Outboard Boat Motors

Outboard motors are fully contained marine propulsion systems that can be mounted onto the transom of a boat. The powerhead, driveshaft, and a lower unit with running gear (the part with the propeller that sits underwater) are all contained together in one unit. Like most marine power systems, the engine spins a shaft, which then spins a propeller shaft, which in turn spins a propeller to create thrust.

Outboard motors have several advantages as compared to other marine propulsion systems. A boat manufacturer can take an outboard and bolt it right onto the back of a boat, hook up the control cables and fuel lines, and the boat’s ready to go. That greatly simplifies the boatbuilding process, because with an inboard or stern drive they’d have to mount the motor and then line up and attach the drive system.

It also makes the engine very easy to replace in case of failure; it improves a boat’s handling because outboard motors provide articulated thrust as opposed to the rudders used with inboards; and modern outboards offer an excellent power-to-weight ratio as compared to the other options.

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