Transport/motor support question

FIRE UP

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Gang,
Well, many of you have seen my recent threads on our somewhat recently acquired Benny 2550 RCL, one about polished toons and one about mold/mildew in the ski/storage compartment. Well, I've got a question for you outboard motor transport gurus. The motor we have is the Yamaha F-350 5.3L V-8 350HP version. To say the least, that's one BIG MOTOR. Now, in an effort to preserve the tail fin/skeg and rather SUPER EXPENSIVE Saltwater Series Stainless Steel prop, tilting that motor is pretty much warranted while the boat is on the trailer and, your towing it.

When the motor is all the way down, and on the trailer, I have right at 7.5" from the bottom of the skeg/tip of one blade of the prop, to the ground, NOT GOOD. So, obviously, tilting it is the name of the game here. Now, here's the deal. There is a *Ski/tow bar* that bridges the top of that motor. The boys at the dealership have electronically set the limit of tilt, so the top of the engine cowling/cover stops about 1/4" from that tow bar when tilting that motor. At that point, the skeg is right at 19 3/4" from the floor/ground. So far, when transporting that boat, I've not encountered EARTH with that skeg, in that predicament.

But, not having ANY outboard motor experience, and, seeing lots of outboard engines SUPPORTED during transport, I'm looking into some form of support for that engine while the boat's being towed. There are a few on the market. The one I like best, OF COURSE it's the most EXPENSIVE. But, you get what you pay for. The one I like is this one:


But, here's the deal. Since that Ski-Tow bar is *limiting* the up-travel of that motor for tilting, the power trim rods are only a few inches away from their contact points. What all this means is, even if I wanted to use that fancy one, there's no way on this planet I can get it in there, to support that motor. The motor does not travel up high enough, to insert that support, then let it come back town and let that support take all the weight. Based on where we live, and the distance to the boat ramp, and the road condition between here and there, I'm not too worried about it. But, if and/or when, we decide to transport this boat on the trailer any farther distances, I want to support that motor.

Now, here's a monkey wrench thrown in the game. The boys at the service dept for our boat, can eliminate that up travel limit. And, I've seen that motor come DANGEROUSLY CLOSE to that tow bar during full tilt but, it NEVER HITS it. That motor comes within about 3/16" of an inch but, doesn't hit it. We did it, at the dealer a few times just to make sure. If I were to have them electronically eliminate that up-travel limit, that would solve my problem.

HOWEVER...... while I'm not any form of a structural engineer, especially of boats, I don't know if what I'm gonna suggest here is feasible or not. What I'm wondering here is, during the off-loading and or, retrieving of that boat, when the boat is partially supported at the front by the bunks, and, partially supported by the water, and the rear-most part of the pontoons, THEN is when that motor is tilted, up or down, based on the action of launching or retrieving, IS there POTENTIAL for that boat actually BENDING, enough that, the 3/16" clearance is GONE and tilting that motor up or down, might have the cover/cowling actually come in contact with the ski/tow bar??????

Now, suggesting that a 25.5' Tri-toon Bennington boat can actually BEND, is probably for the most part, INSANE, correct? Good thing you guys aren't near me or, I'd probably get hit with a baseball bat or something... Anyway, this is my dilemma. I want to support that motor, even for short distance transport. But, I can't get/buy any factory motor supports that I can install, due to the fact that I can't tilt that motor to the fully UP position due to the fact that, it does come real close to that ski/tow bar. And, If I have that up-travel limit removed, is there a possibility during loading or off loading that boat, which also entails tilting the motor, will cause contact with that ski-tow bar, due to, for lack of a better term, *hull tweaking*??? What say all you Benny/Outboard motor experts?
Scott
 

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FIRE UP

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Wow,
55 readings and no one's got thoughts on motor support during transport? Hmmmm.
Scott
 

lakeliving

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Sorry I don't have any ideas here aside from maybe modifying the ski tow bar for more height. I live on the water so the boat doesn't travel more than a quarter mile on the trailer and my weenie f200 clears my bar just fine. But when I did tow mine from MI to FL when we moved I had the motor all the way down. I have more than 7.5" of clearance though. Good luck!
 

SEMPERFI8387

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The way the toons are bolted to the crossmembers and deck, even if it did flex, the rear transom would flex with the deck as they are all connected so the ski bar would move with the deck. I would think if there was flex, EVERYTHING would flex together so the distance would not change.
 

