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  What position is your engine during trailering??

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Author Topic:   What position is your engine during trailering??
hauptjm posted 01-18-2002 01:56 PM ET (US)   Profile for hauptjm  
In another thread, someone said that the manual for their new Merc 90 stated that they should always trailer with the motor in the down position. I usually trailer in the up position, using the tilt lock. I'm curious what others are doing, and if it matters, the as to the size of the engine. Mine is a 150 OMC. Please chime in.
Tsuriki BW posted 01-18-2002 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
I trailer my 75hp Merc in the up position with using the latch. No problems in 2 years, but I am thinking of getting a brace.


hauptjm posted 01-18-2002 02:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Good point! In my case I can't use a brace because of the Armstrong Bracket. For others without a bracket, do you use a brace?
JFM posted 01-18-2002 03:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
I always use a brace with a safety cable latched on both ends. Then you can let the engine ride free from being locked. Regards, Jay
JBCornwell posted 01-18-2002 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
I always trailer with the engine at about half-mast, Hauptjm, and braced to the trailer, rigged as JFM describes.

I am sure that the Merc manual merely wants to protect the latch and overstates the case.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

sorcerer posted 01-18-2002 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for sorcerer    
Generally the initial "position" is such that the motor is attached to the transom of the boat whether trailering or in the water :)

You trailer the motor up... period.... there is to great of a chance your going to bang the hell out of the skeg even if your boat is sitting high up on the trailer with the motor down. If you need more support or just feel insecure then add a brace. You want the motor secured not bouncing around

Make sure the boat is on the trailer! I mean that you don't have a foot or so hanging off the trailer, the stern keel must be no less than 6" off from the last trailer cross member, better yet only a couple inches. You want the weight of the motor transferred through the transom to the trailer cross member.

The only reason for the latch as most outboard mfg.'s state it put there for trailering and keeping the motor out of the water when at a dock or in a slip keeping the slim and the other baddies from accumulating on the lower sections.

triblet posted 01-18-2002 06:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I trailer with the motor up and "latched", that
is using OMC's brace that takes the load off
the trim and tilt but still transfers it to the
transom, not the trailer.

There's probably less strain on the transom
with the motor up than down as the CG of the
motor moves forward when you tilt it.


andygere posted 01-18-2002 07:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I tow with the motor up and latched, with the wheel bungeed to the rail so the motor is centered and won't flop or bounce side to side. It's a heavy-duty bungee.
alvispollard posted 01-18-2002 09:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for alvispollard  Send Email to alvispollard     
I trailer with the Mariner 100 hp at 45 degrees on a transom saver. My Yamaha 8 hp is at 60 degrees on a transom saver. 1990 Montauk transom in good shape. Trailer over 3000 miles/yr from Ohio Valley to Lake Erie and Atlantic Beach, NC. Trailer is a Long galvanized that is made for an 18' boat. Transom of 16'7" Montauk sits completely on bunks with 2" to spare. Good combination the past 9 years.
Tight lines and safe boating.
Hank posted 01-19-2002 12:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hank  Send Email to Hank     
Motor up and latched. Transom load on the trailer. No overhang of boat over end of trailer. Montauk with 90 HP Evinrude.
jimh posted 01-19-2002 12:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
On my 15-Sport the 50-HP Merc is in its normal operating position. There is plenty of ground clearance because the trailer frame is flat, no vee-frames, and the trailer has 13-inch tires. This moves the boat high enough above the road that there is no need to tilt the motor up.

On my 20-Revenge I trailer with the motors just slightly tilted up, at the point where the dual hydraulic rams for the "trim" change over to the single ram for the "tilt."

The engines sit at the point where they have just come down to contact the dual rams of the trim cylinders. This gives adequate ground clearance for the skegs, although I keep an eye out for driveways with big dips in them which might bottom out.

On the highway there does not seem to be a problem. (I picked this up from lhg who has about 100,000 miles more highway trailering than I've done.)

