tube, perhaps with an integral hinge and some sort of sturdy locking mechanism to keep it clamped on. Thanks for your help!
 

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I'm surprised your Achilles doesn't have a mount already, maybe it had one that someone removed? If it were me, I would either track down a replacement motor-mount for your boat, or sell your current dinghy and get one with a proper motor mount built-in. Gluing a bunch of ad-hoc stuff onto your dingy could reduce its value when you decide to sell it for the better one, and I doubt it would work very well in the end. Especially if you plan on putting anything bigger than like a 2HP motor on there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The real mount is probably sitting in the previous owner's garage somewhere. I know I will need something better when I am on the ocean, this is more of a toy project to distract me from my slaving and saving long enough to get me there. I had never actually thought about selling it but I suppose it would be worth $100-$200 to someone who doesn't mind rowing.

I LOVE that boater's resale shop. The last time we were there, we stayed for three hours until closing time, went to a hotel, then came back the next day and spend four more hours there. I don't remember seeing many dinghys, but they did have a good selection of used outboards(and used everything else).
 

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those rubber nubs were designed to hold the motor mount. i think they are probably still OK to jury-rig a mount.

i'm assuming its a Hypalon boat - trying to glue a mount to the hypalon will require the right type of glue ( a variant of contact cement).

how large of an O/B are you going to attach?

Rick

I have an old Achilles soft bottom inflatable dinghy that came with my boat when I bought it. It is about 7-8 feet long and has no outboard mount. I does have a couple rubber nubs 2-3" in diameter at the rear that would lend themselves to jury-rigging, but I don't think I would trust an outboard to them.

I am considering using epoxy/fiberglass to fabricate and essentially glue on a motor mount. Does anyone have any experience in adding structural parts to soft inflatables? Any suggestions as to what type of epoxy should be used?

I live aboard on a lake in Austin so I do not currently encounter any heavy seas. I will be stepping up to a better dinghy before I hit the ocean, but the one I have is fine for me right now and might be a little more fun with an engine. I have heard rumors that some type of mount is sold, but have never been able to find it on the internet. Any ideas?
 

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Achilles mount for outboard - that is what the molded rubber feet are for

Achilles makes a motor mount for their older boats. Constructed of metal and wood, it fits in the rubber feet on your Achilles transom and is removable.

Defender stocks them as does most good Achilles dealers. Not cheap, but that is the original factory part for your boat.

Part number at defender is 453294

Hope that helps.

Cheers

S-
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Holy cow you found it! Your kung-fu is stronger than mine. Thanks for your help everybody. I guess the next questions is-will it handle my 9.9 without sinking and taking me with it? I doubt it.
 

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There are different glues for different materials. Hypalon rafts take tolulene, pvc boats take MEK- methyl ethyl ketone. When you mentioned the nubs on the stern I wondered which kind of raft it is. If it has a transom as opposed to a round end, or if it has a tube on the stern .The NRS river company is a good resource for glues and advice. If in fact you have a tube at the stern, they make a mount that might work for you. We did this at our raft company. There is a rear seat mount for rafts that is u shaped that goes over the tube, and straps in place, then the tube is inflated. We welded a plate on the back and removed the seat, bingo motor mount. Also the Maddog river raft frame company also has these mounts,406-726-3574.
 

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I guess the next questions is-will it handle my 9.9 without sinking and taking me with it? I doubt it.
Find the specifications for your boat somewhere online, or go to achillesinflatables.com and find a new boat similar to yours. They will list in the specs the maximum HP you are supposed to use (probably 3 HP). Don't know how wise it is to exceed this. I've got a 6 HP on my 10' achilles and it's a handful sometimes so I would imagine 9.9 on your 7' could be dicey.
 
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