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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dinghy Engine Mount For Our Gemini 3200 Sailboat

One of the ornery pieces of equipment to find a proper place for is the dinghy engine. Where does one store a 5 hp outboard engine?

Many of the boats in our marina have them mounted on the rails around their boat, and in fact many of them have a mounting board on their rails just for this purpose. Ariel had this same mounting board (a 7 inch by 9 inch plaque), but it wouldn't support our dinghy engine. As we test mounted the 5hp engine, our mounting board just spun around.

Inspecting the other boats, we could see that nearly all of them had their mounting boards such that a pipe ran through the center of them preventing the spinning. Ariel's dinghy mounting board wasn't configured this way. While looking at what I would need to do to have a pipe in the center, I saw a problem: our rudders would potentially bump into the dinghy hanging off of the mounting board. (Recall that on a Gemini 3200, the rudders are off the back of the boat and can be adjusted based on a desired draft and the shallower the draft, the higher out of the water the top of the rudders are.)

The other issue we noticed during the test mounting was that the propeller of the dinghy engine was perfectly situated to gouge the side of our boat if, say, the boat were bounced around. That would be bad news.
The solution to both issues (the spinning mounting board and gouging propeller) would be found on 2 different boats we saw in the marina. These boats used a long board to serve as a backing board. The longer board effectively created a wall that runs the length of the dinghy engine and protects the boat from the engine banging on the side.

We went to HomeDepot and bought a PVC Viranda board; a lightweight, low maintenance, moisture resistance, pre-colored board. After cutting it to the desired length (40 inches), I bolted it onto the dinghy engine mount on the rail and viola! we now have a secure place for our dinghy engine to mount.

Marinas are awesome .... lots of examples on how to solve challenges.

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