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Author Topic:   Trailering: Engine Up or Down?
TJR posted 07-27-2004 10:19 AM ET (US)   Profile for TJR   Send Email to TJR  
Just purchased Johnson 70 4-stroke on Montauk. Want to do it right. Manual says down, but clearence would be a problem.
Plotman posted 07-27-2004 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
Get a transom saver - essentially a stick that goes between the lower unit of the engine to the trailer to take stress off of trim mechanicals while keeping you from dragging the skeg.
bsmotril posted 07-27-2004 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
What Plotman said with the caveat to also securely strap the transom down to the trailer. You want the boat, motor, and trailer to move a a unit on the axle springs, and not against each other. Adjust the transom saver to raise the motor skeg an inch or two above the level of the lower crossbar on the the trailer. BillS
Bigshot posted 07-27-2004 01:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Just my $.02 but transom savers are a gimmick and will probably do more damage than without(unless a non PTnT motor). That transom takes more stress than hitting a bump on the highway will EVER do. I tilt mine down to where the trim rams take hold and stop, that way you have 3 rams holding the engine in place. You can then use a strap if you want...but not necessary. Do a search on transom savers and see what a friggin debate it is....if ya want.
kingfish posted 07-27-2004 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

A large part of one side of the debate, as near as I'm able to tell, is from those who don't like transom savers because they don't think that transoms need saving. The irony is that most of us (I'm one) who recommend them recommend them to support the lower unit on your motor when travelling, not to save the transom. So maybe calling them lower unit supports will put oil on the water, so to speak...One thing is for sure; they *don't* do more harm than good.

Buckda posted 07-27-2004 03:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Agreed on the terminology front -

While many aluminum hulls need the motor support offered by a transom saver to keep the weight of the motor from "stressing" the transom, the real benefit to these devices on a BW rig is as outlined by Kingfish.

The benefit is that IF your boat is strapped securely to the trailer, the "transom saver" will reduce stress on your hydraulic tilt and trim system on your outboard by reducing the loads on the cylinders brought about by gravity etc.

Also, as Bigshot outlined, if you can get three hydraulic cylinders supporting the outboard, you're in good shape, but on my Outrage, the trailer and boat sits too low for me to get to this point without real cause for concern when entering/exiting parking lots and other areas with a bit of a gradient. The transom saver lifts my motor high enough to provide this clearance, and keeps the pressure off the Hydraulic system on the boat (also useful when the boat is sitting on the trailer not being used - sadly, most of it's life). For that reason alone, they may be worth the 30 bucks or so on a decent unit.

Given that there is such a level of debate on their usefulness, it's not suprising to see someone offer the opinion that they may actually do HARM. Personally, I dismiss that notion without prejudice - so...if they're not really helping other than to give me peace of mind, well...that's worth the 30 dollars in any case. I'm not so cheap to avoid sacrificing what amounts to an evening out buying beers with the guys for my peace of mind, so I have one.

Other opinions may vary.



Chuck Tribolet posted 07-27-2004 04:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
With my Evinrude 90, there's no load on the hydraulics. The
motor has brace that swings up, then you drop the lower unit
on the brace. The motor's owner's manual doesn't mention
transom savers, so I figure the lower unit isn't a problem.

A buddy's Merc 90 has something similar (though Merc put the
brace on one side, the TT switch on the other. DUH).

And with motor tilted, it's CG is closer to over the transom,
so the twisting moment on transom is reduced.


Bigshot posted 07-27-2004 04:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
The reason I say they "probably" do harm is if you hit something REAL hard with that trailer, the shock is going right to your lower unit which might not be good. The force of that engine producing 25 or 225hp is greater on that transom than trailering it...said my $.04
where2 posted 07-27-2004 05:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I'm with Bigshot on this one. The prop on the lower unit exerts enough force to propel a Montauk 40mph. Unless you're off-roading on unpaved wilderness with your whaler in tow, you're not likely to surpass the stress on the transom that the engine exerts during normal operation of a boat...
ryanwhaler posted 07-27-2004 06:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for ryanwhaler  Send Email to ryanwhaler     
I don’t know much about them, I've never used one or got a good look at one.

