Re: Outboard on P-19

Bill Combs (
Wed, 11 Aug 1999 19:41:05 -0500

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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> uhh... but seriously folks, Jim's playful note has prompted me to scratch
> head and consider the comparative impact (on the transom structure) of an
> accelerating motor in the water versus a bouncing motor on the transom

I don't think this is a trivial problem. I could go through the
physics (acceleration vs magnitude of motion vs inertia ...) but would
no doubt get something wrong after all these years, so I offer some
comments from a year and a half ago on this topic:

Subject: Re: OB on transom while trailering
Sent: 4/20/98 11:00 PM
Received: 4/20/98 11:15 PM
From: Bill Combs,
To: Bob,

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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> After reading all these warnings against leaving the out board motor
> on the transom, I'm wondering how safe it is to have it on the transom
> while in the water. I don't know about you, but my P19 does a lot of
> bouncing around in the water as well as on the trailer and I can't
> believe the buoyancy of the motor in the water softens the effect on
> the transom.

Thank you, Bob. I've been waiting for someone to point this out. As to
the water softening anything: even if 'twere so, the worst bouncing
comes with the engine up and tilted. While sailing with no part of the
motor in the water (usually!).

> Does anyone know, for sure, how the newer transoms are made?

Or for that matter, how the older ones were made; they're the ones
that give the WWP its reputation for durability. My 1987 P19 *does*
have a plywood transom. Wonder when it changed?

I've struggled with the issue of the motor bouncing around for 10
years now. With the 47 lb Yamaha, I eventually came to the conclusion
that everything was holding together OK despite some brutal punishment
while sailing when we shouldn't have been. Nonetheless, I only trailed
with the motor on the transom for distances of a few miles or so when
sailing her off the trailer during the first year. Even then, I
supported the motor with 3/8" nylon line tied to the stern cleats.
Since then, I usually trail interstate distances and never leave the
engine mounted. It just seems too much like asking for trouble.
Besides, tongue weight is way too low. Removing/mounting the outboard
has easily become part of SOP for launching/retrieving.

I really believe that the loads imposed by sailing are as bad as any
you'll generate via highway potholes, it simply doesn't happen even
remotely as often. Somehow that made it seem OK to not think the
blasted thing would break off while sailing but may while trailering!

Since changing to a 61 lb Honda, however, I no longer feel content
that things will be OK. Inertia's mass relation and all that. Also,
leaning over to muscle the mount up to top position became a real
trial with the extra stone of weight.

The solution to both is of awe-inspiring simplicity and minimal cost:
Buy a half-dozen 15" solid rubber bungees from a discount store, the
kind with a black rubber body and steel hooks, Vinyl dip the hooks and
the first inch or so of each end of the straps. Connect one from the
port side of the motor frame to a rope loop tied to the rear of the
cockpit rail on that side. Run the other from the stbd motor frame,
over the transom to hook on the lip of the cockpit storage compartment
(mine has no cover, install an eyestrap if you have a newer, lidded
type compartment). Save the other four as spares and/or to hold down a

The bungees take all the play out of the mount, snugging it in the
uppermost position. When a bang occurs, the extra tension cannot help
but reduce the twisting load applied to the transom. The monster is
easier to raise and lower. The vinyl coating prevents rust and gelcoat
scars, and the flat straps lie neatly over the afterdeck.

This would no doubt work for trailering also, I just don't intend to

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Bill Combs
WWP 19 #439,"Ursa Minor"
Fort Walton Beach FL