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I trailer a 21 Mako on a tandem trailer. It carries a Yamaha Excel outboard that weighs over 800 lbs. What is the best position when trailering for best weight distribution for the least transom pressure? I travel from NC to Tampa on interstates and some secondary roads. Five miles per hour over the speed limit is my usual average. Also what psi inflation should I use? Do I inflate to the max indicated on the tire? Ron Kolbert, Clyde, NC
Answered on: 6/2005
MIKE: When trailering I like to keep the outboard motor in the up position so that I don't damage my lower unit or skeg when going through a pothole, over a curb, through a driveway with a large dip or any other unexpected road hazards that are becoming more and more common. When raising your Yamaha to its maximum position, you should have a trailering support arm that is put in place between the motor and the bracket. Once in place you can lower the motor on to the support arm to take pressure off of your hydraulic system. While this takes pressure off of the hydraulic system, you still may experience some flexing on the transom while on a bumpy road. There are a few manufacturers of "transom savers" that you may want to look at. Transom savers are basically a bar that goes between your lower unit and the trailer frame. This not only takes the weight off of the hydraulics and transom, it also transfers road shock to the trailer cross member instead of the transom. Regarding your tire pressure, if you are at, or near, the maximum of your tires load rating you should inflate to the maximum inflation rating indicated on the side of the tire. Air pressure readings should be taken when the tire is cold (before you start your trip). GEORGE: As Mike indicates inflate the tire to the maximum PSI which would be 50 because you are running with a 14' tire on a double axle trailer (a 15' tire has a 60 PSI). The outboard should be trailered in the up position. As for the best weight distribution, focus first on keeping a tongue weight of no more than 10%. If you use a bunk trailer, the preferred position for the boat's transom is at the very end of the bunk. It will be different with a roller trailer so move it to where the tongue weight is correct.
The Trailer Boat Expert: Mike and George