• dumafre

Boat Vickske, engine

I was already long time searching for outboard engines suitable to upgrade the one on Little Lucie. Now I need to motorize this new boat. First idea was to use my 6 HP Mercury 4 stroke brand new outboard engine that I've bought for little Lucie. Some practical issues are that such a small engine is already awfully slow with little Lucie so how slow would it not be with a 1000 kg boat excluding the passengers. Another thing is how to steer that little engine. As it has a short tail, the steering would be so far and deep over the edge that it would not be comfortable at all to steer it. I found remote controls to change over the hand-steering to remote control steering, but not cheap at all !

It would be and advantage to keep the speed of the boat below 20 km/h, then there is no need for a license to drive the boat. So, I was thinking of finding an engine of minimum 15HP with remote control, remote starter and 4-stroke.

Not cheap at all; the new price of something usefull is above 5k€. I don't like to consider chinese brands to end up in trouble. A bad engine would give me a bad boat.

Eventually, I found what I needed: a 4 stroke Mercury 40 HP engine EFI Big Foot. The EFI stands for Electronic Fuel Injection, and the Big Foot means it is a low RPM powerfull working engine with a big propeller. Perfect to push heavy things around like a pic-nic boat full of people. 40 HP bigfoot is a 4 cylinder 4-stroke 1000cc engine while the normal 40 HP is a 3 cylinder 750cc engine. Only issue is that it is very heavy for such a limited powered engine: about 150kg. About double the weight of a 2-stroke engine would be. Luckily, it has an electrical tilting so once installed, it should not be a problem to tilt it from the water.

Below picture of the engine with my dad:

I didn't look so impressive during transport:

Now we have the engine, we can make a custom support to hang it to the boat.

One way would be to make a bun; then we have to sacrifice about 1 meter of boat, this was not our idea. Another way would be to make a support to hang it really outboard. Doing this to close to the boat would mean we cannot tilt the engine and never lift it out of the water. Outboard engines like it to be out of the water when not used to avoid that the water cooling system would get clogged. To be able to tilt the engine, it should be far enough from the boat. one way to make it work and look nice as well is to make it look like a platform to swim. Below, the stainless steel structure:

Covered with nice wood left and right. The middle part cannot be covered because the engine needs this space when lifted:

When positioning the structure to the boat, carefully read the instructions how the engine should be positioned in relation to the bottom of the boat. If the engine is too high, it will drag a pit of air behind the boat and have no traction at all. If the engine is too low, it might take in water where it should not, at the head and air-intake.

We tried a technique where the holes are oversided, filled with epoxy and redrilled on correct size to avoid that wood gets into contact with water. Into our experience, this technique sucks and made me clean the escaping epoxy again! If I would do it again, I would just drill it correct and use polyurethane expansion glue that nicely closes everything. Eventually we had to do it anyway to get the things water tight enought.

Now, withe the wooden finishing

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