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mrjigger

transom saver/motor support

25 posts in this topic

I was just wondering what everyone uses to support their transoms/motors on their boats. I have 175 VMAX hpdi on the back of my 02 crestliner. Last year my transom saver broke and I have not replaced it yet. Is there a better alternative to a transom saver? I did an internet search and came across a product called the m-y wedge. Anyone use one instead of a transom saver. What other options are out there.

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The trouble with the m-y wedge is that it's not transmitting any of the load of the engine moving around to the trailer frame - it's still going through the transom. It's cushioning the motor, but about all it's doing is protecting your tilt cylinder from damage.

I'd stick with a transom saver.

marine_man

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I've got the My Wedge on a 1850 Ranger w/ 150 hp Suzuki. I questioned it at time o' purchase & got this: transom saver is misleading term. The mechanic, who's also a tournament fisherman, says the transoms are built to take a lot more than what the motors going to give it bouncing down the road. His thought was that you torque on the transom much more zipping accross the rollers on the water than going down the road. His opinion is it's really there to protect your hydraulics. What's the most likely catastrophic thing to have happen going down the road. Getting rear ended?? Your lower unit is probably toast with either product but your hydraulics are probably saved w/ the My Wedge. Been working so far for me & a lot easier to put on when getting boat ready.

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I'd stick with the transom saver, it does protect your transom regardless of what others have posted. The wedge does nothing to protect the transom.

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And that's why we replace dozens of bad transoms each year at our shop. Yes, the motor exserts more tourque on the transom during use, but it's constant tourque, which is exponentially easier for the transom to handle than repeated flexing which is what happens mile after mile on the highway. The repeated bouncing and flexing makes the aluminum or fiberglass brittle and eventually crack which allows water to get to the wood which then eventually rots. The transom saver is probably the best investment you'll ever make on your boat.

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I see it doing the exact same thing as a transom saver, just a different method and location. I found a video of it to see exactly how it worked and was installed, and from what I can tell as long as the motor is tight against this wedge so that it cannot bounce, it is effectively doing the same job as a transom saver.

The key is that the engine doesn't bounce in either case. This is where the force is transmitted to the transom. If it is tight with both, then it can be considered "one" with the boat.

Force is mass multiplied by acceleration. If the mass(engine) doesn't accelerate (move) then there is no added force, or load, to the transom other than the static load...the same load as if you were sitting in the parking lot.

A transom saver doesn't transmit the load to the trailer frame...it's just keeping it from bouncing and creating this energy from occuring in the first place. Same as this wedgie thing from what I can tell.

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Steve, would you mind if I e-mailed you to ask questions about transom savers? I don't want to hijack the thread.

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Quote:

I see it doing the exact same thing as a transom saver, just a different method and location.


I agree with most of your reasoning Dan, but the transom is going to have some (hopefully small) amount of flex in it, and the motor, even if it's bottomed out on the wedge, is still going to move, flexing the transom.

I almost wonder if you'd be better of not using the wedge at all, because at least some of the bouncing / movement is going to be taken up by the tilt cylinder, kind of acting like a cushioning cylinder.

I think grounding the lower unit of the motor to the trailer is about as close as one is going to get to keeping the motor from bouncing.

marine_man

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If the motor is bottomed out on the wedge then it isn't going to move. Same as if it is bottomed out on the transom saver.

The only difference between the two methods is the location of the axis about where the moment of inertia rotates. With the transom saver it's down on the lower unit. On the Wedge it's near the center of the motor. In either case, the load on the transom is unchanged....AS LONG AS THE MOTOR DOESN'T MOVE VERTICALLY IN EITHER CASE....that is the key. If the engine is allowed to bounce or to move in some fashion, the axis then moves back to the transom and the load is increased over and above the static load of the engine at rest, which is what we boat owners are trying to prevent happening.

There are different ways to skin a cat, but the result is the same....a skinned cat. This is no different but it has been drilled into everyone that the classic transom saver is the only option and end of story. This is just a different method of skinning that same cat. grin.gif

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Quote:

If the engine is allowed to bounce or to move in some fashion, the axis then moves back to the transom and the load is increased over and above the static load of the engine at rest, which is what we are trying to prevent happening.


Are you assuming then that the transom is completely rigid? I agree with everything you've explained, however, I would make the argument that the transom is not completely rigid, and by coupling the motor to the motor mounts you've now increased the rotating mass (again, making the assumption that the transom is not 100% rigid).

I'm all for doing something different and am not stuck in the old paradigm of the transom saver's the only way.

The other benefit of a trasom saver is that you're supporting part of the motor load via the transom saver, in effect, putting a little lighter load on your transom.

marine_man

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The Motor moves "bounces" way more with the wedge then the transom Saver.

