OB Damages from Trailering?

Discussion in 'Outboards' started by DCockey, May 20, 2012.

  1. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Anyone with knowledge of outboard engines being damaged due to vibrations and shocks while trailering, particularly small outboards on the stern of small sailboats? Any warnings from outboard manufactuers? Claim was made recently that it is possible for internal parts of the engine to be damaged due to shock and vibration.

    Obviously an outboard can be damaged if the lower unit hits something, and I've also heard claims of damage due to the propeller spinning from the air going past while trailering. But damage due to vibrations and shocks is new to me.
  2. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Never had any problem with that on my old trailer sailer. The outboard never left the transom bracket. Think of what they go through on the back of a RIB or other planing boat. There is significant vibration and pounding on those boats when you are in the chop.
  3. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Stumble Senior Member

    I have never seen it occur, or know of it.

    Additionally I am not sure where you could reasonably place a small outboard that would be much better. Certainly not lying down in the boat, and only marginally better in the car. But that comes with a whole host of additional problems related to gas leaking...
  4. Don H
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    Don H Junior Member

    The only problems i have heard of is that the tilt locks on some outboards are not strong enough to take the bouncing.
    Another possible problem occured when using one of those long brackets that attach to the trailer and cradle the leg in a v shaped holder.If the boat isnt strapped down to the trailer tight and the boat moves the bracket could stress the outboard.
    Never heard of vibration from travelling doing any damage and if this were the case i'm sure outboard manufacturers would void warrantees if the outboard was transported on a trailer.

    Thanks Don
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    David, most of that type of stuff is just urban myth and not worth you bother. Props generally have enough friction to not spin, except at very high speeds and only quite slowly at that. Being in neutral, it doesn't hurt a thing.

    Vibrations with internal parts is only a problem if you're off roading or have an engine so worn out the the parts are slapping around inside the engine. When the engine is running there are vibrations of substantial order of magnitude, over the worst of road going.

    It can be argued that engine clamping brackets can be stressed bouncing around, but I've seen transoms take the punishment far worse then the clamp. This said I do prop my engines with a "saver" rod to prevent the engine from bouncing around. I do this more the save the transom then the bracket.
  6. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Thanks for the replies. I'm extremely skeptical about such a claim but it was made elsewhere on this forum. Thought it would be worthwhile to get some other opinons "on the record".
  7. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    there is a reason the tilt lock is not called a trail lock so be careful when trailering if you tilt it up make sure you tie it down so it cannot bounce on the tilt lock

  8. johneck
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    johneck Senior Member

    Agree, I have seen tilt locks broken from bouncing while trailering.
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