A Stand for Tired Outboards
For a number of years, I used a piece of 2×4 screwed to the side of the garden shed as a mount for my 3.5hp Tohatsu outboard. It would perch happily thereon while I dangled its nether regions in a cooling tub of fresh water, sputtering and burbling away as the salt got rinsed from its innards.
This year, I decided something more sophisticated was in order for my faithful motor. I wanted a stand on which it could sit during the winter and when it was being serviced, and that could be folded up and stowed away easily to minimize garage clutter during the summer.
My first impulse was to buy one, but the prices asked online for a few flimsy-looking bits of bent tubing seemed way out of whack with the quality of the product on offer. Casting an eye around the garage, I spied a length of 2×4 and another of 2×6 pine left over from a home project. An idea formed. One visit to the hardware store and two hours later, the trusty Tohatsu was sitting on its new stand.
To cut a long story short: I cut two 2×6 support legs, 36in long, trimmed at a 15-degree angle top and bottom. I cut a 15in length of 2×6 and fastened this between the two support legs, using the galvanized framing brackets. Next I cut two 2×4 legs, each 28in long, trimmed at a 15-degree angle on the bottom. These would be the folding legs.
I clamped the legs into place with G-clamps, the 2×4 legs inside the 6×2 legs outside, and adjusted them until the stand sat square on the concrete garage floor. First I cut another length of 2×4 and screwed it across the folding legs, to stiffen them. Then I marked and drilled the holes in the 2×6 legs for the pivot bolts and the locking bolts. The two pivot bolts were secured with nyloc nuts, and wingnuts were used on the locking bolts, which would be removed and replaced each time the stand was deployed or stowed.
If you’re ever looking for an easy and fun project on one of those days when it’s too wet or windy to go sailing, I recommend this one. Not only is my DIY outboard stand some $60 cheaper than a store-bought one, it’s pretty strong—it takes my 195 pounds with nary a creak or groan. If you have a heavier motor, it would be easy enough to fit castor wheels to this stand.
1 x 8ft length of 2×4
1 x 8ft length of 2×6
4 x galvanized framing brackets
4 x 3in zinc-plated bolts
2 x nyloc nuts
2 x wingnuts
12 x 1 1/2in screws
Total cost: Approx $12