Out With the Old - pulling old outboards, the easy way.
You want to get the most boat possible for your money, and you’re looking for an outboard-powered fishboat? It’s possible to practically steal boats with wrecked powerplants these days, because nobody wants ‘em and selling them is next to impossible. That’s how I picked up my current ride, a 22’ Glacier Bay. With a pair of corrosion hunks sitting on the transom, the entire boat-motor-trailer rig cost me far less then the hull alone would have a few years ago.
Get rid of those old eggbeaters, today!
Then I pulled the outboards, E-bayed them, and repowered with a brand-spankin’ new pair. Total cost for a 22’ boat with a hull in excellent shape, a nearly-new trailer, and all other systems (power, controls, electrical, electronics, plumbing, and seating,) replaced new: Under 20K, which is less then half the cost of an a comparable new boat on the showroom floor.
The big swingset, under construction.
Unfortunatley, many people find the prospect of re-powering daunting. Sure, you’ll leave the mounting job to a pro (or risk voiding your warranty, an unacceptable danger when mounting new powerplants is a relatively minor expense, at $600 to $1,400). The surprising part? Pulling those old outboards is actually a piece of cake.
Stage I: The Big Swingset
To get the trash off the transom you’ll need to construct a big swingset over the outboards. You can see how we did it here: a few 2 x 4’s one 2 x 6, and some cross-bracing is all it takes. Note that we steadied the bases by driving stakes a foot into the ground, and securing the legs to them. This is an important step – don’t skip it – because it prevents the bases from moving.
Stage II: The Lift
A come-along is all you need to lift an outboard. Of course you’ll want to check the capacity rating and make sure yours is big enough. Use a webbed strap wrapped around the top swingset bar to attach the come-along, then hook the motor through its lifting eye. Some brands have the lifting eye permanently mounted under the cowl, but for others you’ll have to purchase an eye that screws into the top of the motor. Once it’s all hooked up, ratchet the come-along until there’s minimal tension on the strap.
Next, remove the bolts securing the outboard to the transom. (We’re assuming that you’ve already removed the battery, steering, and control cables.) You’ll need a partner for this next step: pull the boat forward S-L-O-W-L-Y as someone holds the motor steady, alternately lifting and lowering the lower unit of the motor to jiggle the bolts free without damaging the mounting holes.
You’ve got an outboard swinging from the swingset? Good job. Now seal the transom holes on your boat immediately, so moisture doesn’t invade.
Stage III: The Drop
Now go to E-bay and sell that old eggbeater. You don’t know how to use E-bay? I didn’t either, but it was easy to figure it out in a matter of minutes. Don’t stress over it. Just be sure you say it’s for “Local Pick-Up Only” or someone will expect you to ship it to them.
When your buyer arrives to pick up the powerplant, winch it up using the come-along, until the prop is even with the back of the pick-up or flat-bed your buyer has backed into the driveway. Now swing the lower unit over the bed as someone drops it down with the come-along, one slow click at a time. Make sure you cushion the lower unit, prop, and the side of the motor as it comes down; an old life jacket or two is perfect for this job. Now send your buyer on his way, head for the bank with your proceeds, and pick up the phone – you need to call the dealership, and schedule an appointment to have your new outboards installed.
Drive large stakes into the ground, to secure the bases.
Winch the outboard up with a come-along.
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