Everything you need to know about outboard motors

Outboard motors are an essential part of any watercraft. Discover what they are, their advantages, types, and maintenance tips

Outboard motors are an essential part of any boat. These motors are a popular choice for those who enjoy boating and fishing. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about outboard motors.

After many years where inboard engines dominated the market for small and medium-sized boats, outboard motors have been gaining ground in most shipyards that build this type of recreational vessels. They stand out for their versatility, adapting to almost any use in coastal navigation. Not to mention their constant evolution, such as swim platforms on the sides, something completely innovative that some shipyards are gradually implementing, adding leisure space to the traditional stern swim platforms.

Technology continues to play a crucial role, with advancements in power and autonomy of outboard motors.

What are outboard motors?

Outboard motors are marine engines designed to be mounted on the rear of a boat. These motors consist of an engine, a propeller, and a steering system. They are known for being portable and easy to install and remove.

Outboard motors are ideal for small and medium-sized vessels, such as recreational and fishing boats, launches, rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), and inflatable boats. They offer great power and maneuverability, making them perfect for navigating in shallow waters or areas with obstacles.

Advantages of outboard motors

There are several advantages to using outboard motors instead of inboard engines. Some of these advantages include:

  • Portability: Outboard motors are easy to transport and can be easily removed from the boat. This makes it more convenient to store the motor out of the water when not in use.
  • Maneuverability: Outboard motors offer excellent maneuverability, allowing greater precision when navigating in tight spaces or waters with obstacles.
  • Maintenance: Outboard motors are easier to maintain and repair compared to inboard engines. This is because they can be easily accessed from the outside of the boat.
  • Safety: In case of a mechanical problem, outboard motors can be lifted out of the water, preventing additional damage and facilitating repairs.

Types of outboard motors

There are different types of outboard motors available in the market. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Two-stroke motors: These motors are older and use a mixture of gasoline and oil to operate. They are known for their simplicity and ease of maintenance.
  • Four-stroke motors: These motors are more modern and use gasoline without an oil mixture. They are more fuel-efficient and emit less smoke.
  • Electric motors: These motors use electricity instead of fuel. They are quiet, environmentally friendly, and do not require engine maintenance.

Tips for outboard motor maintenance

Regular maintenance of outboard motors is crucial to ensure optimal performance and extend their lifespan. Here are some tips for outboard motor maintenance:

  • Change the oil according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Clean the motor after each use to remove salt and debris.
  • Inspect and clean the propeller regularly.
  • Check and replace spark plugs as needed.
  • Verify and adjust the tension of the drive belt.
  • Perform a comprehensive annual maintenance, including checking the fuel and cooling systems.


In general, the current user experience with outboard motors is having an engine that is easier to access for maintenance. They can be easily removed and installed on boats, in case of breakdowns or re-powering. They are no longer limited in power as before, with outboard motors now exceeding 350hp, something unimaginable a few years ago. In fact, all manufacturers are on the same path, increasing power, reducing fuel consumption, and investing in electric technologies, a direction that is unlikely to change in the near future.

Outboard motors are a popular choice for those who enjoy boating and fishing. They are portable, easy to install, and offer great power and maneuverability. Additionally, their maintenance is simpler compared to inboard engines. If you are looking for an engine for your boat, consider outboard motors as a reliable and efficient option.


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