How to they attach to the motor and how to they attach to the trailer?

My dad just bought a Montauk,I think its got a transom saver on it. Haven’t seen the boat yet. It will be here in a few weeks, just curious.

2manyboats posted 07-27-2004 06:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for 2manyboats  Send Email to 2manyboats     
number of trailerable power boats I have owned : 15

miles trailered : 45,000 +

number of transom savers owned : 0

number of motors or transoms damaged while trailering : 0

I always trailer with the motor as low as I can . If the tilt and trim can overcome the thrust of the prop and the pounding of the boat , then the highway is a cake walk.

Buckda posted 07-27-2004 07:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
If your hydraulic trim/tilt system fails in the water it's no big deal. If it fails in your driveway, it's no big deal, but if it fails on the highway, well....let's just say that a new skeg costs more than the $30 "Transom Saver".

Just because nothing has happened to you (or to me) doesn't mean that it can't or won't. My opinion is that $30 is cheap insurance against unforseen hydraulic failure.

I've towed many boats both with and without the transom saver; but since I first used one, I've always felt better with it on back there.

So, to adapt the last post:
Approximately 12,000 miles trailered: $1,800

Number of times transom saver was necessary due to failed hydraulics: 1 = $125 saved

Number of transom savers: 2 = $60

Additonal cost of transom saver (damage to boat, motor or trailer; maintenance (what maintenance?)): $0

ROI = $65

Peace of mind: Priceless

There are some things money can't buy, but for the cost of a transom saver, I get peace of mind.

Done deal in my mind; I don't expect to change yours...but I did want to be understood for why I feel as I do.



Marsh posted 07-27-2004 08:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
Before you take any advice, read your owner's manual. Page 36 of my manual (for 2005 model year 75/90/115 HP Merc 4 stroke engines, copyright 2004) states:

"Trailer your boat with the outboard tilted down in a vertical operating position. If additional ground clearance is required, the outboard should be tilted up using an accessory outboard support device...IMPORTANT: Do not rely on the power trim/tilt system or tilt support lever to maintain proper ground clearance for trailering."

I think that says it in pretty plain language. Those who wish to follow different advice do so at their own peril.


Joe Kriz posted 07-27-2004 08:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     
And for OMC's,

Raise the engine and engage the tilt bracket (feet).
Using the Trim/Tilt switch, push the down switch (this does not physically lower the engine) and retract all trim rods until the engine locks in at rest on the tilt bracket feet.

Absolutely no need for a Transom save for OMC engines according to the manual.

Joe Kriz posted 07-27-2004 08:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     
I just read the part about a Johnson 70 HP 4 stroke

This must be the Suzuki version then.

I am not familiar with Suzuki.

TJR posted 07-27-2004 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for TJR  Send Email to TJR     
I have talked to 2 mechanics who have simply said to raise the engian high enough to engage the support lever. Then let it rest on that. However, the owners manual on page 34 says the following: Trailer your boat with the motor in a vertical position. If your trailer does not provide adequate road clearence, the motor can be trailered by using an accessory trailering bracket. See your DEALER. DO NOT use the tilt support when trailering.
Joe Kriz posted 07-27-2004 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     

You do not mention the brand of engine.
Engine manufacturers are all different.

If your mechanic told you not to use the trailering bracket for every engine on the market, he is out of touch and needs help. Do not listen to him unless he is talking about a particular brand, like the one he works on or knows.

My OMC manual states;

"We recommend your motor be trailered in its normal running position. If trailer does not provide adequate road clearance, a Trail Lock is provided to secure motor in full tilt position for trailering".

The trail lock is what I called the "feet" above.
This is the way OMC wants it...
I have done this with all my OMC's since 1975 and I have never had a problem

Other engine manufactures recommend other things.
Please be a little more specific.


2manyboats posted 07-27-2004 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for 2manyboats  Send Email to 2manyboats     
As to my trailering without transom saver , all my experience is with omc and yamaha and while I don't feel the need for one , just because I do not does not mean anyone should do as I do.