I use a piece of wood..... grin.gif.... I prefer OAK!

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Yep, that's what I've used...a piece of 2x4 on my 60HP. Same idea as the wedgie but cheaper and nobody wants to steal it. grin.gif

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Quote:

Yep, that's what I've used...a piece of 2x4 on my 60HP


Bigger motor = more weight, more flexing. You're talking about a 60 hp, the original poster is talking about a 175 V Max. I just think transom savers are time tested and proven, and to me seem to be a better design than the other thing.

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Yep, the 175 is heavier without a doubt and will cause more stress....but the transom is also heavier to endure that extra weight.

Doesn't matter size or weight, the physics remain the same. No bounce = no added load to the transom. If this Wedge deal doesn't allow for bounce, then I'd say it's the better design as it's smaller, less cumbersome, and easier to store.

I'm not lobbying for this thing, I'm just saying don't rule it out as it may do the job just as well. I find it somewhat puzzling that it is discredited when it's acting on the same principle and obtaining the same result.

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Oh God Now We have two engineers arguing grin.gif. I know it that last year I held off buying a boat that had a 175 hanging on it because the transom was coming apart. I can not image the wedge would work the same as the regular transom saver. To me at least with the transom saver some of the weight has to be coming off the back end of the transom into the trailer it has to. Sure with the wedge you are eliminating some of the bounce but there is still flex in the transom if it is alum. or fiber there is still room for it to flex. I am not saying the transom saver takes the flex off the transom but I personally think it would.

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Arguing with an engineer is a lot like wrestling in the mud with a pig. After a few hours, you realize that he likes it.

grin.gif

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Quote:

Arguing with an engineer is a lot like wrestling in the mud with a pig. After a few hours, you realize that he likes it.

grin.gif


LMAO That's the truest statement I've ever heard.

By the way, vermillionfox, you may e-mail me at www.boat@hickorytech.net

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Quote:

Arguing with an engineer is a lot like wrestling in the mud with a pig. After a few hours, you realize that he likes it.

grin.gif


Ha that is a very true comment. Well at least you are both Bison so that is worth something.

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On my 90hp Johnson, it has a support arm that tilts down. After you tilt the motor up, flip the support arm down, I lower the motor and it rests on this arm. The motor is then almost horizontal to the transom. I'm thinking this is much like the "wedge". Think a transom saver would be better/worse? My brother has used the 2X4 "wedge" all his life with up to 250hp motors. Never exhibited any transom problems.

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Steve,

I tried e-mailing at address you posted, but it keeps getting kicked back. Am I missing something?

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Dave, the support leg you speak of will stop the outboards downward bounce but no support on the upward bounce off the hydraulics.

Lets look at what happens when you go over a bump. The initial thrust is upwards, thats also the greatest thrust.

The lower unit wants to go down and is stopped by the support leg. That force transfers from the support leg and wants to push the powerhead down on the other end of the fulcrum. Nothing is there to stop that movement other then the hydraulics. During this whole process the transom has to take the abuse.

A transom saver will stop the forces in both directions.

Heres where transom savers will do more harm then good.

If the boat isn't strapped down to the trailer to allow absolutely not lift over bumps then the transom saver is in essence holding the boat to the trailer by the lower unit which in turn is putting a ton of force on the transom.

Having said that most boats I've seen with transom savers aren't strapped or still allow some amount of separation of boat and trailer over bumps. The idea that the boats weight will hold it onto the trailer is false. Fact is the heavier your boat weighs it has all that much more mass to damage your transom over bumps. A bump doesn't care what your boat weighs, it will thrust it up.

What ever you choose your not going to take the weight of the outboard off the transom with any device. What you can do is stop that lever action on the transom. If you grabed your lower unit and lifted up you can put a lot more force on the transom then you could if you grabed the power head and lifted because of leverage. That leverage is what you what to control. Best way to do that is lower the lower unit as far as possible when trailering, why because most forces will be directly to the motor mounts with the least amount leverage working on the transom. Second and the most important is anchor the lower unit(lever) from moving.

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Frank, that's a great explanation. Thanks.

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Quote:

lower the lower unit as far as possible when trailering, why because most forces will be directly to the motor mounts with the least amount leverage working on the transom


This is a great point. I see many, many boats on the trailer where the motor is trimmed up much too high. The tilt lock that comes on the motor is not designed for trailering your boat. As Frank stated, you want the motor as vertical as possible, and with no bounce.

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sorry, vermillion, my bad. It's boat@hickorytech.net without the www

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Thanks Steve.

E-mail is on its way!

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