Motor Toter - Should I Use One Motor Toter - Should I Use One
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    Motor Toter - Should I Use One
from Andrew (  
2/7/2000 9:40:00 PM


 Just bought a used boat, a 97 Gambler w/150 intruder. I noticed the boat did not have a motor toter. I asked the dealer about using a motor toter and his response was that he does not recomend using one. Should I just go along with his suggestion or what? Any advice would be helpful

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    You'll get both opinions here on the BFHP........... from Al (  2/7/2000 9:52:00 PM
 But I would expect that the majority would vote for using one. In the first place, it will support the weight of the motor and put less stress on the transom when the motor is moving around and bouncing somewhat when you're trailering. For me personally, I wouldn't dream of trailering my boat without the motor toter in place. If the motor were to bounce hard enough and the bracket that's holding the motor in place were to slip out, or if something were to go wrong with the hydraulics, the motor would come all the way to the ground, (assuming that the skeg can reach the ground), kind of a scary thought.
   my trim warranty says its required from steve (  2/7/2000 10:08:00 PM
 i have a mercury 225 and the warranty states that its required.maybe your dealer is lookin for some new fish.
   Should you.... from Rocky (  2/7/2000 10:25:00 PM
   motor toter from Trolling Motors Unltd  2/7/2000 11:07:00 PM
 I would not trailer my boat without one. Saw a boat without one. Notice the transom moving when motor was bouncing back and forth. I do not put the bungy cord around motor toter. Know of a customer of mine that had one on. Motor toter broke. Motor toter was hanging down when driving up drive way toter hit curve and cracked motor bracket. Very expensive repair.
   Waste Of Money from Dunk (  2/8/2000 6:46:00 AM
 When the engine is tilted up the load on the transom is directly above it. Using a MT does nothing to help that. The next thing is the fact that they transfer every little shock and bounce from the trailer to the engines gearcase. If you think your boat is stapped down tight to the trailer and this doesn't happen thing again. The last thing you need to do is attach your gearcase with a rod to the trailer. What your transom go's through while it's riding on the trailer is nothing compared to what it go's through when your bouncing accross a 2ft chop with the prop breaking loose and grabing. You engine running puts 20 times the twist to your transom than it does on the trailer.

Outside of short trips to the ramp I would not use the factory tilt brackets either. Granted you should not let the engine flop around back their, but it wont hurt the transom, it's the engine mounting bracket that will take the beating. Trim the engine and use a foot long 4x4 just above the trim rams and pull the engine down tight with the hydraulics and use 3/8" bungee cord to hold it down. The 4x4 should give you enough tilt so the bottom of the gearcase is above the bottom of the boat.

MT's are just something else for dealer to into your wallet for. Any boat manuf that says you need one I would run from their boat. If they don't think their transom will take a trailered ride they must be building junk. Dunk

   Not Necessary from PropR (  2/8/2000 8:06:00 AM
 Transoms are extremely tough nowadays. Someone above said they could see the transom flex when the motor bounced back and forth. What a keen eye he has! When using my trailering bracket this bouncing back and forth doesn't happen. When you consider the tremendous stress of getting a boat on plane with 2 big men, their gear, 48 gallons of gas, livewells full of water, etc. and then racing down the lake and bouncing across waves at 65 mph and this doesn't hurt anything then what possible damage could happen with your motor just hanging there going down the highway cause? When we go to fishing tournaments in a convoy, I notice the motors with the motor toters boucing too. I haven't used motor toters in any of my 18 boats, I've never had a problem with even stress cracks. My current boat which is 1 yr old doesn't even have a single tiny stress crack. However, almost everybody I know has had a motor toter come off and cause damage to something even if it's just the motor toter. I've had three dealers tell me they weren't necessary even though they sold them. I appreciated their honesty.
   wouldn't leave home without one from NealE (  2/8/2000 9:01:00 AM
 Dunk, PropR, you could be right but I still believe they help. Point of clarification: without transom tiedowns, the MT probably does more harm than good. Dunks example of the motor toter transmitting every little bounce to the motor sounds good in theory, but in my opinion those same bounces are transmitted into the boat anyway (since it is sitting on the trailer) and get transmitted to the motor bracket from the boat and that is what causes the motor to flop up and down, possibly flexing the transom. With the boat securely tied down and the MT snugged down tight, there should be very little play in the motor.
   i cant believe how dumb some of you are!!!! from steve (  2/8/2000 9:32:00 AM
 some people are just hard headed, if you can read and thats a big if. read your warranty book on the trim dunk and popr,dont tell someone to void their warranty with your unimformed info.if you dont want to use one thats fine but if the warranty says to i think to avoid any problems with the dealer or company thats selling it you should.
   Steve from BigRed (  2/8/2000 10:57:00 AM
 Now Now Steve, lets not resort to name calling. I have Evenrude 105 Jet, They don't make one for a Jet that I'm aware of. There was also nothing in my warranty that said to use one either. I think if your warranty says to use one, then by all means use one. When I had a prop, I used one. Not sure that it really protects the transom, but I could see where it would relieve some pressure on the hydraulics. I don't have to trim my motor up when I go down the road, so it doesn't bounce on trim or tilt cylinders like some do.


