October 16, 2023

Transom Saver: Essential Guide for Boat Owners

A transom saver is a valuable accessory for boat owners, designed to protect a boat's transom from stress and potential damage caused by the weight of the outboard motor while the boat is being trailered. This stress can be significant, as the outboard motor can bounce constantly when navigating rough terrain, bumps, and potholes, exerting force on the transom. By providing additional support, a transom saver effectively distributes the weight, reducing the likelihood of damage to the boat.

Transom savers come in various types, materials, and sizes to accommodate different boat and motor combinations. Construction and durability are essential factors to consider when selecting a transom saver, as these devices play a crucial role in preventing costly damage to a boat's transom. Proper installation and usage are also important to ensure the effectiveness of a transom saver in protecting the boat during trailering.

Key Takeaways

  • A transom saver helps protect a boat's transom from stress and damage while trailering.
  • Selecting the right type and material is essential for effective support and durability.
  • Proper installation and usage play a crucial role in preventing potential damage to a boat's transom.

Transom Saver Basics

A transom saver is a crucial device designed to protect a boat's transom from potential damage or stress caused by the forces exerted on it from the weight of an outboard motor during trailering. This protection is essential because the outboard motor's constant bouncing and movement while trailering can cause a significant impact on a boat's transom, leading to damage over time.

Outboard motors are a popular choice for many boat owners, providing efficient propulsion for various types of boats. However, when transporting these boats, the weight and movement of the outboard motor can place excessive strain on the boat's transom. This strain can eventually lead to damage and costly repairs.

To help alleviate this strain and protect the boat transom, boat owners can invest in a quality transom saver. Transom savers are designed to support the weight of the outboard motor and distribute it more evenly across the boat's structure, reducing the pressure and stress applied to the transom. Additionally, transom savers help prevent damage that may occur due to the motor's bouncing during transport, as they minimize the motor's movement.

There is a wide range of transom savers available on the market, with various materials, designs, and adjustable features to accommodate different boat setups and outboard motors. When selecting a transom saver, it is important to choose one that is compatible with your boat and motor. It is also crucial to install and use it correctly, as improper use may not provide adequate protection for your boat's transom.

In summary, a transom saver is a valuable investment for boat owners who have outboard motors. It helps protect the boat's transom from the stress and potential damage from the weight and movement of the outboard motor while trailering. By choosing the appropriate transom saver and using it correctly, boat owners can ensure their boat and its transom remain in good condition for years to come.

Construction and Durability

Material Types

Transom savers are typically constructed with either stainless steel or aluminum frames. These materials are preferred due to their strength and ability to resist corrosion. A well-built transom saver can effectively distribute weight and reduce stress on your boat's transom, ensuring a longer lifetime for your engine and vessel source.

Stainless steel construction offers greater durability and strength, making it a suitable choice for larger boats with heavier engines. On the other hand, aluminum boats or older fiberglass boats with wood-core transoms can greatly benefit from aluminum transom savers, which are lighter in weight and easier to handle source.

Length Adjustment

Adjustable transom savers, such as the Extreme Max Adjustable Heavy Duty Universal Transom Saver, provide optimal weight distribution and customizable fit for a range of boat sizes and engine weights. The adjustable length, ranging from 28 to 59 inches, ensures a proper fit for various types of boats and helps to reduce stress on your outboard motor.

To sum up, the construction and durability of transom savers are crucial factors to consider when choosing the right device to protect your boat's transom. Selecting a transom saver made of the appropriate material and with the suitable length adjustment feature will ensure reliable performance and safeguard your boat against potential damage.

Types of Transom Savers

Fixed Shaft

Fixed shaft transom savers offer a sturdy and reliable protection for your boat's transom. They are designed to accommodate a predefined length, providing a fixed level of support. Fixed shaft transom savers are generally easy to install and remove, making them a popular choice for many boaters. However, their primary limitation is the lack of adjustability, meaning they may not fit all boat and motor configurations.


Adjustable transom savers offer a more versatile solution for supporting your boat's transom. They can be adjusted to fit a range of lengths, ensuring compatibility with various boat and motor setups. For example, the West Marine transom saver adjusts from 26 to 38 inches. Adjustable transom savers provide a snug fit and increased stability during transportation, reducing the stress on your boat's transom.


Spring-loaded transom savers incorporate spring mechanisms to absorb shocks and vibrations during transit. These innovative savers provide an additional layer of protection for your boat's transom by minimizing the impact of bumps, potholes, and rough terrain. Spring-loaded transom savers help reduce stress on the transom, which can prevent damage and ensure the longevity of your outboard motor.


Stable transom savers are designed to provide optimal support and stability for your boat's transom during transportation. These savers often feature heavy-duty construction and additional support elements, such as brackets or mounts. The Attwood SP-436-ADJ-RB Heavy Duty Transom Saver is an example of a stable transom saver that adjusts from 44 to 56 inches and offers a secure fit. By providing a robust support system, stable transom savers work to minimize stress on your boat's transom and ensure its integrity during travel.

