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On a trip in September 2013 the motor mount for my CD25 Valor's Yamaha 6 rusted through and broke. I was able to jury-rig it and continue with the trip. This mount, made from standard steel angles and plates bought at the hardware store, only lasted a couple of years.

All photograph by Paul M. Clayton.

Before my next visit to Matthews Point in October, I built a new one. The wooden parts of the previous mounts had always held up well, it was the steel that couldn't stand the harsh marine environment. Joe, a friend with a background in carpentry and a basement shop, helped me design and build the new mount using all wooden structural parts.

I started the job of replacing the mount by lining the boat out of the slip and backing in so the stern could be griped up close to the dock. The next step was to hang the boom on the main halyard and kick up the end to get clearance to hoist the motor out on the main sheet. Since I would need to get into the cockpit lockers to bolt the new mount in place, I cleared everything out of each one, taking the opportunity to carry some junk to the trash. I cleared all the gas cans out of the lazarette, loosened the attachments holding the motor in place, and installed a harness around the motor. Then I unshackled the main sheet from the traveler and attached it to the harness.

The main sheet purchase made lifting the motor out of the well a manageable job. It was still necessary to corkscrew the motor around to get the propellor to clear the bottom of the well, but that was easier with the main sheet holding most of the weight of the motor. Dockmaster Tom gave me a hand swinging the motor onto the dock and lifting it into a cart. The high water conditions reduced the dead lift considerably.

With the motor carted off to the outboard rack for cleaning and an oil change, the ticklish business of climbing into the lockers head-first to bolt the mount in place could begin. I carefully tied and wedged the locker covers open, not wanting to get trapped below decks. In the end, it wasn't too bad a job, as the old brackets came loose easily and the new ones fit right in place. It helped that I had lost a few pounds (see Intermodal).

Tom had the pressure washer out and was kind enough to wash down the motor with it, saving me a lot of scrubbing. I changed the oil, which was hardly in need of it, having probably no more than 20 or so hours since the last change, but I couldn't pass up the chance with the motor out of the boat. Then we carted the motor back out to the dock and dropped it into the well. It fit right on the mount and wedged in the back against a pad silicone sealed to the well.

Everything fit well and seemed sturdy, but I could see a way to put a wedge under the bottom of the bracket on the motor that would bear some of the load. I made something up out of scrap yellow pine salvaged from the dumpster. I slipped it in place and called the job done.