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Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

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  • Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

    It's been a long time since I've trailered a small outboard boat, so I'd like to know how necessary it is to use one of those "transom savers" (a brace that connects the lower unit to the trailer). My boat is a 14' Lowe with a 25HP Evinrude. The motor locks in the upper position just fine and the boat has a solid transom. I typically travel about 30 miles (each direction) on smooth interstates.
    I trailered a 23' stern drive boat for 20+ years and never had a single problem that would've been prevented by a transom saver. What do you guys think?

    "Winter Dream"
    Silverton 34C
    White/Green

    Wellcraft 23 Nova XL

    Lowe 1448 BigJon
    w/Evinrude 25HP


  • #2
    Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

    IMO nope, getting out of the hole fast is a lot more stressful on the transom then trailering

    Marc..

    Comment



    • #3
      Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

      Neither are seatbelts or air bags.

      Try bumping it over a bad pothole at 50-70mph.

      Dumb not to use one.
      sigpic

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

        You are going to hear opinions on both sides of the issue. Some wouldn't trailer around the block without one and some, like me, feel they do more harm than good.

        I don't like them because loads tend to move around on any trailer. Ask a truck driver who hauls flatbed loads about the need to constantly check and adjust load straps. About the only way to prevent this is to strap the load, be it a boat or otherwise, down so tight that there is no movement what-so-ever, between the trailer and that load. While this sounds like a simple thing, it isn't. In order to get every bit of movement arrested, the load has to be strapped down to a point where stress damage can occur.

        If you don't get rid of this movement, what you end up with is the transom saver transmitting every movement of the trailer to the boat. You can pretty much figure out through what that movement will be transmitted.

        On the other hand, if you don't cinch the boat down, and don't use a transom saver, you will end up with a motor that is going to move somewhat. My motor (1972 Johnson 65hp) doesn't have T&T, so I just lower it onto the swing bar in the backside of the transom bracket. I then bungee it very tightly (so there is essentially no play in the bungees) to the lower portion of the transom bracket, resulting in a motor that moves with the boat, not the trailer. I feel that this creates a situation where the motor moves with the transom, not against it.

        The other point is that, as the previous person stated, you are going to put more stress on a transom operating the boat than driving down the road, as long as your motor is imobilized. Your motor isn't big enough to cause great stress under accelleration, but pounding the boat over waves day in and day out certainly will.

        I don't think this argument will ever be settled, but that's my 53 cents .... inflation, you know!
        Please don't PM me on advice issues - let's keep that in the forums, so that everyone can benefit. Please note that I do not email PDFs, etc. I have a bandwidth limited aircard for internet access. My avatar does not mean I have any offical link to iboats. I just like it!

        Comment



        • #5
          Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

          I am not an expert....so my opinion isn't worth much, however having used them, I think they work and they are not much in terms of dollars.

          My last boat was a Sea Ray with an outboard and had one with it when I purchased it, my current boat is a smaller Sunbird and I plan on getting one. What I liked about it was that it supported the motor when traveling and it kept the motor upright so I did not worry about hitting things coming out of parking lots or pulling up my driveway. I basically lowered the motor onto the bracket, strapped it down and off I went. As the motor rests on it, I am not sure about the stress, but I would think that its allot less than bouncing around on my transom. Like I said, I am no expert, but for outboards, they make sence to me.

          There is my 2 cents....I think they are about 40-50 bucks.

          MS

          Comment



          • #6
            Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

            They're worth the money spent. Travel with the outboard down and secured if you have at least a foot of clearance under the skeg. If not, $33 for a transom saver is a no-brainer.

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

              You have a small outboard on an aluminum boat so it is not as great an issue. However, I feel that they are cheap insurance and should be used. The see-saw effect going down the road plays havoc with the transom. Fully tilted, you have a heavy 4' piece of metal balanced on a 2-3" pivot point. Because of the weight placement, you really can't compare O/B to I/O. You almost look like you could run with the motor down. My $.02

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

                Originally posted by fishmen111 View Post
                You almost look like you could run with the motor down. My $.02
                No, I can't- the skeg is only about 16" from the road and I consider that too close to travel without worrying about it. I just recently put the boat on this trailer and I'm still making adjustments. I'm going to try it without a transom saver but will definitely anchor the motor in the up position. If I detect much movement going down the road then I'll go ahead and make the investment in the transom saver. Thanks for the input.
                "Winter Dream"
                Silverton 34C
                White/Green