Installation and Usage

Transom savers are essential trailer accessories designed to protect your boat's transom from stress and damage caused by the weight of the outboard engine during trailering. Installing and using a transom saver is fairly easy, making it a must-have addition for any boat owner.

When it comes to installation, the process is generally straightforward, with most transom savers being secured by simply attaching them to the engine bracket of the outboard motor and connecting them to the trailer in various mounting variations. Some common installation methods include:

  • Attaching the transom saver to the lower unit bolt by replacing an existing bolt with a longer one, securing the saver in place.
  • Utilizing a U-bolt design that clamps directly onto the boat trailer's frame without the need for drilling.

The transom saver needs to be properly adjusted in length to ensure the right amount of support for your boat's motor during transportation. Most transom savers offer adjustable lengths, allowing them to accommodate various outboard engine sizes and trailer setups.

While using a transom saver, it is important to secure the outboard motor to prevent any side-to-side movement. This can be achieved using steering locks or tie-downs. Another crucial aspect of usage is to regularly check and maintain the transom saver, ensuring that all connections remain tight and secure over time.

During installation and usage, it is advisable to use a trailer winch to provide additional support while transporting the boat. The winch keeps the front of the boat securely in place on the trailer, allowing the transom saver to effectively protect the boat's transom.

In summary, a transom saver is a valuable and easy-to-install trailer accessory that protects your boat's transom from stress and damage during transportation. With various mounting options and adjustable lengths, it offers versatility and adaptability for different boat sizes and trailer configurations. Proper usage, maintenance, and additional support from a trailer winch ensures the longevity and effectiveness of a transom saver, making it an essential investment for boat owners who frequently transport their boats.

Potential Risks and Damage Prevention

A transom saver is an essential piece of equipment for many boat owners, as it helps prevent potential damage to the boat's transom, the flat surface at the rear of the boat where the outboard motor is mounted. Damage to the transom can be caused by the weight and movement of the motor, especially during trailering, leading to issues such as broken welds, popped rivets, and additional strain on the rear cross member of the boat.

To minimize the risk of transom damage, boat owners should make sure to use a transom saver that offers sufficient support for their outboard motor. The transom saver distributes the load and weight of the motor evenly across the transom, reducing the pressure on the boat's structure and helping to absorb shock when traveling on rough terrain.

One potential risk when using a transom saver is direct metal-to-metal contact between the transom saver and the outboard motor, which could result in scratches or other forms of damage. To prevent this, it's important to choose a transom saver with insulation material, such as rubber, to protect both the motor and the boat's surface.

Proper installation and use of a transom saver are crucial in avoiding potential issues with motor support. For instance, if a boat does not have hydraulics, the transom saver should be securely fastened at both ends with a strap or bungee cord to prevent it from popping out as the motor bounces around during trailering. Not using a transom saver can lead to the motor's skeg hitting the pavement and causing further damage to the boat and the motor assembly.

Ultimately, investing in a quality transom saver and ensuring its proper installation can play a key role in prolonging the life of a boat's structure, preserving its performance, and preventing costly repairs due to transom damage, broken welds, or popped rivets.

Popular Transom Saver Brands

Extreme Max

Extreme Max offers a wide range of marine accessories including their Adjustable Heavy Duty Universal Transom Saver. This transom saver is fully adjustable from 28" to 59", and is designed for optimal weight distribution. Its easy installation and removal make it a popular option among boat owners.

T-H Marine

T-H Marine is known for manufacturing high-quality marine accessories. Their transom savers are designed to provide the right amount of support and protection for your boat while trailering, ensuring a safe and secure journey on the road.


Attwood is another reputable manufacturer of marine accessories, including transom savers. They offer a variety of models suitable for different boat sizes and types, ensuring that you have the perfect solution for your needs.

West Marine

West Marine is a well-known retailer that offers a variety of transom savers. They can recommend the best option for your boat depending on its size and the materials used in its construction. For smaller aluminum boats or older fiberglass boats with wood-core transoms, a transom saver is often the best choice.

Springfield Marine

Springfield Marine is a reliable marine accessories manufacturer, offering a range of high-quality transom savers. Their products are known for their durability and effectiveness in providing the necessary support and protection for your boat while towing.

Jif Marine

Jif Marine offers a variety of marine accessories, including transom savers. Their products are designed to meet the needs of boat owners, providing them with dependable and efficient solutions for transporting their boats on the road.

Product Reviews and Comparisons

Comparison Chart

Transom SaverAdjustabilityMaterialsFeatures
Extreme Max Straight Transom Saver28" - 59"Heavy DutyEasy installation & removal, optimal weight distribution
M-Y WedgeUniversal fitRubberSimple design, easy installation, durable construction
Attwood SP-400-RB23" - 35"Aluminum, Composite HeadRoller and bolt bracket, adjustable, high-quality materials, rugged design, and durable construction

Customer Reviews

Customers have praised the Extreme Max Straight Transom Saver for its adjustability and ease of installation. This model is designed to provide optimal weight distribution, ensuring the motor's stability during transportation. The strong materials and sturdy construction provide users with confidence in the product's longevity.