FISHNFF posted 01-19-2002 02:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
I have alwas trailered with the motor up except for my 13' Sport w/50 Yamaha. The trailer was flat and the skeg was high enough (an inch below trailer frame) for clearance. I am very skeptic about transom savers. I only believe their worth on non power tilt motors. In a perfect world where there was absolutely no movement between boat and trailer, then fine. I think transom savers can actually do damage. Just my .02. A very interesting product I have just ordered is a Lock-N-Stow from Swivl-Eze. One end locks into the tilt pin holes on the bracket and the other end cradles the two spots where the motor would normally contact the trim rod. This wuld move some of the pressure lower on the transom.
simonmeridew posted 01-19-2002 06:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
My Johnson 70 has GOT to be up when I trailer. To me the only disadvantage of the Vee type trailers. The motor does have a really nice transport support with auxilliary up/down buttons on the side of themotor so it's easy to do
Arch Autenreith posted 01-19-2002 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Engine up and locked. 275 pound 80 hp Mariner. I only put it down when I park it. I would prefer to leave it down when trailering but, unlike jimh, I'm certain I'll forget and drive over some part in the road that will bang the skeg and/or prop.


Tallydon posted 01-19-2002 12:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tallydon  Send Email to Tallydon     
It is my understanding that transom savers are for use in bass boats and other non saltwater boats. Their transoms are not heavy duty and their motors weigh quite a bit for the size of the boat. A 200 hp motor is not uncommon on a 17' boat. I trailer with the motor up because I don't have much skeg clearance when it is down.
Dr T posted 01-19-2002 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Up and locked on my 13 Sport with an 82 Johnson 35 hp. As Chuck Triblet has noted it moves the CG forward. Also, I don't want the prop to get road rash.

I usually tie down the wheel with the steering cranked all the way to the right. Given some of the roads and mountain passes I travel over, I use two transom straps: One in the usual position and one between the console and the back seat. The steering wheel is a handy place to tie off the excess webbing.


Andy Holmes posted 01-19-2002 03:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Andy Holmes  Send Email to Andy Holmes     
I trailer my 17' Standard/75 HP Merc. at about a 45 degree angle and braced. this allows plenty of ground clearance from the skeg, and is a very stable configuration for going over bumps, driveway aprons, etc. Trailer has bunks and keel rollers allowing very little motion if any, of the boat relative to the trailer.
smcleod posted 01-19-2002 05:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for smcleod  Send Email to smcleod     
I use a support. This is from my '98 Merc 225 Offshore manual:

"Trailering Boat/Outboard

Trailer your boat with the outboard tilted down (vertical operationg position).

If additional ground clearence is required, the outboard should be tilted up using an accessory outboard support device. Refer to you local dealer for recommendations. Additional clearance may be required for railroad crossings, driveways and trailer bouncing.

IMPORTANT: Do not rely of the power trim/tilt 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.

Shift the outboard to forward gear. This prevents the propeller from spinning freely."

imho, seems goofy to have a tilt support that cannot support the motor while trailering... I've always done it with my old OMC motors.

Seattlerocket posted 01-19-2002 09:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Seattlerocket  Send Email to Seattlerocket     
2002 13' sport 40 HP Merc 2 stroke.
Local sales rep & Merc manual say all the way on the EZ loader tralier.
SO thats what I have been doing, but this motor only rest on a 1" diamiter pin. Not a bar like my budies early 90's 145 merc on his Searay.
Tsuriki BW posted 01-20-2002 02:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
Same subject on a different forum. Guy mentioned braces offered from Cabela's. Thought I would post the link for ref only.


Hope this works.


Tsuriki BW posted 01-20-2002 02:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     

Seems like the posting screen, at lease on my MAC notebook, adjusts itself to the longest line.

My VERY long Cabela URL post seems to have streched the window so you have to scroll to see the regular posts.

Sorry guys, I'll be more careful in the future.


triblet posted 01-20-2002 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Same stretch is happening with a Windoze
PC with Nescape 4.78.


sorcerer posted 01-20-2002 12:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for sorcerer    
Never trailer using the tilt hydraulics for holding up the motor, you will find it will eventually fail. Absolutely not designed for holding the motors up while trailering.

Mr. Triblet and Dr. T are 100% correct. You place approximately 75 to 80% of the motor weight when titled up on the transom. This is transferred down to the supporting trailer cross member. Eliminates the pulling away force from the transom when the motor is down. Remember the transom is angled. If you don't like that idea then put them down and risk the other consequences as outlined in other post.