   What does boat manufacturer say? from wewbfoot (  2/8/2000 11:42:00 AM
 My dealer says I don't need to install one. The OB owners manual says to use one unless the motor can safely be trimmed into the full down position for trailering. I've had boats with and without them and no damage either way. I am currently trying to get a recommendation from the boat manufacturer as the hull has a 5 year transferable warranty. I'll probably install one on my new rig unless the boat builder recommends against it as the motor warranty is also something to think about. What does the manual on your OB say, if anything?
   Motor toter from Ben H (  2/8/2000 12:19:00 PM
 I know many of you do not use one, but the truth is your flirting with a failure. When the boat/motor is trailered with the engine trimmed high, you are putting stress on the top mounting holes with each bump in the road. This tends to wallow out the top mounting holes and allows water to wick into the transom thru these holes. All the silicon in the world, and all the pulltruded transoms in the world will not keep this from happening. And it does not matter whether you have an all wood transom, or a composite foam, either type can and will be damaged by the influx of water. A properly used motor toter will eliminate this type of damage. Most worry about the rough water running, but the fact is more transoms are damaged on the trailer than anywhere else. Believe what you choose, but those are the physical facts. Dealers tend to say a lot of things, but most don't have a clue.
   To Steve from PropR (  2/8/2000 12:36:00 PM
 The word motor toter or transom saver is not mentioned in my 1999 150hp Johnson's Owner's Manual. Three dealers have told me in the past they weren't necessary. Why would they tell me this if it would void my warrenty? When the trailering device is used, there is no pressure on the hydraulics but even if there was it would be nothing compared to high speed running down the lake. Also, the motor is only slightly tilted in the trailering position but it is enough to avoid road hazards. You will not void any warrenty by not using one. The manufacturer would have to prove that the damage was because you didn't use one and that would be about impossible. What kind of damage are you afraid of? Transoms are tough. If yours isn't, maybe you need a different boat although even the cheaper boats now have heavy duty transoms. Just because someone has a different oppinion than yours doesn't make them hard-headed or stupid. I think motor toters are a stupid idea. Notice, I didn't say the people that buy them.
   Motor toters/Transom saver from fastfish (  2/8/2000 1:59:00 PM
 I would never tow my boat anywhere without one I won't tell you what to do or bash anyone over what they do just telling you what I do.fastfish
   Motor toter from Spook (  2/8/2000 4:45:00 PM
 As in an earlier post, a mechanic told me not to use a strap to secure the MT. He also has seen damage when someone forgets to take the strap off,launches the boat, then drags the MT into the prop as its running. I do use a MT but quit using the strap.
   Do or Don't? from Kevin from FLŪ (  2/8/2000 5:36:00 PM
 Just an observation here in Jacksonville, FL. 95% of Bass boat owners use Transom savers, about 9% of all other types of boat owners use them. Who's right or wrong here? Are the other style boats transoms stronger than bass boat transoms or are we buying into hype. I personally have never used them on any of my boats and have had no failures. Do whatever gives you peace of mind or what your Boat/Motor owners manual says.

