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Barry Rynk's (Misstress, Yankee #140) companionway ladder motor storage system  

April 25, 2016. Barry sent in the following description and photos of his outboard motor storage system.

Hi Ron:

Attached are some photos of a second, custom companionway ladder I built to store my Mercury 4HP, 4-stroke, standard shaft outboard motor. My Dolphin didn't come from the factory with a stern pushpit, and I was trying to come up with an idea for storing the outboard that retained the simplicity of the original layout. Since 4-stroke motors don't like to be stored flat, I decided to see if I could build a suitable storage ladder with cheap 2X6 lumber. Without a stern rail pad, I used to lay the OB motor flat on the cabin sole, with several 2x4 blocks propping the motor up to about a 15 deg. angle.

Click on all photos for a larger images

There were a few issues with constructing the ladder I should mention.

(1) Because of the weight of the outboard, I decided to use thicker 2" fir stock than the original 1/2" mahogany companionway ladder.

This makes clearance difficult around the pendant housing. I ended up with one leg of my ladder slightly longer than the other to clear the pendant housing.

(2) The companionway brass hardware is not easy to find, but I eventually located the correct brass pieces on-line at www.downwindmarine.com in San Diego.

(3) For the ladder leg closest to the galley cabinets, I counter bored the hex lag screws to minimize the chance of marring of the cabinets.

The new OB ladder is a great improvement to accessing and storing the OB on my Dolphin, and for OB maintenance and security, too. As you can see in the photos, I made a cutout in the lower rung of the ladder to cradle the lower unit of the OB. If I were to keep the OB on the ladder underway during a long sail, it might be necessary to add a strap across the lower unit to secure the motor's weight. I measure about 6" of clearance from the OB prop blades to the companionway sole, so the idea will probably work for extended shaft OB motors. In any case, careful measurements are necessary before construction.

By the way, I recently upgraded to the high-thrust prop on my 4HP OB, which can be seen in the photos. As for adding yet another item to an already cramped interior, I have plenty of storage under the cockpit for the second companionway ladder.

I'm not sure if anyone else would be interested in this idea, but, if so, I'd be happy to provide further details, drawings, and help.












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