SJ23 Tech Tip D01, (Updated 2005-09-30) Bob Schimmel


Easy Outboard Lift.

Have you ever tried to raise your outboard by hand?  Reaching down can be a daunting task when you're pooped out after pulling the starter cord a zillion times in a rolling seaway.  The long reach over the transom is a good reason to have electric start on an SJ23.  If you get carried away with this task, it may be all too easy to get fatigued.  More than one pair of glasses has slipped from a pocket into the drink.  The photo at right would be the last view of your glasses as you hear them going plunk!  I have seen lots of elderly skippers sailing with props dragging in the water which doesn't do any good for the sailing performance.  If the outboard has dropped while sailing, it is a real effort to raise it in a heavy seaway.

To solve these problems, connect a 4 to1 block and tackle between the pushpit (or other spot on the transom) and the front of the outboard or between the transom and the top of the motor mount.  I may change the tackle to 6x1 in the future.  There are times when the initial pull is quite hard.  After the initial pull it becomes very easy.  The bottom dual block is equipped with a jam cleat from which the free of the line exists towards you to assist in the lift.  This little detail escapes some folk! 

Raising or lowering the outboard with the blocks requires way less effort.  It's an absolute godsend for a heavy outboard that is mounted far away from the transom or when you are tired.  It may be difficult to see in the photo, but the free end of the block and tackle is tied to the bottom of the pushpit 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 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 double up the free end of the lifting line in a loop, pull it once around the pushpit post and then tie it around the block and tackle with a slip knot.  This locks the outboard securely in the raised position.  I also use this method when the boat is at her mooring.

NOTE: The clamshell intake vent shown on the top of the 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. 

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