Turn Scrap Lumber into an Outboard Motor Stand

My most essential tool for working on my outboard motor is its stand. Without it, maintaining my 80+ pound, 8 HP Yamaha 4-stroke would be like a wrestling match.

Before I continue, a bit of legal housekeeping. This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using those links. Those commissions help to pay the costs associated with running this site so that it stays free for everyone to enjoy. For a complete explanation of why I’m telling you this and how you can support this blog without paying more, please read my full disclosure.

You don’t want to store an outboard motor lying on a floor or workbench in your garage when it isn’t on the boat, especially all winter. You want it to be easy to work on, to move around, and to load and unload either from your tow vehicle or the mount on your sailboat. A motor stand, especially one on casters, makes maintenance and storage a breeze.

You can buy a manufactured stand, like this one from Garelick, but if you have a few spare 2x4s and some deck screws, you can make one for next to nothing. All you need is a good set of plans.

I found these these excellent plans  that saved me hours of designing a stand of my own. You can download the PDF file, print it out and build it in a couple of hours. The drawings are clear and accurate. I like that the stand has a convenient place on the front of it to hold a gas tank. That makes moving the motor outdoors for test running and flushing easy-peasy.

After using this stand for more than 7 years, it’s as strong as ever and it’s saved my back many times. This project is a no-brainer and one you’ll be glad you did.

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike says:

    This post is perfectly timed. I was considering building my own stand recently and now you’re right…Don’t have to find plans. Thanks!


  2. Peter says:

    I made a moveable one for my 10 hp Honda from an old bag trolley. I can wheel it around. We sometimes have these trolleys on sale at the autoshop for $25. The rest is scrap wood. Our driveway gravel and not suitable for casters. can send photo….

    1. Mike says:

      Yes sir, that’d be great!

      1. I think Peter is talking about making one from an abandoned shopping cart, like here.

      2. Peter says:

        Here is my Honda hand cart. It is a bit rough and has been out in the rain for a couple of years as the boat is elsewhere and I’ve done the servicing on the boat. It worked well enough for me. You can see that I have put a bar across to give it sideways stability. An improvement would be to extend the tray out so that the foot of the motor rests on it. I used to rest the foot on a block to stop it tilting forward on my gravel and sand block. I used to wheel it up to the ute, drag the motor over the tailgate until it tipped then with the motor upright it was a reasonable lift to get it on the trolley. Then I could wheel it wherever.

        Hand truck turned motor stand

  3. That’s not stingy that’s thrifty!

  4. David Larson says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. I built a scaled-down version (16″ wide) today for my 5HP Honda. All scrap lumber, but I bought casters and screws, so not quite free.

    1. Good on ya, stingy Dave!

  5. Tom says:

    What do you think weight limit would be? I have a very old (70’s) 40 hp Mercury.

    1. Hello, Tom

      I think this stand would hold your motor if it’s tall enough. Besides deck screws, I would also also apply construction adhesive to all the joints and if you’re going to use casters, get larger and heavier duty ones than shown here.

  6. Charles B Christianson says:

    These work great! I made mine from some scrap 2 x 4’s laying around so the only money spent went for two castoring wheels and two fixed wheels. I plan on making another one for my other outboard.

  7. Noah says:

    Do you have a better link to the PDF with the plans? The link in the blog doesn’t point to them anymore.


    1. Sorry, I do not.


  8. Ben says:

    Built one of these for my Mercury 4.5. Works great!

  9. David Singleton says:

    Hello. I am unable to locate the plans. I found the PDF link but when clicked it says the file is empty. You don’t have the ability to add a fresh link for those plans do you?

    David S.

    1. The link should work now.

      1. Ben Christianson says:

        Hi Stingy,

        Thanks for reposting. I built a couple of them two summers ago and they are the handiest stands I have in my shop. They work great! I use them for my Mercury 4.5 and 9.9 engines.

        Thanks, Ben

  10. Gary says:

    Thanks for the outboard motor stand resource. My son is going make this in his high school shop class.

  11. Steve Berndt says:

    I just finished building this. It’s very solid, but unfortunately it’s too short for a long shaft motor (Merc 9.9). I had to replace the upper 2×6 with a 2×12 to get it high enough. I’ll probably have to extend and reinforce the upper supports since the top 5” of the 2×12 is unsupported, and there’s a lot of torque on it from the mounting brackets.

  12. ircwaves says:

    Thanks for hosting these plans, and to D. Hayes Jr, wherever he is. The double on the uprights seems like overkill for most C22 auxiliaries. I skipped the casters for a stable platform for transporting in the bed of the truck.

  13. Uncle D says:

    what is the reason for the 8 deg cut at the bottom? Do you think I can build this without those and have the main supports be 90 deg to ground ?

    1. The angle makes it a little easier to mount the motor and it gives you a little more room to work around the lower unit but yes, you could make it a right angle and it should still work.

  14. WAM says:

    Your post is right on. I built a stand out of scrap wood for outside to run, change the oil and general maintenance. I also added a motor mount inside the garage for storing my outboard during the winter.

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