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Does A Jack Plate Put More Stress On Transom?

If you own a boat with an outboard motor, you may be wondering if installing a jack plate will put additional stress on your transom.

As a critical structural component at the back of your boat, protecting the integrity of the transom is essential.

This article will examine how jack plates can impact transoms and provide boat owners with helpful guidance.

What Is a Transom and What Does It Do?

The transom is the flat surface at the stern of your boat where you mount your outboard engine.

Structurally, the transom supports the weight of the engine and withstands the forces created while accelerating, turning, and landing after jumps. Without a sound transom, your boat’s structure would fail.

How Do Jack Plates Work?

A jack plate is a mounting system that raises your outboard motor higher off the transom.

Jack plates provide clearance for larger propellers while also allowing the engine to run shallower without ventilating.

While these can be performance benefits, this altered arrangement also changes how forces impact your transom.

==>> Also read: The best Atlas jack plates for your boat

Can a Jack Plate Damage Your Transom Over Time?

Outboard motors already apply tremendous vertical loads and torque on your transom. Raising the engine’s height from the transom increases the severity of these forces.

Picture the long lever arm formed by the jack plate and motor acting on your transom. This longer-moment arm multiplies the stresses on an area not originally designed to handle it.

Consequently, adding a jack plate without reinforcement can overload a transom over time.

By assessing your transom’s strength and making adjustments beforehand, you can prevent cracking or catastrophic failure down the road.

==>> You should also read: Is it worth fixing a boat transom?

Tips for Protecting Your Transom with a Jack Plate Install

When installing a jack plate, here are some proactive measures you can take:

  • Inspect for Any Cracks: Carefully examine your transom, inside and out, for hairline cracks or previous repairs. Damage here means insufficient strength for an elevated motor.
  • Add Extra Bracing: Beef up the transom with additional internal framing and motor brace plates. Thicker gauge aluminium and fiberglass boats may also need backing plates.
  • Stick to Weight Limits: Don’t exceed the recommended horsepower or shaft length limits for your jack plate model and boat. This prevents overpowering.
  • Monitor Closely After Installation: Frequently check for small cracks or movement once you start using your jack plate for signs of excess strain.

Reinforcing the transom to handle new forces is the key to keeping your jack plate setup secure. Consulting with a qualified marine mechanic is wise if you lack experience assessing and upgrading transoms.

While the installation requires care, a reinforced transom and proper jack plate allows you to reap expanded performance and clearance without jeopardizing your boat.

By the way, I think you might also like to read the disadvantages of jack plate by Wave To Wave here.

Following prudent precautions enables confident and safe operation. Protecting this vital boat component ensures you’ll stay floating across countless happy days on the water.

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