If you're new to
boats, it's important you understand what you're doing before you buy a
a boat and a motor require basic skills for safe operation for
both you and your passengers. If you're willing to learn, being
able to safely boat can open up an entirely new world to you for
exploring waterways, fishing, and seeing things most others never
will. I strongly recommend reading and understanding the
following information if you've never owned a motor or boat
before. There are some people who frankly, don't belong in boats
or anywhere near motors, just like some people shouldn't ride a
motorcycle, or snowmobile, or skydive. Sailers don't necessarily
know anything about motor operation. Boating isn't like hopping
in your car and turning the key, there is more to it than that.
There are plenty of bad operators who drive a car for years, even after
education and getting their state license!
When you leave shore in a vessel, you're for the most part on your
own. And if you are using a motor 25hp or below (for most
states), you don't even need a boater's license! So please make
sure you are ready to commit to learning how to use a boat, and more
importantly, how to operate an outboard motor safely. It's
that much more important to make sure you know what you're doing ahead
of time. I highly recommend
taking a safe boaters course
available through your local state licensing agency
require this for motors above 25hp anyway, even though it is rarely
enforced). I also recommend purchasing a membership to SeaTow
(basically the AAA of the waterways) if you plan on going out on larger
water bodies. Towing costs are obscene, to say the least, if you
ever get stranded, run out of gas, etc.
you answer these questions? If not, then you need to learn more
about boats and outboards before becoming an operator. Answers at
the bottom of the page.
1. In a
2-stroke motor, you should use clean gas to run it.
2. The Starboard side of a boat is the
equivalent of the ___________ side.
3. When shifting, you should move the
shift lever ___________
slowly, to prevent undue gear wear
4. A motor choke does what?
b. quickly, to prevent undue gear wear
richens air input, leans out fuel input
5. When transporting an outboard off
your boat, you should lie it down
b. reduces air input, leans out fuel
c. richens air input, richens fuel input
d. reduces air input, richens air fuel
the tiller side
b. on the shifter side
c. on the control panel side
d. on the back/prop side
Know The Basic Aspects of A
Just like your car or truck, you need to be familiar with the basic
parts of an outboard motor before you buy it. Understanding the
different parts is akin to knowing the basic parts of your automobile
for common conversations with other boaters. If someone talked to
you about your car hood, and you didn't know what the was, that might
cause issues if you needed to check your car battery. The same
can be said for outboards; you should know what to look at if asked
questions about your motor.
What Size Motor Should I Buy?
Check your coast guard
rating plate to see the maximum horsepower (HP) your
vessel can handle. It is calculated by length,
beam, and other factors. If you overpower your vessel with a
motor larger than what it's rated for, you assume exta risk and
you crash, if the boat flips, if it folds up like an accordian.
Don't try to turn a small boat into a
jetski. Go buy a jetski if you want more speed than what your
boat is rated for.
smaller vessels (typical aluminum boats, and smaller fiberglass/day
cruisers), this rating plate will be on or near the transom. For
larger boats it will be near the engine compartment or at the
helm. If your boat doesn't have a coastguard plate anymore or is
vessel, look up information on the boat utilizing the internet and do
your homework. If you have an obscure vessel or don't know what
the model or make is, look for boats of similiar shape and size.
Underestimate your vessel rating to be safe, avoid
overestimating. You can always ask a local boat distributor for
their opinion too. Generally speaking aluminum boats are rated
lower HP ratings than fiberglass boats.
This is another very common question. You need
the right length motor otherwise
your boat won't work properly and you can easily damage your motor or
have safety issues while underway. First, measure the height of
transom (the rear of the boat). Measure from the top of the
the center bottom of the boat. Using that number, you can figure
what you need for a motor length as follows:
Motor Shaft Length
~15" - short shaft
~20" - long shaft
~25" - extra long
Note that if you already own a motor but don't know it's length, you
measure from the bottom of the transom bracket (the part that hangs on
the boat) to the ventilation plate (the flat plate directly above the
prop). This length is going to be close to the numbers above,
take an inch or two.
can use a longshaft motor on a shortshaft transom by installing a jack
plate or mini-jacker on your transom to raise the motor height between
3-6 inches (based on vessels configuration).
the right size propeller makes a big difference in vessel
performance and motor maintenence. There are two main factors;
diameter and pitch. When you see a propeller described, you will
see something such as 10 x 12. This means 10" diameter, 12"
pitch. Pitch is referring to how much distance is covered during
1 revolution/turn of the propeller. So in this case, 1 turn would
equal 12" of vessel displacement.
Picking a propeller is based most importantly on top RPMs your motor
turns under a typical load and calm waters/wind conditions. Every
motor has a normal RPM range. Generally that will fall between
4000-6000RPM, based on the motor size. The key factor here is
knowing what RPM your motor is turning at wide open throttle (WOT, or
max throttle). You need a tachometer to do this. The motor
should be tested on your boat. If you are turning too high RPM,
you will damage the motor. If you are turning too low RPM, you
will have the motor 'lugging,' and that is very bad as well (overheat,
burn out the internals). Either scenario should be avoided.
If your RPMs are too low, generally each
pitch DOWN you go, you gain
RPMs are too high, generally each pitch UP you go, you lose
A bigger pitch doesn't necessarily translate to more speed. If
you have high RPM, then yes, you should gain a few MPHs by going up in
pitch since your motor can handle a bigger prop. However,
turning to0 low an RPM and using a lower pitch prop can actually help
you gain speed.
I can evalaute your motor with a tachometer if desired, too.
the right is an informative short article distributed by Evinrude years
ago. It elaborates more on the basics I spoke about already with
a few pictures. You will need to download then open the file by
clicking the image to the right.
What Year Motor Should I Buy?
The year of the motor isn't as important as the condition.
Outboard motors are not
the same as cars or trucks. Automobiles are generally used
everyday; outboard motors are used, in many instances, for 10-20 hours
annually. Most motors are tested during their design stages
to withstand up to 1,000 hours of continuous running at wide open
throttle (as fast as possible, high RPM, high stress).
The condition of the powerhead and gearcase are most important; the
other systems (cooling, fuel, ignition) are all perishable and will
need to be serviced and renewed at regular intervals as part of the
normal maintenence schedule.
Motors sold by Runner Outboards LLC have already had all the necessary
servicework performed, and the powerhead and gearcase are thoroughly
evaluated to be functioning properly. Don't worry as much about
the year, pay attention to the condition!
Quiz Answers: B,
A, B, D, D. These are very basic questions, if you have any
incorrect, please read the education section and the operator's manuals
I include for free on this website!
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