The M-Y Wedge is well-known for its simple design, making it a popular choice. Though not as adjustable as other models, the M-Y Wedge's universal fit can accommodate a variety of boats. Its easy installation and rubber construction provide durability and support for the motor while on the road.

Lastly, the Attwood SP-400-RB garner positive feedback for its high-quality materials and flexible adjustability. Equipped with a roller and bolt bracket, this transom saver offers a strong, secure connection between the motor and its supporting structure. The aluminum construction helps withstand any wear and tear from constant exposure to external elements.

Warranty and Support

When it comes to warranty and support, most transom savers offer limited lifetime warranties against defects in materials or workmanship. For instance, the MotorMate transom saver provides a limited lifetime warranty for the lifetime of the product, ensuring confidence in its design and reliability.

Customer support is an essential aspect to consider while purchasing transom savers. Some manufacturers provide prompt and efficient customer service, answering queries and addressing any issues that users might face during the installation and usage of the product. This helps the customers to have a hassle-free experience and ensures the longevity of their investment in the transom saver.

It's worth noting that warranty terms may vary among different manufacturers, so it is advisable to carefully read and understand the warranty details before making a purchase. Buyers should also check for any exclusions or limitations that may apply to their specific transom saver model.

Transom savers are designed to protect your boat's transom from potential damage due to the weight and forces exerted by the outboard motor while trailering. By considering the warranty and support offered by the manufacturers, boat owners can confidently invest in a transom saver that provides long-lasting protection to their valuable investment.


Transom savers serve an essential purpose in the boating world by ensuring the protection and longevity of boat transoms and outboard motors. One notable type of transom saver is the motor tote, which is specifically designed to protect the boat's transom from the stress potentially caused by the weight of the outboard motor during trailering.

The use of a transom saver brings several key benefits, including weight distribution and length adjustment. An even weight distribution is crucial when transporting boats, as it minimizes the risk of damage to both the transom and outboard motor. The transom saver accomplishes this by evenly distributing the motor's weight and absorbing hazards like bumps or potholes that the boat may experience on the road.

Additionally, transom savers offer a degree of length adjustment, allowing boaters to customize their device according to the specific size of their boat and outboard motor setup. This flexibility ensures a perfect fit and maximizes the protective benefits provided by the transom saver.

In summary, investing in a high-quality transom saver is a wise choice for boaters who wish to safeguard their valuable assets and extend the lifespan of their boat’s transom and outboard motor. With the advantages of weight distribution and length adjustment, it is an indispensable accessory for modern boating enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using a transom saver?

A transom saver is a device designed to protect a boat's transom from stress and potential damage caused by the weight of the outboard motor while trailering. The weight shifting and bouncing from rough terrain, bumps, and potholes can exert substantial impact on the transom, potentially leading to eventual damage or failure. By using a transom saver, you can mitigate these risks and ensure the protection of your boat's structural integrity.

How to choose the right transom saver for my boat?

When selecting a transom saver for your boat, consider your outboard motor's specific dimensions, weight, and mounting method. You should also research various brands and models, paying attention to customer reviews and recommendations. Some transom savers are adjustable and can easily fit various types of outboard motors, providing a versatile solution.

Are there alternatives to store-bought transom savers?

While store-bought transom savers are a popular choice among boaters, there are alternative products such as the MotorMate, which also help protect the transom while trailering. Some boat owners opt for using makeshift or DIY solutions to reduce the stress on the transom, but it’s crucial to ensure that any alternative setup you use provides enough support to the boat and outboard motor.

Can a transom saver be used with every outboard motor brand?

Most transom savers are designed to be compatible with a variety of outboard motor brands and models. However, it's essential to verify the compatibility between your specific outboard motor and the transom saver before making a purchase. Consult the device manufacturer's guidelines and specifications, as well as other users' experiences, to make an informed decision.

Where can I purchase a reliable transom saver?

Reliable transom savers can be purchased at various outlets, including marine supply stores, boat dealerships, and online retailers such as Amazon or specialized boating websites. Be sure to research top-rated transom savers and choose a product with a proven track record of durability, performance, and customer satisfaction.

Do I need a transom saver for trailering my boat?

The necessity of a transom saver depends on the design of your boat, the weight and dimensions of your outboard motor, and the conditions you'll be towing your boat in. While many boaters use transom savers to ensure the protection of their boat's transom, others may not find them essential. Some boatbuilders argue that transoms are designed to withstand significant g-forces, and a transom saver may not be necessary. However, it's crucial to consult your boat manufacturer's guidelines and consider your unique circumstances before making a decision.

Charlie Hardcastle
Charlie is Editor-in-Chief of Sea Magazine
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