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4 Helpful Considerations When Choosing Between the Best Outboard Motors

As you can see, I’ve not included price as a determinant in this list. While staying within a budget is always important, taking all the other aspects into consideration and thinking long-term is key to arriving at the best outboard motor purchase.

1. Your Boat’s Size

Choosing the right outboard motor is probably as daunting a task as choosing the right boat. Unfortunately, there’s no magical formula to arrive at the right choice. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when determining the right size.

Referring to your boat’s size is not only a good consideration to make, but also a vital one. A size mismatch between the boat and the outboard motor can result in a string of problems.

For instance, if the outboard motor is small in comparison to your boat, it can overwork itself and wear away fast. It could also lead to potential safety issues and a problem with the boat’s plane.

On the flip side, a large motor on a small boat causes overheating and burnt spark plugs.

2. The Outboard Motor Type

An outboard motor comes in two varieties: two-stroke and four-stroke. Many boaters believe choosing between two-stroke and four-stroke ultimately depends on your boating lifestyle and expectations. And they are correct.

For instance, if you take your boat on occasional fishing trips, you need a two-stroke motor, which is light, affordable and easy-to-repair.

However, if your expectation out of your boat is a power-packed performance so that it can keep going over long distances, you should opt for a four-stroke motor.

The basic differences between two-stroke and four-stroke motors: Four-stroke motors function on gas alone. Two-stroke engines work with a mix of both gas and oil, which (when added not to the fuel but to the engine itself) results in better fuel economy.

3. Fuel Injection Types

Outbound motors use one of the three fuel injection systems: Direct Fuel Injection (DFI), Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), and carbureted system. One of the primary differences between the three types is the way they operate.

Carbureted systems are the oldest, but have some disadvantages. They lag behind the DFI and EMI alternatives in terms of fuel economy.
DFI systems inject fuel right into the engine cylinders, whereas carbureted systems rely on the airflow and fuel amount that enter the engine.
EFI, as you might have guessed, refers to the system that controls the air and the fuel using electronic systems.
Of these three fuel injection types, the carbureted systems are the least expensive. However, when you weigh in all the qualities, both EFI and DFI come out as far better choices.

4. The Horsepower

What’s one great way to determine the perfect horsepower for your boat?

Begin by asking yourself a few basic questions:

What kind of cruising speed do you have in mind?
What kind of fuel cost are you looking at?
How many passengers do you want to carry?
Once you’re certain about these, next consider the size of your boat.

Here’s a breakdown of the needed horsepower relative to a boat’s size:

Smaller boats (such as dinghies, canoes and sailboats) for lake boating and smaller bodies of water, should find a maximum of 10 horsepower to be enough.

Longer, lighter boats (such as 10-foot and 15-foot fiberglass or aluminum boats), require a 15-20 horsepower range for good power. Boats in the 15 to 25-foot range need a 75-90 horsepower to indulge in leisurely activities like coastal fishing. However, if you want to go faster and travel further, you’ll need nearly 300 horsepower for the same boat lengths.

Boats over 25 feet work well with two outboard motors in the 200-300 horsepower range (rather than a single outboard). This extra power helps you go over a distance quickly and make a quick comeback, something you’ll want if you’re into fishing.



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