Just something to think about. If the Transom savers are so good, how come ALL the Boat manufactures don't specify the use of one? Kevin

   Doesn't Affect Warranty from PropR (  2/8/2000 5:47:00 PM
 I just called Bill's Marine, Portsmouth, VA. They deal with Mercury, Ranger, Astro, and Fisher. I told him about our Internet discussion regarding motor toters and what I said about them not being necessary. He said I was exactly right. They're not necessary. Not using a motor toter will not void your warranty. He said transoms now are practically indestructable and you are not going to damage it. Neither Mercury nor Ranger require them. This is what the dealer said. Four out of four dealers I've asked have told me this. Never has a dealer told me I had to use one or I would do damage or void my warranty. If you still don't believe me, call your dealer and ask them point blank. When a new boater asks if something is necessary, I give them the honest answer or I don't answer at all. If a product is not necessary, i.e., high octane gas, expensive dealer oil, motor toters, etc., I don't believe I am doing them a favor by saying it is. The phrases "cheap insurance," or "it can't hurt anything," or "that's what I use" doesn't cut it with me. If it is going to void your warranty, I will tell you so. If I am not sure of the answer, I don't give it. I hope this settles this argument once and for all.
   4 by 4 works fine for me! from Tod (  2/8/2000 6:06:00 PM
 Dunk and Prop R are absolutely correct.A boats transom is designed to withstand in excess of 3500lbs. of forward thrust.The load on a motor running across a rough chop has 30 times more force being exerted against it than hitting a bump in the road.I'll continue to use the 4x4 method.Those of you that feel they need to use a transom saver,so be it.Once a little bit of physics is applied to the question,it will become apparent that it does not matter.
   for the motor not the transom from Oley (  2/8/2000 6:21:00 PM
 my engine owners manual says,

"Trailor your boat with the outboard tilted down (verticle position). If additional clearance is required, the outboard should be tilted up using an accessory outboard support device. Additional clearance may be required for railroad crossings,driveways and trailor bouncing. IMPORTANT: Do not rely on the power trim/tilt system or tilt support lever to maintain proper ground clearance for trailoring. The outboard tilt support lever is not intended to support the outboard for trailoring."

That's out of my Merc 225 manaual and if I recall my old rude manual said about the same. So what we are trying to protect is the hydraulics and skegg from damage not the transom.

   To Oley from PropR (  2/8/2000 6:34:00 PM
 My 99 Johnson 150 has a trailering device that doesn't put pressure on the hydraulics. When I talked to the guy at Bill's Marine today (Mercury Dealer) I asked about the little bit of stress on the hydraulics having the motor tilted to avoid road hazards and compared it to the tremendous pressure on the tilt mechanism running 65 mph down the lake pushing a heavy bassboat and he agreed there was no comparison. That hydraulic motor is built to take extreme pressure.
   Good point Oley from Kevin from FLŪ (  2/8/2000 6:35:00 PM
 I've never had a Merc Tilt Support Lever brake. The 2x4 is cheaper to acomplish the same thing as is two peices of PVC pipe over the rams. Kevin
   PropR I stand corrected from Oley (  2/8/2000 6:52:00 PM
 rather than protecting the hydraulics, it's to prevent the skeg from contacting good ole terrafirma should the hydraulics leak down. But I'm probably all wet and Merc just printed that stuff in my manual so we could have something to talk about.
   Skeg from Kevin from FLŪ (  2/8/2000 7:11:00 PM
 Roland Martin did the PVC trick here at the B.A.S.S. tournament. It kept the motor off the rams and gave it clearance for trailering. I thought that was pretty slick and cheap. I just use the Trim Lever.

Hey, did you find a High Five?

   Hey PopR and from Skeptic (  2/8/2000 7:17:00 PM
 I'm glad I don't have to deal with Bill's Marine, but then again I suppose he knows more about those Merc's he sells than do the people who engineer and build them.

This is an EXACT quote from a 2000 Mercury Pro Max "Operation & Maintenance Manual" - Subject: Trailering Boat/Outboard ....

"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 accessory outboard support device. Refer to your local dealer for recommendations. Additional clearance may be required for railroad crossings, driveways and trailer bouncing.

(This part is in BOLD) “IMPORTANT: Do not rely on 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"...end quote.

So much for your ...."I give them the honest answer or I don't answer at all", proclamation!

