The Heart of Any Boat: Finding the Right Boat Motor to Suit Your Needs

The Heart of Any Boat: Finding the Right Boat Motor to Suit Your Needs

Finding the Right Boat Motor
Whether it's your first or 50th boat, there is no bigger decision than what motor you want propelling you through the waves. How to decide? Well, that's a trickier question. Let this practical guide give you some of the ins and outs on what to look for when you are finding the right boat motor to suit your needs. There are so many different options available, so many it can quickly make your head spin.

The first thing to decide is the overall weight of the engine you're looking at. After all, you don't want your boat tipping because the engine weighs more than the entire craft. Secondly, you have to decide on your horsepower. Just how much speed do you really want to get out on the water? Got that decided? Good, because here is where the real fun begins.

Inboard Motors

Pop quiz time, what is the overall size of the craft? If it's around 30 feet or longer, chances are it'll have an inboard motor. These are usually installed in the center of the boat, with a drive shaft of sorts connecting the engine to the propeller. This type of setup is ideal since the overall weight and placement of an inboard helps provide stability to the vessel. While also providing a much more economical fuel consumption. These sort of motors will provide you with a quieter, more comfortable time whether your fishing, racing, or just out enjoying the waves.

Outboard Motors

Ah the classic outboard, this is the type most commonly seen out on the water. With everything self-contained, it really is no wonder as to their continuing popularity. Just cinch it up to the transom, top it off with fuel and you are ready to go. Given that they are usually lighter than a standard inboard. This makes them ideal for smaller, pleasure craft. Controlled by either a steering wheel, these engines allow for maneuverability by literally pivoting the motor while you turn. Fuel consumption can get a little more costly as the standard two-stroke engine requires an oil mix that burns along with the fuel to spark combustion. The trade off being that you can usually get more horsepower out of an outboard than almost any other type of engine.

Jet Drive

Now we get into a little more technical. A jet drive engine doesn't steer using the traditional rudder. Instead, it forces water up and out the rear of the vessel using an impeller system. This sort of engine is not usually recommended for shallow water crafts. However, it is much gentler on the environment, since the induction system won't disturb the aquatic life around it, or cause unnecessary risk while out swimming. The only real drawback to a Jet Drive system is when the engine is shut down all ability to steer the craft is lost as well.

I/O Motors

The best of both worlds. Inboard/outboard also referred to as stern drive engines, provide the stability of having an inboard mounted engine, while also having a unit attached to the transom. These behemoths clock in as the heaviest options of all available motors and should only be used with a craft capable of supporting it. However, the four-stroke engine provides almost unparalleled fuel economy, as well as giving a significant boost to overall horsepower, while the outboard unit propelling the craft gives you all of the control of your standard outboard motor. With so much going on under the hood, it's amazingly quiet. If given the option for your craft this will definitely be one to look out for.

Hopefully, this has helped narrow things down. As you can see no matter what the use. There is an engine just waiting to be installed on your boat. So get out there, choose the one that's right for you, and get back out on the water!

New York Marine Trades Association