Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Preparing for Sailing Season '05
The Outboard Motor Mount Project

Click thumbnails below for a larger picture


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My OMC outboard motor mount, which I fully restored and reconditioned before the 2003 season. Note that it has no springs or other assist. OMC does offer a "tilt-aid cylinder assembly"  lift booster option.  (Feb. 5, 2005)

See OMC motor mount blowup diagram and booster kit parts .    (PDF)

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The motor mount in the "up" position.

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It's rated for up to a 15 hp outboard, but without the tilt aid cylinder assembly option or some sort of assist, I'd like to see someone lift one. I have a hard enough time lifting my 9.9 hp Tohatsu.

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An approximate measurement of the vertical spacing center-to-center between bolts is 4".

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The horizontal distance center-to-center between bolts is 7".

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The exact center-to-center bolt spacings, measured from inside the lazerette on the inner transom backing block, are 4" apart vertical by 7" apart horizontal.

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Catalina Direct's new 3-spring outboard motor mount (Product #: Z2274 - $269) indicates: Vertical hole spacing center to center: 5" Horizontal hole spacing center to center: 6-1/2".

After researching a number of spring-assisted adjustable models that I might use as a replacement, all had slightly varying bolt patterns. Many were less expensive than just the tilt-aid parts for my OMC mount, but I didn't want to start filling and drilling holes in the transom and replacing the backing blocks. Besides, I completely rebuilt mine from top to bottom just two years ago; it's almost as good as new. The OMC nitrogen-filled tilt-aid cylinder and assembly hardware (X4" SS bolt, nut and washers, a long nylon bushing and two smaller bushings) cost $212.51. The motor mount is rated to handle up to a 15 hp motor, so this addition to it should do the trick.  (Apr. 24, 2005)

Once the rain stopped this afternoon, it was one of those rare perfect days when everything goes just the way it's supposed to, no unexpected snags. Once I removed the top bolt and swung the mounting board down and out of the way, the tilt-aid assembly bolted right into place where it belonged. The trick, of course, is installing it with the motor mount in the up position for the fully-extended piston to fit without needing to be compressed: that's not going to happen by hand. While I was at it, I checked the other bolts and snugged them up. When fully installed, without the heavy outboard mounted, it requires a lot of pressure/weight to lower the unit.

Lifting it back up was a cinch: throw the lever to the up position, give it a nudge downward to clear the catch, and up it rises gently. The entire installation took under an hour -- so I moved on to install a missing masthead sheave, mount the Windex and VHF antenna atop the mast, and replace all the shrouds with new ones. Considering that it rained all day Saturday and until 2:00 pm today, it still turned out to be a reasonably productive weekend with a few more projects scratched off the 2005 pre-launch list.

Moving on with Season 2005 improvements


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