But I do feel if it was needed I would know by now.

As for the skeg reaching the road on flat ground , if that was the case I would adjust my trailer or trailer hitch.

Joe Kriz posted 07-27-2004 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     
For those of you that do not have a manual with their OMC, here is what my manual states for Engageing the Trail Lock.
This is for almost all the older OMC's with Power Trim & Tilt up to around year 1995.

•Place motor in full TILT position. See Tilting
•Pull Trail Lock down so it rests on the stern brackets. A detent will hold the Trail Lock in the trailering position or in stow position.
•Lower motor so that trail locks rest against stern brackets. Continue to activate "down" switch until the two trim rods are fully retracted.

•Tilt motor to full TILT position
•Move Trail Lock up into stow position. Position motor in full tilt position before launching.

Again, this is the recommended way for the above OMC models and I have never had problem one is 30 years of doing it this way.

Joe Kriz posted 07-27-2004 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     

What year Johnson 70hp 4 stroke?
Is this engine made by Suzuki?

I would follow the manual whatever it states but then your manual says to see a dealer. Doesn't sound like the manual is very helpful in this case.

Some mechanics OMC mechanics will automatically assume you are Johnson, not a Suzuki unless you are more specific. Give them the year and tell them it is a 4 stroke. This might turn on the light bulbs and give them a clue it is a Suzuki engine.

Just a thought.


Royboy posted 07-27-2004 10:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
My 25hp Merc 4 stroke has a slide (a short rod about an inch in diameter) in the upper part of the left side of the mount that apparently could be used as a stop to keep the engine tilted for additional ground clearance (which it needs). Seems odd to be on one side only though.

The previous owner had a chunk of 2x4 cut to fit between the engine and the mount so that you tilt the engine down on it and it allows the engine to rest on the wood instead of any metal stop provided.

This seems pretty silly from an engineering standpoint, but perhaps not as silly as having the mechanical stop on the opposite side as the "stop" provided.

I've been using the chunk 'o 2x4, but have wondered about it from day one. Any wisdom out there to support this kind of approach?


Buckda posted 07-27-2004 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Well, we've managed to illustrate that the use of a "transom saver" is a hotly debated topic anyway!

I guess the most prudent recommendation is to first, consult your owner's manual, if you have one.

If the way your trailer is set up precludes explicitly following the suggestion in your owner's manual, to take their advice (i.e. "tow with the motor trimmed down") and try to recreate that as much as possible with your rig.

This may mean the following:
Adjust your trailer to allow the motor to be in the position recommended by the mfgr.
Attempt to come as close as possible to their recommendations (i.e., through the use of a transom saver type device, rather than in the fully tilted position)

Of course, if your manual recommends towing in the upright and locked position, as apparently recommended by OMC, then none of these choices really apply to you at all.....

TJR, since your manual says "down", and you can't achieve this, my advice given above stands.

Roy - check your owners manual to see what Merc recommends - I've heard of people using blocks of wood too...but have no experience with this.



kamie posted 07-27-2004 11:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
My Merc manual says: Trailer your boat with the outboard tilted down (vertical operating position). If additional ground clearance is required, the outboard should be tilted up using an outboard support bar. Additional clearance may be required for railroad crossings, driveways and trailer bouncing. Do not rely on the power tilt/trim system or tilt support lever to maintain proper ground clearance for trailering. The outboard tilt support lever is not intended to support the outboard for trailering.

Joe Kriz posted 07-28-2004 12:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Joe Kriz  Send Email to Joe Kriz     

I am not knocking Mercury here but that is one thing I really hated about the Merc I owned. I had to have the Transom saver support rod.

That little piece of one arm little piece metal wouldn't hold 2 pounds of anything. That's why Merc says to support the engine in another fashion. Why coulnd't they make that a 2 legged support and much stronger? I'm sure Mercury has good engineers otherwise they wouldn't still be in business.

If a block of wood works like Bucda mentions (and I believe they do as I have seen many) then why doesn't Mercury incorporate into their design. They have to know people are going to use a trailer to tow their engines around.

I am not sure about the other brands.

