Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Whaler Performance
  Did Dealer Install Engine Incorrectly?

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Did Dealer Install Engine Incorrectly?
NHKatama posted 06-07-2003 10:31 AM ET (US)   Profile for NHKatama   Send Email to NHKatama  
Hello everyone:

I got my Katama back from my Merc Dealer late last night. Too late to get boat water ready for Boston Harbor rendevous today :(

Anyway, I think my dealer mounted my engine wrong.

I had him mount my new 90HP Merc to a T&H Marine Manual Jackplate. I also had a stress plate mounted in the engine well between the 2 tops engine bolts. Well when I went to pick up the boat I noticed that the stress plate is crooked. SO I measured the mount & the right one's about 1/4" lower than the left. when you look at the engine from inside the boat looking back you can see the stress plate angled down to the left (Port Side) I asked my dealer about this, and he told me that the top of the transom was not straight and so the engine looks crooked, but he says that is because the top of the transom slopes down to Starboard. Needless to say I'am BS !!!

Anyway I have three questions:

1. Has anyone ever heard of a BW whaler 16', where the top of the transom is not level, and

2. How can I figure out if the engine is level

3. How can I fix this, so that it is level.

What should have been a happy day for me has turned out to be a stressfull, unhappy day. This boat has been in my family since new, and I told my dealer several times to please take his time and be careful with my baby.

Thanks guys, ~~~~Pete

Dick posted 06-07-2003 12:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     

The best way to tell if the motor is mounted correctly is to hang a plumb bob from the top center of the motor and see where it is in relation to the lower end. This is assuming that the boat is level on the trailer. and the trailer is parked on a level surface.
Most people don't have a plumb bob but a piece of string with a weight of some kind on the bottom will work.


JBCornwell posted 06-07-2003 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Howdy, Katama.

Here ae my opinions:

As to #1, No, Never heard of that. Could it be aftermarket lousy work?

#2. Put her in the water and drop a carpenter's plumb from the center of the cowling to see if it centers on the prop hub.

#3. Loosen the mounting bolts and try to get her vertical without major surgery. Failing that, nuke the dealer, get a new plate and start over. The new plate would have to be drilled to accomodate the screwed up hole placement.

Red sky at night. . .

elaelap posted 06-07-2003 10:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     

I like your # 3 opinion. Number 2 probably wouldn't work, since the Katama has a starboard-offset console, and, on mine at least, a slight list to starboard at rest.


Over the LINE posted 06-07-2003 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Over the LINE  Send Email to Over the LINE     
If you lay a straight piece of wood, angle or something like that across (port to stbd) the boat at a equal measured distance from the transom edges, it should give you the 90 degrees to the motors vertical. If you then use a plumb line to check the motor. (You will have to use a level on that board and maybe let some air out of one tire to get the boat level.)

Only idea that I had. Hope this makes sense, I can't think of any other way to describe it.

Good Luck

elaelap posted 06-07-2003 10:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
By the way, Pete,

I know the feeling, and hate it. You pay a great deal of money for something you greatly value, and shoddy workmanship screws up your pleasure. Most folks probably wouldn't even notice the 1/4" tilt to the stress plate, and it certainly doesn't affect the seaworthiness of your craft, but it will always bother you until corrected...I know it would me.

I'm reminded of one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons: A tiny desert island with the one obligatory palm tree, and a scantily-clad young woman says to a young man (both the only survivors of a shipwreck), "I'd know, that's who!"

JB's right, as he is more often than not. Back to the dealer and some serious growling on your part. He should give up quick on the slanted transom BS, and fix the problem. You might tell him that hundreds of very sympathetic potential customers will be awaiting the outcome with interest at this site, and that you'll be sure to share his dealership name with all of us.

Good luck and best regards,

Tony ('71 Katama)

Sal DiMercurio posted 06-08-2003 01:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
I'd hang a string with a weight on it, at each end of the transom [ boat has to be level ]& measure from the top of the transom, to the bottom, & if the transom is lower at one end, the tape measure will tell the truth.
If it is in fact crooked by 1/4", the measure will verify it.
If it isn't. drop the boat off at the dealer who supposedly knows what he's doing, [ or his help ], & say, make it right, or you will be hearing from my attorney for screwing up my boat & refusing to fix your screwup.
jimh posted 06-08-2003 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Rather than try to level out the entire boat and use plumb bobs, etc., to make a determination of the symmetry of the transom, I would suggest measuring from the center line of the keel to the top mounting boats.

I also assume that there were existing holes in the transom from a previous installation. Unless these were repaired and the transom restored to a from-the-mold condition, I would assume that the new engine and bracket were installed in the existing holes.

If those holes are not perfectly symmetric about the keel centerline, it may be that they were drilled a little off back when the first engine was installed.