                Wellcraft 23 Nova XL

                Lowe 1448 BigJon
                w/Evinrude 25HP

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

                  In your particular situation, I see the motor resting on the "tilt-lock". That device is not intended for trailering as it has no "Up-limit" meaning the motor can flop upward and then slam down on a pot hole strike or rough road travel. Breakage is the net result. Trailers properly secured do not move around and are not subjected to stress as a result. And if you look at the motor when tilted down, the pushing forces acting on the transom in the water are very low on the transom. Thrust during plane-out is a steady push on a transom whereas all road travel constitutes shock loading. There is a big difference. That long moment arm sticking out the back does add shock forces to the transom. Whether or not is enough to do damage is exactly why transom savers are available. If you are a gambler, then don't use one. But if you cannot travel with the motor vertical for clearance reasons, a transom saver is a very inexpensive insurance policy. Just make sure the boat is secured properly using transom tie-downs or you might as well leave the transom saver in the garage.

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

                    I'm all for the transom saver peresonally
                    sigpicMarada 2100 Executive Series, 5 Litre V8 with Mercruiser Alpha 1 outdrive. 2007 K-Z Spree 260 RBH, all = a whole lot of family fun !!!!

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

                      I agree that you need to get that motor off of the tilt lock. It isn't meant to secure the motor in the tilted position for trailering. If you hit a big bump with the motor the way you have it, especially since it isn't tied down in terms of tilt movement, you will most likely bend or break something.

                      I just looked on the parts explosion for a 25hp ERude and I can't find the parts involved ... they are not on the diagram for some reason ... so I don't know the correct names for them. Suffice it to say, however, that there is a "slider bar" (may be called "stop link") that latches onto a "stop bolt" by hooking the slider bar on it, and that that stop bolt is screwed into the swivel bracket. If you use the tilt lock while trailering, you will most likely bend or break the slider bar, break the stop bolt, or crack/break the swivel bracket. In fact, you might do all three.

                      Here's a photo of a swivel bracket off of a 1974 Chrysler 10hp motor. As you can see, a good sized chunk of the bracket is missing - this is an example of what I am talking about.





                      On my motor, there is a moveable bar (see below) that the motor can be rested on while trailering. During normal operation, it swivels downward to a stowed position, and the motor rests on the thrust pin in the transom bracket. As seen in the photo, I use a bungee, fastened to the thrust pin on the port side, then run it over the back of the exhaust housing, wrap it around the thrust pin on the other side, and then fasten it to the moveable bar. The bungee is just the right length to do this in a way that takes essentially all of the "give" out of it. The end result is that the motor rests on something strong and firm, so there is little or no movement of the engine that is not in sync with the boat.





                      BTW, if you look at the upper, center portion of this photo, you will see the tilt lock and will see that it is not being used.
                      Please don't PM me on advice issues - let's keep that in the forums, so that everyone can benefit. Please note that I do not email PDFs, etc. I have a bandwidth limited aircard for internet access. My avatar does not mean I have any offical link to iboats. I just like it!

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

                        I agree with SilverTip, get it off the tilt lock whatever you do as it is not meant to hold it up. And to me 16" of clearance is fine. I have trailered with a lot less!
                        Steve.

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

                          For what it's worth, the owners manual for my new Suzuki recommends use of a transom saver. I won't need one since the engine is on a pontoon and it can be trailered in the full down position.

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

                            It's not needed if you aren't going to keep it for a long time, or it is a inboard. But outboards, yes they are needed if you want the back of the boat to last 30+ years. Look at the boat ramp and see how many people with outboards put a transom saver on. I bet it will be about 95-100%. When you are going around the block and not hitting any bumps you are ok. But if you get on the highway or hit a bump in the road the boat is going to stay still, it's straped down good to the trailer so it takes the bump not the boat. But the motor will move up and down a little, and other time that will add up. Just think if you drive 30 mintues to and from, that's a hour it could be moving just a little. And if you take it out once a week all year, that 52 hours of moment. Add that to years and over time it will add up to a weaker transom, which isn't cheap to fix. If you get a simple transom saver, then strap it to the trailer, then when you hit a bump the boat and motor wont move but the trailer will take the impact, which it is made to do. The tires and springs can take the impact, don't let your motor put a unwanted stress on you boat.

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: Is a Transom Saver REALLY needed?

                              Do i need a transom saver if i have this??
                              1986 Larson Senza V-175BR
                              1977 Columbian Celebrity 14'

                              New England Get Together.. Still getting ideas!! Come join in the fun!!
                              http://forums.iboats.com/showthread....67&pagenumber=

                              IN MEMORY OF Our friend Tashasdaddy Robert (bob) Griffis. October 27, 1948
                              November 29 2010 RIP

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