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Tips in Choosing Outboard Motors for Aluminium Boats

Blog | 21 March 2017

Despite their compact dimensions, today’s outboard motors pack some serious power. Still, without the right propulsion hardware, that speedy craft is just an oversized canoe, a nice flotation device, but hardly one you want to paddle back to shore. Avoid that unpleasantness by using these tips to choose the right outboard motor for any aluminium boat.

Builder’s Plate Check

Not every craft is fitted with a safety information plate, although most boats should have one fitted. Search for the plate, and look for the horsepower (HP) section. The information should include the maximum weight, in kilograms, that the main engine and any auxiliary units can weigh. Obey this maximum weight limit.

The Maximum Persons Limit

This number isn’t exactly linked to the performance of an outboard engine on an aluminium boat, but, let’s face it, every buoyancy factor places a hit on the engine. Again, refer to the National Marine Manufacturers plate (NMMA) or the Australian Builders Plate (ABP) for the numbers that determine this important limit.

Considering Outboard Motor Types

The horsepower of the little engine impacts your buying decision. You naturally want to get the tinney speeding over the water. However, this velocity shouldn’t cost you everything you have in fuel reserves. Two-stroke and four-stroke outboard boat engines are the only real choice, but which one do you pick? A 2-stroke is fast and light, but it can drink up fuel. Perhaps a 4-stroke is the better choice, but do remember that these engines are usually beefier and heavier.

Weighing Aluminium Boats

As this remarkably durable metal is lighter than fibreglass, you can afford to drop the horsepower rating on the outboard engine without impacting the craft’s velocity, the knots per hour for you seagoing types, which means that heavy 4-stroke motor may be out of the running. Remember, especially if you’ve been gifted a 4-stroke outboard motor, to compare its weight to the maximum allowable outboard motor weight marked on the boat plate. If the plate isn’t fitted, call the manufacturer or sales outlet to get that information.

Aluminium boats are light and durable, with their tough little interior ribs reinforcing that natural strength factor. Due to that light build, a relatively light 2-stroke engine can provide more than enough power to propel the craft at some speed across the water. For safety’s sake, though, keep the horsepower and motor rating low. After all, your tinney plants itself well during all high-speed manoeuvres, but that stability factor can go out the window if the boat is unbalanced.

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