Types of Boat Motors


Boat motors are the essential powerhouse behind any watercraft. From small boats to large yachts, selecting the right type of motor is crucial for a smooth and efficient boating experience. When considering purchasing a boat motor, it is essential to know the different types and their specific features. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide to the various types of boat motors available in the market.

While some of these motors may have some overlap, this post will help you differentiate boat motors and pick the right one for your beloved vessel.

The Different Types Of Boat Motors:

Disclaimer: Horsepower varies greatly between manufacturers, motor types, and boat sizes. The horsepower ranges given in this article are estimates and could be much different depending on your specific boat’s size and capabilities. Always do your research independently for your boat and motor.

Outboard Motors

Outboard motors are the most common type of boat motor used in recreational boating. They are mounted on the transom of the boat and can be easily removed for maintenance or storage. Outboard motors come in different sizes and horsepower (hp), ranging from 2.5hp to 350hp, making them suitable for small and large boats. They are versatile and can be used in various water conditions, making them ideal for anglers, skiers, and pleasure boaters alike.

Inboard Motors

Inboard motors are engines mounted inside the boat hull. They are commonly found in larger boats, such as cruisers and yachts, and can range from 6hp to 250hp. They are powerful and offer excellent performance, making them ideal for watersports and offshore cruising. Inboard motors are more expensive to maintain and repair, and their installation requires more expertise.

Stern Drive Motors

Stern drive motors, also known as inboard/outboard motors, combine the features of both inboard and outboard motors. They are mounted inside the boat hull like inboard motors, but their propellers are located outside the hull like outboard motors. Stern drive motors offer a great balance between power and maneuverability and are ideal for watersports and cruising. They range from 150hp to 500hp and are more expensive to maintain and repair than outboard motors.

Jet Drive Motors

Jet drive motors use a water jet propulsion system instead of a traditional propeller. They are commonly used in smaller boats and personal watercraft, such as jet skis. Jet drive motors offer excellent maneuverability and are ideal for shallow water boating. They are not suitable for large boats and are more expensive to maintain and repair.

Electric Motors

Electric motors are becoming increasingly popular among boaters, particularly in smaller boats and fishing kayaks. They are quiet, eco-friendly, and low-maintenance, making them a great alternative to gasoline-powered motors. Electric motors are less powerful than gasoline motors, and their range is limited. However, they are ideal for slow cruising and fishing.

Trolling Motors

Trolling motors are small electric motors designed for slow-speed trolling or fishing. They are mounted on the bow or stern of the boat and offer precise maneuverability in calm water conditions. Trolling motors range from 12 volts to 36 volts, and their thrust ranges from 30 pounds to 120 pounds. They are an excellent addition to larger boats for fishing and trolling.

What To Know About Different Boat Motors

It’s important to note that horsepower ranges can vary depending on the manufacturer, model, and size of the boat, so it’s always best to consult the manufacturer’s specifications for exact details.

What Boat Motor Is Right For Me?

Choosing the right boat motor largely depends on the size and type of boat you have, as well as the type of boating activities you plan to do. For smaller boats such as kayaks or small fishing boats, an electric or small gas-powered outboard motor may be sufficient. For larger boats, inboard, stern drive, or jet drive motors may be necessary to provide enough power for cruising, water sports, or offshore boating. It’s important to consider factors such as horsepower, fuel efficiency, maneuverability, and maintenance requirements when choosing a boat motor. Consult with a professional or manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure you choose the right motor for your specific boating needs.

Choosing The Right Boat Motor For Your Needs

Choosing the right boat motor is essential for a safe and enjoyable boating experience. Outboard motors are the most common type of motor and are suitable for various boats and water conditions. Inboard motors and stern drive motors offer excellent power and performance but are more expensive to maintain and repair. Jet drive motors are ideal for shallow water boating, and electric motors offer a quiet and eco-friendly alternative to gasoline-powered motors. Trolling motors are a great addition to larger boats for fishing and trolling. We hope this guide has helped you understand the different types of boat motors available in the market and choose the one that suits your boating needs.

North Idaho Boating Professionals at Hagadone Marine Group

If you’re located in North Idaho and looking for expert boating advice, the Hagadone Marine Group is an excellent resource. With years of experience in the boating industry, our team of professionals can help you find the right boat motor, provide maintenance and repair services, and even offer boating education and training. They offer a wide range of boats and equipment, from luxury vessels to small fishing boats, and can help you with any boating needs you may have. Whether you’re a seasoned boater or just getting started, the Hagadone Marine Group is a trusted name in the industry and a go-to resource for boating professionals in North Idaho.