Here's a neat solution to the problem of having an outboard motor on the purpose-built block on the Laser 13 transom where it can tangle with the mainsheet traveller - which on the 13 is simply a rope from one corner to the other.
Click the image for an enlarged detail
The alternative bracket was designed by Jan Rusin of Methlick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, for his Laser 13 - 594 Porpoise (since sold). Download the plans here.
Jan wrote about it in the former Laser Cruising forum in response to an enquiry from Dick Taylor, who said: "I was using my Laser 13 in the Med this year and again found the annoying issue of the main sheet getting tied up with the outboard."
I have also experienced this and sod's law dictates that it tends to happen at the most inopportune moments.
I had the same problem which I tried to solve unsuccessfully with simple methods like loosening the traveller, etc. As I tend to sail my Laser 13 in various remote Scottish coastal locations I ended up modifying the outboard mounting bracket to allow my outboard to sit a little further back from the transom on an easily removed stainless steel bracket similar to those seen on Wayfarers and Wanderers.
This might sound drastic but it is very simple, requires no extra holes to be drilled in the transom (it replaces the existing aluminium engine mounting plate) and I had the whole thing made up to my plans a couple of years ago for approximately £60. It then took 20 minutes to fix and can be removed just as quickly.
After a few years' test sailing I can use the original rigging and sail freely with the peace of mind of the engine if required without the worry of snagging the mainsheet.
This sparked a dialogue which led to the design being shared here for the benefit of all.
Disclaimer: this is reproduced here for your own evaluation, but this site is not able to offer any warranty as to its fitness for purpose.
The plans are a downloadable three-page PDF file: click here (3.5Mb).
My modified outboard bracket is to allow sailing with engine mounted without requiring any additional holes in the boat and is quickly removable to allow normal sailing without engine.
The plans are drawn on A3 graph paper. The scale = actual size with one square = 1cm. My apologies to anyone familiar with technical drawing which I clearly am not, but these plans were sufficient for a local metal fabricator to make from stainless steel without any complications.
This bracket has provided additional confidence sailing singlehanded around the Scottish coast, often in some very remote locations as far north as Sutherland Atlantic Coast.
And here are some more of his photos:
Many thanks to Jan for the excellent photos and for making the plans available.
By the way, Dick Taylor's original query was: "I have noticed that the Laser 16 has a centre pull main sheet so at the end of the boom there is no mass of rope to tangle with the motor. Does anybody know why the L13 has the main go to the aft of the boat and any thoughts on converting the L13 to a centre pull main?"
One for another day.