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Types of Outboard Motors

6/18/2013 1:19:51 PM | by Anonymous

Outboard Motors

Outboard motors are used for propelling boats. These motors are mechanically simple for being a self-contained device which consists of a gearbox, an engine and jet drive or propeller. They are attached at the outside of the boat allowing them to be easily removed for repair. Outboard motors are responsible for running, steering and controlling of boat’s speed which could be faster than any set of oars. They come in different power levels giving boat owners a variety of options to choose from.


In order to run the motor, one either needs to press a start button or pull a string attached to it. Outboard motors can be easily recognized as the box-shaped device which is actually the engine. When the motor is started, the part right under the engine will be filled with water which acquired weight will then submerge the lowest part which is the propeller. Since outboard motors normally stay under water, they tend to get tangled among seaweeds or damaged when used on boats running in shallow grounds. In order to prevent the motor from getting spoilt, the operator should carefully tilt it up and out of the water when passing through shallow waters or removing debris in the propeller.


The types of outboard motors are gasoline and electric powered motors. Among the two, gas-powered outboards are the most commonly used. They emit loud sound and are preferred for their speed. This type comes in a range of sizes. Boats with small motors are easy to navigate for they are light weight. Larger motors, on the other hand, are utilized on boats meant for long travels and to gain speed even on large weighty boats. Electric versions make use of jet drive instead of propellers. They are used on areas where gas motors are not advisable like shallow areas.


Gas powered outboard motors can either be two or four stroke engines. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Two stroke engines are known for their power which made them the preferred type on high performance speed boats. However, they emit loud sound and add up more on the deterioration of the environment. Due to these reasons, two stroke engines are prohibited on some bodies of water and the use of four stroke engines which can provide a finer and cleaner ride engines are encouraged. How four stroke gas powered outboard motor works is similar to the four stroke system found in cars. Four stroke engines produce less smoke, friendlier to engine components and remains cool for a longer time. There have also been reports that this type uses less fuel compared to two stroke motor.


Electric outboard motors produce quiet sound which is beneficial for fishing. A quiet boat ride will most likely prevent scaring off the fishes. Other advantages of this system are low maintenance costs and emission-free operation. The disadvantage of electric boat propulsion systems is the limited capacity of batteries which prohibit it for long travels. The weight of lead acid batteries is not proportional to the power it could give. There are newer battery technologies such as lithium that are very expensive but could perform way better than acid lead batteries.

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