How to Convert a Boat From Inboard to Outboard

by Kyle McBride
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Changing from inboard to outboard power can produce many benefits. It allows you to remove the motorbox from the deck, leaving more room to work. Outboard motors can deliver more precise control in maneuvering situations, and modern outboards are very efficient and environmentally clean motors. The addition of the bracket to the aft end of the boat also extends the waterline, delivering slightly higher speeds at displacement as well as planing speeds. Outboard wiring harnesses and control cables are easy to route, and is a fairly simple process--especially if you are mounting a brand-new outboard and control package.

Step 1

Turn off the fuel valve and disconnect the battery negative cable. Remove all cooling, electrical and control lines from the inboard engine. Unbolt the transmission shaft coupling.

Step 2

Install the engine hoist and pick up with it just enough to keep the slack out of the chains. Remove all motor mount bolts. Lift the engine out of the engine compartment.

Step 3

Install the motor bracket to the transom. Hoist the bracket up and hold it in position on the transom, then locate the bolt holes by marking the transom through the holes in the bracket. Remove the bracket and drill clearance holes for the bracket bolts through the transom.

Step 4

Lift the bracket back into position and install the bracket bolts. Apply blue Loctite to the bolt threads. Install the nuts and torque them fully. Lift the outboard motor into position and mount it on the bracket.

Step 5

Remove the tiller from the top of the rudder and drop the rudder through the rudder post. Plug or cap the rudder post hole. Remove the propeller from the shaft, and draw the shaft up into the engine compartment and out of the shaft log. Plug or cap the shaft log at both ends. Remove the helm from the console.

Step 6

Install the outboard control package. Mount the outboard helm to the console. Route steering and control lines down the middle or on one side of the deck. Run the lines under deck whenever possible to reduce tripping hazards.

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