Buying guide: Outboards

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Your engine is one of the most expensive components on your boat and sufficient care should be taken in the buying process to ensure that you get a) value for money and b) the right engine for your boat and the applications that you intend using it for. When you buy a new boat and are looking for the right outboard engine with which to power it, there are some relatively simple criteria which you can follow to ensure that you maximise upon the potential of your overall boat package.

Horsepower rating

The boat builder usually specifies their recommendation as to the best power options for the boat, but failing this, your local boat or engine dealer will very easily be able to tell you what you need. This will narrow it down to a minimum and maximum recommended horsepower rating and you’d do well not to exceed the maximum as it is usually very unnecessary and may become unsafe. Also, don’t buy below the minimum power rating to try and save money; you might not be able to get on the plane, and, inexorably, the fuel bill will come back to bite you.

Size matters

Apart from the horsepower rating on a bigger motor, one should remember that the engine size and weight increases with horsepower and that this will have a bearing on how the boat sits in the water (additional weight on the stern). It will give you more performance, but it may also affect the overall handling and manoeuvrability of the boat. Consult your dealer or ask a friend in the know. Bigger is only better if it doesn’t affect the ride or the balance of your boat.


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