Anyone have any info on how to trailer these other brands...???
Please quote from the manual, PLEASE...

Legobusier posted 07-28-2004 08:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Legobusier  Send Email to Legobusier     
My Honda 90 (1998) manual says the following:

When trailering or transporting the bot (yes it really say's "bot") with the motor attached, it is recommended that the motor remain in the normal run position.

(Tilller Handle Type)
Tighten the sterring friction adjuster securely to stop the motor's side to side movement.

(Remote Control Type)
Use a motor support bar (refer to your motor support bar manufactuurer's instructions) to stop the motor's side-to-side movement.

If there is insufficient road clearance with the normal in normal run position, than trailer the motor in the tilted position using a motor support bar (refer to your motor support bar manufactuurer's instructions) or remove the motor from the boat."

For the record I have towed this sucker about 2000 miles since March with no support bar. I do lock the engine up which (at least) takes the load off the T/T cylinders.


fno posted 07-28-2004 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
On both of my Mercs a 90 and 225, I have used a 12" long piece of 2 x 8 on edge between the motor and the bracket. Ptting it in there the first time and lowering the motor on it creates four dents in the edges of the board that can be used for line up after that. Pressure treated is my choice of wood. I also put an eye on one end of it for a short peice of cord and a snap that goes on the transom lifting eye. Wouldn't want it to fall off on the highway and go through someones windshield.
Jarhead posted 07-28-2004 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jarhead  Send Email to Jarhead     
Shoot fno, I go so far as to paint my wood braces (black of course) to match my engines. :)
Bigshot posted 07-28-2004 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Wood is good and glad to see you use the safety lanyard Frank. The reason I see the owners manual stating a use for these products is because they don't want to be blamed for any damage if PTnT system leaked down(which can happen if faulty) and engine grinding itself to a knub.

I can also see why Honda and whomever says to use them to keep the engine from moving side to side which can cause a "thud" in a sharp turn but usually they move to one side and stay there. A bungee cord would also suffice. Worse case scenerio is the engine turns sideways and causes more wind resistence and hence worse gas mileage.

Now 2 things are known here...Merc calls it an "accessory outboard support device". Accessory means it is an option through your merc dealer with Quicksilver or Mercury logo on it...they therefore make a profit on it. 2nd Honda calls it an "outboard support bar" because they are more worried about side to side movement, especially on tiller models which I also have no problem with.

My PROBLEM is and has always been that the companies who make them AND the people who sell them call them "Transom Savers". They do all of the above and help give peace of mind that your SS prop will still have 3 blades if your trim loses pressure, block of wood falls out, or support lever snaps being made of pot metal....NOWHERE does a manual claim it will SAVE YOUR TRANSOM. Now being the kind poster asked about clearence problem and many have brought up good points about the perils of towing, I retract my comment and if you feel the need use it. But...Do NOT call it a transom saver unless you own a Bayliner :)

Being that said....many trailers(like 2 of mine) do not have a way to connect an "outboard support device" to the trailer, especially if they do not have a keel roller so this may be a mute point. My final $.02

erik selis posted 07-28-2004 01:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
I read the manual of my 2002 90-hp Mercury 2-stroke when I first bought my boat. It says what Marsh and Kamie wrote above. I ignored this and just towed my boat around with the motor tilted about 1/3 up, supported by the hydraulic tilt/trim. After 2 months my tilt trim was broken for the first time. 2 months later it broke down again and this time it wasn't just an o-ring but the whole system had to be replaced. After that I followed the instructions in the manual and I now use a "Motor Tilt/Trim Saver". (I refuse to call it anything else because I don't want to step on anyone's toes here:-)...and actually they are right) I haven't had a problem since.

I guess Mercury puts it into their manual for a reason.


Royboy posted 07-28-2004 01:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Wow, I thought I had a hunk of 2x4 holding my engine up, and it turns out to be a "custom dented" transom saving boating accessory.

