Choosing an Outdoor Engine for Your Boat


Selecting an outboard motor may be clear cut for some boaters whilst debatable for others. To make a selection, you need to ask questions. For example, which do you want to buy – a two-stroke or four-stroke motor? What is the correct prop? Is a bigger motor necessarily a better selection?

Making a Determination

The primary criterion used in making a selection for an outboard motor or engine is whether to buy a four-stroke or two-stroke model. You can answer this question more easily by comparing the technical differences between the two. A four-stroke outboard engine is designed the same as a car engine. It burns gasoline in its cylinders whilst circulating the oil through a different system. The oil and gas will not mix lest you experience a breakdown.

A two-stroke engine, however, does burn a mix of gas and oil. That is because a two-stroke engine is fed by an oil and gas mixture through an intake valve. The mix is directed through a cylinder via an injector or carburetor. During the activity, the exhaust valve is also open, allowing for the fuel to escape unburned.

Direct Fuel Injection

Two-stroke engines that feature direct fuel injection (DFI) operate using a spray. In other words the fuel is sprayed inside the cylinder whilst the piston covers the valve for the exhaust. In turn, no fuel is lost. By contrast, a four-stroke engine’s intake and exhaust operations occur at different periods. Both DFI two-stroke engines and four-stroke motors give you better fuel economy than the classic two-stroke designs. That is because the engines are run by a computer and are therefore directed to optimise the consumption of fuel.

Whether you purchase a two-stroke engine or four-stroke engine from boat dealers is based more on your tastes rather than any technical or practical reasons. Modern two-stroke and four-stroke engines today are considered mechanically superior.

Making Comparisons

If you are still not sure about your choice, take a further look at the differences.

  • Two-stroke DFI engines are lighter weight than their four-stroke counterparts.
  • Four-stroke engines run more quietly than their two-stroke cousins.
  • Two-stroke engines supply a more durable hole shot.

Dual Motors

When selecting engines, you may wonder if you should install one 300 horsepower engine or two 150 horsepower motors, for instance. Dual engines are frequently preferred as they make docking simpler. That is because the engines feature props that rotate in opposite directions. Fishermen who like to sea fish often feel that duals are a safer bet. They do not like the idea of losing power in the middle of nowhere.

However, rigging two motors can be a complex installation as well as expensive. With respect to performance, you will still receive the same amount of power whether you use one or two props.

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