How to Choose the Perfect Outboard Motor for Your Needs

Introduction

Having the right outboard motor for your needs is crucial in order to get the most enjoyment from your boating experience. There are many different factors you need to take into account when making this purchase, such as the size of your boat, the type of water you’ll be using it in and your own personal preferences. We’ll walk you through each step of the process so you can make an informed decision and find the perfect motor for your needs!

Factors to Consider When Buying an Outboard Motor

When shopping for an outboard motor, there are several factors you need to take into account in order to make the best decision for your needs. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:

1. Size of your boat – The size of your boat is a key factor in determining the size of outboard motor you need. Make sure to select a model that’s appropriate for your vessel!

2. Type of water you’ll be using it in – If you’ll mostly be using your boat in saltwater, you’ll need to buy a model that’s designed for saltwater use. The same is true if you’ll be using your boat in freshwater lakes and rivers – select a motor that’s suited for fresh water!

3. Personal preferences – You’ll need to know how much you plan to use your outboard motor and what features are important to you to find one that’s right for you.

Steps to Finding the Perfect Outboard Motor

With these factors in mind, let’s walk through each step of choosing the perfect outboard motor for your needs.

1. Size of your boat The size of your boat is one of the main factors in determining the size outboard motor you need. If you’ve never used an outboard motor before, it’s helpful to think about how big your boat is in terms of length and width so you can get a sense of how big the motor needs to be. Generally, outboard motors are categorized by their horsepower rating with one-horsepower motors being most commonly used on small fishing boats and personal watercrafts (PWCs) with two or three horsepower motors typically found on small runabouts, bass boats and pontoon boats.

2. Type of water you’ll be using it in If you’ll mostly be using your boat in saltwater, you’ll need to buy a model that’s designed for saltwater use. Saltproof features are key when choosing this type of outboard motor. For freshwater boating on lakes or rivers, select a motor that’s ideally suited for freshwater! These motors are generally protected with special corrosion-resistant coatings making them great for use all around the world!

3. Personal preferences Now that you know how big of an outboard motor your boat needs and the kind of water it will be used in, consider some other important factors like personal preferences. How much money are you looking to spend? Are there any particular accessories (brackets, remote controls) you want? Do you want a traditional outboard motor with a propeller and tiller handle or do you prefer an electric trolling motor for low-maintenance and silent operation?

Knowing these simple things will help narrow down the search for your perfect outboard motor. 

How to Choose the Right Size Engine for Your Boat 

When it comes time to buy a new outboard motor, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is what size engine to get. There are a few factors you’ll need to take into account when making this decision, such as the size and weight of your boat, the type of water you’ll be using it in and your own personal preferences. We’ll walk you through each step of the process so you can make an informed decision and find the perfect engine for your needs!

The size of your boat is probably the most important consideration when choosing an outboard motor. You want to make sure the engine is big enough to handle the boat’s weight and drag, but not so big that it’s too heavy or difficult to maneuver.

Small Fishing Boats: For small fishing boats, such as a jon boat or inflatable pontoon, you’ll only need an outboard motor with a horsepower between 3 and 8. These smaller engines are typically very lightweight and easy to start and maintain. However, they may not have the power needed to push larger boats through choppy water for long periods of time. If this is your case, you might want to consider adding an additional motor in the bow of your boat that has more horsepower if necessary.

Inflatables: Inflatables tend to be fairly light in weight due to their construction materials (such as rubber). Most inflatables will use a 5-7 horse power engine for regular use , with a 10-15 horse power engine for going faster or through choppy water.

Smaller Boats: Smaller boats, such as dinghies and skiffs, typically need an outboard motor that is 8 HP or less. These engines are relatively small and very light in weight which makes them easy to maneuver in tight spaces. However, they might not be the best option if you’re trying to tow bait or fish in rougher waters due to their lower horsepower levels.

Larger Fishing Boats: Larger fishing boats should use engines in the 20 HP range or higher depending on the boat’s size and weight. It’s always best to overestimate when it comes to the horsepower needed so you’ll have enough power to push your boat in the open water.

Motor Sizing Chart: A sizing chart can give you a rough estimate of what horsepower you’ll need to run your boat depending on its length and weight. You can download a chart like this one from Mercury outboard motor’s website.

Types of Engines and Which Ones are Best for You 

There are three main types of outboard motors: petrol, diesel and electric. Each type has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

Gasoline Engines: Gasoline engines are the most common type and offer the most versatility. They’re fuel-efficient, easy to start and maintain, and can be used in a variety of water conditions. However, they can also be quite loud and produce a lot of exhaust fumes.

Diesel Engines: Diesel engines are becoming more popular due to their fuel efficiency and low emissions. They’re also very durable and can run for long periods of time without needing to be refueled. However, they can be expensive to maintain and might not perform as well in rough waters. They’re also a lot noisier than gasoline engines.

Electric Engines: Electric outboard motors are a great choice if you’ll be fishing in calm, inland lakes or other bodies of water where there isn’t much chop. These motors don’t have any parts that spark from the engine’s cylinder so they don’t cause as much pollution as gas or diesel motors do. However, these motors typically won’t run for very long before needing to recharge, so they may be more expensive to maintain in the long term.

Conclusion

With so many factors to consider, choosing the right outboard motor can be difficult. We’ve provided you with a list of considerations and tips on how to find your perfect engine for your needs in this blog post, but if you need help deciding which type is best for you or have any questions about what we covered in the article, please get in touch – our team would love to hear from you.

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