Do you want to buy a boat? Then you should definitely think about which motor you need in advance. Not every engine is suitable for every type of boat. In addition, your boat has a different performance depending on the engine. In the following text, we explain exactly what you have to pay attention to when you buy a motorboat or an engine for your boat.
What engines are there?
Motor boat types differ fundamentally in outboard motors and inboard motors. The outboard engine, power transmission, gearbox and propeller form a unit. Inboard engines are divided into two types, depending on the structure: In the case of inboard engines with V-drive, the main drive motor is built into the ship’s hull. The drive shaft leads through the hull, where it is sealed by a stuffing box, to the outside and drives the propeller. In the case of the inboard engine with Z-drive, the engine is above the waterline in the ship’s hull. The gearbox is bolted to the transom and connected to the drive below the waterline.
Different drive options for different engines
The outboard motor has the classic gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines, but an electric drive is also possible. This can be an alternative if the use of internal combustion engines is prohibited for environmental reasons. However, performance and range depend on the battery capacity and recharging takes more time than filling up with fuel. Inboard engines are also powered by diesel or gasoline. In addition, both high-voltage electric motors and hybrid drives are possible. Jet propulsion is also available for both inboard and outboard motors. Since no propeller is required, the risk of injury is very low and mooring on the beach is unproblematic due to the low draft. However, the engine power must be very high in order to achieve good driving performance and maneuvering at slow speeds is quite difficult.
Which engine do I need for which boat?
In the following we will explain different types of boats and which engine variants are best suited to them:
RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat)
The RIB is a mix between a rubber dinghy and a sport boat. Air chambers ensure buoyancy and safety and the plastic or aluminum hull for strength. An outboard motor, an inboard motor with stern drive or a jet drive is particularly suitable here.
This boat has a steering and seat console just before the middle. The boat is sporty and offers a lot of space. It is suitable e.g. for day trips, water skiing or fishing. Here, too, an outboard motor, an inboard motor with sterndrive or jet drive fit particularly well.
The chugboat (also barge or sloop)
A chug boat is a small motor boat, which usually has a built-in machine (inboard with V-drive). Outboards are also possible. It can be open or have a cabin. Barges are popular because of the large interior space, the level floor and the low clearance height.
Basically all boats are suitable for fishing. The special fishing boat, however, has fishing brackets, a special swivel chair and an electronic fish finder. It offers plenty of space on the aft deck and a central cabin in which the steering position is located. An outboard motor or an inboard motor with V or Z drive works here.
The otherwise closed bow is accessible here. Some models have matching locking ropes. The bowrider boat has more seats, but less storage space. An outboard motor or inboard motor with V or Z drive is particularly useful here.
Runabout (“little speedster”)
Depending on its size, the boat has up to 8 seats and a closed front deck, which is usually suitable as a sunbathing area. Suitable engine variants are an outboard engine, an inboard engine with Z-drive or a jet drive.
Water ski boat
Compared to other fast boats, the focus here is lower. This means that the boat lies deeper in the water and is more stable. In addition, the boat can be equipped with a bathing platform to make it easier to get in and out of the water and to store the water skis or wakeboards. For safety reasons, an outboard motor or an inboard motor with sterndrive should be avoided. An inboard engine with a fixed shaft or a jet drive are better suited.
The shape and style of this boat are designed for speed only and it has tremendous engine power. Both an outboard motor and an inboard motor with Z-drive and a jet drive are suitable here.
A motor yacht has a deck and cabins. The interior is varied. Depending on the size and model, it ranges from individual cabins to luxury apartments. One speaks of a yacht from a length of 10 meters. From a boat length of 15 meters, the yacht is a maxi yacht, and from 24 meters as a super or mega yacht. One or more inboard motors are suitable as motors, optionally with V or Z drive.
A day cruiser is an open, fast, mostly planing motorboat. It is designed for day trips and, thanks to its drive power, is also very suitable for water skiing. The boat has an open cockpit for up to 6 people and a small bow cabin. Depending on the size and length, outboard motors or inboard motors with V or Z drive are suitable, although an outboard motor should not be used for safety reasons when using the waterfront.
Cabin boat, also called weekender
A cabin boat is a boat with a superstructure that is used as a cabin. It offers simple sleeping arrangements, a galley or sideboard and a toilet. The navigation and operating controls are also installed in the cabin. Depending on where the cabin is located, a distinction is made between a middle and a front cabin boat. Depending on the size of the cabin, one speaks of the slip cabin, which is sufficient for overnight stays, the half cabin, which takes up a large part of the boat, and the full cabin, which extends over the entire boat area. An outboard motor or an inboard motor with V- or Z-drive fits here.