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Loading outboard motor to dinghy

Discussion in 'Big Boats' started by jveatch, Sep 24, 2015. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. jveatch


    Joined Oct 7, 2005
    65 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 41DS
    US Brownsville, WA
    Loading a Honda 2hp motor or similar from the aft end of our Hunter 41DS to a Zodiac dinghy is difficult for an older person like me (77 yrs old). Are there any clever ways to lower a motor down that would make it easy?

  2. uncledom


    Joined Jun 11, 2011
    966 posts, 169 likes
    Hunter 41
    US Lewes
    I use my spare main halyard. I take about 20 feet of line and tie one end to the outboard motor lifting handle and the other end to the halyard. This gives me enough halyard line in the cockpit to lead it off the stern. I let the admiral work the winch and the only weight I have is the horizontal weight while I guide the motor from one mount to the other, those being on the stern rail and the dink. Garhauer makes a nice motor lift that my friend has on his 44DS. My version is free. Good luck.

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  3. richk


    Joined Jan 24, 2007
    460 posts, 5 likes
    Marlow-Hunter 37
    US Deep Creek off the Magothy River off ChesBay
    Here is what we use...(see picture)

    picture's a Kato Marine crane

    Attached Files:

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  4. centerline


    Joined Mar 20, 2012
    3,982 posts, 186 likes
    Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25
    US Salem, Oregon
    use the boom... attach a block & tackle to the end of the boom, hoist the topping lift to raise the boom to create some headroom, then hoist the outboard with the tackle and swing it out over the dinghy....

    the real problem with using any method other than you hands, arms and back, is that the dinghy is bouncing one direction, the mothership is rolling the other direction, and you are trying to keep from falling in the water while making the transfer. unless you are on a mill pond...

  5. Jerry Clark H356 SV Persi

    Jerry Clark H356 SV Persi

    Joined Mar 3, 2003
    614 posts, 41 likes
    Hunter 356
    US Grand Rivers
    I have a pole mounted hoist. I can lower my motor, a Lehr 5 hp @ 57 lbs, with one hand. My previous motor, a Yamaha 4 stroke, 4hp was 67 lbs. Very easy with this setup. It is made by Ocean Marine Systems.

    The photo below shows the Yamaha mounted on the dinghy. The enclosure is hiding the Edson outboard mount. This has been a very convenient way for me.

    Attached Files:

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  6. Bill Roosa

    Bill Roosa

    Joined Jun 6, 2006
    6,965 posts, 140 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US Harrington Harbor North, MD
    Embrace the horror of using oars.
    light weight
    stow easily
    no gas storage needed
    no starting problems
    does not make the boat go as as fast but has unlimited range
    maintains a active lifestyle (important for us old farts)
    can be use as an anti boarding device in a pinch
    can be use to "pole" around the boat to find which side is shllow when aground
    no maintenance needed
    they are quiet while in use
    it is salty

    it requires effort
    does not allow you to waterski
    you don't get there as fast
    you can't see where you are going easily
    it takes some practice to learn

  7. centerline


    Joined Mar 20, 2012
    3,982 posts, 186 likes
    Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25
    US Salem, Oregon
    With a hard dinghy I absolutely agree, but rowing an inflatable in either current or wind could be a losing battle:cry:...

    Gene Neill likes this.
  8. Benny17441


    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,342 posts, 299 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Your engine with oil and a full tank of gas will be a tad short of 30 lbs. Lifting and carrying the engine by its handle and walking a few steps should be within the capabilities of the average 77 year old. Your boat has an open transom providing the capability of setting the engine down on the swim platform next to the dinghy. Once more lift the engine and set it inside the dinghy. Get yourself inside the dinghy and slide the outboard leg over the transom. With the mount screws open pick it up once more and set it in place tightening the mounting screws. Handling the weight in a series of short intervals should not be too taxing. I have used outboard lifts and find that the physical exertion in setting them up and lifting and lowering the engine are more complicated and probably more demanding than just picking the small one up. Lifts are better suited for more heavier engines in boats that may lack an open transom. I have seen that an exercise regime of lifting weights can increase and maintain a persons ability to handle loads not only for weight but for balance. I think this is the easiest way.

