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Old 08-11-2018, 07:32   #1
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Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

So a little back story before I get into my plan.
Next to me in the slip is a Cal 22 that is recently under new owneship, the previous owner dropped the mast in August, and the new owner needs to move the boat across the harbor to be hauled out for the winter. The problem being the outboard that is on the back is a very old (mid 70s) Mercury 9.9 and is very non functional. The new owner bought a Tohatsu 9.8 as a replacement. So far so good...
Now the problem.
The new owner is a rather tiny young lady, who can't exactly lift the outboard, and this time of year the marina isn't exactly a busy place, and for whatever reason she's a little short on able bodies to help. Under normal circumstances I would just walk over and lift the old outboard off and place the new one on, but I'm currently working on one good leg (busted ankle)
The plan.
Since both boats are tied next to each other with maybe a 4' gap between them, raft her boat to mine (she can do the leg work, pun intended) and use my boom, a spare main sheet coupled to a sling, and the topping lift, to lift the old outboard off, swing it across my cockpit and drop it into a dock cart, then reverse the process to put the new outboard on.
So, the reason for the post is to see if any of the forum can poke any holes in the plan. As the plan stands I won't be doing much more than supervision, or maybe some winch grinding.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:23   #2
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

Your plan sounds ok, although isn't it the boat owner's responsibility to figure out.
Also surely there must be someone wandering around that can spare 5 minutes for her to ask?
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:33   #3
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

Sounds good to me, that’s the way I would have done it.

Did she get the hi-thrust model outboard?
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:43   #4
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

Boat ownership is an opportunity to learn to be self sufficient. The new owner may be a "tiny young lady" but she will benefit from figuring out how to do stuff like this herself. But it is nice of you to help her.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:13   #5
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

Granted, even during the busy season, we're in a tiny marina only 18 slips. Between the 2 of us we are 66% of the boats still in the water and the other boat is already covered in shrink wrap, winter is coming, and the docks are more or less deserted. If it was earlier in the year I'm positive there would be someone willing to help.
And while I agree, that everyones boat is their responsibility, sometimes you have to ask for help, and it's not costing me anything except my time, and the use of some of my gear.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:28   #6
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

Although quite strong, your topping lift was designed to hold up the empty boom...not a 9.9 engine. Whatever may be the weakest link in your topping lift...maybe something at the top of your mast...could fail under the load. Imagine the boom dropping suddenly. Maybe it drops into the water. Maybe it drops onto your boat...smash. Maybe it drops onto your other (good) leg!

As a sailor, especially a solo sailor, I do everything possible to mitigate risk. I see plenty of risk in your plan.

I appreciate your kindness in wanting to help a fellow sailor. But you also must be careful not to enable someone by helping too much. Will you be there when her engine stops halfway across the bay?

Perhaps she would have been better off with a smaller engine. Or maybe she needs to find herself some muscle for hire.

A better plan might be to return the new 9.9 and replace it with a pair of honda 2.3 outboards that she could easily manage herself.

Being self sufficient doesn't mean being big and strong. It means being smart. Jessica Watson is living proof. So is my own daughter.

Other possible solutions:
- Tow her across with your boat, or your dinghy.
- Ask the fine people who sold her the new engine to help...they made some $ off her, and are accustomed to working with outboards...who better to ask?
- Hire a nice young man with big muscles...a teenager might appreciate $20 for the task.
- Warp her boat over to a service dock that has a proper (self serve) crane.

When I had to remove the Honda 100 (9.8hp) from the back of my boat, I backed it into my slip, just inches from the main dock where I sat on the edge... I hugged the engine while one of my kids undid the already loosened transom clamps. Then I just leaned back with the outboard, and rolled away from the edge.

FWIW, I had no car, so I built a flatbed bike trailer specifically to move the outboard. Sorry, no pics, but the guys at the outboard repair shop were pretty impressed.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:40   #7
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
Although quite strong, your topping lift was designed to hold up the empty boom...not a 9.9 engine. Whatever may be the weakest link in your topping lift...maybe something at the top of your mast...could fail under the load. Imagine the boom dropping suddenly. Maybe it drops into the water. Maybe it drops onto your boat...smash. Maybe it drops onto your other (good) leg!

As a sailor, especially a solo sailor, I do everything possible to mitigate risk. I see plenty of risk in your plan.

I appreciate your kindness in wanting to help a fellow sailor. But you also must be careful not to enable someone by helping too much. Will you be there when her engine stops halfway across the bay?

Perhaps she would have been better off with a smaller engine. Or maybe she needs to find herself some muscle for hire.

A better plan might be to return the new 9.9 and replace it with a pair of honda 2.3 outboards that she could easily manage herself.

Being self sufficient doesn't mean being big and strong. It means being smart. Jessica Watson is living proof. So is my own daughter.
I removed and replaced my 352 lb Bukh Diesel a couple times using my boom.

I'm thinking his boom (and topping lift) can handle an outboard that weights less than 100 lbs

But for a small boat like her's, a 5 hp would be strong enough. My 5hp 4 stroke weighs 57 lbs
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:50   #8
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

You are headed in the right direction.
Good sailors are known for helping their neighbors out.

I recommend using your main halyard as a back up to your topping lift. Consider it a safety line, if you wish. It also gives you the option to raise the outer end of the boom if needed...
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:56   #9
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

Hip tow her across the harbor. Much easier than swapping engines. Then she has all winter to deal with it.
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:16   #10
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

I like the idea of using the main halyard, raising the end of the boom would make it easier to get over the lifelines as well.
Next year if she wants or needs to remove the outboard again I'm sure she could use her own rigging if need be.
Towing her across was my first thought, but figured it would be easier for her boat to move under it's own power.
She got the engine from the internet, Online Outboards .com apparently.
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:36   #11
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

SV_Harbinger (hope I spelled that right)
Thanks you for being willing to help a new boater! This is a great example of the spirit that makes boating so enjoyable.
I don't see anything wrong with your plan, I do like the suggestion to use the main halyard as a back up to the topping lift. It would also use of the main halyard to to raise the end of the boom if needed for clearance.
It would also be nice to have third person on hand to back up your compromised mobility.

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Old 08-11-2018, 10:59   #12
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

As did Thomm225, I also removed and replaced a Bukh 20hp using the boom supported by the main halyard. A separate adjustable block and tackle attached to the end of the boom to raise and lower the engine worked fine.
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:12   #13
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

And just an explanation for considering the tow idea to be more challenging is weather related, she's supposed to be getting hauled on Saturday, and it's supposed to be according to the weather reports be rather breezy 20knts gusting 30, I'd rather not tow in that.
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:13   #14
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

Good on you for helping her out. You can test your topping lift by using yr weight in a harness off boom end being careful that you dont fall & break yr other ankle. Or get her to do that assuming she weighs more than outboard Do a couple of bounces & if it copes with that it will easily cope with the outboard.
Good idea halyard backup too. As other posters said many people lift their diesels using the boom as crane so yr plan is absolutely fine :-)
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:27   #15
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Re: Swapping outboard motor, good idea/bad idea

If she does weigh more than the outboard it's not by much lol 20 years ago I probably could have used her as a javelin to reasonable effect, but the boom has held me in the past and I'm not nearly as light probably about just a little more than 2x as heavy actually..... So with the halyard rigged to the end I trust it'll hold just fine.
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