I very much appreciate the advice about the lanyard - very good idea, fno! I can also see myself painting it if I can find a good match for "Quicksilver Black" 8>)


Bigshot posted 07-28-2004 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Erik...glad it works for you but makes me REAL nervous about Merc TnT pumps now. In all my boats which ALL are towed, I only had one unit that went bad and that was a check valve in my 90hp Yamaha.
Jarhead posted 07-28-2004 01:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jarhead  Send Email to Jarhead     
Hey Roy. I just use gloss black paint from a cheap rattle can, touch up every so often when needed. ;)
erik selis posted 07-28-2004 01:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Nick, I'm just reporting what happened to my motor. Maybe it's just coincidence? Maybe it was just a bum tilt/trim from the beginning. I don't know. I can tell you that when your TnT fails to work twice within 6 months you don't feel too happy about it. I now just mount the support and don't think about it anymore. Is it necessary? I don't know. I do know that I haven't had any trouble with the TnT ever since. Mercury must have had trouble before or they wouldn't put it in their manual. IMO


cmarques posted 07-28-2004 08:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
I use a 2x6 laid flat almost 2 years and works fine with fno's custom dents. May upgrade to a 2x8 after dragging skeg out of a parking lot this weekend.- If I have any quicksilver black left after painting skeg maybe I'll custom paint the 2x6.


Backlash posted 07-28-2004 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     
I use a 10" length of pressure-traeted 4 by 4. The 2 by lumber didn't give me enough angle. I also drilled two 1-1/2" diameter holes about 3/8" deep on the bracket side and 1' diameter on the motor side. Once the trim is cranked down, until the pistons are fully retracted, the 4 by 4 is there to stay.
Good tip on the safety lanyard.
AQUANUT posted 07-29-2004 12:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     

kinda related topic

last december 2003, this info was paased to us techs at a yamaha seminar...referencing yamahas "new 150hp 4stroke"

there have been some failures in engine brackets due to the engine being partially trimed up and full throttle being applied.
basically we saw pictures of bracket {a beefy aluminun casting] being broken in two.

fyi the trim pump and seals did not very strong appearing brackett casting did.

the fix is inform customers to be sure that motor is trimmed all the way down when attempting to go on plane

with this info in mind.
consider this,
the transoms did not fail...failure occurred on several different types of hulls.

trim pump and seals did not fail even tho extreme forces where applied

any other opinions out there?

davej14 posted 07-29-2004 07:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Might as well get my $.02 on this one. Although it may not be self evident, the instantaneous shock loads transmitted to the motor tilt/trim mechanism from uneven road surfaces CAN far exceed any forces applied during full throttle acceleration on the water. If the motor is "full down", it will be resting on the mounting bracket which will help take the shock load. In any other position the tilt/trim unit must absorb these shocks. The "tilt/trim saver" will eliminate much of the shock load and I personally would not be without one. Even if the tilt/trim is designed to take the abuse of highway shock loads you are adding wear while not using the boat. If there is a built in mechanism that unloads the tilt/trim while trailering, that would be another matter and probably a better design. Think about it.

As a side comment, if a motor manufacturer is actually concerned about mechanical failure of their mount in normal operation I would RUN to another nameplate!! This would be an extremely dangerous situation.

Bigshot posted 07-30-2004 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
No offense to Yamaha but I have NEVER seen an engine bracket break and I invented freestyle boat jumping in the Barnegat inlet back in the early 80's :) I have seen a few Yamahas broken, namely dingies with the engine tilted while being towed. I always thought it was weird but then again Japanese pot metal might not be as good as American crap being Japanese is most like recycled American crap. Anyhoots these were all on NON PTnT engines and hence why I have said to use a engine support device if clearance is a problem, especially on a NON PTnT engine. Road clearence is not a problem with my rig. Now that I have heard that Yamaha engine brackets are cracking because full throtle is applied while partially trimmed scares the snot out of me. If you are running and jump a wake..the last thing I want to worry about is my engine falling off because I nailed the throttle down after I landed....which is COMMON practice. Now most people do not drive like they stole it...including myself BUT when I do it better not give me any worries.
skred posted 07-30-2004 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
FNO's got it right. Even if your manual tells you it OK to trailer in any locked or unlocked "up" position, thoudands of miles trailered, 5 Whalers and many previous boats of mine have used the 2 x 4 between the engine and bracket to gain about a foot of ground clearance. The dents are the guide, and the stress is off the T&T completely. Apparently it was SO clever that a month ago, I had my Dauntless parked on its trailer, and - overnight - someone stole my nice 3 x 3 solid oak motor support. Interestingly, now that I use a 2 x 4, nobody's bothered it...
Yiddil posted 07-31-2004 03:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Yiddil  Send Email to Yiddil     
anyone got any pics of these support brakets or how it looks with the 2X4, 4x4 etc??? thanks
erik selis posted 07-31-2004 04:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Henry, check your mail.


