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Can I safely add a heavier outboard?

2009 March 1
Dear Boat Doctor,
I would like to have your thoughts on what I'm planning to do. I have a 1972 fiberglass Seafarer sailboat, 24 feet long with a centerboard. It's a nice boat and well kept.

On the back of the boat is a bracket that holds a 9.9, two-stroke motor that weighs about 70 pounds. I just purchased a new 8-horsepower, four-stroke Mercury outboard that weighs 80 pounds. Is there any weight limit for the back of the boat when it comes to the motor?
Jack Norcross
Columbus, New Jersey

Dear Jack,
It is always a good idea to keep weight as low as possible and as close to center of the boat as you can, but sometimes that is not possible.

I would not worry about the extra 10 pounds, your boat is fairly beefy. At 4,000 pounds of displacement that extra weight should not make any noticeable difference.

You will notice a big difference in the performance of your new
motor -smoother, quieter, more economical and no more mixing oil and gas. Enjoy it.