No. 82 - April 1989




An adjustable motor bracket for less than $20.00?  Incredible but true!

For those of you who still have the original motor bracket supplied by Tanzer, with a full up or down position only, here is an inexpensive way to modify it to make its height adjustable.


One 1/4" x 2" stainless bolt with locking nut and large washers

One 1/2" x 2 1/2" stainless bolt with locking nut and washers

Two 10-1/2" x 2" x 3/16" aluminum plates

One hand drill with 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" bits

One file

One 3/4" diameter x 1" long tube spacer

The first step is to manufacture the two adjustment plates as shown in the drawing.  I was able to do this, using the tools mentioned, by drilling the holes, cutting the slot with a hacksaw and smoothing everything with a file.  The result is crude but functional.

The second step consists of dismantling part of the original motor mount, this is the "push handle" used to unlock the exist­ing system and the lower 1/2" bolt securing the mounting board.

The lower end of the two adjustment plates are then placed on either side of the pivot arms and attached to the mounting board and lower pivot arm using the new 1/2" X 2 1/2" bolt, washers and locking nut.  The upper ends are held together using the existing "push handle", 1/2" X 2" bolt and nut and the tube spacer to make the assembly rigid.

A 1/4" hole is then drilled in the upper pivot arm as shown and the 1/4" bolt, nut and washers installed.  A note of caution: the location of the hole on my boat not optimal.  You may want to mark the proposed location on yours with a pencil and by mov1ng the bracket up and down, see if this location looks good through the slot of the adjustment plates.

And there you have it!  The final product has been used for two years on "Dancer" #1320 with no problem and I have noticed that, once underway, raising the motor gives me better speed and fuel consumption for a given throttle setting.


I am sure that with a little imagination somebody could improve the design of the adjustability but in my case, good enough is best.

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When I bought the boat the battery was already relocated to the port cockpit locker (where it rightly belongs for acid-­hydrogen safety and proximity to the motor).  The wiring though, was a hodgepodge of dangling terminal blocks, wires, loose terminals, wires in the bilge and so on.  The switch panel was still in the head area, inaccessible from the cockpit and easy to dis­turb while standing at or sitting on the head.

As an electrical engineer I couldn't resist the temptation to redo the system to my own taste.  I had prior experience: 20 years earlier I wired a friend's 50' 1928 wooden schooner.  I constructed a new panel on a piece of plywood including a vapor­tight switch, main fuses, individual circuit switches and fuses, the engine ignition switch and a distribution terminal block.  I mounted the panel on the inside of the port cockpit locker on the vertical cockpit well wall and covered it with a clear sheet of Plexiglas.  I now have switches for all the running lights, the compass light and the instruments conveniently accessible in the cockpit, yet out of the elements and careless feet and the security of a vaportight master switch providing a single point to disconnect the entire electrical system when I leave the boat.  I left the original panel in place and use it now only for the cabin light master and macerator switches.

With the running light switches now aft, I had to run several wires forward to the vicinity of the original panel to connect to the running light circuits on a new terminal block installed inside the starboard V-berth locker.  With much thought, I decided the best route for fore and aft wires was the channel formed at the hull/deck joint on either side of the cabin.  Also moved transducer cables from bilge to this channel.  I have the wires clamped in the channel now; later I may dress it with spiral wrap or cover the entire channel with a strip of teak. (Ed note: Later boats had this teak as standard, to hide the hull/deck joint.  Also, a plastic conduit leading from the starboard cockpit locker to behind the ice box as a way to lead the wire from the stern light to the switch panel.  Whether this conduit is large enough to lead all the wires Bill wanted to lead forward or not is questionable.)

Misc:  Clamped and dressed wires to the bulkhead mounted instruments; installed VHF over sink; cleaned running light and socket contacts.

Since most of our sailing is day trips and I have no convenient way to fill the built in water tank, I removed the water pump/faucet and mounted an insulated two gallon Gott water jug in its place.  The jug sits just behind the sink, overhanging it a bit and is clamped with nylon straps to the galley wall adjacent to the sink.

After a friend tangled a jib sheet on the forward hatch ventilator and sent it overboard, I replaced it with a mushroom dome ventilator.  Like it a lot better; nothing to catch the jib sheet, doesn't let rain splash in and I don't have to remember to turn it around.

I fastened the mainsail track stop to the mast with a small lanyard.  Drilled a small hole in the screw portion of the stop and installed a cotter ring.  The lanyard fastens to the ring and the ring prevents the jam nut from coming off.

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