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Old 11 July 2008, 16:50   #1
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Long Distance Trailering

What should I do with my opti on a long (500 mile) journey? Trimmed fully down reduces all the strains but leaves bottom of the leg quite close to the road. Partially trimmed puts all the mechanical stresses on the hydraulic system?? And should I put a rachet around the engine to stop it bouncing up due to vibration if we hit a pot hole?

Thanks

Bruce
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Old 11 July 2008, 17:05   #2
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Ask a 100 people Bruce and get a hundred different answers

I'm assuming you have no built in special bracket for allowing the engine to be tilted off the hydraulics like I do on the Evinrude?

To be on the safe side you could wedge a peice of wood between the saddle and engine mounting and ratchet that all in place but IMHO this is a bit of an overkill.

To put things into perspective just remember that whilst underway at speed and trimmed up, you have all the engine forces going though the hydraulics, everytime the hull hits the Sea you'll have more forces going though the transom than you ever will on the back of a suspensioned trailer, with this reasoning in mind I suspect tilting the outboard using the hydraulics to give the road clearance needed will be plenty good enough.
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Old 11 July 2008, 22:16   #3
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IMO, it's the bouncing of the engine that causes the problem, either for the transom, or the hydraulics.

The cheap route would be to take a piece of 2x4 and run it between the outboard mount and the LU, and drop the motor on top of it. That will keep any bouncing from affecting the hydraulic seals. Doesn't do anything for the motor oscillating on the transom, though. A strap might help that (I'd run it corner to corner on the trailer, and over the LU.)

A second method would be to buy or build a "transom saver" that cradles the LU towards the bottom, and braces it against the trailer. That will do the same for the hydraulics, and reduce stress on the transom.

If you don't plan on doing this trip often, simply use the tilt lock on the outboard (up position.) Be a bit cautious, as most I've seen are not too robust. A strap would probably be wise there, as well.

jky
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Old 12 July 2008, 03:57   #4
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[QUOTE=Hightower;256136] Ask a 100 people Bruce and get a hundred different answers

I'm assuming you have no built in special bracket for allowing the engine to be tilted off the hydraulics like I do on the Evinrude?

Yep, an Opti 150 has a 'trailer rest', you have to look for it though. Alternatively, you could trim down and wedge a bit of 4x2 in there.
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Old 12 July 2008, 06:56   #5
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many people in the USa use a slip over tube made of Urethane or similar to cushion the blows. Can't find the link at the moment though. Looks like it's made out of the same material as Polybushes.
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Old 12 July 2008, 07:40   #6
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I trim the engine down on a bit of 4x2" as recommended by the dealer who services mine, a round trip for us if we launch at Southampton is over 300 miles and no problems so far

I tie it to the engine in case it came off going down the road

Jim
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Old 12 July 2008, 14:22   #7
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Originally Posted by jyasaki View Post
IMO, it's the bouncing of the engine that causes the problem, either for the transom, or the hydraulics.

The cheap route would be to take a piece of 2x4 and run it between the outboard mount and the LU, and drop the motor on top of it. That will keep any bouncing from affecting the hydraulic seals. Doesn't do anything for the motor oscillating on the transom, though. A strap might help that (I'd run it corner to corner on the trailer, and over the LU.)

A second method would be to buy or build a "transom saver" that cradles the LU towards the bottom, and braces it against the trailer. That will do the same for the hydraulics, and reduce stress on the transom.

If you don't plan on doing this trip often, simply use the tilt lock on the outboard (up position.) Be a bit cautious, as most I've seen are not too robust. A strap would probably be wise there, as well.

jky
I've seen this arrangment whilst in the States on numerous boat trailers where a pole attatches to the engine leg and trailer to stop this bounce. So what happens if the boat moves on the trailer whilst in transit? I always thought this was a bit dodgy? It's obviously very common though.
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Old 12 July 2008, 14:28   #8
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Just out of curiosity I'd like to ask you all a question:

Do you think the transom/engine bracket/hydraulics is subject to more forces sat on the back of a trailer going down a bumpy road or wave hopping in the high Sea's?
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Old 12 July 2008, 15:08   #9
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Andy

I couldn't agree more that connecting the engine leg solidly to the trailer is a terrible idear.

As you say if the boat moves even a few mm the whole force will be through the hydraulics.

I also see where you are coming from with the forces involved whilst actually on the water.

My thoughts are that on the water the forces are greater, especially with a bigger engine. BUT, on the trailer the forces are likely to be shorter and sharper, so have the possibility to cause more damage.

I made up a wooden block with faces covered in old carpet that I power the engine down on to. Then I run a small ratchet strap around the engine leg and to eye bolts in the transom to stop it bouncing.
Some that have seen it have commented on what a neat solution it is.
If I get a chance tomorrow I'll set it up and take a photo.

Nasher.
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Old 12 July 2008, 15:46   #10
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Originally Posted by Nasher View Post
Andy

I couldn't agree more that connecting the engine leg solidly to the trailer is a terrible idear.

As you say if the boat moves even a few mm the whole force will be through the hydraulics.

I also see where you are coming from with the forces involved whilst actually on the water.

