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Motor mount bracket

Feb 19, 2008
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
I could probably get a better picture in a couple hours . . . .but I think you can see this.

My motor mount is only held on by 4 screws (I’m assuming they are screws). last year I noticed a little movement in the bracket when lowering it. I had hoped to put this repair off until next year (haven’t launched yet and have a couple more jobs to do) except now I notice the stress cracks in the gelcoat, indicating more movement than I thought I had. There is another hole just below the screw that is failing, a quick and dirty fix would just be to put another screw in to try to share the burden. I feel like the real answer is remove it, clean everything up, start from scratch (repair the gelcoat).

so 2 questions: is this urgent? and how do I repair it?

also, should I replace the motor mount? It’s really hard to push down, and that‘s probably what’s causing the stress, not sure how hard it’s supposed to be to push down, but I’ve never gotten it to it’s lowest position.


Nov 23, 2018
Vandestadt & McGruer Ltd. Siren 17 Choctawhatchee Bay
Hopefully the mount is attached with bolts with a backing board on the inside of the transom, and NOT screws. You can see the stress cracks in the gel coat from where the mount has been causing the transom to flex. You definitely should look into fixing this soon.

As far as the mount not moving, maybe try lubing the pivot points? You can see where the upper horizontal bolt that holds tension on the spring has bent. If you remove these two bolts, it will remove the tension on the springs. Then you can take everything apart and make sure it moves easily.
Jan 19, 2010
Hunter 26 Charleston
I'd fix it.... and I'd use all available bolt holes.

If you get caught out in pounding seas and your bracket comes off... it might take a piece of your transom with it.... while dealing with pounding seas.... Sounds like a bad day to me.
Feb 19, 2008
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
@Woreign - I had not seen that bend until you pointed it out, now I have to drive back to the storage yard to see if it's an optical illusion in the photo or if I've been blind.

I realize that through bolts and a backing plate are the right way to fix most things - I was just thinking that this would be a much easier repair if this boat was built with a big old hunk of oak right below the fiberglass where a motor mount would surely be located.

The whole transom is probably 4 inches wide. Not sure how you get a wrench in the middle of that sandwich, and the only possible access is well more than an arm's length away.
Jun 8, 2004
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Sent you a private message. Between @rgranger and I hopefully we can help you. The only thing wrong with Rgranger he lives too far away from home. I miss seeing that wascal


Nov 28, 2010
O day 25 Nyack. New York
You may have a rotten core between the inner and outer layers of glass in the transom. Without taking the boat apart, remove the bracket. I' m sure you can get to the inside.
Then drill the inside (only) hole out to 1"and stop drilling when you hit the outer skin, ( if you have the tools to drill bigger than 1", go bigger) being careful not to pierce the outer skin. They make flat ended bits for this but the name escapes me at this age. A good hardware store will get you one. Get a 1" hardwood dowel at Home Depot and cut off 4 (or match number of mounting holes) about 5" long or just slightly longer than the thickness of the transom. Try to cut the dowel at 90 degrees. Mix some epoxy or just buy a self mixing tube at home depot, making sure it's EPOXY, thicken a bit so it won't fall off the dowel while you're inserting, and dip the end of the dowel in it. Then push the dowel in until it reaches the outer skin. The epoxy will glue the dowels to the inner and outer fiberglass. The next day, when completely set, redrill the mounting holes thru the new dowels and remount the bracket. The dowels will now be attaching the inner and outer skins to each other and will not let the inner and outer skins pull inward toward each other, so the bolts can be tight. The hardest part is crawling into the stern area. The rest is easy.
Feb 19, 2008
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
@ebsail -

great suggestion.
im pretty happy with the repair that I did, but I’ll keep an eye on it and I’ll go this route if need be. I did something similar on my last boat.

The core seemed pretty sound. It looks like the bolts simply came loose from vibration.
I drilled 4 new holes, for a total of 8, fastened then with nylock nuts and used 3M 4600 sealer on everything. Cleaned, repaired and lubed the motor mount while I was at it.

mostly installation went pretty well. Haven’t tested it on the lake yet.