Removing a several hundred pound outboard engine from the back of a boat’s transom is a daunting task. Save the backs of you and your friends from lifting such an awkward and heavy weight. There are several types of engine hoists cranes to select from, but we recommend using a hoist with a stand like you see here in the photo, and they can be purchased for a few hundred dollars or rented for usually less than a $100 for a week. You can buy ceiling mounted hoists, but we don’t recommend using a hoist that attaches to the rafters in your garage. Rafters are not designed to hold that amount of weight, even if you distribute the weight across several rafters.
Most motor manufactures recommend using a lifting eye, also known as a flywheel puller, which attaches to the top of the engine. They can be purchased as a service tool from your favorite marine distributor or dozens of places online. Take the outboard cover off, remove the service cover from the top, and there may be a plastic cap that covers the hole where you screw the lifting eye into and it should be located in the center of the motor’s flywheel. Some engines even have them permanently attached to the engine block.
Many times, especially with older boats, treated marine wood may have been used in the transom. Over time, the mounting bolts may allow water to seep in, so it’s very important when replacing your motors that you also check the integrity of the transom. This can simply be done by using a small hammer or piece of solid plastic rod to gently tap all the surfaces on the outside of the transom. Listen for changes in sound – most often you will hear a sharp “pop” as contact is made. If you hear more of a dull thud sound, there may be some delamination or other issues with the transom material that you can’t see. If you have concerns, you may also want to hire a Marine Surveyor to do a more thorough check of the transom as well as the entire boat.
We intend to add some seating and other features to the back of the TACO Marine Project Boat, so we’ll be doing some reconstruction of the transom and splashwell areas. Stay tuned for more!
Up next: Part 7 – Replacing the Transom