My thoughts are that on the water the forces are greater, especially with a bigger engine. BUT, on the trailer the forces are likely to be shorter and sharper, so have the possibility to cause more damage.

I made up a wooden block with faces covered in old carpet that I power the engine down on to. Then I run a small ratchet strap around the engine leg and to eye bolts in the transom to stop it bouncing.
Some that have seen it have commented on what a neat solution it is.
If I get a chance tomorrow I'll set it up and take a photo.

Nasher.
Knowing how good you are at dreaming up ingenious soloutions Nasher, it'll be well over engineered.

You can never be over careful in looking after your equipement etc. I have a very strong intergrated bracket I can lower my outboard onto, so am very lucky in that I can completely remove the hydraulic rams from the engine bracket once in the tilted position. Still I would go as far to as say that this bracket is weaker in construction than the hydraulic assembley of the Tilt Trim system.

Having worked on hydraulics I would say that these Rams have a higher rating than a 5 tonne car/pallett jack/trucks and that the pivot pin area of the bracket and casting of the saddle is far more likely to be damaged than the hydraulic cylinders used for outboards. I would say that the majority of the weight of the outboard is still supported by the hinge assembly, even when tilted fully up.
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Old 12 July 2008, 19:20   #11
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Do you think the transom/engine bracket/hydraulics is subject to more forces sat on the back of a trailer going down a bumpy road or wave hopping in the high Sea's?
I would think on the road (perhaps not more forces, but different forces, I guess...)

Wave hopping, you have quite a bit of force pushing the lower unit in towards the hull; it is released when the prop comes out of the water, and reapplied when the LU reeneters the water.

On the trailer, the motor is free to move to the extent of free-play in the entire tilt mechanism and steering system. Unlike in the water, it is free to oscillate against whatever stops are there, in both directions. The force applied by the momentum is then transferred to the transom, then the hull.

Then, too, you have the boat designed to handle the on-water stresses. The trailering forces are incidental.

Note that I have no data to back any of this up; but most of the stuff I've broken (and quite a bit that others have broken) was during trailering.

jky
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Old 13 July 2008, 13:59   #12
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Some pics of my set up as promised.

Note the strap and snap buckle to stop me losing the 'block' if it ever does fall out. Although thats quite unlikely.

Nasher.
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Old 13 July 2008, 16:32   #13
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Some pics of my set up as promised.

Note the strap and snap buckle to stop me losing the 'block' if it ever does fall out. Although thats quite unlikely.

Nasher.
How heavy is that outboard Nasher?
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Old 13 July 2008, 17:21   #14
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How heavy is that outboard Nasher?

211Kgs apparently, which I believe is quite light for a 200HP Fuel injected engine.

Note in the close up pics you can see the two bent bits of metal that are the 'proper' trailering rests.
I wouldn't trust them at all, although I've never tried them as the engine has to be almost horizontal to get them in place.

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Old 14 July 2008, 05:29   #15
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Some pics of my set up as promised.

Note the strap and snap buckle to stop me losing the 'block' if it ever does fall out. Although thats quite unlikely.

Nasher.
That looks a well thought out solution,I've never been sure what to do with this issue,what I can say is, I trailered a105kg engine on the back of a SR4 for (to do the sums) 11,000 miles over a ten year period using the tilt lock mechanism, with no ill effects. Everyone who saw it said "big mistake",but I had no probs.

I think the whole units suffers far more on the trailering bit than in the water, the shocks and rebounds are more violent (and i'm carefull), just my view.
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Old 14 July 2008, 06:50   #16
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My engine will drop after about 5 miles if I rely on the tilt lock! - I don't have PTT (cue my usual request for an old one that someone doesn't want! ) so It doesnlt "self support" at all. I now have a similar device to Nasher, made from a bit of 2x2 with a hole drilled for the tilt pin and a couple of grooves i nthe top to locate it on the leg. A suitable length'ed & looped piece of rope lashes the leg to the tilt pin, sandwiching & compressing the wooden support in the middle. 2 mis to fit, holds the whole lot absolutely solid.

Although the skeg is "well" clear of the road on a nice flat surface when down, I have a speed bump to get over every trip....... That 6" clearance you have could dissappear very suddenly! (On "my" speed bump I would be looking at a slighty flat tyre would be enough to get contact!)

My vote would be a support bracket to the engine, and tow with it up.
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Old 14 July 2008, 07:22   #17
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I use the usual bit of hardwood with a ratchet strap round the engine leg to both U bolts on the transom. I like the refinements of the carpet and the retaing strap though and will pinch that idea!
I have never figured out how the transom savers work, they are recommended in most outboard manuals but I have never figured how they account for the movement of the boat on the trailer?
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Old 14 July 2008, 08:21   #18
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I have never figured out how the transom savers work, they are recommended in most outboard manuals but I have never figured how they account for the movement of the boat on the trailer?
Likewise, but I wonder, do they fall into the "Mixed nuts - WARNING -MAY CONTAIN NUTS" category of advice?

I have to say, if my transom was at risk of coming off as a result of driving over a pothole, I wouldn't be going to sea with it!
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