How Do You Secure a Boat Motor for Travel?

As a boater, you know your outboard motor is not only a critical part of your boat but it’s also a most expensive pieces of your investment. Thus making sure your motor stays protected while towing to and from the water a top priority for any boater.

While toeing your boat, your motor tends to bounce and jostle around. This type of movement can cause major damage to your engine’s housing, steering, among other things. That’s why it’s important to ensure your motor is properly locked into place and doesn’t move all over the road.

So, how do you secure a boat motor for travel? The best way to protect your outboard motor is with a transom saver. Transom savers are designed to lock your motor into place and can prevent costly damage to your transom by supporting your motor as you travel.

In this article we will go more in-depth on what a transom saver is, who should use one, what the best ones are, and how you can keep your outboard motor secure for travel.

Let’s get started.

What is a Transom Saver?

A transom saver is a device that is designed to protect your boat’s motor and transom from stress while trailering your boat. There are several different variations and companies that make transom savers, but they are all designed to ensure your motor is supported and protected as you travel.

Do You Really Need a Transom Saver?

The other day I was driving down the highway and noticed an outboard motor bouncing around and moving back and forth. Why was this the case? The motor wasn’t properly secured with a transom saver and was being tossed around while it was being trailered.

This movement while being trailered can add additional stress to the transom and can cause serious damage to motor as your turn, hit bumps etc.

So, do you really need a transom saver?  In my opinion having a support for your motor for trailering is a must. They are the best way to protect your transom and ensure your motor is properly and safely locked into place.

Some people may disagree and say their motors have a built in locking system but in my experience they aren’t super effective and aren’t designed for long bumpy trailering trips.

You are much better off spending a little money now and making sure your motor is properly secured than having to pay for future damages to your haul.

5 Ways to Keep Your Outboard Secure for Travel

Keeping your outboard motor properly secure and safe while you travel should be a top priority. After all, the last thing you want to have happen is to damage your motor on your way to the lake and ruining your day out on the water.

For that reason, I have done a ton of research and have put together the following list of the best ways to keep your outboard motor secure while traveling.


The MotorMate outboard locking system is one of the best ways to keep your outboard motor safe and secure while trailering.

This outboard locking system is rock solid, easy to install and will help protect your investment for years to come.

Its available and designed to fit in most Evinrude, Johnson, Mercury and Yamaha outboard motors and does an excellent job at protecting and providing support as you trailer.

If you are looking for a way to secure your outboard motor for travel, then I would highly recommend going with MotorMate.

Here are links to the different MotorMate options available based on your motor:

(Before purchasing a MotorMate make sure it will fit your specific outboard motor)

Extreme Max Transom Saver

Another great option to use to protect your motor while trailering is the Extreme Max Transom Saver. It’s made of heavy duty steel and a thick rubber material that keeps your motor locked into place and protected under the toughest toeing conditions.

This type of transom saver mounts over the trailer’s rear roller and comes in different extension lengths to help you easily pick the right one for your rig.

The Extreme Max Transom Saver is an overall great option that will give you confidence and worry less, as you trailer your boat to and from the lake.

Mean Mount Transom Savers

The Mean Mount Motor Transom Savers are a high end, top of the line transom saver when it comes to quality and protecting your boat and motor during towing.

The Mean Mount Saver takes pressure off your hydraulic system, which helps to prevent damage and secures your boat by eliminating any movement as you trailer your boat.

This product is a little more expensive than the others listed in this article, but it’s well worth it if you’re looking for a high quality transom saver that will ensure your boat is protect and one that will last a long time.  

Here are links to the different Mean Mount options available based on your motor:

Atwood Adjustable Transom Saver

Another great way to ensure your motor stays in place when you are traveling is the Atwood Adjustable Transom Saver.

This product is a great option if you are on a budget but still want a quality product that help make sure your boat is safe on your boating trips.  

The Atwood Transom saver is fairly universal and will fit on most boat motors. It comes at a fair price and is highly regarded as an overall great option to secure your boat.

If you are looking for a quality product at an affordable price point than the Atwood Adjustable Transom Saver is tough to beat.

T-H Marine Motor Stik

The T-H Marin Motor Stik is an excellent overall outboard motor support that will lock your motor into place and ensure its properly protected while you haul your boat around.

The Motor Stik is designed to fit over your trim rams and will work well for most outboard motors of 150 HP and up.

Note: some Yamaha motors have a grease fitting on the port side of the ram. If this case for you, a single stik can be used on the starboard side and it will still work great.

All and all the Motor Stik is a great option that will help you keep your outboard motor safe and secure as you travel on your boating adventures.

Boat Trailering FAQ

Should I Use a Transom Saver?

A lot of new boat owners often ask if they should be using a transom saver. The answer to this question is typically a strong yes. Sure, you can probably get by without using one on shorter trips but why risk it?

Transom savers are fairly inexpensive and are a great insurance policy so that you can have confidence that your boat is properly locked into place and secure.

So when you trailer your boat you won’t have to worry about it bouncing around and potentially damaging your investment.

Who Needs a Transom Saver?

As we have already discussed, properly securing your motor is really important. In my opinion anyone that has an outboard motor should use a transom saver, block of wood, or anything that ensures the motor is properly locked into place while trailering.

Check out this article by BoatU.S. They go more in-depth on who should and shouldn’t be using a transom saver.

Should I Leave My Outboard Motor Up or Down?

If you are trailering your boat its recommend that you keep your outboard motor up and secured by a transom saver. This will make sure you motor has enough clearance on the road and will lock your motor into place.

On the other hand, if you are storing your motor for an extended period of time, its best to store it with the motor down. This will allow any water that’s inside the motor to drain which can prevent potential issues.

Final Thoughts

Ensuring that your outboard motor is properly and safely protected should be a top priority for any boater. Any time you take your boat out I would highly recommend that you use some type of transom saver.

After all, your boat is a big time investment and is one that you want to make sure lasts a long time and is in tip top shape when you hit the water.

I hope you have found this article to be helpful and that you always make sure you keep you and your boat safe when you are traveling.

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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