How heavy is too heavy?

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jimbo747 England
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How heavy is too heavy?

Post by jimbo747 » 08 Jan 2019, 22:58

I’m 6 foot 2, average build, not overly fit or unfit.
Realistically what weight outboard am I going to be able to lift up and out of a family car boot, and onto and off of a transom?

I really don’t want or have space for a trailer.


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Martin England
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Re: How heavy is too heavy?

Post by Martin » 08 Jan 2019, 23:04

Anything above 45kg really does start getting heavy...
Outboards are funny things to lift, It's more a case of knack than brute strength.
You must keep the power head higher than the gearbox on a four stroke, so swivveling the skeg up and over a boot lip before lowering the skeg down is a no no...
That's where the knack of upending comes into play, then of course you need tailgate clearance to do that...
If you think you can upend the outboard then bear hug it out of the boot, and lower the skeg to the floor... then you've cracked it.

I'd strongly advise meeting some of the guys and sampling outboard weights and lifting points.

I'm 5'10", and 48yr old....I can deal with my 44kg 20hp suzuki on my own if need be.

Hope that helps.
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jimbo747 (09 Jan 2019, 06:40)
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Re: How heavy is too heavy?

Post by mm289 » 08 Jan 2019, 23:06

I have a Mercury Mariner 15HP 2 stroke and that I think weighs in at about 34kg. I am 6ft and reasonably fit for a 50 something and that is about as heavy as I would be comfortable to go. I can single handedly lift in/out of the boot on my LandRover and lift onto transom.

I do use a sack barrow for moving around/storing in the garage but also have a bag I can carry it in.

TBH the issue is as much the awkward shape/weight distribution as it is the weight.



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Re: How heavy is too heavy?

Post by ChrisParish » 08 Jan 2019, 23:48

Too heavy is over twice half the weight you can lift!
But seriously - the trick is to lift things as little as possible. My engine weighs 38kg and I have to lift 3 times in total for each trip, moving no more than about three meters while carrying it.
I store the engine on a modified sack truck, so I use that to move the engine to the car. I then lift the engine off the sack truck and into the car.
When setting up the boat get the stern as close to the boot of the car as possible, then lift from the boot to the transom.
Reverse everything on packing down!

You can move more weight than you think if you can come up with a way of not lifting it all at once.
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jimbo747 (09 Jan 2019, 06:40)
Not a complete idiot - some parts are missing.

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Re: How heavy is too heavy?

Post by Froglet » 09 Jan 2019, 00:46

Yeah working out a strategy for bearing the weight yourself as little as possible is the way to go. My engine is 52kg and while I can just about lug it around by hand I try not to. That’s just asking for a tweaked back or a hernia.

I also use a sack truck. I got one with the additional two wheels up top so I can lay the trolley down against the boot and push it in. It’s an estate car with no lip to the boot so works a treat. It also works well to lay the trolley down, shift the engine up a little and slip a flexi tub under the skeg before lifting upright again for flushing.


Initially I hung the motor on a slab of wood I bolted to the trolley frame, but it was massively unstable. I took inspiration from the Gurnard’s trolley, cut a section of metal crossbar out of the top of the trolley, bolted a chunk of wood to the base to support the skeg, and then mounted the engine back to front. Totally rock solid and self-supporting. The theory is I could launch the boat into a couple of feet of water then roll the trolley up to the transom, hook the engine on and pull the trolley away. However in practice I’ve never actually done that. I drop the boat off the trailer onto launch wheels and lift the engine onto the transom on dry land. I tried the theoretical method once and found everything was moving around too much and at the wrong height while I was standing on slick rocks in freezing water. I'll try again another time, but it wasn't comfortable.

The only thing I struggle with is lifting the engine onto the boat when it’s up on the trailer. I’ve put it on a few times to test things out and I find lifting the engine over shoulder height is possible, but is right at the limit of my strength. I’m mid-forties, 5 foot 8 and fairly unfit, although I am accustomed to lumping heavy motorbikes around the place.

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jimbo747 (09 Jan 2019, 06:40) • ChrisParish (09 Jan 2019, 11:25)

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Re: How heavy is too heavy?

Post by daveh » 09 Jan 2019, 19:10

I'm comfortable with up to about 45kg max. Anything about that for me is pushing my luck and an accident waiting to happen.
I use a trailer these days so I don't have to lift the engine too much, thankfully 😅

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