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Author Topic:   Nantucket, towing long distance-Engine support question.
klied posted 04-27-2005 03:56 PM ET (US)   Profile for klied   Send Email to klied  
Is it recomended to get an engine support to prevent unwanted stress on the engine mount and transom? I will be towing 8 - 10 hours a few times each month with the Nantucket, it has the Merc 115.
Thanks for any help on this, the first trip is may 1st.

bsmotril posted 04-27-2005 06:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
What does the manual on your motor say about towing with the tilt support lock in place? The Merc manual for my '98 135 Opti said don't do it. Since I don't trust the hydraulics to hold it up for long distances, I used a transom saver bracket. If you do too, make sure the boat is securely strapped to the trailer front and rear so the the boat does not move at all relative to the trailer. If you don't do that, using a transom saver would make more stress versus reducing it. BillS
Moe posted 04-27-2005 08:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
You can read the Mercury Owner's Manual, with recommendations from engineers who designed the unit, or you can go to the Internet and ask the question, where you'll typically get responses ranging from the sky will fall if you don't to real men don't use transom savers. At that point, you can either just be confused or pick the answer you wanted to hear. I recommend the manual.


DBOutrage17 posted 04-28-2005 06:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for DBOutrage17  Send Email to DBOutrage17     
Every bass boat I ever see on the highway has them. I bought one, I think my manual recommended one, but I couldn't use it because trailer lights were in the way, so I never used it. Moved out of state, let it sit for about 3 years, and took it back, sans receipt, to a completely different Boat US for a refund. The manager there was none too impressed with my ridiculous request (wife made me do it, spring cleaning) or my long since expired membership. I was holding a squirming, screaming 1 yr old and my wife was chasing the 3 yr old around the store so the manager caved and gave me the money (sale price!) to make us go away. That's my motor strut/bracket/support story.
mikeyairtime posted 04-28-2005 07:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
My own experience with my 04 90 HP 4 stroke is that it bounced around quite a bit without a support so I went and bought one. If anyone questions my manhood though I will deny owning it.
bigjohn1 posted 04-28-2005 07:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Yeah...what Moe said:-)

Seriously, read the manual and do what it states. My Merc 115 manual says to use one and I found it very interesting the other day when picking up my 170 after the dealer did the 200 hour service. There my boat sat ready to go home sitting out in their lot. The motor was tilted all the way up and resting on that little metal lever support. Just as a test, I asked my mechanic if it was ok to tow it home with that lever supporting my engine - and he states it is fine and that is what it is made for. For the record, that is NOT correct and my manual specifically states as much. So quite naturally, my respect level goes down a bit for this particular mechanic. I lowered my engine and towed it home the way I chose to.

For the record, I do not have a transom support but will likely buy one and start using it at some point as my manual recommends it.

Moe posted 04-28-2005 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I followed the manual's advice and use one on the Mercury on our Whaler. The manual for the Suzuki on our MacGregor sailboat also recommends one, but there's no possible way with that trailer. So I took a tip from some here, and cut a slot for the tilt cylinder rod in a 5" piece of 1-1/4" PVC pipe. I snap that on the tilt rod over the cylinder and lower the motor onto it. It's doesn't make the motor quite as stable as the Fulton motor support bracket we use on the Whaler, but it's the best we can do.


klied posted 04-28-2005 11:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for klied  Send Email to klied     
Thanks everyone. Now the support brackets all say they attach to a roler on the trailer, but my trailer doesnt have a roler. How does the bracket attach to a trailer without rolers? The boat came with a bunker trailer, surge breaks, and swivel tounge. I don't know what brand.


gf posted 04-28-2005 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for gf  Send Email to gf     

You want to get one of these:

I use one with my Yamaha 150, it works great.