FIRE UP

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Ya know, I kind-a figure it that way too. I mean, if you think about it, trying to bend, all three pontoons, all at the same time, with no real down-pressure pushing in the center of the length of the boat, it would be pretty tough to *bend* that boat. And, as you say, even if there was some arcing of the deck, lengthwise, the rear, transom and all, is gonna move as a unit. That would men there *shouldn't* be any clearance change between the top of that engine and the ski-tow bar. Even though there's that 3/16" clearance, I'd sure like to increase it some, to be on the safe side. The only way would be to somehow create an arc in the horizontal part of that ski-bar. But, that's stainless and, I sure as heck can't use the top of the engine to pry on to bow that bar. Hmmm. Will have to work on this. Thanks to those who've tried to help on this.
Scott
 

Vikingstaff

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I wish I had some advice or ideas, but I do not. It sure isn’t much leeway for you at all from the sounds of it.

We are on the water, and I’ve never towed a boat anywhere, ever. I simply take it from the boat launch and drop it off there at the end of the season. Our dealer does all the rest...including towing it. Best of luck on it though.
 

SEMPERFI8387

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What if you were to have the cowl slightly modified at a competent body shop?
Juat put a slight belly in it where it meets the bar.
little fiberglass work and spray??
 

Mike31406

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Sorry, mine is on a lift. We don’t own a trailer. Hope you find a resolution.
 

kaydano

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On my boat the ski bar is connected to the same part of the transom the motor is. I don't think you'll have trouble with the flexing.

I would look at modifying the ski bar mount. Maybe you can drill new holes to mount it higher. Or use longer bolts and add some spacers or shims to raise it. Or remove it if you don't use it.

Second, i would look at modifying the Moto Stop to make it shorter.

My motor has a built in tilt support lever. I don't know that I'd trust that for transport on the trailer, but the motor doesn't have to go up all the way to engage it. I assume it's there to hold the motor up while working in the tilt cylinder.

One thing i would worry about is the motor bouncing during transport if it's that close to the ski bar. Bumps in the road will make the motor bounce up and down.
 
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jhill

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What if someone who fabricates/welds stainless steel custom built 2 supports that could hook onto tow bar 1 on each side and support under the latch area. Then you could have any clearance measurements you wanted. Maybe need to check with Bennington engineers for load ability. Or have it built to share the tow bar bolts but independent of tow bar. Just a thought. Or buy one premade and cut it up and adapt it to work by a fabricator. Just talking out my o_O Or buy the expensive one you like and have fabricator use it for a pattern and then take it back for a refund. :rolleyes:
 

Jeff_TH

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Scott, have you found a solution to your trailering issue yet? If not, check this out:

https://www.lock-n-haul.com/ Considerably less $$ than the device you're looking at. FYI, I have no "horse in this hunt."

I've used this device for years on a 150HP Yamaha OX66. I recently purchased a second one for a Bennington 22SVSR that I'm taking delivery of in May. The lock-n-haul device is 12 7/8" long, so you don't tilt the motor to full tilt to attach it.

I've found the trick to stabilizing it is to turn the outboard slightly from side to side to make sure it's centered. With this device you don't need to use the centering blocks on the hydraulic steering tubes to keep the motor from turning during transport.

Jeff
 

LaurencetheAdventurer

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Agree, you need to travel with the motor tilted up, otherwise not enough clearance. This means you are talking about a Transom Saver. Search that term, lots of posts on the issue. IMO, based a bit of research, there is a difference between a true Transom Saver and a Hydraulic Saver. I believe your goal is to transfer motor weight while tilted to the trailer (saving the transom), and the only way to do this is the traditional transom saver. I am adding a roller to my trailer just for this purpose, the units that did not need the roller were either expensive or poorly designed, IMO.
 

CLDave

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My motor has a built in tilt support lever. I don't know that I'd trust that for transport on the trailer, but the motor doesn't have to go up all the way to engage it. I assume it's there to hold the motor up while working in the tilt cylinder.

That tab is a service-stop, and should NOT be used for trailering. Just FYI/fair warning for anyone who's thought about using it when trailering :)

When I trailer (just to/from storage) I leave the motor all the way down, and then I stop before I get to any "dangerous" spots - the ramp, driveways, etc. - and raise the motor a couple inches just for that stretch. The dealer assured me the boat was high enough on trailer to never have a problem, but it got close enough to dragging on the way out of my driveway that I raised it up. YMMV of course.
 

FIRE UP

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Well Gang,
Update here. No, I've not found a transport support for the F-350, 350HP Yamaha motor on our Benny, YET! But, I'm linking something that I actually bought as it was touted as being able to fit my system. Well, it didn't. The distance between the power tilt rams is just slightly different than any other Yamaha. So, the $170 part wouldn't fit. But, I copied the design on a piece of cardboard before I took it back. Some new, 1" thick plastic, HDPE to be specific, is arriving tomorrow. I will cut it out and then, precisely drill the holes for the rams. This ought to be fun.
Scott

Moto-Stop Yamaha 2 & 4 stroke Outboard Motor Support Kit (basstacklemaster.com)
 
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