22 September 2010

Building Blind

Here's something I've discovered: It's very difficult to build something for a boat that is a thousand miles away.

I promised I wouldn't mention my engine again, but I'm afraid it's on the front burner, again. The problem is that the original motor bracket is both too small, and poorly mounted.

Too small because my new Yamaha T9.9 weighs about 120 lbs, and I guess that my old bracket is rated for a much smaller engine. I have a good, strong safety line on the engine, in case the bracket breaks, but I'd rather not test it.

Poorly mounted because the Blue Moon's transom is raked at 34 degrees, and most engines can only be adjusted by about 16 degrees. The old bracket is mounted directly on the transom, so the motor is tilted at a steep angle.

Engine at a bad angle
photo jalmberg

The fix is to build  wedge that fits between the bracket and the transom, to remove the angle.

drawing by Garelick Marine
Of course, my transom is raked the other way, so the thick edge of the wedge would be down.

I decided to laminate my wedge out of a plank of Douglas Fir. It was my first lamination job, so it was both interesting and rather messy. The trick is to use lots of plastic wrap, so you don't end up laminating your tools, work bench, and left arm to the block.

My first lamination job
photo jalmberg

Slicing the 'steps' off the block was the most difficult part. I'm sure it would be easier with a table saw or huge bandsaw, but I had to do it free-hand with a plain old saw saw.

Trimming block
photo jalmberg

After a bit of planing and sanding, plus adding two more planks to increase the distance between the bracket and the transom, I ended up with something that looked like this.

'Finished' wedge
photo jalmberg
 Not perfect, but not bad for a first effort, I thought. I decided to give it 4 coats of black oil paint while trying to figure out how to bore 4 holes through this hefty hunk of wood.

>>> Next Episode: Wedge Issues

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  1. Congratulations on the new addition, Grampa!

  2. I have a 5.5 metre yacht with a sloping transom. I made two stainless steel brackets in a wedge shape and joined, but it was very minimalist and very strong. Even though the 5.5 is a timber yacht (circa 1964) it looks very acceptable, as the hinged outboard bracket is stainless also. Just all looked part of the same act. Chris.


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