When boat engines were introduced in the early 20th century, they completely transformed the idea of boating – no longer were sailors required to expend a lot of manpower, instead enjoying worry-free, easier and safer seafaring adventures.  Today, there are essentially 4 types of boat engines. Once you  understand the weight of your boat and the horsepower required for its operation, you can choose the right engine and maximize your experience on the water.

aking The Boat Right Engine Choice

The four basic types of engines are as follows: 

  • Inboard Motors: If your vessel is longer than 26 feet, you will most likely be looking for an inboard motor. This motor is mounted inside the boat, as close to the center as possible for even weight distribution.  The motor’s shaft is attached to the propellers, and a rudder situated behind the propellers control the steering. The benefits of inboard motors include quiet operation and respectable gas mileage.
  • Outboard Motors: In the smaller boating community, the outboard motor is the most popular. Easy to operate, store and repair,  they also provide the most horsepower per pound of weight. The outboard motor consists of three components – the engine itself, the propeller and the gear box; and is made to attach to the outside of the boat transom. Vessels with outboard motors are propelled forward by a steering wheel.
  • Jet Drive Motors: Fixed inboard and without propellers, the jet drive motor does not disturb marine life and therefore is considered safer and more eco-friendly than most boat motors. The engine operates by drawing water through an impeller-powered pump; the water is then expelled at high pressure to propel the boat through the water. However, this engine has a significant limitation, as it cannot be operated in shallow water.
  • Stern Drive Motors: Generally known as an inboard/outboard motor, the I/O is the most powerful of the available engines. Characteristics of both types of engines combine to create this four stroke, self-propelled unit; it is mounted inboard, with a component unit fixed to the transom. The outdrive rotates the outboard engine to impel the boat.

Engines are available in gas or diesel. Diesel affords exceptional durability for frequently used vessels, and also is superior for propelling heavy or muscular boats. These types of engines tend to break down more often the less they are used.  Then again, diesel engines are not even available for the large number of powerboats on the water (those 18 to 23 feet). Gasoline engines are far better suited for speed, throttle response and cost effectiveness.

Whatever engine you choose, a membership with Sign & Glide will provide the backup you need should anything go wrong. Browse our website or call one of our representatives today – then get out there. The water is waiting.