Choosing The Right Engine

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Choosing the engine (or propulsion system) for your

boat is very important. Both the weight and the

horsepower will have a major impact on the performance

of your boat. If you have a boat that’s underpowered,

the engine will work twice as hard, giving you poor

performance.

Now, we will take a look at the motors available

for boats and vessels:

Outboard motor

An outboard motor is very popular and very useful on

small boats. These motors are very light, powerful,

and extremely quiet. Normally mounted on the transom

of a boat, there are boats available that offer a

motor well or even a bracket to mount the motor to.

The entire motor will swivel about, providing easy

steering as the turning propeller pushes the stern

about. Outboard motors come in many different sizes

and the horsepower can use different types of fuel.

Stern drive

These motors are also known as I/O engines, and

normally heavier than outboard motors. Consisting

of an engine mounted inboard and a lower unit

attached to the transom, these motors offer power

and versitility. You can also tilt the motor up

and down to help provide boat trim while you cruise.

Inboards

On boats that are over 26 feet in length, these

motors are very popular. Similiar to the stern drive

motor, the inboard motor is mounted inside the boat

towards the center, giving you good weight proportion.

Inboards connect directly to the transmission, then

on through the hull of the boat. Then, the shaft

is attached to a propeller which will turn and

propel the boat. The shaft is fixed and doesn’t

swivel around. Therefore, a rudder is mounted

behind the shaft and propeller to help deflect the

flow of water which provides your steering direction.

Jet drive

Jet drive propulsion systems have a big advantage -

no propeller to cause damage or injury to those in

the water, including marine life. Normally, they

are inboard engines that will take in water that

flows through a pump, powered by an impeller.

Then, the water is discharged at a very high pressure

through a nozzle that will propel the boat. To

provide steering for the boat, the nozzle will

swivel. For personal watercraft, a jet drive is

the way to go.

Keep in mind that when power isn’t being applied,

jet driven boats will lose steering, as the stream

of water that propels the boat won’t be there.

Therefore, always keep any part of your body away

from the pump intake – and never operate these types

of boats in shallow water.

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