When we purchased the boat, a friend of ours who also keeps his boat in the same marina where we purchased QUANTA noted that the articulating outboard bracket was mounted too high. “When you pitch fore and aft in a seaway [hobby-horsing,  that is called], your prop is going to pop out of the water as your bow dips down.”

Our friend Don Jordan made that comment as we were going over the boat, post-purchase.   My thinking at the time, just wanting to start using the boat without having to spend any more money (haha!) or monkey around with it further, was that if it was good for how many previous owners, it would last a bit longer the way it was.

As we used the motor a lot while berthed in Wilmington, CA at the back of the L.A. Harbor, it soon became clear that this advice had been spot-on, and that the prop did indeed get levered clear out of the water at times of extreme bow-down attitudes, such as when you plunge down the trough of a large wave or wake.

view of the sailboat QUANTA from behind, while it sits on a cradle in a boatyard
Note the waterline depth of the outboard’s lower unit and prop

After much hand-wringing on my part, I bit the bullet and just did it the best I could.  This involved buying a large 6 x 8 inch beam (approx.), and since Home Depot only sold them as whole units, I had to buy like an 8 foot beam even though I only needed a little bit for the project.

I cut it in two to get it in my small car and home to the apartment, where I then used a hand saw since my circular saw could not cut through all the way.  I had to just try to manage the angle by hand … some sanding was required.  The blade also wandered a bit in the middle, creating a bulge that had to be ground down.

After I got it approximately sized and the holes drilled, I fitted it again and again to make it fit perfectly.

At the end of the day, I ended up with a shape that had essentially flat surfaces (I am no woodworker, I tell you what (imagine a “Hank Hill” of King of the Hill accent here …) ) and matched the angle of the existing bracket.

I should add here that I attempted to simply relocate the existing wooden wedge that “levels out” the outboard’s mounting bracket to be straight up and down, rather than angled as QUANTA’s transom is.  It was permanently glued and I could not break the bond without breaking the boat.

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Because of where those two through-hulls are located (the port side scupper and the ice box pump out (yes really)), I was limited in how much I could lower the bracket mount.

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I also took the time to paint everything up nicely.

 

 

Inside the boat, I had to bend the corner of the backing plate up a bit, in order for it to be reused lower on the transom.  That took quite an effort, which included me standing on it, balanced on a concrete block, and whaling on it with a sledgehammer.  Hard to picture but it worked.

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At the end of the day, I got about six inches lower into the water – this is with the XL shaft Honda, remember – and it now works a lot better.  Only very, very rarely do I ever get into an almost popping out situation while under power, and it is for a much shorter duration.  On the other hand I suppose it is more susceptible to being plunged under in some conditions, as well as more easily swamped in a following sea.  One could raise the articulating bracket a notch or two if necessary.

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