Transom Savers?

Discussion in 'Boating' started by riddleofsteel, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    OK

    I have learned at lot hanging around here so help me settle an argument. I was taking my boat out at the boat ramp and the guy that came in behind me had a very similar rig. I am running an Alumacraft 1648 NCS Jon boat with a Honda 25 HP outboard. He has an older 14' Sears semi V-hull with a two stroke Mercury 25 HP outboard.

    I was on the ramp strapping down my boat while he was pulling his boat out of the water. We ended up side by side on the ramp, the last two boats at the landing, so we took some time to talk fishing, boating, motors, ect.

    The argument came when he started putting a transom saver on his 25 HP Mercury. He noticed that I was not using one on my rig and you would have thought that I was wearing a dress by the way he talked to me. He proceeded to tell me the transom on my boat was doomed to failure. I told him my Honda owners manual clearly stated that the engine should be trailered in the running position if there is enough road clearance. It does mention to tighten the screw that controls the pivot tension to prevent the engine from swinging back and forth. Instead I use a small ratchet strap from one rear handle to the other across the leg of the engine to prevent it from swinging back and forth.

    I have a high trailer and the bottom of the engine has as much ground clearance as the trailer axle so I say it is fine. I called the local dealer and he told me that without power trim and tilt the transom saver could actually damage my lower unit unless I can set it up bolted solid at the trailer end and strapped tight at the lower engine leg end.

    What do you all think?
     
  2. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Messages:
    807
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    i agree with you, and do the same thing with my Mercury 25hp 2 stroke. The only thing I do that you did not mention is put the motor in gear, to keep the prop from spinning going down the road.

    Seems to me the motor in the running position puts less stress on the transom than a motor in the air, even with the saver on it.
     

  3. cat tamer

    cat tamer New Member

    Messages:
    694
    State:
    MO
    Same here, I have a suzuki 140 and trailer it in the running position without a transom saver.
     
  4. dafin

    dafin New Member

    Messages:
    1,461
    State:
    Manhattan,Kan
    I have towed about 30 years with a transom saver , never had a transom or lower unit damaged . I won't say they are necessary, but I will keep using them on my boats
     
  5. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    State:
    Supply NC
    Transom savers are just that. They keep the stress created by your motor levering/bouncing, when you hit a bump, from tearing at your transom.

    The 4 strokes with thier added weight can cause damage quicker.

    If nothing else, tie it down to prevent any movement while trailering. It'll also help prevent damage to your tilt mechanism.
     
  6. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    Just to stay focused here. My outboard does not have power trim and tilt. It is either up or down. The only adjustment is the fragile hold up lever that is used to prop up the motor while beaching or moving in shallow water.

    I looked at two different transom savers and both said that you needed power trim/tilt to use their product.
     
  7. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    Messages:
    1,711
    State:
    Independen
    My 16' Tracker v-hull w/20 Evinrude came with one so I use it. Matter of fact, the other 2 smaller boats I've owned have had them also.
     
  8. jerry9497

    jerry9497 New Member

    Messages:
    512
    State:
    Tobaccoville NC
    I'm sure it helps if you have motor up when towing but dont see how it helps much if motor down. I was going to get one for my pontoon but it wont reach the trailer. I have owned many boats, never used one and never had much trouble with transom. (mostly from rot) but have tried to figure out how to put one on 90 merc on pontoon traler. my rear cross rail on trailer is many ft away from motor with transom well in the way. I dont think its a tradgedy if you dont have one, but I like think I'm taking care of boat.
     
  9. Stubby

    Stubby New Member

    Messages:
    208
    State:
    Kansas, Ar
    When I bought my tracker (used) the guy i bought it from had one on the boat/trailer. No power Tilt but an added on hydraulic motor lift was on it, second time i pinched my finger i quit using the support...Never had used one before even on the 115hp/cajon rig. Guess maybe it's like a lot of other items we buy. Don't do much for the Fish but sure makes the fisherman happy. Of course I also removed the foot controlled trolling motor that occupied the front 1/3 of the boat. Got a nice hand controlled 40lb thrust with extended handle . Now even Sara can use it. I love my tracker just wish it was 4 inches deeper on the sides...Kaw Lake Oklahoma can get pretty rough in a short time period. And I like to fish on the wave slappin side of the lake. OR clear up in the weeds and brush. We don't fish for Big fish , we just Fish.
     
  10. cat tamer

    cat tamer New Member

    Messages:
    694
    State:
    MO
    Thanks for the input bob, I have wonderd how important the transom saver is, i will be getting one.
     
  11. blackhorse83

    blackhorse83 New Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    State:
    missouri
    I use one on my Cajun with a 150 Merc. on it, but on my 16' lowe jon boat with a 35 horse I don't I just leave it in the down position. Haven't had any problems as of yet.
     
  12. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    Think about the difference between setting 400 pounds straight down on your transom vs. pulling down on it with a 400 pound, 3 foot long pipe wrench. The leverage multiplies the weight many times, acting like a can opener (the old kind with a pointed end and a round end).

