Across the Great Divide

There is no love lost between sailors and powerboaters (forget jet skeeters). And so I know this post will be met with some derision by the purists. I get it, but how much sailing do they enjoy from their armchairs anyway?

UNA has been, and remains, my favorite boat. So little air moves her. Still, there are slick calm periods that can take the shine off a cruise. Long distances can become infinite when the wind quits. Perhaps my oars aren’t as optimal as they could be. I suspect I didn’t slim the shafts down for enough flex. That can be corrected. To date my average rowing speed for any length of time been sub 2 knots. UNA is a sailboat first. Most of those I sail with have motors, are determined to get to “point B” and relying on a cordial tow when the wind quits can try all involved. I either lose friends, find some pure sail-and-oar guys or find a compromise.

You see where this is going? Yep, I designed and built a motor mount for UNA. The plans showed a motor well. I elected not to build that early on. What started as a sketch melded into a plywood prototype that was adjusted and trimmed. A final piece was tooled in teak (I was confident in the solution).


Last week’s test run worked flawlessly.



stowed under seat

Advantages: there’s no well taking up storage aft or creating turbulence to an otherwise  smooth bottom. This engine “strut” follows the curve of the hull and can be stored against it in the gap outboard of the side seat or under the seat itself. Also, the engine can remain on the strut when anchored without interfering with my tent. And, once removed the threaded inserts do not snag anything. Leather pads under the thread protect the gunnel finish.

Disadvantages: a well keeps the prop in the water at all times. A good wake can create enough roll to lift the prop out of the water with the strut. To be used primarily in light to no wind conditions, this rarely is a problem.

engine on proto

Here’s the end result at 1/2 throttle and 5 knots. Nice and easy.

I’m happy with the results. Forgive me.

17 thoughts on “Across the Great Divide


    All part of it Edward…nice solution in my book.  i planned electric for the little catboat but weight was no real advantage and I’m more comfortable with a small amount of gas versus a battery with no juice.  These were reviewed recently for good function:

    Annapolis this weekend  for plywood; deck and combing.   Best to you and OBC, Greg

  2. Robert Thompson

    Welcome to the Dark Side. You and the boat did look good motoring into the “sunset” last Thursday morning on your way to the ramp.

  3. Looks great Eddie!
    I know you will enjoy the freedom of being able to go where you want without the dreaded feeling of possibly not being able to get back before sunset! Makes the whole day more enjoyable!

    1. Thus the Divide! No masquerading here nor Luddite desires. The internal combustion engine is one of the greatest inventions of the last century and a half. UNA’s materials were manufactured and transported by such. Now put on your goat skins and catch some breakfast Tonto!

    1. CC’s? Another MMGW perpetuated fraud! Good old Al Gore is a charlatan at best. He should give all that money back for his blatant jet setting hypocrisy if nothing else.

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