AQUANUT posted 07-31-2004 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
Not to be a doomsayer,
However, the motors I was speaking of were 4 strokes over 150hp


with that in mind, realize that the weight of these modern fourstrokes weigh a lot more that the two strokes of the 80's.We're talking about weights as much as 598lbs for the 225hp as an example. also factor in the torque of a big fourstroke.

I am wondering also if the boats you "put thru the wringer"
{peformance boats} compre with the hull weights of todays offshore fishing vessels.

the same weight issues apply to modern 4 strokes as compared to 2 strokes of the 70's and eighties.

a couple things to consider, If you look at the mounting bracket on a mercury or a yamaha 4 will notice that the bracket used on smaller hp 4 strokes is ery simular and in most cases the same as the larger 4 strokes.
is it to make the mount bolt pattern uniform? or even for the ease of uniform parts in assembly lines?....I wonder?

not to leave honda unscathed, if you look at the honda bracket it is quite beefy and taller, However,however note that the honda compared to merc-mahas, weigh much more.
thus the beefier bracket?

Moe posted 07-31-2004 11:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
The only way a motor support bracket could damage a lower unit would be if it moved independently of the trailer and boat, relative to the motor mount bracket. That isn't the case when the the trailer hits a large bump. The whole rig, trailer, boat, and motor move together. The bracket keeps the motor from pivoting forward and backward, and keeps it tied to the boat and trailer, as one unit.

The Mercury owners manual says to use a motor support bracket if you can't tow with the motor vertical. So I take the advice of their engineers and use one.

The Fulton Performance bracket:

It has a soft V-cradle for the lower unit AND shock-absorbing rubber in the telescoping shaft design.

My concern with using a wood block in the motor bracket is that it's like propping a door open with a block between the door and door jamb on the inside where the hinges are. If you've ever done that, you may have discovered the door has considerable leverage to pull the hinges out of the door or jamb.


David Jenkins posted 08-02-2004 07:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
Where is the best place to buy one, Moe?
kingfish posted 08-02-2004 09:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Moe nailed it, for my money - I have a similar device, from Fulton but with some small differences, I think. The lower unit cradle on mine is gimballed on both sides so as to conform to the shape and size of the lower unit at the point of support. I lower the lower unit into the cradle until the hydraulic rams drop away, which compresses the internal rubber dampers inside the support tube, and provides cushioning for the lower unit in the event there is any shock that would otherwise be telegraphed from the trailer to the L.U. Once the L.U. is so lowered and the rubber damper compressed, a heavy rubber "bungee" is attached to one side of the cradle, stretched tightly around the backside of the lower unit and attached to the other side of the support cradle. This way the lower unit is captured and suspended with the advantage of compression and stretch of rubber to protect it.
pvonk posted 08-16-2004 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for pvonk  Send Email to pvonk     
I'll second Yiddil's comment - anyone have a picture of the the 2x4 or 4x4 wood support. It's not clear to me how it's set up. Thanks.

Perhaps a detailed description would help if no pics are available.

erik selis posted 08-16-2004 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Pierre, I have the same bracket that Moe has posted the link to.


