In order to get the most out of your boating experience and ensure that your vessel is running in the most effective possible, it is critical to get the right kind of boat engine. Weight and horsepower are both going to have a significant effect on how the boat performs, so it is important to learn about what kind of options are available.
Although the technical language of boat engines can be a little confusing to get your head around, once you understand the main considerations and different types, you should have no problem finding the right engine.
Here are ten fast facts about picking out the best types of boat engines:
1. Size matters
When you begin shopping around for the right engine for your boat, one of the first things you need to figure out is the size. You’ll need to know the size and weight of your boat, being sure to account for the added weight of passengers, fuel, and gear.
Every boat is going to come with a rating that indicates its maximum horsepower. When choosing the best types of boat engines, you generally want to pick one that comes as close as possible to the maximum horsepower your boat is rated for.
2. Fuel delivery
Gasoline engines comes in three distinct types. Each delivers fuel in a different way and offers unique benefits depending on what you’re looking for. Here is a breakdown of the three main types:
3. Direct fuel injection
Direct fuel injection engines are a favourite for their exceptional fuel economy and low emissions. They are the most environmentally friendly of all available engines but still offer great throttle response and power. They also provide smooth idling and are great in warmer climates thanks to the fact that have reduced vapor lock.
4. Electronic fuel injection
Many electronic fuel injection systems offer the same benefits as direct fuel injection and also have uniform air and fuel distribution. They also have the availability of self-diagnosing systems and offer cold engine start. Four-stroke electronic fuel injection injections also have very low emissions.
5. Carbureted fuel systems
Carbureted fuel system engines are the most economical option and have the lowest initial cost. They generally have a fairly simple design and therefore have higher emissions than either of the other types mentioned. Carbureted fuel systems will also have relatively poor fuel economy when compared to direct or electronic fuel injection engines.
6. Diesel engines
Generally more complex than traditional gas engines, diesel inboard engines rely on compression for power. Diesel engines also tend to be heavier than gas-run alternatives, and for that reason you don’t often see them in boats smaller than 35 feet. In large vessels though, they have a great capacity to produce torque, have a long live expectancy and generally low running costs.
7. Gas inboard engines
In this type of engine configurating, the engine sits amidships, with a drive running through the bottom of the boat to a propeller, and a separate rudder used for steering. Gas inboard engines also offer the benefit of low running costs. These types of boat engines are appreciated for the fact that they are quiet and out of the way.
8. Outboard engines
Outboard engines are part of a self-contained unit that also consists of the gear case and a propeller. They are attached to the transom of a boat and offer more power per pound of weight than inboard engines. There are also many dealers of outboard engines that offer a four-stroke design, which are more fuel-efficient and don’t need to burn oil as a lubricant along with the fuel.
9. Stern drives
You will also see stern drive engines referred to as inboard/outboards due to the fact that offer features found on both. Stern drive engines are mounted inside of the boat and attached through the transom to a drive unit. In general, stern drives have quieter and more fuel-efficient engines. The steering of a stern drive is also unique, as it is controlled by the outdrive which swivels like an outboard engine to direct propeller thrust.
10. Jet boat engines
One of the biggest advantages of jet propulsion systems if the fact that they have no propeller. There has been increasing research done regarding the damage that a propeller can do you marine life, not to mention the risk for people in the water, so for many this is a major consideration. Typically, they are inboard engines that take in water through a pump powered by an impeller.
The water flows through and is them discharged at a high degree of pressure through a nozzle that propels the boat forward. Due to the fact that jet-driven vessels are steered by a stream of water, they lose their steering capacity when power is not being directly applied.