Boat Motor Supports and Transom Savers

Boat Motor Supports & Transom Savers How-Tos

The Benefits to Having a Transom Saver/Motor Support System

Like many other boaters, you most likely have heard about boat motor supports & transom savers. Before dwelling on the subject, it's important to understand what a transom is and what it does in a boat. A transom is part of the boat hull which forms the back wall or square-end of the boat. It helps in transferring the load or stress from the front and sides of the hull to the keel. The keel is the boat's backbone hence can withstand a lot of load or stress.

What Is A Transom Saver?

In very large vessels such as ships, the transom is an internal structure. On a yacht, it may form the entire lateral wall while in a small boat it can only support the outboard motor. Ordinarily, the boat transom is designed to support an outboard motor while in the water. When being towed on land, there is immense pressure or strain placed on the transom. This becomes even greater when being hauled on rough terrains, potholed road, or unbeaten tracks. Saving the transom from undue stress while trailering it, a special device known as a transom saver is installed on the boat.

Why Install Boat Motor Supports & Transom Savers

Many people are always trailering the boat. They always make sure to harness it safely on the trailer. Nonetheless, the boat as well as an outboard motor are still at risk if a transom saver hasn't been installed.

The most common risks are as follows:

Weak transom:- The transom bears the entire weight of the boat as well as the motor hence its structure will weaken overtime.

Wear on the steering cables:- The bumps and vibrations will also accelerate the wear and tear on the steering cables.

Damage to the Motor:- Boat engines are designed to maintain a vertical position. The only time they are to be tilted is when being docked or going through shallow water. Therefore, trailering may damage the motor.

Stabilizes The Engine: - A motor support ensures the engine remains in the same position throughout the towing. This also improves the trailering.

Things You'll Require

  • Boat that comes with an outboard motor
  • Transom saver
  • Trailer
  • A long bungee cord

1. Pull the boat out of water and use the trailer straps to secure it. Use the trim/tilt switch to raise the motor to its highest point. The switch may be found on either the control console or the outboard motor. Secure the motor using the lock pin commonly located below the cowl.

2. There are two ways of supporting the motor. This will depend on the type of transom. The first one comes with a jointed arm which folds up when being stored. Extend the arm until it locks into place. The second type features a rigid arm. Place the arms locking end in the slot located where the transom connects to the trailer. Turn it to secure it in place.

3. Release the lock pin and use the trim/tilt switch to lower the motor until the outboard's motor shaft sits on the transom saver's extended arm. Ensure there are no gaps between the extended arm and motor.

4. Use the bungee-type cord to secure the outboard motor firmly. Hook one end of the cord to the eye-bolt or metal loop on the transom's extended arm. Wrap the cord around the outboard motor and hook it to the eye-bolt or metal loop that is located on the other end of the transom's arm.


The bungee-type cord usually comes with the transom saver.

Don't lower the outboard motor too much as this will put extra strain on the arm. This may lead to the arm bending or even breaking.

Although looking basic, a transom saver goes a long way in saving you from headaches and huge repair costs. Without the motor support in place, you run the risk of damaging a skeg besides weakening the boat's structure. Different transoms work in various ways and are suited for particular boats. It's, therefore, important to find one that suits your boat. For instance, the most popular one features a bar stretching from the trailer to the outdrive. Extra care should be taken when installing a transom on a boat that doesn't have a hydraulic trim or tilt. Simply placing boat motor supports & transom savers without first securing the motor with bungee cords or straps will still affect the transom.

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