Outboard Fix

Our Nissan/Tohatsu 2-stroke outboard is (with some care) still going strong. Early on, we broke a thing called a lift bracket.

It’s part of the frame on which the outboard motor hangs of the transom of your dinghy. Studying the drawing, it’s seems to me there’s a motor, a choice of long or short drive shafts, and a “lower unit” with the gears and a propellor.

The lower unit tips up, to keep it clear of marine growth. And to make it possible to run the dinghy up on a beach.

This rusty thing has been broken since — I think — they day we first put our first dinghy into the water. 

There’s a spring and a handle. The idea is for it to easily latch in the up position. You pull the handle to undo the catch holding it up, and it drops into the water. (Except in reverse, of course. With the transmission in reverse, it has to be held down by a separate “reverse lock”, and you can’t tip it up.)

Since this rusty bit never moved, it didn’t latch. Instead, we used a piece of line to tie the engine up. We did that for a while, but it’s a pain. I think we left the lower unit dragging in the water when we lived in Annapolis at anchor. Bad idea. Lots of propellor cleaning required.

After — what? — ten years of this lift bracket not working, I finally printed out the drawing. It’s been an open browser tab for at least two years. That’s how slow I am at jobs like this.

I lay the outboard on the deck where I could get a good look up inside the bracket. On the drawing, I checked off  the broken, missing, or impossibly rusted parts. $75.00 of ‘em. 

That’s not so bad. When the parts arrive, I have to reassemble it, but that seems manageable. The bracket “simply” bolts in place. I think.

If everything goes well, the outboard will latch up like it did when it was new. Yay!

ty  © Steven Lott 2020