How Much Does a Boat Motor Cost
Boat motors can set you back from a few hundred dollars at a yard sale to anything in the thousands of dollars. A few hours searching the web can give you a great idea of the types of motors and the different features available and the wide range of prices for each motor.
Like when you make any other purchase, it is important to consider a wide range of factors. Among the many other considerations, you should consider the type of boat you have, including its weight and hull capacity, your expected motor usage, and your overall expectations from the new motor that you purchase.
The weight of your boat is one of the most critical factors to consider as an initial step. Heavier boats will generally need bigger and stronger motors to give you enough control in more treacherous waters. Also, you’ll generally need a more powerful motor to navigate the waters on bigger, heavier boats.
Hull capacity is another very important factor to consider. Some boats can only handle a certain amount of extra weight and are also limited in size. You’ll certainly need to see if the new motor is actually going to fit on your boat. Always be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications when it comes to how much extra weight your boat can handle. You certainly don’t want to buy a motor that weighs 1000 pounds for your little skiff!
Finally, you’ll also need to think about how much power you want your new motor to have. We’ll look at this part of the equation in a lot more detail throughout the rest of this article.
How Much Horsepower Will I Need?
It might surprise you to learn that some pontoon boats now come with as many as 900-horsepower motors. So even if you are looking for a motor for your pontoon boat, you will quickly realize that there are many factors to consider.
Several things can help you determine how much horsepower you need. Think about the horsepower-to-weight ratio of your boat, how much fuel efficiency you’ll need, and how you will generally be operating your boat.
First, as we discussed earlier, you’ll need to consider the weight of the boat. The boat horsepower-to-weight ratio is simple to calculate as horsepower per pound. If your boat weighs 2,000 pounds and it has a 200-horsepower engine, 2,000 divided by 200 gives you a result of 10 pounds per horsepower. The lower the number, the faster your boat will go. While some motors may give you the same horsepower result, you’ll be adding extra weight with each additional motor too.
Although some high horsepower motors do not necessarily lead to more fuel usage, the amount of horsepower you choose will also impact your fuel efficiency. If you run a gas motor between 3,000 and 3,500 rpm and a diesel motor at three-quarters throttle, you’ll reach optimal fuel efficiency. A lower horsepower motor at full throttle uses more gas than a high horsepower motor does with less throttle.
Types of Motors
Outboard motors can range from under $100 to almost $100,000, depending on factors like power, make, model, and a few other things. Your specific needs will help you determine what size and power motor you need for your boat. At that point, you can start comparing brands in that range of power while considering all of the various options like electric starting, manual or power tilt, electronic fuel injection, and so on.
At Boatsetter, we offer an easy way to find boats of all types. It is a good idea to try out some of our boats with different types of motors before you commit to buying one yourself. You can explore our privately owned, worldwide selection of boats, connect with boat owners and captains, set the dates for your boating adventure, and start your Boatsetter experience.
After trying out a few of our boats, it might be helpful to study spreadsheets with different specifications for each type of motor in terms of color, shaft length, weight, etc. A professional retailer is probably the best way to go if you will be using your motor a lot and if you need some options that are slightly beyond the standard offerings.
A Few Other Things to Consider
You will need to think about how you plan to use the motor that you buy. This plan will have a big impact on the cost of the motor if you do not want to spend top dollar but are mostly looking for the best value possible.
Those looking for a recreational boat that they can use on fishing trips (like a bass boat) will not need as much power or a top-of-the-line model as a cabin cruiser or someone who runs a charter service and is looking at a lot of hours of motor usage. If you are in this category, a quick search on Craigslist or among some local yard sales might lead you to exactly the type of motor you’ll need.
Also, you’ll need to consider your power needs when you are looking for your motor. If you have a small boat, you definitely won’t need an outboard motor with a lot of horsepower. Knowing what kind of boat you need the outboard for, how you use your boat, and where you are planning to use your boat (saltwater versus freshwater) will help determine the level of power and other specifications for making the right decision.
Some Further Options
The outboard motors of today have so many options you can select from to make the most of your time on the water. Some different types of outboard motors include two-stroke motors, which were the norm until recently. These motors require a mixture of fuel and oil to run well. Four-stroke engines are becoming much more common these days, and most new motors are four-stroke. These gas engines run quieter, burn cleaner and offer better fuel efficiency than two-stroke engines.
Are you looking for a top-of-the-line, brand new boat model, or do you just need something that works? Age is certainly a factor that can impact the cost of your outboard engine, but it also doesn’t necessarily mean that older motors will not meet your expectations. Sometimes the older models will work just fine if you are just looking for a little extra power to help guide you around the lake.
If you do want to explore some of the newer motors, there are ways for you to filter your options and select the motor that is just right for you and your budget. You can choose from a range of top-rated brands and models for nearly every outboard motor use and budget.
Making the Final Decision
When shopping for outboard motors for your boat, use all of these factors to make an educated decision. When you have the right motor, you’ll be ready to enjoy smoother, quieter, and more efficient trips on your personal watercraft.