Best Outboard Motor- A Complete Guide

Best Outboard Motor: A Complete Guide

Written by Boatsetter Team
August 18, 2021

Are you ready to get out on the water, but do not know what outboard motor is the right one? Tired of looking through endless engine configurations and fuel types?  

With this resource, buying an outboard motor need not be a daunting experience. Whether you want a large engine or something on the smaller side, or fancy electric over petrol, this list will allow you to choose the motor you have been dreaming of. 

Long or short journeys, it is all here.

But before we begin this blog post, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, well done on your choice. In comparison to oars and other more manual modes of powering your boat, outboard motors have many benefits.

The next thing you must consider is the type of outboard motor you seek. Your first choice may be good old gasoline. Gasoline-powered outboard motors are the default option for boaters. They can range from a gentle 1.4 horsepower up to a rip-roaring 300 HP. Engine configurations, too, are just as diverse. Motors can have one to eight cylinders and be either 2-stroke or 4-stroke. All of which can be either hydraulically connected to a steering wheel or commanded using a throttle.

But do not forget electricity. A greener and quieter alternative, electric outboard motors are generally on the smaller end of the power spectrum. It is important to note that the power of an electric outboard motor is typically measured in pounds of thrust, whereas a petrol motor is measured in horsepower. Cheaper yet less readily available, electric motors are well suited for fishing vessels and pleasure yachts. This is because they are almost silent.

best outboard motor

Some other considerations include power. In fact, this is the salient feature you should take into consideration when buying your outboard. Beyond speed, the power of an outboard engine will determine how it handles itself on the water. For the sports enthusiasts out there, look to a higher-powered engine. Activities such as towing an inflatable or water skiing are impossible without one.

Often overlooked, gears are also vital. Albeit a tad pricier, outboard motors can come with three gears (reverse, neutral, and forward). This makes them easier to handle on the water. More commonly, outboards have only two gears (neutral and forward). Bare this in mind.

Shaft length. In many other departments, it is important to know what shaft length is right for your boat. To do this, you will need to get a tape measure out and measure at the exact center of the transom from top to bottom. If it is around 15”, you should consider a short shaft outboard, but it falls in the range of 17” to 22”, you ought to purchase a long shaft outboard.

For more guidance on how to inspect a boat, particularly before you buy it, take a look at this blog post. It might save you a lot of hassle.

Coleman Powersports 2.6 HP

Now that we have looked at what to consider let review some of the best outboard motors out there. The best in class is the Coleman Powersports 2.6 HP Outboard Motor. This bad boy is designed for more petite vessels and inflatables (think RIB, not rubber ring). However, it should be noted that it would make an ideal auxiliary trolling motor.

Weighing in at 37.5 pounds, the Coleman Powersports 2.6 HP Outboard Motor is a 4-stroke engine and has a 31-gallon internal gas tank. While it is not the most powerful beast out there, it is reliable. Indeed, most users say that it works well after you break it in, and it will start roaring on the first or second pull. It is quieter than competitor models on the market and comes with an easy-start TCI ignition and 360-degree steering. Plus, it is made of marine-grade aluminum and has a maximum fuel consumption of 0.5 gallons per hour. What is not to love about that? Look at the latest price here.

Anbull 2-stroke

While the Coleman was the best overall outboard engine, the Anbull 2-stroke boat motor is by far the best value. Boasting advanced cooling technology, this motor has a horsepower of around 3.6. Because it uses cool air, it can run in shallow waters, especially in comparison to other motors out there.

It is ideally suited to inflatable boats, fishing vessels, and sailboats. A pretty wide selection indeed. This is because it features an adjustable throttle control lever and a more energy-efficient streamline propeller. Besides, it is reliable, corrosion-resistant, and easy to operate.

With this many features, the Anbull 2-stroke is a great motor for the price. Plus, the manufacturer also has gifted buyers with a one-year warranty should anything go amiss.

Sea Dog 4-stroke 

Keeping in the cost-cutting vein, the Sea Dog 4-stroke 4 HP is a fuel-efficient choice – and that’s saying something. Just 24 pounds in weight, this outboard motor is a superb addition to more miniature vessels. At the same time, it can be used in both fresh and saltwater.

Despite its small size, the Sea Dog 4-stroke packs in a bunch of features. It is air-cooled, there is a 360-degree rotary handle with self-lock, and it has a CDI starting system with a manual pull cord. To help you on those frosty mornings, it also has a choke. What’s more, the motor’s cutting-edge combustion chamber makes it extremely fuel-efficient. It reaches speeds of 5,000 to 6,000 RPMs.

Minn Kota Traxxis 70

If money is no object and you are ready to splash out, then the Minn Kota Traxxis 70 is for you. This premium motor is replete with so much technology; it would make the Death Star look obsolete. A myriad of adjectives come to mind when describing this delight. It is competent on the water boasting 70 pounds of thrust. It has an indestructible composite shaft, which flexes on impact instead of shattering. Finally, its quick-cam depth adjuster has a responsible and effortless steering capacity, which means users can rotate the motor 180 degrees by adjusting the tiller to just 45 degrees.

Yet the cherry on the cake is the Taxis 70’s digital maximizer. Once you dial in your desired speed, this innovative feature will deliver the necessary power to keep you cruising—nothing more, nothing less.

This will keep you on the water all day long!

Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55

Exclusively for this list, the Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55 is made entirely for kayaks. Yes, you read that right. No more paddling. This motor is capable of delivering 55 pounds of thrust through its lightweight and durable fiberglass shaft. There are not one, not two, but eight variable speed modes. Five of which are forward, three are for reversing. Needless to say, this ensures the captain has complete mastery over the vessel on the water. Designed to perfection, it has an aluminum motorhead with corrosion-resistant magnesium, zinc, and stainless-steel parts. In short, it is hardy enough for saltier waters.

Luckily for buyers of the Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55, it comes with extra long battery cables, meaning you can stow batteries anywhere on your kayak. Besides, the motor maker is so confident in the quality of their build that they have included a two-year warranty with the kayak!


Browse by experience


Explore articles