Trailering with the Engine Up, and No Transom Saver

Transom savers don’t fit every rig, but you can’t trailer with the engine tilted up if you don’t have one – can you? Generally speaking the answer is “no,” but there’s a new option now on the market: the Skegg Pro.

Skegg Pro

The Skegg Pro eliminates the need for a transom saver, allowing you to tow with the outboard tilted up.

The Skegg Pro is designed to slide over the engine’s tilt rams, and you tilt the engine down until it rests on the unit. It’s thoroughly rugged, made from fiber-filled engineering-grade resin. I like the concept behind the Skegg Pro because this unit will fit just about any engine from 70 to 300 horsepower, no matter what type of boat and trailer you have. Oh, and there’s one more thing: The Skegg Pro costs $20 bucks, which is about half of what you’ll pay for a standard-issue transom saver.

My own rig is a powercat, so the engines are farther outboard than usual and transom savers simply don’t fit – and for years I’ve been looking for a way to support the engines in the up-tilted position.  The standard item to use is a block of wood which you “pinch” down with the engine - hardly what you’d call a good alternative. The wood sometimes vibrates free and falls off on the road, soft wood gets mashed and smashed, and there’s always the worry of transom damage. Obviously, I’m psyched to check out the Skegg Pro. They’ve sent me a pair to test out, so keep your eyes peeled on the Texas Tested section in upcoming editions of Texas Fish & Game. When I’ve given the Skegg Pro a thorough trial, I’ll report back on just how well it worked out.

5 comments

Leave Comment
  1. Thad

    With this device the load is still transferred to the boat’s transom causing it to flex.
    With a transom saver the flex load is transferred to the trailer. saving the transom.

    • LRudow
      Author

      Afraid I have to disagree Thad, because most significant transom damage occurs when the engine’s tilted all the way up. The weight of the lower unit swinging around several feet aft of the transom creates a fulcrum, and levers against the motor mount. The Skegg Pro does eliminate this issue since it allows you to bring the motor partially down, without stressing the tilt mechanism or having to engage the lever. Yes, the outdrive is still going to be back a bit, but I don’t think enough to do damage to a modern, properly built boat in good shape. (If I wasn’t pretty sure about this, I wouldn’t try it on my own boat!!)

      • Tony Reeves

        I think you missed the point Lenny. You still have the full weight of the motor (now heavier due to the fulcrum you mentioned) relying on the strength of the transom to hold it up while going down the road and hitting bumps, etc. A good adjusted transom saver allows you to lower your lower unit (as you mention the skegg pro does) but still transfers the extra weight to the trailer. I think it is unjustified to call the Skegg Pro a “transom saver”

        • LRudow
          Author

          With the unit in place the engine sits at maybe a 20 or 25 degree angle, versus an 80 or so degree angle tilted up and sitting on the lever. So, while it’s not eliminated completely, the reduction in the fulcrum is huge. Also, I’m not sure I’d ever argue that any transom saver “transfers weight” to the trailer; if that were the case, they wouldn’t need a bungee to stay in place. It’s more that they reduce the shock load created when the engine bounces around.

  2. The transom saver has been around for many years now. I think in the early days it warranted the name due to the poor support systems and materials used back then that would prematurely wear out if the motor wasn’t externally supported somehow. Also, for whatever reason, the OEM’s to this day, still incorporate the mechanical flip lever on their outboards. I still haven’t figured out why they all designed these levers to make your motor set up so high? With todays technology and transom support designs, most made of all metal or 100% composite, there isn’t much to gain using the older style devices. If you really look at the physics involved, the forces generated using a transom saver are actually extended though the trailer and directly into your lower unit, which will then unevenly distribute All of the impact to your trim seals and boat transom. The new Evinrude E-techs have actually included a built in trim support lever that serves the same purpose as the Skeggpro. Have you ever heard of or experienced a situation where the transom saver came disconnected from the roller on the trailer? The facts still remain, it all goes back to user preference in the end.
    Some additional benefits to consider of the Skeggpro are:
    1. Easy to install hands free.
    2. Eliminates pinch point safety issues associated with “transom savers”
    3. Strong fiber filled engineering grade resin, will not rust or corrode.
    4. Fits easily in your dry storage compartment.
    5. Comes with a 2 year, unconditional replacement warranty from the manufacturer.
    6. No tie downs or bungees required.
    7. 1/3 the cost of a “transom saver”.
    8. and last but not least, it resolves the issues on trailered rigs where there is no access for the historical “transom saver” style to attach to your motor.