SJ23 Tech Tip D01, (Updated 2024-02-05) Bob Schimmel


Easy Outboard Lift.

Have you ever tried to raise your outboard by hand, from waaay down there?  Reaching down can be a daunting task, especially when you're pooped out after pulling the starter cord a zillion times.  It gets even worse in hot weather.  More than one pair of glasses has slipped from a shirt pocket to end up in the drink.  The photo below would be the last view of your glasses as you hear them go plunk!  I am so glad that Panache has electric start and a gear shift extender (not shown below) that goes up over the transom.  One of these days I'll figure out how to extend the START and STOP switches up to the transom or gear shift extender.

I have seen lots of elderly (and some lazy) skippers sailing with a prop dragging in the water which doesn't do any good for the sailing reputation of an SJ23.  I can understand the situation for an aging sailor, but for the rest....  If the outboard accidently dropped while sailing, it can be a real effort to raise it in a heaving seaway due to the motion.  To solve these day to day problems I connected a 4x1 block and tackle between Panache's pushpit leg and the handle of the outboard (just aft of the lift bracket handle).  Alternatively you can fasten the top block to an eye mounted on the transom.  The bottom dual block is equipped with a jam cleat that has the free end of the line existing upward towards me in the cockpit.

Raising or lowering the outboard with the blocks requires less effort than pulling the outboard up by hand.  The reach is certainly shorter.  This is an absolute godsend for a heavy outboard that is mounted far away from the transom and is almost out of reach in the drive position.  Never mind when you are tired.  If you look at the photo above you'll see that the free end of the line is tied to the pushpit leg so it can't wrap around the prop and is easy to find in the dark. 

There is an additional benefit to this arrangement.  When the locking cam on my original outboard mount was worn it sometimes had a nasty habit of releasing.  The resulting crash sounded like it would rip the transom off.  To prevent this I pulled the free end of the lift line around the pushpit leg then tied it around the block and tackle with a slip knot.  This locked the outboard securely in the raised position.  I still use this method when the boat is in her slip.

UPDATE - For 2024 I have changed the block and tackle from 4:1 to 6:1 by adding two single blocks beside the existing dual blocks.  Triple blocks would be nice but are difficult to source in this small size and are difficult to fit with the outboard down in the drive position.

(Insert photo of 6:1 block here when Panache floating)

NOTE: The clamshell intake vent shown on the top of the starboard transom keeps the bilge area under the cockpit nice and dry with fresh air.  An aft facing exhaust vent is mounted on the port side.  This orientation helps to keep gas fumes out.  Each vent is equipped with a bug screen.  I have never smelled gasoline fumes under the cockpit.  See Tech Tip C19.

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