Take a moment and visualize the motor weight carrying points on a transom with the motor up and then down.

So Mercury has a tilt latch which can't be used to support the motor while trailering, only when in a static condition. Genius pure genius.

This stuff is pretty basic at least for non-Merc owners. Appears Merc owners have to be more creative. Then again they always had to be to get anywhere. Just a laugh so don't go crazy.

FISHNFF posted 01-20-2002 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
Interesting that the motor support bracket I posted earlier made by Swivl-Eze only lists two models. One for Merc 75+ and one for the Merc Opti's. See it in the new Bass Pro Catalog.
jimh posted 01-20-2002 11:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Fixed long URI] The wide window effect is not a platform specific problem. The browswer tries not to break words in a line, and the long URI, since it has no spaces, just looks like a long word.
goldstem posted 01-21-2002 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for goldstem  Send Email to goldstem     
1972 21' outrage w/1981 evinrude 140
we used to trailer with the motor up, but
the corroded tilt lock snapped.
The hydrolics are shot on this motor, so now
I put in temporary tilt pin in the uppermost hole to add a little clearance when trailering - mostly for driveways and potholes.
witness posted 01-21-2002 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for witness  Send Email to witness     
We trailer our 25 with the engines down, it has at least a foot of clearance, and our 22 with the engines in the "latched" position.
hauptjm posted 01-22-2002 12:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
After 26 replies, I guess the majority trailer in the up position. Of course, this is entirely unscientific. I use the "kick stand" to relieve any stress on hydralics and to date it has never failed.

One thing about having your motor mounted to an Armstrong bracket, is thinking about your motor hanging out several feet off the transom. Then there's the resulting forces of leveraging 450 lbs. on the transom, etc., etc. Sometimes it doesn't seem humane to the boat to put it through the stress, but in the 7 years it has been installed, no problems.

MilwaukeeWhaler posted 01-22-2002 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for MilwaukeeWhaler  Send Email to MilwaukeeWhaler     
I used to tow with 90 Merc in the locked position. I now use a piece of 1/2 in plywood pinched between the motor and the motor mount. The piece is just long(wide) enough to allow plenty of skeg clearance. This also lowers the motor a bit so I don't have as much bouncing. I was told by my dealer that the transom can handel anything the road can dish out. When I mentioned motor brace he said that would do more harm than good. The brace attaches to the crossmember. Remember the crossmember is closer to the road than the transom. His theory is that the trailer obsorbs the rough road before it shakes the boat. If you attach the motor brace to the crossmember you are creating a rougher ride for your motor than normal. Made sense to me.
kamml posted 01-22-2002 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamml  Send Email to kamml     
Lots of good replys to my question from an earlier post, even with the Merc joke. When I rode a motorcycle it was a Yammie. I had three of them and everyone of them was a great machine. I am on my fourth boat and 5th Merc. I like the plywood idea from the last post, real simple, not too elegant, but it sounds effective. Ken
Jim Bennett posted 01-22-2002 10:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jim Bennett  Send Email to Jim Bennett     
My $.02, maybe $.20 since it's kind of long. Whenever I trailered my 68 Sakonnet with either 68 Merc 100 or 79 Merc 115, I supported motor in raised position with about 15" length of steel angle iron in bracket and above the "kickstand". Never had any problems but never trailered for more than 100 miles.

Last summer to bring my 73 Outrage 21 project from Florida to Ohio, ~1000 miles, Itrailered it with PT/T supporting its 88 Merc 150 in raised position. No problems. After dismantling the boat for painting, etc and no functional PT/T (all controls and battery removed), it was trailered about 30 miles starting out in raised position using only the "kickstand". At end of trip motor had bounced off stand and was fully down. Fortunately no damage. Subsequently was trailered about 10 miles to fiberglass/paint shop but used trusty steel angle iron to support in raised position and secured with bungee cords. Left boat and motor at shop and when returned to check progress on boat after motor had been removed, found that trusty steel angle iron had bent from weight of 150 Merc. Moral of the story: In order to trailer boats with motor raised will have to get new angle iron to trailer Sakonnet but will use PT/T for Outrage with maybe another angle iron or plywood or 2x4 for additional support.

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