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I was just wondering on anyone's thoughts out there if they have ever or what they think about leaving an outboard motor connected to their raft in transportation/driving mode. The outboard motor would still be mounted to the NRS u-shaped motor mount and tilted up (so bumps wouldn't knock a propeller off). A few additional details about our set up- the raft is up on the trailer and does slightly exceed the trailer's length by about 3 ft- already a bit of pressure on the lower portion of the tubes. So the motor would than add an additional 1 ft of "overhang". (I'm not worried about police pulling me over for exceeding the trailer length.) I'm worried about having too much weight on the back of the raft while in transport (bouncing around with potholes, corrugated roads) and potentially damaging the tubes.

We have a van full of humans and dogs, so our outboard motor is typically propped up on an angle inside our 15 ft raft towards the front of the trailer fully supported, which also balances out the trailer from sway. Crawling in and out of the raft while the raft is still mounted on the trailer (using a small ladder) and lifting 66 lbs over the side tube (about a 4-5 ft drop) is getting a little tiresome on the back. Even with the use of a ladder and two people helping, it still is a little hazardous and killjoy at times. (Side note- We've put the motor propped up in the van before, but the smell of gas is nauseating, and it hogs up a considerable amount of room.) We go out on a lakes a lot and need the motor. So leaving it at home isn't an option.

So my question- do you think I would damage my raft's tubes by leaving the 66 lb outboard motor attached while driving to our destinations? These destinations range from 1 hr to 8 hrs- mostly standard highways and the usual crappy, bumpy put in roads.

At one time, I was looking at buying a ladder to attach to the van's back doors and then attempting to suspend it from that, but I couldn't sell myself on that idea.

or.... does anyone else have any ideas?


Thank you for your thoughts and ideas!
 

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I would find a way to carry the motor off the transom. If left mounted on the transom with the lower unit extended (unless braced exceptionally well) I would worry that the bouncing and vibrational forces exerted on the mounting components of the motor itself -- not the mount on the raft -- very likely could fatigue and fracture them.
 

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Strap it to a deck on the raft. Launch the boat then hump it from there to the transom. Reverse at takeout. No reason to have to haul it 5' in the air.
Several reasons above why its not a great idea to travel with it on there. Another is that weight bouncing 4' off the end of the trailer is going to cause negative tongue weight unless the bow of the raft is real loaded. Negative tongue weight bad.
 

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Sell the trailer and buy the right one for the setup, my two cents.
I would buy Randaddy’s trailer it wouldn’t solve your problem but it’s a really nice looking trailer.
I can do it because I have a big truck so I can just put it in the truck for long trips or rough roads but every other poster is saving you from the on the transom disaster.
 

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Interesting question.

this summer I had a variation on this question. My trailer has a flat board across the front. Like an air dam / cargo protector right at the front of the trailer. I transported the motor lying down in the trailer, but at the dock / driveway I’ll just hang it on this air dam thing.

I started to wonder why I dont just tighten it down there and transport that way. It would save space and hassle. Add weight to the nose of the trailer, etc.

The top of the air dam has a strong piece of angle iron at the top and my motor is small. It doesn’t weigh much and the bottom prop guard barely extends an inch below the trailer deck. it would definitely work.

But….I never did transport that way because I was afraid of the excessive vibration and bouncing that it would get (not to mention the mess it could collect in road flung dirt and rocks).

but it would be a lot easier to transport that way. Should I have done it /do it in the future?
 

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Get a transom saver. It’s a metal bar that goes from your raised lower unit to the trailer. It takes the weight of the motor and transfers it to the trailer and keeps it from bouncing around. Unclear from your description if it will clear the rear end of the raft.
 

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I’ve used transom savers on my small fishing boat but a rubber raft is a different animal. There is just so much more movement and bounce even blown up rock hard.
I also think the vibration of a trailer is so much more extreme than a vehicle that your going to run into problems if you try to mount your motor on it like Amoon was suggesting.
 

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We built a transom saver for ours. We place it between the mount and roller bar. This is for a 9.9 hp on an 18 ft raft. This boat goes out multiple times a week and pulling the motor off is just a pain for how much we use it. However, its on Ruby mostly so not the gnarliest shuttle.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gas Fender Tints and shades
 

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I was just wondering on anyone's thoughts out there if they have ever or what they think about leaving an outboard motor connected to their raft in transportation/driving mode. The outboard motor would still be mounted to the NRS u-shaped motor mount and tilted up (so bumps wouldn't knock a propeller off). A few additional details about our set up- the raft is up on the trailer and does slightly exceed the trailer's length by about 3 ft- already a bit of pressure on the lower portion of the tubes. So the motor would than add an additional 1 ft of "overhang". (I'm not worried about police pulling me over for exceeding the trailer length.) I'm worried about having too much weight on the back of the raft while in transport (bouncing around with potholes, corrugated roads) and potentially damaging the tubes. We have a van full of humans and dogs, so our outboard motor is typically propped up on an angle inside our 15 ft raft towards the front of the trailer fully supported, which also balances out the trailer from sway. Crawling in and out of the raft while the raft is still mounted on the trailer (using a small ladder) and lifting 66 lbs over the side tube (about a 4-5 ft drop) is getting a little tiresome on the back. Even with the use of a ladder and two people helping, it still is a little hazardous and killjoy at times. (Side note- We've put the motor propped up in the van before, but the smell of gas is nauseating, and it hogs up a considerable amount of room.) We go out on a lakes a lot and need the motor. So leaving it at home isn't an option. So my question- do you think I would damage my raft's tubes by leaving the 66 lb outboard motor attached while driving to our destinations? These destinations range from 1 hr to 8 hrs- mostly standard highways and the usual crappy, bumpy put in roads. At one time, I was looking at buying a ladder to attach to the van's back doors and then attempting to suspend it from that, but I couldn't sell myself on that idea. or.... does anyone else have any ideas? Thank you for your thoughts and ideas!
Might as well skip the trailer and drag your boat to the put it.
 
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