bsmotril posted 04-28-2005 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Get a rubber V Bow block used in the front of a trailer. It will fit perfectly right into the fork of the transom saver. Drill a hole through the forks that line up with the bolt hole of the VStop block, and bolt it in. Rest the V block on the rear trailer cross member. The rubber block adds extra cushion too. BillS
ConnorEl posted 04-28-2005 03:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for ConnorEl  Send Email to ConnorEl     
OK, I'm really intrigued about the m-ywedge. Have others used this? Any other comments would be appreciated.
Whalerider posted 04-29-2005 07:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerider  Send Email to Whalerider     
I use the wedge, seems to get the job done. My local BW shop saw it and liked it so much, they want to sell them in their shop.
jimh posted 04-29-2005 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If the position of the boat on the trailer is high enough, you may be able to leave the engine in the operating or lowered position while towing. Tilt the engine up to the highest point of the travel where it is still resting against the two trim cylinder rams. Check the ground clearance at this position. If the engine skeg has acceptable ground clearance when in this position, I do not see any reason why you cannot travel on the highway with it like that.

Leaving the engine in the operating position can also be advantageous with older engine that have carburetors. Usually then an engine with carburetors is tilted up, the float boats will spill gasoline. When re-starting after having been tilted up, you may have to re-prime the fuel system.

If your trim/tilt cylinders have any tendency to leak down, you can also consider moving the mechanical stop bar to its highest position. This will prevent the engine from leaking down too far and creating a hazard for the skeg to come in contact with the roadway.

When highway towing with the engine in a lowered position, you have to be aware of potential problems with driveway ramps. A short steep ramp can put the engine skeg into danger.

I have towed my boat many thousands of miles on the highway with the engine in a lowered position and have not used a support bar for the lower unit.

lakeman posted 04-29-2005 03:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for lakeman  Send Email to lakeman     
I just use a piece of two by four, pressure treated if I can find it, replace them often seem to lose one now and again. There is a little 90 degree cut out and it is about 5/8 deep on the transom side of the motor bracket. Put the 2/4 between it and the bracket, kinda pointed parts on the motor lower unit side, rest the wood in the cut out and carefully bring the motor down and wedge it in, slightly tight, just enough to hold it in place. This works for me, I'm cheap I guess.
Gee this was hard to describe, If I knew how to post a pic I would.
montaukman posted 04-29-2005 03:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for montaukman  Send Email to montaukman     
Hi....Has anyone used this m-ywedge on their 170 montauk? I went to the website and it basically said that it would work on mercury's from 115 hp and up. I think that was the starting point. It did say that it works on a 90 yamaha i believe.

I sent them an email (they don't have a telephone number) and have yet to get a reply.

Any 90 merc owners out there with any luck using this product?



Tate posted 04-29-2005 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tate    
Lakeman, I was starting to wonder if just I was cheap, but I also have a love of using useless pieces of 2x4s and duct tape to make just about anything work. Out of principle I used a small piece of "2x4" (they are not what they used to be )to support my old engine home safely. It performed perfectly, and it did not budge once while traveling up nearly the entire east coast.

Side note - the 4x4 I was offered upon my request for a 2x4 from the dealer (whom is accustomed to local customers, but I was too excited/stupid to search the local home depot) in FL fell out somewhere between Stuart and Kissimmee, but the tilt only fell an inch or two over the distance I traveled before I reached Kissimmee. I was fortunate enough to be staying in a complex with construction underway, and felt confident leaving safely with a 2x4, although I inspected my entire rig every gas break to be sure I was not making sparks.

diveorfish posted 04-30-2005 12:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
I was told by two boat dealers to do what Jimh said to do. Neither dealer said that I needed transom savers.

When you think of it, a boat under power in a rough sea sould put as much pressure on the transom as cruising down the highway.

One thing I noticed that seems to help is to let a little air out of the tires. For example, my truck's tires can be inflated to 80 psi but the recommened is 35-40 PSI. When the tires are inflated above about 38psi my truck rides like the tires are made of stone. I can't even drink coffee out of a travel mug. At about 35 psi the ride is one hundred times more comfortable for me and probably my boat as well.

Knot at Work posted 04-30-2005 08:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
I do not use any thing when towing my 170 Montauk. I trailer 30 miles each way and have no issues. Trim er UP!
Marsh posted 05-01-2005 06:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
Interesting thing to note about the 2005 Merc 90 and 115 4 strokes: there are no trim/tilt "rams"...just a single shaft coming up out of the trim tube. In days gone by, with other engine makes, I would use a transom saver, then fully retract the trim/tilt rams to protect them from the elements. Can't do that with the new Merc.

