what is outboard motor

What is Outboard Motor

Outboard engine, as the name implies, refers to the propulsion engine installed on the outside of the hull (side of the ship), usually suspended on the outside of the transom, also known as. Outboards are highly integrated and simple to install and purchase. They are the first choice for personal recreational boats, and are also widely used in commercial operations and government law enforcement.

According to different energy sources, outboards are divided into fuel type and electric outboards.

fuel oil outboard engine

The working principle of the fuel oil outboard engine is to convert the chemical energy of the fuel into mechanical energy through the internal combustion engine, and then into the kinetic energy of the boat through mechanical transmission and propeller. Suitable for rivers, lakes and seas.


  1. It is easy to install, directly hung on the stern board, and there is no complicated link such as stern shaft alignment.
  2. No engine room is needed, saving valuable space in the cabin.
  3. It is a complete propulsion system itself, which simplifies the purchase and procurement process of users and shipyards.
  4. Usually lighter in weight, which is beneficial to improve the sailing performance of boats, especially high-speed boats.


  1. Due to the limitation of the installation method, a lightweight design must be adopted, which greatly reduces the reliability and life of the outboard motor while reducing the weight. Usually commercial outboards have a lifespan of 2-5 years.
  2. Low energy utilization rate, poor fuel economy and high use cost.
  3. The structure is complex, there are many moving parts, a lot of maintenance is required in the later stage, and the failure rate is high.
  4. Storage and transportation are inconvenient, and gasoline leakage is inevitable, which not only brings safety problems, but also pollutes the surrounding environment. Many regional maritime bureaus in China have banned ships with more than 12 passengers from using gasoline outboards as power.

Electric outboard motor

With the maturity of technology and the advancement of battery technology, electric outboards have also entered the scope of people’s choice. The electric outboard motor uses a recyclable battery as an energy source, and converts electric power into kinetic energy through an electric trolling motor. It is mainly used in some places with high water quality requirements, such as reservoirs and aquaculture waters.


  1. Green environmental protection, zero pollution. This manifests itself at two levels. First, it is non-polluting to the environment, and has positive significance for protecting water resources and air; second, for individual users, storage, transportation, and use are very clean, and there is no unpleasant gasoline smell, oil pollution, and inhalation of exhaust gas.
  2. Safety. Whether it is gasoline, liquefied gas, or diesel, they are all flammable and explosive, and there are still some risks for ordinary users who are not professional technicians to operate. Electric outboards do not have to worry about such risks at all.
  3. High propulsion efficiency. The output characteristics of low speed and high torque are very suitable for marine propulsion.
  4. Low cost of use. The cost of daily charging is far lower than the cost of purchasing fuel; the structure is simple, the rotating parts are few, the work is reliable, and the maintenance cost is extremely low.
  5. 5.Easy to store, transport and use.


  1. Limited battery life. Models with strong endurance can only achieve 2-3 hours of endurance at economical speeds. Although personal leisure and entertainment are not a problem, commercial operations must increase the battery pack to meet the endurance requirements.
  2. The power range is small. At present, the mass-produced electric outboard with the largest horsepower is the 80-horsepower of Torqeedo Company of Germany, which is still too small compared with gasoline outboards such as Yamaha and Mercury with 300 and 350 horsepower, which limits its popularization and application in large ships.
  3. The initial purchase cost is high. As a high-end product in the outboard motor industry, while providing users with an excellent user experience, the price is also high due to cost.

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