    Seems to me the worst stress on the transom would be from trailering with the motor up without a brace. I think it would be almost a tossup between motor down and motor up with a brace.
    My 40 Mariner rides in the down position.
     
  13. Wally

    Wally New Member

    Messages:
    857
    State:
    FLORIDA
    Just a short war story...

    Me and Buba picked up a 17' "Cat" Tracker with a 75 Mariner on it. It was about a 175 mile ride home. Yes...it had a transom saver on it. After we got it home, I noticed a small "RIP" in the aluminniam on the transom. "How did that get there??" The frame of the trailer, where the transom saver connected, had rusted out. It didn't break all the way off, just a few inches. It enabled the motor to bounce all the way home. It only moved a few inches but the damage was done. The Transom itself is in fine shape. Nothing real bad, just cosmetic, but it got my attention.

    I think I'll keep mine !!!
     
  14. Indigo Flats

    Indigo Flats Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Lancaster,
    I use a transom saver on my 25 hp 4 stroke on my 16 foot boat and also use a transom saver on my 200 hp on my big boat. I wouldn't think of not using them!
     
  15. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    I use one on my 200Hp Optimax and have used one on all my boats.The "Down" position is only better than the "up" position if you dont have trim and tilt because the safety the motor rides on in the up position is usually small and fragile and tend to break.Besides as someone has already said its like having a pipe wrench on your transom.Down always bothered me because you never know when you could run over something like a bump in the road and break the skeg,prop,lower unit etc.IF you are going to use a transom saver get one that fastens to the trailer on the bottom with bolts,NOT the U shaped one.Then get the one that has the spring built in, internally.That spring does as much as anything to save the motor and transom.In fact I add an additional spring which are readily available at hardware stores.Be sure NOT to compress the spring all the way if you have power trim & Tilt.:smile2:
     
  16. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    This seems like one of those topics that don't have a pat answer. I have looked at five different transom savers at stores over the past few days. Every one of them has a sticker that states;

    "WARNING: You must have power tilt and trim to use this product..."

    This indicates to me that they are designed for power tilt and trim engines. They depend on the compression of the tilt piston to lock the motor, transom saver and trailer into one solid unit.

    Seems to me that if you have to look at three factors;

    1. Do you have enough ground clearance for your motor in the down position?

    2. Are you able to lock your motor in position so it does not bounce up and down or swing on its pivot?

    3. I do not depend on your tilt and/or trim pistons to keep my engine in position so the lower unit doesn't drag the road.

    If your answer is no to any of these a transport bracket (transom saver) is required.

    I am not convinced that if your engine in the down position has road clearance, and can be strapped or locked to keep it from swinging back and forth that these devices do any good at all. Stress on your transom would seem to me to come from the engine moving. This movement translates to flex on the transom and eventual fatigue of the metal, fiberglass or wood and wear on the transom bracket pivot.
    If the engine can be secured so it does not move I fail to see were the transom is under any more stress than it is designed to carry, It would also seem that an incorrect type of transport bracket (transom saver) could actually accelerate the wear on the lower gear housing, transom pivot, and transom itself if it allows the motor to bounce.

    Until I see a transom saver that does not have a warning printed plainly about requiring power tilt and trim I guess I won't use one on my non- power tilt and trim engine.

    Interesting responses though.

    Thanks
     
  17. Hootowlc3

    Hootowlc3 New Member

    Messages:
    409
    State:
    Florida
    My fishing partner hasn't used one on his 150 hp ever. It is a 1976 I think.
    The manual on my 50 hp says use the latch and trailer the motor in the up position.
    like line and hooks, ones own personal choice.
     
  18. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    "The frame of the trailer, where the transom saver connected, had rusted out. It didn't break all the way off, just a few inches. It enabled the motor to bounce all the way home. It only moved a few inches but the damage was done."

    Proves my point that an improper transom saver is worse than none at all. If the engine had been in the run position with the lower leg secured by a strap I doubt it would has caused the damage mentioned. That is, assuming there would have been enough road clearance to run the rig that way.
    For a transom saver to work properly it must be TIGHT between the lower unit and the trailer either by piston pressure or bolts or straps or all three. If the engine can move it will and in a semi raised position it has the leverage to damage the transom.
     
  19. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Messages:
    580
    State:
    Grand River Valley, Weste
    [QUOTE

    This indicates to me that they are designed for power tilt and trim engines. They depend on the compression of the tilt piston to lock the motor, transom saver and trailer into one solid unit.

    Until I see a transom saver that does not have a warning printed plainly about requiring power tilt and trim I guess I won't use one on my non- power tilt and trim engine.

    Interesting responses though.

    Thanks[/QUOTE]

    I think you have come to the correct conclusion.
    Incidentally, since my rig has no trim/tilt, I added a towbar with a 6" drop in order to get the clearance I needed for the motor to ride in the down/run position. Works like a charm. Helps to have a truck, obviously...
     
  20. BILLYP

    BILLYP New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Fayetteville, North Carol
    I have never used a transom saver, always ran mine in the down position. Never saw the need to spend money that could be used to buy useful things like a new rod or reel.