Motor and Motor Bracket, Part 9, Installation of Motor Mount Pad and Motor

The motor mount pad and motor fully installed
Having installed the transom plate and backing plates, and having installed the motor bracket to these plates, it was now time for me to install the custom motor mount pad and the motor itself. The steps I took to accomplish this on Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25, are the subject of this posting.
Unlike the many other postings in this multi-part article, this one does not have has many step-by-step pictures. We will look instead at some pictures of the completed project, at least this first part of it. Below, we see the Yamaha 9.9 High Thrust motor mounted on the custom motor mount pad (painted white).
A beefy buddy of mine who lives nearby assisted me with the steps it took to get to this point. First, we bolted the custom motor mount pad into place. Then we picked up the motor and set it in place. We noticed right away that the clamps for the motor appeared as if they would obstruct the bolts that we planned to install - the bolts that would secure the motor to the pad. Therefore, we picked the motor back up off of the pad and set it back down onto the wooden motor rack (that I had wheeled-up next to the boat with a hand truck). Then, we grabbed a 1/2 inch piece of scrap Starboard. This HDPE black plastic board was just what we needed to raise the motor up high enough to give us some room for the bolts. If you look closely, you can see the piece of Starboard on top of the motor mount pad.
The bolt holes for the mounting of the motor to the pad did not pre-exist. We drilled them only after we had gotten the Starboard and the motor in place. At issue were the pre-existing holes in the Yamaha rack itself. These holes had to serve as a guide for the drilling of the holes through the pad. In other words, the motor had to be in place on the pad for us to carry out this drilling. If we had pre-drilled the holes in the pad, we would have had a very difficult time lining them up with the pre-existing holes in the Yamaha rack.
I was concerned that our free-handed drilling would result in holes that were not perfectly perpendicular to the pad. My buddy, however, who's quite the craftsman and quite the mariner, assured me that marking the pad and then taking the pad to his drill press was unnecessary. He was right.
He also assured me that the starboard would not present any problems with regard to the security of the motor on the motor mount pad.
He also helped me, at this time, install the rudder. I discuss the repair and reinstallation of this rudder in a series of separate postings.
With the motor finally in place, I was pleased to see that I would definitely be able to drop the prop of the motor deep into the water, if I so wished. In the picture below, as in the previous six, you see the motor bracket in its fully-deployed state. Pay no attention to the tilt of the motor. Once I had this motor connected to the battery bank, I would tilt it into a more vertical position so that the prop would be horizontal with regard to its direction of thrust.
With the first major task out of the way, I could now focus on the joining of the positive and negative wires of the motor to the battery bank. I began by drilling a hole into the side of the cockpit locker on the port side. As you see in the picture below, I used a Lennox brand hole saw to do this. This task would have been impossible if I had not earlier installed the nearby circular hatch. This area of the port side cockpit locker is very difficult to access. I found it impossible to join the three bilge pump hoses to the through-hulls in the transom without installing this circular hatch.
In this hole I installed a nylon through-hull, one that the previous owner used to have in the starboard cockpit locker. He used this through-hull for routing the fuel line from his motor to the fuel tank that he (foolishly) stored in the cockpit locker. Yes, it was a cheap, nylon through-hull, but it didn't matter, since it wouldn't be situated below the waterline. Nevertheless, I used butyl tape to seal this fitting in the hole. This would prevent water from leaking around the edges of the fitting. I sawed off most of the through-hull to make it easier to route the wires at a right angle after they entered the cockpit locker.
After I routed the wires into the through-hull, I shoved butyl tape into the spaces around the wires. I didn't want a single drop of water to enter this cockpit locker, especially since much of my main AC and DC circuit was in this locker.
The terminals that came with these wires, in my opinion, were not up to snuff. They were poorly crimped, and they were not sealed with heat-shrink tubing. Therefore, I cut off these terminals and installed my own.
I address my work on this starting circuit much more thoroughly in my series of articles on the electrical system that I installed in my complete rewiring of the boat.
I made sure to keep plenty of slack in these wires from the motor. I also made sure to put in a drip loop so that the water would have less of a propensity to creep toward the through-hull.
Here's one shot of the cockpit locker with part of the starting circuit. In the foreground the positive (red) wire from the motor terminates at an ANL fuse block. On the other side of the fuse block a cable leads aft and ultimately downward to that portion of the main circuit on the bulkhead in the lazarette.
With the starting wires now joined to the battery bank I could now use the power tilt/trim, and I could crank the motor whenever I needed to run fresh gas through it.
For a long time - before I ever installed the motor on the bracket - I used to have to perform this monthly cranking ritual by temporarily joining the motor's wires to one of the starting batteries in one of my vehicles. It was sort of a pain. I'd use a hand truck to roll the motor (on a wooden motor rack) up close the the vehicle. Then I'd use jumper cables to make the connection. Water would puddle up in the yard and make a lot of mud.
In this new set-up, the water puddled up behind the boat and made a lot of mud, but I didn't have to worry about this for very long. This was the one and only time I had to crank the motor up like this. Shortly afterward I launched the boat, a joyous moment after a lengthy refitting.

One last thing I did before this launch was to fabricate a modified tiller for the motor. I made it out of 1/2 inch Starboard. The real Yamaha tiller worked well in some positions in the transom cutout, but not in others. I wanted to have a short tiller that would give me full range of movement when necessary.
There were two holes in a metal bar on the forward side of the motor. I believe that these served as anchor points for the steering system for Yamaha owners who opted for steering cables in lieu of a tiller. At any rate, I used these holes to anchor my modified tiller.
You can see clearly in the picture below that the modified tiller is one that provides full range of movement. The Yamaha tiller, on the other hand, due to its port side orientation does not allow for port side movement within the cutout in the Ericson 25 transom.
With the Yamaha tiller in the vertical position, the modified tiller provides full range of movement. I can say now that after the launch, and after my repeated use of the motor for leaving the dock, returning to the dock, and simply motoring in general, I almost always keep the Yamaha tiller in the vertical position. That way, it's always out of the way and does not present any restrictions in terms of the range of movement of the motor. It took a while, but I have become quite accustomed to operating the throttle (black handle at the end of the tiller) and the gear shifter (gray lever in the middle of the tiller) with the tiller in the vertical position. I should add that I have never had any problems in terms of the prop of the motor interfering with the boat's rudder. The Garelick heavy duty bracket was just what I needed for this boat. Additionally, I should say that I almost always operate the motor with the bracket in the lowest position. I can operate the motor with the bracket in the mid-level position, but I prefer to have it deeper to prevent hobby-horsing in the tides, winds, and currents where I live. The mid-level position would probably work well on the relatively calm waters of a modestly sized lake.

All in all, I'm glad that I spent the time and the money to make all these modifications to this boat. She's now much more dependable than she was when I bought her. I never have to worry about muscling upstream through an outgoing five knot tide in Charleston Harbor. This motor in this set-up has what it takes to get me where I want to go.
This ends this article on the many steps I took in the repowering of Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.

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