   Physics ??? from Confused (  2/8/2000 7:39:00 PM
 Can't say to use one or not, BUT, to all the physics majors out there, the force applied to the trim hydraulics and transom would be straight forward when running, and would NOT be when trailering. A transom may be designed to withstand 3,500lbs of straight line force, but that doesn't matter when the force is applied STRAIGHT DOWN from the top as would be during trailering.
   Kevin from Oley (  2/8/2000 7:51:00 PM
 the PVC trick deffinately sounds slick, wish I'd thought of that before. I just put one of those Stow-a-savers on my trailor a couple months back. On the HiFive, I'm still holding. the spouse has put her foot down on all spending. she's doing taxes 7 seven days a week, 10-12 hours a day and she don't want me spending HER money. now there's a switch. I may take you up on trying that 26P but I really think I'll need to go the other direction like a 24P. especially in hot weather my motor really seems to bogg down.
   Pvc from Kevin from FLŪ (  2/8/2000 8:08:00 PM
 Yeh, I thought it was slick too. Let me know on the prop, the offer still stands. Kevin
   Why I use one. from JLively (  2/8/2000 8:39:00 PM
 I used to just use the built-in bracket and trim until I had the misfortune of having the motor bounce up, tilt bracket fell, and the trim had bled down. Scratch one skeg. I don't know how long I dragged that skeg down I85 but it ground it down to nothing. That's not happening again. And it occurs to me that Confused is correct in saying that the trailering force is down while the driving force is forward. Certainly not the same thing. Jim
   It`s just money from Drm (  2/8/2000 9:46:00 PM
 $800.00 is what it cost me for not using motor toter.Trim cylinder blew slap up.
   To Skeptic from PropR (  2/9/2000 7:50:00 AM
 I don't have a Mercury Manual to read. That's why I called the Mercury Dealer. My answer was honest. Coinjock Boat Barn in Coinjock, NC was another Mercury dealer I asked years ago who also told me they weren't necessary. Someone said in a previous post that no saltwater boats use transom savers. Since I live on the coast I noticed he was right. I have never seen a salt water boat with a transom saver. I guess all of them have voided or expired warranty periods. Why are bass fishermen so paranoid? What do you think is going to happen to your transom? I think you need to call your dealer and ask personally. If they say you must use one, than by all means use one until your warranty is over, then lose it. It is up to the dealer to determine if transom damage is covered and they are under the burden of determining whether the damage was caused by not using a transom saver. The only problem you are likely to have with a modern day transom is stress cracks, which are usually caused by jack plates, hitting logs at speed, etc. These are cosmetic and have no bearing on structural integrity or whether or not you use a motor toter. Again, call your dealer and ease your mind. You are going to drive yourself or your dealer crazy with all of the "what ifs."
   Hey just don't get it.. from Skeptic (  2/9/2000 9:30:00 AM
 As you addressed your last post to me ... What does warranty and/or transoms have to do with any part of my post? If Mercury says, and I quote again ... "The outboard tilt support lever is NOT intended to support the outboard for trailering.", then what are you going to do, just leave it "hanging" on the trim cylinders?

Unlike you and your saltwater friends, we bass fishermen aren't "paranoid", as you put it, we just read (something that's apparently beyond you) what the manufacturer suggests we do with our boats and motors. It's people like you who make your own opinions on "high octane gas, expensive dealer oil, motor toters, etc." (your words), then are the first ones to start crying foul when something goes wrong.

Just remember, opinions are like A...'s, everybodys got one, but the manufacturer has the FACTS.

   One final thing from PropR (  2/9/2000 12:24:00 PM
 You keep arguing with me instead of calling your dealer. I didn't make any of this up. I am telling you what the dealers say. Your manual if its like mine says use 87 octane gas yet almost everyone seems to use 89 judging by these posts. Is that going to void your warranty? NO. The manual recommends using their oil. If you don't, is it going to void the warrranty? No. My outboard has a trailering device. I can see why you might be concerned if your outboard doesn't. Here is a suggestion. When you get home from fishing, let your motor all the way down and that will release the pressure on your hydraulics however slight that may be compared to the pressure of pushing 2 or 3 thousand pounds across waves at 65 mph. I mentioned this to the dealer and he said I was absolutely right so instead of wasting your time arguing with me and saying I don't get it, argue with your dealer instead. I'll bet if you call enough dealers, someone will agree with you. I only called four.
   Hey PopR ...I concede from Skeptic (  2/9/2000 8:48:00 PM
 You apparently know much, much more than do the manufacturers, so use your 89 Octane, your Wal Mart oil and your "trailering device".

Have a happy life .... Mr. Know-It-All.

   last laugh? from TFloyd98 (  2/9/2000 9:37:00 PM
 You guys are all starting to sound like a bunch of women........but, Skeptic, that was funny!



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