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Marionette's Transom Hatch, Engine Compartment, Transom Well/Plug and Related (updated October 17, 2011.)  

Back in late 2007 Winton Phillips (No Worries) and your webmaster were engaged in an email exchange regarding his major rebuilding project. No Worries is a wood boat on a fiberglass hull, as is Marionette and several other Dolphins. Hopefully, this information will be useful, as well as interesting. This part of our interchange dealt with transom hatches, wells and engine mounts.


This photo shows the transom locker with the removable panel that closes off the cockpit stored vertically against the starboard cockpit seat. The spaces either side of the Johnson 4 hp engine are used for a 3 gallon tank on port, plus a 6 gallon tank on starboard when cruising, or another 3 gallon tank for racing, if necessary. The 6/3 gallon set up for cruising is so the 3 gallon tank can be transferred to either of Marionette's 2 dinghies - along with this same motor. (The picture also shows Marionette's 2 dinghies, a small 4 person inflatable, and 'Teer, a small, 2 person wood dinghy built by yours truly. For more on 'Teer, click here.)

The motor handle and throttle control can be accessed either in the up position or down. The motor can be twisted in place to get reverse thrust - if necessary.

This photo shows the aft cockpit panel in place. You can see the aft clip that holds it against the starboard side of the cockpit seat. The other clip is just out of view up forward.The tiller is in the varnish room... The access port on the port side is for a manual bilge pump.

This is where the 4 hp Johnson mounts. That's a drain hole under the sacrificial wood plate for the engine mounting screws.The spaces either side of the engine well are covered with 1/4 plywood on which the gas tanks sit. On the port side you can just make out the end of the heavy shock cord that goes over the tank and hooks into the eye fitting, holding the tank in place.

Marionette has a heavy hull plug with locking fittings and a handle and is seen at the left. It is a work of art...The two small wood locking pieces just visible in the picture above at either side of the well hold in place a fitted plywood plate (see below at left) that covers most of the opening with the engine in place. This prevents most of the water from being forced up the opening from following seas. The plate at the right below is used to close off the top of the well opening with the engine out and the hull plug in place. It has a hook on a shock cord that passes thru the plate and thru a camcleat to seal off the opening. The hook fastens to the handle on the plug.
   "U" plate        
Top Plate

Yankees and Pacific Dolphins with transom wells have a 'lip' surrounding the well opening which reportedly help reduce water from surging up the well with the motor in place. Click here to see an example


Webmaster Note: Emails edited for applicable content.

                                                                          December 11, 2007


Thanks for the pictures. I checked out the other Marionette info and it will help. They also bring up other questions if you could advise.

One surviving part that I got with No Worries was the fiberglass motor hatch cover. Your double door hatch looks good, but do you have any issues with it that might be avoided with using one single hatch opening?


December 17, 2007

Hi Winston - Re "2 panel hatch vs single panel hatch" - I have not had any problems with my 2 panel hatch. They open to the sides whereas a single hatch opens fore/aft. Fully open they are not as high as a single hatch is open - this is probably a small plus for the 2 door system - reduced wind related issues - ie, not as heavy when it comes crashing down. Mine have never come down accidentally. The coil spring supports in the photo at left really work well. I had  a canvas cover made to protect the varnish. I could not advise on which might be better functionally. I think wood looks better than fiberglass, and I think my 2 doors look better than one large wood one, but that’s just personal preference.



For more on the Johnson 4hp engine and its set up, click here






















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