This is in no way meant to besmirch the good name of Mercury engines; just pointing out that they have a different design than other engines, that's all. I am not saying one is necessarily better than the other; I will leave that to the experts.


bigjohn1 posted 05-02-2005 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Marsh, good observation about these late model 90/115 Merc's....I'm not sure the model of M-Wedge listed on that site for a 115 will actually work on one of these single cylinder deals.

Alan, please let us know which model wedge the company says for you to use...I want to order one.

Goosedog posted 05-03-2005 08:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Goosedog    
My-Wedge makes a universal model that fits a Mercury 90 4 stroke.
fno posted 05-04-2005 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
Try a piece of 2x10 or 2x12 One or the other should give the right height. Pick the right one and put an eyebolt in one end and attach it to a transom eye with cord to prevent it falling off and going thru someones windshield if it falls out. It's called a redneck transom saver down south.
hhagan posted 05-06-2005 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for hhagan  Send Email to hhagan     
I have used a piece of 3/4 inch plywood cut to a rectangular shape and then cut notches in it that fit between the engine and the transom bracket. I tilt the engine up, slip the block in and then lower the tilt to wedge the block in place. Works like a charm. Many miles of trailering.
Yiddil posted 05-15-2005 10:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Yiddil  Send Email to Yiddil     
Any one got any pics of this Item>>> thanks in advance:)
Kencvit posted 05-15-2005 11:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kencvit  Send Email to Kencvit     
link posted 15 back by gf
daveweight posted 05-16-2005 04:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for daveweight  Send Email to daveweight     
We use the redneck transom saver down in the south of England too.
.- .-.
bigjohn1 posted 05-21-2005 08:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Received my "My-Wedge" in the mail. Bought the universal model for my 115efi-equipped 170 it works like a champ. All Merc 90/115 4-stroke owners will find this a very nice and simple addition to your boat...transom savers be damned!
DillonBW posted 05-21-2005 10:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for DillonBW  Send Email to DillonBW     
I use the built in lever that locks it in the up position when trailing. Will try the Redneck Block this w/end, just so the carbs don't drain out.
As a side thought, would it be better/worse to put a bar (transom-saver) from the motor to the drain hole on the boat? I am thinking this because the motor is attached to the boat and not the trailer. (Don't shoot me, just curious thinking....)


bigjohn1 posted 05-23-2005 01:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Probably not a good plan Dillon to use that lever for trailering. Not sure what engine you have but my manual clearly states not to use it for trailering - maybe yours is different though. Will you get away with it for a while? Probably....$27 for the wedge is alot cheaper than a damaged ram cylinder (or a new one of those "levers"). "Pay me now or pay me later" is how dad used to put it:-)
ConnorEl posted 05-24-2005 08:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for ConnorEl  Send Email to ConnorEl     
Have received and used m-ywedge. My engine (Honda BF130) has a 3 ram system: one for tilt and two for trim. For the motor to be at a proper height for towing it would need to rest on the rams tilted about half way up. The previous owner of my boat simply used the “mooring” lever to prop the engine up while towing. The owners manual stated to either tow the boat with the engine in the normal operating position (right on jimh) OR to use a transom saver device. My trailer set up will not allow me to tow at normal operating position.

What is interesting to me is that when I looked at the engine and the website for the m-ywedge it seemed to me that what they were going to send would be a mostly rubber device to fit over ONE of the TWO trim rams. I contacted them and asked if it wouldn’t be better to have two of their devices: one for each side so the motor would be symmetrically supported. They said no, one would be fine. When I received mine in the mail and put it on the motor I felt that a second one would indeed be desirable for the purpose above stated. I ordered the second and this past weekend used them. They worked perfectly.

I realize that I could use a piece of board, etc. but I have to say that I like the idea of some rubber shock absorbing capability of something like the m-ywedge.

bwc8418 posted 05-24-2005 11:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for bwc8418  Send Email to bwc8418     
I also use m-ywedge on my BF 150, so far no problems

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