Moe posted 08-16-2004 11:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
David, I'm sorry I didn't see your request for info and it's been over two weeks. I got my bracket at a local Mom and Pop store, but as someone pointed out in another thread, West Marine carries it.


pvonk posted 08-16-2004 02:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for pvonk  Send Email to pvonk     
Thanks to those who have sent me or have posted pictures of "transom savers" like the Fulton Kushion Kradle. Unfortunately, these setups seem to depend on a transom roller on the trailer. The new Montauk I just received includes a Karavan trailer and this has no rollers (except for one in the middle of the unit). Instead, the Montauk just rests on the bunkers; it has no contact with a roller (it's not even close to the single mid-roller).

I sent an email to my dealer about the issue brought up on this thread (I have a Merc 90 4STK) and he has reassured me that he always uses the tilt support lever on his Montauk, and he has never heard of any damage or problems doing this. He works at Nauset and has been in the business a long time. Still....

I also tried a 2x4 with the 4" going from the metal transom bracket to the lower part of the engine, however this is not anywhere near long enough. With the engine vertical, I have about 2 include clearance with the road. I need the engine tilted up quite a bit.

Another related question - does it matter if the engine is aiming straight, or most I turn the wheel to aim the motor left or right?


pvonk posted 08-16-2004 02:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for pvonk  Send Email to pvonk     
Third paragraph should say: "have about 2 inch clearance.."
bsmotril posted 08-16-2004 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
I had the same Problem because I've got Twins and the trailer roller is in the center of the trailer. It does not line up with either motor. So I got a couple of those hard rubber V Block bow chocks used on trailers. Drilled through the prongs on the roller end of the Fulton unit, and bolted the bow chock through it. Fits like it waas made to order. The V Block now rests directly on the trailer crossmember directly in line with each motor. BillS
Moe posted 08-16-2004 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
The Fulton can be set up either to sit on a roller, or pinned to a bracket installed underneath the rear crossmember.

I don't use the U-shaped thing that was included to be used with rollers since I don't have one.


pvonk posted 08-16-2004 06:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for pvonk  Send Email to pvonk     
Thanks for the picture, Moe! The new Montauk/Karavan trailer package has the boat sitting a little higher than the stern crossmember on the trailer, hence the distance I'd need for the support bar going from the trailer to the motor is at least 3 feet. In addition, the boat's stern sticks out the back of the trailer more than in your picture, hence I couldn't get as much of an angle from the trailer's crossmember to the engine. It just wouldn't work. I wonder if the BW engineers even bother using a "transom supporter" on their new Montauks - if any of them even owns or uses one!


Goosedog posted 08-17-2004 10:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Goosedog    
I use a wedge (, purchased on a recommendation from this board for trailering my 170 Montauk (90HP 4-stroke) on a Karavan. It seems to work well.
Buckda posted 08-17-2004 10:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Check Cabela's catalog - they sell a motor support device that has a "bend" in it to accomodate your stern overhanging the end of the trailer and still provides clearance to tilt the motor up and clear of any obstructions. This may be the solution in your case (it's what I use on my 15 - the boat hangs off the back of the trailer (on bunks, but the trailer crossmember is about 2 feet forward).


cmarques posted 08-17-2004 02:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques


pvonk posted 08-17-2004 09:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for pvonk  Send Email to pvonk     
Thanks Dave, this item should do the trick!
pvonk posted 08-18-2004 06:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for pvonk  Send Email to pvonk     
I've ordered the Cabela's support device. Now the questions is -

Do I rest the engine on the engine's tilt support lever and then add the transom saver? Or do I not ever use the tilt support lever when towing?


uberhahn posted 08-19-2004 01:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for uberhahn  Send Email to uberhahn     
my 40hp evinrude was trailered up, using purely the up-lock levers. one bracket is now broken. I use a transom saver. Found ones that are spring-loaded, so that they act as a shock absorber. I do not rest the engine weight on the tilt-levers anymore.


mikeyairtime posted 08-19-2004 05:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
Use just the transom saver. The flimsy support arm is not up to the task. I ran my 89 Yamaha 130 on the factory support until it failed and bought a transom saver out of necessity. After one trip on the highway with my new 170 (90 hp 4-stroke merc) I decided to start using it a transom saver after watching the way my motor bounced around on the factory support. There's a reason Mercury wants you to use a support. They do lots of testing.

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