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Old 05-18-2017, 09:05 PM   #1
kawishiwi
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Default First big tow

I am taking my boat for its first trip away from Winni to spend a week on Champlain.
This will be the first time I've trailered a boat with an engine > 25HP.
The boat is a 17ft alum. walk-thru w/115hp outboard. What do I need to do to protect the motor? Seems like letting it ride trimmed up or down could be a problem. Do I need a brace for the motor?
Any and all tips for the motor or towing in general are much appreciated!
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:34 AM   #2
Loub52
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Off topic, but a reminder that zebra mussels and other invasive species thrive in Lake Champlain: https://www.lakechamplaincommittee.o...ecies-in-lake/
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:07 AM   #3
winniskier
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Default Please be careful

I hope that all of us, particularly those who love Winnipesaukee, are extra careful when it comes to zebra mussels and other invasive species. Sorry if I sound preachy, but when I see a round trip to Lake Champlain, I feel the need to speak up.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:46 AM   #4
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You should tow it with the motor trimmed down as far as you can(leaving room for your skeg if you hit a bump and the trailer suspension flexes. This will take the stress off the transom and trim. If you have a gas shut off i would recommend shutting the fuel off also. Make sure anything that could fly out during your trip even seat cushions are stowed away. I have buddies tell me that heavy seat cushions were missing when they got to their destination.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:47 AM   #5
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For long distance towing these are pretty much mandatory. The transom tie downs secure your boat hull to the trailer and pull it down tight to the trailer bunks and keep it from bouncing on the trailer and stressing the hull, combined with a transom saver that takes (*some*) of the weight of the motor and transfers it to the boat trailer. These two items used together properly represent the very best way to tow your boat over long distances.

Ratchet Transom Tie-Downs


Transom Saver






(*some*) Some of the better brands of transom savers are spring loaded. You only want to have this item under a moderate load, meaning just enough to take the *some* of the weight of the outboard motor and transfer it to the trailer.

A few other tips, put the outboard motor in gear, either (forward or reverse) the properer should never be spinning from the wind pressure pushing against it. The inner seals are lubricated with gear case oil. The outer seals somewhat depend on water to help keep them lubricated. It might look cool as your going down the road with a spinning propeller but it's actually damaging the outer propeller shaft seal if it spins and is not getting water splashed on it once in a while. Don't forget to check tire pressure too, often overlooked. Long trips can really do a lot of damage to boat trailer tires if they are under inflated. Don't assume they should be at 35psi. On the side of the tire there should be information on what the correct tire pressure should be. On my trailers they are supposed to be at 50 psi and it always seems a little weird putting that much on them, but that is what they are supposed to have to keep them from over heating. Check the wheel bearings too, a few shots of fresh grease on them is always a good idea.

Last edited by Top-Water; 05-19-2017 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:58 AM   #6
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I did this about 20 years ago with a similar rig. I put a tie-down across the bow as well as the stern. (Using dock lines for this will work as well.) I used a 'transom saver' but some folks are comfortable adding a wood block or 2X4 between the shaft and the transom. Just make sure it's secured with more than just pressure.

Bring passports in case you decide to pop-over the line. There is/was a customs barge operated by Canada where you can check-in. Their safety equipment needs are close to ours but a 'throw-bag' is mandatory. If you have an unlicensed VHF, they will issue you a temporary license unless you declare you will only use it in an emergency.

Try to get a chart in advance. The campground I stayed at only had a fishing map. At my first gas-stop I got all 3 chart sections but (IMO) the fishing map had the same depths and buoys plus fishing spots so I could have gotten by with that.

There is a lot less to do shore-side than Winni but you're there for the water so who cares, right?
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:17 PM   #7
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Default Bearings and spare

Like-Top water said " Check the wheel bearings too, a few shots of fresh grease on them is always a good idea." I can't stress that enough (from experience). A bearing going bad on a long trip can ruin things in a hurry. Also it's really good to have a spare tire/wheel (also from experience). Back in the days when we towed the boat back home here in Beverly, a one and a half hour trip turned into about 5 because I had no spare. Have a great trip; Champlain is a beautiful lake.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:33 PM   #8
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Check your engine, but generally the is a small lever that you flop into place, and allows the engine to rest on, that will take the pressure of off the hydrolic trim ram.....

My father had a Tower of Power for 30 years, on a boat that we trailered all over the place.... we never needed one of those fancy Transom savers to take the relieve some of the wait...

Disclaimer...... Things may have changed.... Engines have gotten heavier etc.....
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:10 PM   #9
Top-Water
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Good luck on your trip, take some pictures. As far as towing the boat goes, I guess you will have to decide for yourself on what you should use to support the engine while towing. The article link below describes some of the pros & cons. Personally I never tow (over long distances) without one. I highlighted a few sections of the article based on your boat description and something worth noting.

Link
http://www.boatus.com/magazine/trail...nsom-saver.asp

Quote:
Originally Posted by kawishiwi View Post
The boat is a 17ft alum.
From the article
Tracker Boats, on the other hand, endorses their use and includes a "motor toter" with all of their packages. These findings fall in line with the general notion that smaller jonboats and bass boats are more susceptible to transom damage due to their higher motor-to-boat weight ratio. Aluminum boats also seem to be more prone to damage (broken welds, popped rivets) than heavier, reinforced fiberglass transoms.

Never do this!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by LIforrelaxin View Post
Check your engine, but generally the is a small lever that you flop into place, and allows the engine to rest on, that will take the pressure of off the hydrolic trim ram.....
From the article
One universal word of caution is that the outboard's tilt bracket is designed to support the motor during maintenance or storage only and should never be used when trailering.
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:42 PM   #10
kawishiwi
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Default Many thanks

Many thanks to all who responded & special regards to Top-Water for going above & beyond in his responses.
As for Zebra mussels our plan is to trailer the boat the night before we leave & drain all water from the boat and police vegatation remains. On our way home we'll hit a car wash stall and hit it hard with a hot water wash and a second examination.
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