View Full Version : Need advice on setting up small boat trailer-transom ground clearance

04-09-2019, 12:12 AM
I'm reconstructing a boat trailer that had been converted to a utility, back to a boat trailer. The boat is an older StarCraft 12 ft alum boat and my motor is 1982 Suzuki 2 stroke DT5 (5HP). The motor weighs about 57 lbs. My question is, is 12 inches clearance from the bottom of the transom to the ground adequate? This is what I'll get with my planned positioning of the bunk boards, and figuring I'll have the motor tilted up to the highest detent position. If I don't tilt the motor, my clearance to the ground would only be about 9 inches. If I leave it tilted up in transit I think a transom saver may be in order. Any advice and comments would be appreciated. I'm new at this stuff.

04-09-2019, 09:00 AM
It is best for the transom if the motor is in the normal running position while on the road.

04-09-2019, 10:17 AM
It is best for the transom if the motor is in the normal running position while on the road.

Thanks for your input. I guess I am torn between keeping the boat as low on the trailer as possible when traveling, and to facilitate launching and loading, and still maintaining ground clearance for the transom. Right now, straight vertical gets me 9" and with the motor tilted up, 12". I certainly agree keeping the motor vertical is less apt to create additional issues caused by the physics of leverage, but is 9' enough? Is there some magical number that boat manufactures shoot for when setting up a boat/trailer package? I have experience with this as it relates to my travel trailer with a 2" receiver for a bike rack, but I haven't launched boats before. Some the ramps up in the adirondack lakes do appear to be on the shallow shallow side.

04-10-2019, 03:58 PM
Usually the axle is the limiting factor for ground clearance....as long as you will have some "cushion" with the springs compressed, the skeg of the motor should be fine.

If you want more views, the easiest way would be to go to one or more of the local marinas/storage lots and visit what's there and measure them....and similar option would be to visit a 'large' boat dealer (if there's one in your area)...

I believe that lower is better, not only for stability (cg) but it means the boat floats 'sooner' when launching...