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Differentiating Outboard Motors and Knowing What is Right for Your Aluminium Boat

Blog | 27 June 2017

Boat owners have choices when they’re selecting an outboard motor. Not positionally, of course, because the engine’s attached to a reinforced aft wall. No, there are no great decisions to be made regarding the location of the propulsion system. As for the type of engine, well, there are several options. Having said that, how do you differentiate outboard motors by type?

Basic Outboard Engine Differentiation 

Mounted outside the transom, the stern of your boat hosts the streamlined engine cowling. Below the water, a submerged propeller and an advanced gearing system power the boat through the waves. If you’re aware of the different two-stroke and four-stroke engines that crouch powerfully inside those housings, you’re probably wondering how to identify them. Well, a two-stroke engine is a considerably lighter piece of machinery, one that generates lots of high-pitched noise. Conversely, a propulsion system that uses four-stroke momentum is larger, sometimes even ungainly.

Beyond The Skin Deep Looks 

Your aluminium boat doesn’t necessarily need a high horsepower drive system, and it certainly won’t benefit from the power of a 4-stroke engine if that ungainly heft unbalances your craft. The prow of your aluminium boat is threatening to leave the water, so choose a 2-stroke engine if your boat’s hull demands less weight. Yesteryears models were fuel-slurpers, but contemporary dual-stroke variants have been put on a diet ever since fuel injection technology was introduced. Of course, the best things do come in small packages, and that maxim now applies to many 4-stroke power plants. A small 20-HP member of this multiple engine stroke family, for example, is apt to push you back into your seat when you install it on your aluminium boat. Just remember to check the builder’s capacity plate before buying big, though.

Weighing Important Outboard Motor Variables 

Perhaps you’ve spent too much time considering stroke capacities, so let’s move on to a few other important matters. The starting technology used to engage your engine deserves a mention. Older rope cord starters are all part of the boating experience, but they can be intimidating. Fortunately, newer outboard engines are loaded with electronics, so many affordable engines use button ignition controls. That same control panel will likely contain warning indicators, which can be a godsend when the boat starts to cough in the middle of a lake.

The weight and attractively painted engine cowling sometimes conceal too much. Pull out the manual, check to see if the engine architecture is backed by two or four-stroke power. If your boating knowledge is still developing, consider an electronic ignition and a control panel array with clearly illuminated warning indicators, not a tricky rope recoil ignition assembly. Finally, use these differences to match horsepower, weight, and other important engine features to your aluminium boat.

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