The Case of the Teeny Outboard

Thread starter #1
Ok ... after being stuck in the middle of a large Texas inland lake for the umpteenth time with no wind whatsoever, I began my search for auxillary power (sculling with the rudder is not a viable option - been there, done that).

Weighing the pros and cons (and reading about them in this forum) of an electric trolling motor vs. a small gas outboard, I decided to give the gas engine a try ... by purchasing a Tanaka 1.2 hp "weedeater with a prop." The little motor runs well, but the shaft length (17") is just a bit short for proper motor attitude (read 'prop is too close to the surface'). If I sit real close to the transom, I can feel the motor occassionally "bite" with an accompanying increase in speed.

How do my fellow Capri 14 owners mount their auxillary engines? Adjustable kicker bracket? Jack plate? Directly on the transom (with a motor that has a 20" or longer shaft)? And what do you do with it after you've cleared the dock and are finally under sail?

And would a 3.5 hp 28 lb. Nissan (with a 20" shaft) be too heavy?


- Greg :)-)
Thread starter #2
Second Installment -

Hokay ... after looking over both the motor and the transom of my Capri Omega 14, I decided to use a jackplate outboard bracket that the previous owner had given me when I purchased the boat. BTW ... this is a nice, 6 lb. cast aluminum two-piece bracket (one piece bolts onto the transom, with the other holding the motor and bolting into the first piece). My teeny Tanaka 120 has a non-standard 17" shaft length, as measured from the bottom of the "U" bracket to the top of the cavitation plate). Just a wee bit too tall to mount directly on the transom.

I made all the measurements on the transom to ensure that the cavitation plate was 2" below the bottom of the hull, and then mounted the transom plate half of the jack plate. I did add a nicely spar varnished piece of wood on the inside of the transom that the bolts run through, in order to lessen the strain on the fiberglas. And then back out to the lake I went.

Dropping the motor so the cavitation plate ran deeper did the trick. The end result is wonderful! The 1.2 hp Tanaka is more than enough as an auxilliary motor for this boat. I'm still a little wary of dumping the boat in a puff with the motor on board, but I THINK that by rotating the motor so the air intake is close to the centerline and then tilting it out of the water I should be OK!

Some of the benefits of having aux power:

First off, I can now motor out from the ramp/dock to deeper water, and THEN hoist the sails.

Second, I can also sail later into the afternoon, knowing that if I begin to run out of daylight, I can crank up the motor and make it back home.

Last, I can sail the entire lake (they make 'em big here in Texas) instead of staying close to the dock in case the wind dies. MUCH more fun !

Give me a shout if anyone needs more of the technical details.

- Greg :)-)
I don't think I will be strapping a smoky on my boat any time soon, but I might hit you up for a tow if I get stuck. ;) Actually, I've been considering something too, especially after getting stuck in the dead center of Canyon Lake a while back. I tried rowing, but gave up when I realized that I wasn't making very good headway and my arms started aching.