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Conveniently lifting outboards on and off a dingy



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What is the issue?
Lifting an outboard on and off a floating dinghy from a yacht or pontoon is never an easy task. The outboard’s most convenient grip is at dinghy level but you cannot lift it from there as it is an entirely unstable standpoint and the dingy is moving about. Hence you must reach down from the pontoon or yacht where the outboard rarely if ever offers a handle or handhold.

Why address this?
Lifting the outboard off and on the dinghy affords the perfect opportunity to drop it in the ‘drink’. Losing the engine overboard like this is also unthinkable as inflatable dinghies typically do not row very well and you will be hard-pressed to get to and from the boat at anchor. This does not touch on the cost of replacement, or repairs if it can be recovered, and the associated insurance premiums.

How to address this?
Use an engine harness to position a convenient lifting handle on top of the outboard engine. A handle at this position will help hoist the outboard up and off whenever needed, either manually, by a davit or by some other means from the yacht Experience. This may be accomplished by making or buying a strap to attach an engine top lifting handle. They come in a variety of sized and are readily available.

Lifting Harness for Outboard Motor
Photo: Courtesy of SWI-Tec

If budgets are low there is no reason why it cannot be a simple DIY project with some rope or sturdy webbing. In our case, we simply placed a handle such as we salvaged from a car handle on the top of the engine cover plus a safety strap attached around the engine should the cover come off and drop the base into the sea - this was also part of our uglify strategy Experience.


Automobile handle bolted to the top of the outboard
Photo: Michael Harpur


Lifting harness for outboard engines will mean you no longer have to hold your breath each time the outboard motor is hoisted on or off.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.




An outboard harness




An outboard harness and crane


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