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311Hemi

Motor in gear when towing?

44 posts in this topic

Do you guys put your motors in gear when towing to keep the prop from spinning? I have been doing this since I purchased my boat and always did it with my parents boat, but I am curious if it really needs to be done to keep from wearing the bearing out or heating them up out of water? It's kind a of pain to get the prop in the right position to put the motor in gear when it's shut off.

I guess I could always wrap the bungie cord for the transom saver around the prop instead of putting it in gear if it should in fact not be moving.

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I've been experimenting with the same method since I often will fish alone. The only way I do it is if my trailer is close enough to the dock that I can jump in to stop the motor and trim the engine up before taking it out of the water. I never like to run my engine out of water, not even for a few seconds....just how I am. I think this method works great if the landing is deep enough to drive on, otherwise I just winch her up. I can and will hassle people if they powerload the boat the wrong way or just out of laziness. Because of this, I make sure that I am doing it the right way in order to not ruin the landing or get yelled at. A remote-controlled power winch would be the cat's meow for a solo fisherman. Good luck man!

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Sorry, I should have made this a little clearer. I guess I meant do you have the engine in gear when towing the boat, not loading. blush

I updated the original question!

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We have always traveled down the road with it in gear for the reasons you mentioned.

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what could it hurt?? it can only help by saving on bearing and gear life...

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Oh, I see! I've never heard of this? Correct me if I'm wrong here. So your putting the motor in gear to prevent the prop from spinning while traveling which could cause the bearings to wear or heat up? Seems to make since.

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I've never had a problem trailering in neutral over the last 20 years. The lower unit gears in my motor are submerged in oil. The water pump runs off the drive shaft. When the motor is in neutral, the prop shaft turns but not the drive shaft. If you're concerned, pull it in neutral for a few miles and then feel the lower unit. If it's warm, put it in gear.

TC

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I always put it in reverse while towing it, just a habit

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I always put it in reverse while towing it, just a habit

Same here. It probably helps save some bearing wear.

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Reverse will keep the motor locked, forward will let it bounce. We leave in nuetral, our prop won't spin on a 150, or even our 50 I don't think.

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I was told that if the prop turns going down the road that it wears shaft from being dry.

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The mechanics I've talked to say it doesn't matter if you trailer with your boat in neutral or forward --- the prop spinning doesn't cause any problems, and shifting between neutral and forward with the motor off doesn't cause any problems.

I have heard that you shouldn't shift in or out of reverse unless the motor is running????

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I have never put any of the five boats I've owned over the years in gear. I travel all over the place with mine. You need to realize that the lower gear lube will keep from heating up. Compared to run through the water, the friction is nothing out of the water. Having said that, it's up to you either will do.

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As said, nothing "heats up." The gear lube keeps things moving. Think of it like towing a car behind a U-haul. Nothing is running, and you're not going to wear out the bearings on your car wheels from pulling it around in neutral. Let the wheels/props spin, it makes no difference. You'll sell that motor and repair many other parts before the bearings go just from free spinning.

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From the Mercury site:

Quote:
Q: What precautions should I take when trailering my outboard powered boat with the engine attached?

A: Trailer your boat with the outboard tilted down (vertical operating position). Shift the outboard to forward gear. This prevents the propeller from spinning freely.

My Yamaha manual does not mention this.

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It really doesn't matter either way in my opinion.. you're not going to wear anything out by doing it or not doing it... so it's personal preference.

marine_man

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its a given fact that bearings if moving will wearout. they wont heat prolly but will add unneeded wear..

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That prop will spin more times in a ten minute ride on the lake at full throttle vs a 3 hour trailer ride.

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I think the reasoning is not for the bearings, but for the outer propshaft seal that rely on water around it to keep cool. In theory, if the prop shaft is allowed to spin on the dry seal surface, it can heat and harden the seal surface. That being said, I guess I cant say that I've ever determined that the seals have wore out because of this. Then again, it's not really hard to put in gear. Im with marine_man, it's a personal preference. If I knew mine was spinning fast and freely, I'd put it in gear.

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I think the reasoning is not for the bearings, but for the outer propshaft seal that rely on water around it to keep cool. In theory, if the prop shaft is allowed to spin on the dry seal surface, it can heat and harden the seal surface. That being said, I guess I cant say that I've ever determined that the seals have wore out because of this. Then again, it's not really hard to put in gear. Im with marine_man, it's a personal preference. If I knew mine was spinning fast and freely, I'd put it in gear.

This makes more sense! I think I will keep putting it in gear...thanks!

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i am 21 years old. and in my 15 years of looking at boats on the road I can't say I ever seen a prop turn because of the air. I thing the props are too hard spin just by air. and even more so behind a truck. so I don't think it matters if it in gear or not.

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in my 15 years of looking at boats on the road I can't say I ever seen a prop turn because of the air.

I've seen rotating props on numerous occasions...

marine_man

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Originally Posted By: kc0myy
in my 15 years of looking at boats on the road I can't say I ever seen a prop turn because of the air.

I've seen rotating props on numerous occasions...

marine_man

As have I and I always ask myself the original question I posted....

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