Here are some tips for buying an outboard, it doesn’t matter whether you want to buy a used outboard or a new outboard. This page is intended to provide you with some suggestions and show you the differences between the outboard motor. So you are perhaps a little better prepared when buying an outboard motor. Regardless of whether you buy an outboard motor from Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, Tohatsu or Mercury, please always remember to have your outboard motor inspected. You should definitely include the cost of the inspection in your purchase decision for an outboard motor.
Which outboard do I even need?
First you should know what kind of outboard you need or want to have, because there are not only differences in the HP or KW number. Do you even have a sports boat license inland or lake? If not, only 5 (Rhine) or 15 HP are possible for you anyway. But before you think about buying it, you should first see which type of outboard your sport boat needs, because there are short shaft, long shaft and even ultra long shaft outboards. Then of course it also plays a role whether you need or want to have an outboard with a tiller or a steering wheel (outboard with remote control). Then there is an outboard motor with a pull-rope starter or an outboard motor with an electric start (electric start). A battery on board is required for the electric starter of the outboard motor; in most cases this is then also recharged by the outboard motor.
Of course, it should also be noted that the lightest models are equipped with a tiller and hand start. E-starters with batteries and remote steering naturally add additional weight to the outboard, and a short-shaft outboard also weighs less than a long-shaft or even ultra-long-shaft outboard.
It is also important to pay attention to the weight of the outboard motor, as most sports boats and inflatables are only permitted up to kilos “X””. Is your inflatable boat e.g. Approved up to 20 HP and a maximum of 40 kilos, then you have to adhere to the 20 HP and 40 kilos. Does the 20 HP outboard weigh e.g. 46 kilograms, then this cannot be used. Here it might be advisable to look for an old 2-stroke outboard, as these are much lighter than current 4-stroke outboards.
Outboard shaft length: short shaft or long shaft outboard
Most small inflatable boats up to approx. 3.80 meters usually require a short shaft or normal shaft outboard motor, as the transom is not quite as high here. Motor boats and inflatable boats over 3.80 in most cases need a long shaft outboard motor, and a rib in most cases beforehand. The length of the shaft depends on the transom of the boat. Measurements are made from the anti-cavitation plate to the top of the mirror. Short shaft approx. 38cm, long shaft approx. 51cm and ultra-long shaft approx. 63 to 72 cm. As you can see, there are also big differences here, you should definitely keep the correct shaft length for your sports boat. Otherwise you risk significantly poorer handling characteristics and higher consumption of your boat.
2 stroke or 4 stroke outboard
New 2-stroke engines can hardly be purchased anymore, the 2-stroke outboards have been replaced by the modern 4-stroke engines. Let us first deal with the advantages and disadvantages of the 2-stroke cycle. The main advantage of the 2-stroke engine is the low weight due to the significantly lighter construction, and there is no need to change the engine oil, which can also be interpreted as a disadvantage. In addition, 2-stroke outboards are always a bit livelier, but also have a much higher fuel consumption than modern 4-stroke outboards. In addition, an oil-gasoline mixture must always be driven with the 2-stroke engine, this comes directly into the gasoline tank. Modern 2-stroke outboards, on the other hand, already have their own oil tank installed under the cover, the motor then automatically mixes its own mixture as required. The oil consumption is then significantly lower here, this function is called, among other things, Autolube. The modern 2-stroke outboards also have an automatic e-choke installed. Disadvantages of the 2-stroke outboard motor can be the high oil consumption, stench and smoke as well as noise. Overall, the 2 stroke is very low maintenance.
The 4-stroke outboard motor, on the other hand, has its own oil pan, which is also known from the car, of course the engine oil has to be changed regularly. Modern 4-stroke outboards are also much quieter, hardly smell and are of course better for the environment. The consumption of gasoline is much lower. The disadvantage is that they are much heavier. At the moment, however, many new series are coming onto the market, which have become much lighter.
Buying a used outboard motor can be worthwhile!
Buying a used outboard motor can always be worthwhile, especially on the well-known auction and classifieds platforms you can always find something suitable. Be careful, however, that you don’t get fooled, there are also a lot of weirdos there who just want to get rid of their junk. Here, too, you should ask yourself exactly what you actually need, a supposed bargain should not blind you. You should also always have a lot of time looking for a used outboard, as this is the only way to get a good bargain later. Because buyers in a hurry often end up paying extra. A used outboard should always be cheaper than a new one, sounds logical right? Not for many sellers, they often charge almost the original price and think that you would pay them almost the original price. If you want to buy something, you should always give me a lot of time, that’s the top priority! At some point the right bargain will come. Pay close attention to the new prices before buying, only those who know the cheapest new price will not pay too much later on with the used outboard. Also make sure that all inspections have been made. Is the used outboard still eligible for warranty? Then all inspections should be done and entered in the service book of the outboard. In any case, pay attention to the operating hours that have already run, these give you information about how long the outboard has been running. With modern outboards, the operating hours can be read out with the computer, so nobody can fool you. If the engine is a bit older, you may also want to check whether the impeller on the outboard has already been replaced.