NHKatama posted 06-08-2003 12:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for NHKatama  Send Email to NHKatama     
Thanks, for all the responses to my problem of a crooked engine on my boat.

I need to clarify a couple of things.

First, this is the second engine to be installed on this boat. The first engine was the original 1972 merc 50 installed by the dealer. This engine only had two holes drilled for the two bottom bolts(old hole pattern) it used two turnscrews for the top mount.

I completely restored this boat. Everyone that has looked at it thinks it is new. While the engine was off, I had the transom holes filled with marglass and the entire outside of the transom re-gelcoated. Also had the inside well area re-gelcoated.

So yes the entire transom is like it just came out of the factory. Therefore my engine installer had to drill new holes for the jackplate. I told him several times to take his time and be carefull with my baby. I also told him to mount this jackplate just like he would mount the engine, drilling the standard hole patterns, so that if I ever decided to mount my engine directly to the transom, I could.

Anyway, he, in addition to drilling crooked holes, also redrilled the bottom holes on the jack plate up about 1 1/2" so I now do not have a standard hole pattern on my boat.

I plan to run this engine for the first time today, and I also will measure the top of transom to bottom of boat and report back.

A second question I have is if the boat is a 1/4" different from one side to the next, should not the motor still be aligned to the top of the transom, not the bottom, (please advise) I also should point out I got a custom washer plate for the top bolts that is imprinted "Boston Whaler", so everytime you look at it, you can see is slopes down hill.

Well keep the ideas coming, and I will report back after I measure the boat.

Thanks guys for all the support, ~~~Pete

Over the LINE posted 06-09-2003 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Over the LINE  Send Email to Over the LINE     
Measuring from the keel is much easier than my first idea. Make sure that the engine is centered, or it will throw off your measurment.

I can't see that an unrepaired transom is off. I think that dealer measured once before he cut instead of twice. After all the work you went through, it's a shame that you are having these problems.

Good Luck

lhg posted 06-09-2003 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Sounds like hack workmanship at a Dealership, by workers inexperienced with 16' Whalers and it's shallower splashwell. Using the standard engine bolt pattern, the bottom holes can be a problem, or at least a very close call.

Not ever trusting dealers to drill a Whaler transom, I would have drilled it myself. All Mercury's come with an engine bolt hole pattern template. As judged by the above replys in the difficulty of trying how to figure out if the transom was is level, how could THEY have determined it was NOT level? Sounds like nothing but a fairytale to me.

There is a photo of my 1971 Nauset in the 16' reference section, where the engine bolt holes show, and when I installed a "standard bolt pattern" 1984 Mercuy 115 on it, I also first had to fill in and re-gelcoat the older style transom hole pattern. Since engines should be up at least one hole anyway, I raised the lower holes on the pattern up 3/4", and then drilled all four of the 1/2" holes myself. This clearly brings the bottom holes into the splashwell. When the engine went on, the bottom bolts went through the top set of holes (of five total) at the bottom of the engine bracket, and the second set of holes (of five total) at the top. Then, for future repowering, any engine will still bolt right on without modification, and automatically be up 3/4".

As for the bracket installation to the boat first, I do think it makes sense to drill the bottom bracket holes up 3/4" inch, still keeping a standard bolt hole pattern in the hull as noted above.

Being the perfectionist that I am, I would have the engine/bracket combo removed and start over, and repair the badly placed three holes. You may have to consider it your loss, as those turkeys sound like they don't stand behind incompetent work. On your job they had to use their brains, and that was asking too much of the rigger.

NEVER SCARED posted 06-09-2003 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for NEVER SCARED    
Im willing to bet he screwed up. If he was able to determine that the top of the transom was off, and compensated by drilling the bolt holes down 1/4", he is AMAZING! Even if you plug the hole and redrill, the holes will overlap. When the drill bit hits 50/50 on two different wood types, its gonna slide to the "softer" side.
NHKatama posted 06-10-2003 10:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for NHKatama  Send Email to NHKatama     
OK I was able to get on the water Sunday, with my Katama.

I ran the motor for about an hour. The motor runs fine.

While I had the boat out, I took some measurements, and the transom looks pretty level to me. I contacted the dealer yesterday, and they said that they would take my boat back to see what they could do. Still waiting for a phone call back from them.

At this point I am trying to figure out, what the best option for repair is. Not sure. Should I have them glass the holes and try again. Where this engine is on a 2 piece Jackplate they may only have to redrill the upper and lower hole on the starboard side. It needs to be raised about 3/8" Does anyone know if there is some kinda shim that could be used under those bolts if they made the holes a little bigger on the top side and then inserted a shim under to get the lift needed. If this was your boat how would you correct this mess.