  9. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,645 posts, 443 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Alamitos Bay
    Bring the dink along side the starboard- or portside stern; secure it bow and stern after aligning the dinghy transom directly below where the motor is mounted on your stern rail. Have a lifting bridle on the engine (so it hangs vertically) with a tagline to the rail. Open the engine mount screws all the way then lower the engine right on to the transom. (Use a block to the deck somewhere if you need it; you're on the boat, not in the dinghy!) With practice you can drop it into position; the tagline keeps it from falling off and sinking. Of course, you now have to get into the dink to tighten the mounting screws. I go straight over the rail then down into the dink using a suspension step hung from the stanchion. To recover, reverse the process. Need only to vertically dead-lift the engine the distance from the dink transom to the rail mount using the tagline; perhaps 5 to 6 ft.

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  10. Mike H.

    Mike H.

    Joined Mar 16, 2009
    246 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter Vision-36
    US Richmond
    That's the way I do it and I'm only 57!

  11. seadaddler


    Joined Dec 19, 2006
    5,328 posts, 109 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Punta Gorda
    Engine hoist

    I am 69 and in pretty good shape and very active and pretty strong
    but have back problems for sure.
    I have davits and motor hoist by Garhauer and there many others to
    choose I use the engine hoist for 8hp outboard and makes my back very
    I do leave the 8hp on the dinghy while on the davits when ever cruising
    and do secure the dinghy with extra lines so it doesn't move around.
    Go for a outboard hoist and you will not be sorry,well worth the $$$$$$.

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  12. Fast Ed

    Fast Ed

    Joined Jun 27, 2004
    110 posts, 5 likes
    Hunter 34
    US New Bern, NC
    I have a block and tackle rigged to my bimini. If your bimini has a cross brace it is probably strong enough to use as a motor hoist.

  13. nautikaljeeper


    Joined Oct 21, 2009
    97 posts, 3 likes
    Hunter 36
    US San Diego, Ca
    I agree with Centerline. Here is our setup. Boom works great with the arch on Hunters.

    Attached Files:

  14. Bob 04 H260

    Bob 04 H260

    Joined May 16, 2007
    1,509 posts, 34 likes
    Boatless ! 26
    CA Ottawa, Ontario
    We have davits and quite often can leave the motor on the RIB when we are sailing. We have been using a 6hp, 4 stroke engine, about 57 lbs. the davit can lift it on and off the dinghy but is not quite high enough to reach the stern rail.

    This year we will have a 10 hp, 2 stroke, about 74 lbs. Purchased this so we can get the dinghy up on plane.

    We have a dog and need to go ashore at least twice a day in all weather, the distances can be quite far anchored out in the Bahamas.

    I picked up a used Forespar motor lift at a very good price and intend to use it with the bigger motor, This lift is designed to be easily removed from the stern and stored away when not being used.

    Trying to lift a motor on or off a pitching dinghy by hand is not fun.


    Attached Files:

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  15. Richandhelen


    Joined Feb 3, 2014
    94 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 44 aft cockpit
    US Miami, FL
    We have davits with a 10' RIB and a Merc 9.9 four-stroke. Does anyone use a permanently mounted motor hoist that will accommodate this setup?

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  16. Owen Thistle

    Owen Thistle

    Joined Nov 20, 2017
    17 posts, 7 likes
    Hanse 400e
    Kerkyra Ca Nanaimo
    This is my solution: In the interest of full disclosure, you need to know that I also manufacture and sell them now, so don't take my word for it, be your own judge. You use your halyard while the Swing-Lift takes care of securing and guiding the motor.

    Will Gilmore and BrianRobin like this.
  17. Sailm8


    Joined Feb 21, 2008
    1,473 posts, 154 likes
    Hunter 29.5
    US Punta Gorda
    For years I just picked up the motor, stepped into the dink and put it on or off. I had a 57 lbs tohatsu 5hp. I had a chance to buy a used crane and now my wife cranks it on and off while I just guide it. Piece of cake.

  18. jviss


    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,362 posts, 193 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westport, MA
    You could just leave the motor attached to the dinghy. I've been towing a rib with a 15HP 2-stroke Merc for 17 years with no issues, whatsoever. I tighten the steering head and tilt the motor up for towing.

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  19. Captain Larry-DH

    Captain Larry-DH

    Joined Jun 14, 2010
    324 posts, 113 likes
    Quorning Dragonfly 1200
    US home
    I don’t think your lecture is helpful to the OP of what should be. Different people have different abilities, and the OP was asking for tips that would make it easier.
    A small crane is th best solution I know of. I use a Forespar motor mate and it works well.

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  20. gettinthere


    Joined Nov 26, 2008
    1,785 posts, 126 likes
    Endeavour 42
    US Cruisin
    I have the garhauer motor crane for my 15 hp Yamaha. No sweat