A quick survey who trailers their boat with the motor in gear?

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Douglasdzaster

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LOCATION
Smithville, Texas
I’m trying to put a discussion with my oldest son to bed. He says I should be putting my outboard in forward gear while trailering to prevent the prop from spinning and damaging my lower unit.
I have a 1992 Yamaha 2 stroke 40hp. pull start. I tilt it up slightly and use a transom saver attached to the last support on the trailer. Then put a small ratchet strap from trailer to above the cavitation plate to keep it in place. It doesn’t bounce or turn and rides great.
But I have never heard of due to the wind spinning the prop out of the water it’ll cause damage. In fact I never shift it while not running.
What say y’all?
 
I’ve never even considered this. Why would a prop spinning slowing in the wind damage the lower unit? Seems like a whisky conversation to me. Sober the kid up and go fishing with that damaged lower unit.
Pretty much how I reacted.
Alcohol does seem to make him feel more intelligent.
 
I would imagine it's nominal but anytime a bearing is in motion, it's incurring wear. My factory manual says the same, to put it in gear when trailering, but I'm not completely sure this is the reason Mercury says to do so.
 
Bear something in mind, the lower unit has NO cooling unless it's in the water. Allowing the prop to spin when trailering COULD overheat if it spins fast enough. Once the seals get too hot the unit will not hold pressure and will allow water to intrude. Put the engine in gear while trailering and avoid the possible issue....
 
Bear something in mind, the lower unit has NO cooling unless it's in the water. Allowing the prop to spin when trailering COULD overheat if it spins fast enough. Once the seals get too hot the unit will not hold pressure and will allow water to intrude. Put the engine in gear while trailering and avoid the possible issue....
That makes sense to me. And anyone that motorcycles knows how ripping hot the roadway can get. Lower unit basically cooks being so close to the road deck.
 
Since posting this one of the things I read was the inner seals are cooled by the gear oil while outer seals need water.
I also read Yamaha says not to shift while the motor is not running it will damage the dog clutch. But I’m thinking that’s for the newer motors with electronic and cable shifting. My 1992 Yamaha 40hp 2 stroke tiller steer has a old style lever on the side of the motor. Others say to use forward for this and not reverse.
Will it actually make my seals last longer? It takes a little over an hour of trailering to get where I fish.
I have never heard of this until my son brought it up and blew it off like some of the other information he comes up with (believes everything on the internet). He’s never even owned a bought .
Am I going to have to tell him he’s right about this one? 😝
 
Since posting this one of the things I read was the inner seals are cooled by the gear oil while outer seals need water.
I also read Yamaha says not to shift while the motor is not running it will damage the dog clutch. But I’m thinking that’s for the newer motors with electronic and cable shifting. My 1992 Yamaha 40hp 2 stroke tiller steer has a old style lever on the side of the motor. Others say to use forward for this and not reverse.
Will it actually make my seals last longer? It takes a little over an hour of trailering to get where I fish.
I have never heard of this until my son brought it up and blew it off like some of the other information he comes up with (believes everything on the internet). He’s never even owned a bought .
Am I going to have to tell him he’s right about this one? 😝
This is what I've always thought but honestly don't know when or where I first herd it. Makes sense in my mind that the outer seal could wear irregularly not being in water. I drive my boat onto the trailer and just leave it in gear.
 
This is what I've always thought but honestly don't know when or where I first herd it. Makes sense in my mind that the outer seal could wear irregularly not being in water. I drive my boat onto the trailer and just leave it in gear.
What brand motor do you have? So far Mercury is the only one I’ve seen that tells you to. I get on the trailer and put it in neutral and disconnect the fuel line and let my carburetors run out of fuel this last time. The heat was causing the fuel in the water separator filter to expand and I would has a small leak coming from the carburetors. There’s another forum that has Yamaha technicians on it. They helped me out when I first got the motor. But the last couple of times I went on it to ask something I’ve gotten 0 replies. I posted this question on there this morning as well and we’ll see. I noticed quite a few post not getting replies on there. Don’t know what’s going on.
 
What brand motor do you have? So far Mercury is the only one I’ve seen that tells you to. I get on the trailer and put it in neutral and disconnect the fuel line and let my carburetors run out of fuel this last time. The heat was causing the fuel in the water separator filter to expand and I would has a small leak coming from the carburetors. There’s another forum that has Yamaha technicians on it. They helped me out when I first got the motor. But the last couple of times I went on it to ask something I’ve gotten 0 replies. I posted this question on there this morning as well and we’ll see. I noticed quite a few post not getting replies on there. Don’t know what’s going on.
Currently have a mercury and a yamaha though I've owned a tohatsu and an evinrude before too.
 
FWIW: I looked in the 2022 Yamaha 75/90 manual. Even though it is a jet, you get the prop operators manual. I could not find any specific info that said to put in-gear or neutral for trailering. Only mentions to traailer in th full down position or using a support device if it has to be tilted.

The Merc manual is at camp, so couldn't find out if there were any additional details that might give a clue why.

I'm not bought in to the road heat and seal failure theory. It is only the propeller shaft that is turning with the prop, and for the props I've seen spinning at highway speeds are very low rpms. The black lower unit will be much hotter just sitting on the trailer and exposed to the sun, with no cooling wind. But, maybe they have a warning for that, buried somewhere in the manual.
 
That’s how I learned and still do to this day. Mine’s always in forward. I’m hoping one of days I’ll remember to actually put in in neutral before I try to start it lol.
Makes me think back when I did a lot of service calls for a mower that wouldn’t start or a generator that ran and died. They didn’t have the pot button for the blades pushed in and didn’t turn the little fuel valve on for the generator.
 
Interesting....went thru my Merc factory service manual and no mention of trailering in gear. In my 60 plus years of boat ownership, this a first, never heard about this before. Always left it in neutral because that is where the motor was shut off. Have followed numerous boats and see the prop turning rather slow so no chance for wearing anything out. Now that I think about the number of times I have run my knee into the prop, sorta glad it was not in gear..ouch !!
 
I’ve never even considered this. Why would a prop spinning slowing in the wind damage the lower unit? Seems like a whisky conversation to me. Sober the kid up and go fishing with that damaged lower unit.
I had a boat motor mechanic tell me years ago to place the boat in reverse to avoid the wind turning the prop and the entire drive shaft which puts additional wear on the bearings, gears and whatever.
The same thing goes for carrying bicycles without preventing the wheels from turning---additional wear.
 
I’m trying to put a discussion with my oldest son to bed. He says I should be putting my outboard in forward gear while trailering to prevent the prop from spinning and damaging my lower unit.
I have a 1992 Yamaha 2 stroke 40hp. pull start. I tilt it up slightly and use a transom saver attached to the last support on the trailer. Then put a small ratchet strap from trailer to above the cavitation plate to keep it in place. It doesn’t bounce or turn and rides great.
But I have never heard of due to the wind spinning the prop out of the water it’ll cause damage. In fact I never shift it while not running.
I’m gonna start listening to my kids more! Lol
 

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