Thanks again, ~~~~Pete

hauptjm posted 06-10-2003 11:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Simply measure from the propeller hub bolt to the identical edge of the rubrail point port and starboard on the transom. If both measurements are equal (exactly), you're level with regard to the motor vs. hull. I seriously doubt it. I think lhg is correct, you may want to do this one yourself or get someone you have more faith in.
JBCornwell posted 06-10-2003 01:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Don't plug and redrill the transom. Your last engine fit correctly, right?

If it comes to serious movement, slot the holes in the jackplate or replace the half that is off and drill to suit.

Red sky at night. . .

Bigshot posted 06-10-2003 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I'm with JB on this. Adjust jackplate to straighten engine and then oval the inside support(that says Boston Whaler on it)and cover with a washer to make that look straight. Nobody will see the lower holes if they are crooked.
jimh posted 06-10-2003 10:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My neighbor Jeff (ledfoot) discovered that the big V-6 Evinrude on his 21 Walk Around was mounted incorrectly, apparently from day one by the original selling dealer.

He had this corrected. I don't recall his results when he finally had the engine square on the transom.

Also, a good point by Over the LINE re measuring from the keel centerline and first checking to see that the engine is centered on the keel centerline!

edfish posted 06-11-2003 03:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for edfish  Send Email to edfish     
Hello to everyone. I have been reading this misalignment problem and was just wondering about using a cross hair laser to check or mount an engine or jackplate etc. The one I have in mind is the PLS 2. It has a locking mechanism that will give you a laser cross beam that is perpendicular. This will enable you to check for square and plumb regardless of the angle or pitch of the boat. Also could be used, now that I think of it, to do your waterline. CS Berger also makes one called the Gizmo. Just a thought. More to come. -ED
NHKatama posted 06-20-2003 12:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for NHKatama  Send Email to NHKatama     
Well I have run my boat a couple of times now. I have gotten by the break-in. wow my boat is fast with this new 90hp Engine. MY dealer installed a vengence 18" pitch prop on this engine. AT WOT with 12 gallons of fuel and two people on board I am getting 5500 RPM which is redline. So I think I have the right prop. I will be checking the speed Saturday with my GPS to see what I am getting for speed and will report back.

Also, I have taken several measurements, of my crooked engine, and there is no doubt that it is off center. The starboard is 5/16th " lower than the port side. I was able to jack up that side a little with the jackplate screw. I cannot seem to notice this effecting the boats' performance. But I guess it would be hard to tell with this small amount.

I still do not like the fact that it is off center. My dealer said he will look at it to see what he can do to level it. AS far as I can tell the only way to do that would be to remove engine, fill the holes with a dowel and resin, and redrill.

At this point undecided as to just leaving it (and just leveling my washer plate). Or having the dealer reinstall the engine. To be honest I do not trust them to touch my classic again. So I have also thought about taking it to another dealer, to fix and then deducting the cost from the orginal dealer.

In any case they never should have mounted My engine crooked, they did a very poor and sloopy job, and I will never use them again for any future purchases.

Thanks for all the input guys and if any new ideas out there please let me know. Still trying to decide best course of action.

Thanks again, ~~~~Pete

Dr T posted 06-20-2003 10:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
JBs suggestion of slotting the holes in the Jackplate would be a bit less traumatic than redrilling the transom. It should not be a problem for any machine shop. Given the dealer's mistake the first time the boat was touched (after explicit instructions), I am not sure I would trust them to touch the boat a second time (particularly the part about patching the transom).
NHKatama posted 06-23-2003 12:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for NHKatama  Send Email to NHKatama     
I am leaning towards slotting the holes in the jackplate. I was also thinking about having those holes welded and then re-drilled. I would think a machine shop could do that.

I tried to buy just the one piece from T&H marine, but they said that they cannot sell it without the holes already drilled. Oh well. But I do not think i am going to let my dealer touch my boat again.

I did run my boat again Saturday, I did a couple of WOT runs and with the engine trimmed all the way in I get 5500 rpm which is redline, but once I start triming up the rpm comes up to 5800. I am running an 18" pitch Vengence SS prop, should I go up to a 20"? I had three people on board about 450lbs plus 12 gallons of fuel and maybe another 30 lbs of stuff.

Thanks again for the great help from everyone.

Regards, ~~~~Pete

lhg posted 06-23-2003 02:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
With a Mercury 90 on Classic 16, and with jack plate, you should DEFINITELY be running a surfacing capable prop, such as a Laser II, my recommendation. I would recommend a 22" pitch, which should give you in the range of 48 MPH. If you feel this is too much, a 20" would certainly work, running fully submerged. It is too much engine for the 18" Vengeance. I think that engine puts out more like 105HP.

Check Mercury's on-line prop selector first.

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.