Factors to consider when buying a boat motor

Have you noticed that your outboard motorboat isn’t performing as well as it used to but dread the potentially complicated or confusing process of choosing a suitable replacement? We know from experience that boat repair can be a daunting and expensive proposal, and making the right decision when it comes to replacing an old motor is vital for avoiding costly and unnecessary expenses or maintenance. 

This article will serve to share our expertise and help you feel better about making the right decision when it comes to buying a new motor for your craft and keeping you enjoying the boating life!

Critical Factors to Consider When Shopping for a New Outboard Motor

Your Boat’s Horsepower Limit

There are many important factors to consider when choosing a motor that is well suited for your motorboat, and choosing one with the right horsepower (hp) is critical. An excellent place to start is by looking at your boat’s capacity plate (typically placed near the stern), which is included by law on all boats manufactured after August 1st, 1973. This plate will tell you the max hp appropriate for your craft. 

To find the ideal horsepower level for your boat, simply find the midway point between 2.5 hp and the maximum hp recommended on your capacity plate. For example, if your capacity plate states that your craft can handle a maximum of 30 hp, the midway point would be 16.25 hp. Unsurprisingly, you won’t generally find a motor with hp that specific, so round up or down to the next logical level, perhaps 15 or 20 hp. 

Your Boat’s Weight

Keep in mind that every boat has a maximum weight capacity and that the weight of gear such as the motor must be factored in when meeting those requirements. Once again, your boat’s capacity plate is the place to look up this vital information, as it will list both the maximum capacity of passengers on your craft as well as the total weight your motorboat is capable of holding. 

Look for the section of the capacity plate that lists a weight under “PERSONS, MOTORS, GEAR,” which represents the maximum weight capacity for your dinghy. Starting with the weight listed, subtract your own weight, plus the approximate weight of the maximum number of passengers you anticipate, plus the anticipated weight of any cargo you expect to carry. This presents you with a number representing the maximum weight of your new outboard motor. 

Your Boat’s Fuel System

Different kinds of motors will use different kinds of fuel systems, which have an effect on your new motor’s performance and efficiency. 

  • Carbureted fuel systems are the oldest and least efficient method for regulating the flow of fuel into your motor. They rely on a mechanical system that directly controls the flow of fuel into the engine, and while they are the cheapest option in terms of up-front cost, poor fuel efficiency means they are less cost-effective in the long run.
  • Electronic fuel injection (as the name implies) relies on a computer system to control the flow of air and fuel into the engine more closely and precisely.
  • Direct fuel systems send fuel directly into the motor’s cylinders, providing a highly efficient system for powering your engine.

Clearly, choosing the right kind of fuel system for your craft can have a strong impact on the cost of running and maintaining your motorboat, so keep this in mind when shopping for a new motor. 

Extra Features

Making sure that a new motor is well suited to your boat’s key specifications, such as weight and horsepower, is of course vitally important, but many brands of the outboard motor will offer a variety of bells and whistles that may make them more attractive to you personally. Different motors can offer such perks as:

  • Battery-powered motors that use solar panels to recharge themselves while on the water. 
  • Power tilt, which can raise your propeller to a safe angle with a push of a button when navigating over potential hazards like sand bars or rocks in shallow water.
  • Electric start buttons that allow your motor to fire up instantly. Hand cranking an engine on open water in cold or rain can be unpleasant or difficult, or you may need to fire up the engine quickly as you drift towards a hazard. A simple button press can be a real advantage to many boaters for a variety of reasons!

These are only some of the options available in special features for outboard motors. Shop around between different brands to find a combination that suits your particular tastes and needs when it comes to getting the best performance from your vessel!

We’re Here to Help!

There is potentially a lot to consider when it comes to keeping your boat in top shape and performing well. Whether you want advice about the best hardware to suit your needs or simply a safe berth to rest your vessel, you can trust us at Corleone Marinas to be on your side! 

Located in some of Sydney Harbour’s most prestigious sites from Elizabeth Bay to Long Island (and more!), we offer the full range of marina services, including shipwrights and mechanics with years of experience in the trade. Contact us today for all your marina needs!

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