Buying a boat can present you with a number of considerations that you wouldn’t face in the purchase of any other mode of transport. Whereas a car comes standard with the engine already built in, a boat may often require a separate outboard motor. This means you need to decide which motor will be right for your boat and your purposes.
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If you’re not sure what factors you need to take into account, then look no further than this short but comprehensive guide. Think about these five points, tick the boxes and buy your motor.
The question of engine size and output really consists of three considerations: the power requirements of your boat, running costs and environmental standards. The traditional choice has always been between two-stroke and four-stroke engines. Each of these has its benefits. Two-strokes fire with more precision, while four-strokes are more refined. Two-strokes have a higher power-to-weight ratio than four-strokes and generate more torque. Four-strokes are more expensive but incur less wear and tear and are thus easier to maintain.
When deciding on which one to go for, consider how much money you have to spend upfront relative to how much you are prepared to spend on maintenance and also consider the size and kind of boat you want to power. Generally speaking, two-strokes are more powerful, although there are now four-strokes available across a range of outputs from two to 350 HP. In the age of green technology, there are also many environmental factors to consider. Clean, electric options are now also available.
Boat manufacturers are in the best position to tell you what engines you should be using with their vessels. Follow the guidelines they provide and you likely can’t go wrong. As agents and dealers, we also have the expertise to advise what motor you will need. Don’t be afraid to ask.
If you are uncertain as to what motor you need, it’s best to select two or three and test drive your boat with them. Take the boat out with each and see how it feels. Take note of how it handles, and how well it propels and steers your boat. Remember to ask the seller about fuel requirements, as well as maintenance procedures and schedules, and how these will fit into your budget going forward.
You may find that the most affordable engine you can find will cost more to keep running. On the other hand, one that will require a big outlay upfront may be quite cheap to operate in the long run. Think carefully about your short-term and long-term budget and make the choice that strikes the best balance of the two, or leans more towards the short or long-term saving, whichever it is you favour.
Used motors will offer a more affordable option and, depending on the condition, can very often give you the performance and longevity you might expect from a newer unit. It gives you more to take into account, but it can save you a lot of money. Always be sure to scrutinize pre-owned motors very carefully, however. If you’re not sure what to look for then find a knowledgeable person you trust to check it out for you. We stock both new and used boats and motors.
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