#BoatPros: How to Choose an Outboard for Your Boat
5 Steps to choose an outboard for your boat, 2-stroke VS 4-stroke, should you go used or new, PLUS: Use our bonus boat motor size calculator to ensure you get the right outboard for your boat
4 Steps. A bonus 5th one. And everything you need to not only choose an outboard for your boat but to select the perfect motor for your boat size too!. WATCH: Cape Town BoatPro Kevin Goodspeed explains what you should know when choosing an outboard.
WATCH: HOW TO CHOOSE AN OUTBOARD FOR YOUR BOAT
This video features Kevin Goodspeed of Atlantic Suzuki in Cape Town. From servicing and maintenance to sales and even some new boats, Kevin and his team live boating every day. And he gives a comprehensive overview of the most important things you need to choose an outboard for your boat. Here, we highlight the most NB parts, plus: We add an extra consideration: the boat motor size calculator:
1 CHOOSING BETWEEN A 2-STROKE VS 4-STROKE MOTOR
There are pros and cons to each. Your 2-stroke motor is an older, simpler technology, using an oil-fuel mixture to generate power. Kevin says it’s easier to use and repair yourself, as well as lighter and cheaper. But, it’s much noisier, polluting and damaging to the environment. He feels it’s perhaps better suited for operating in remote areas, where you maybe don’t have access to a technician.
This while the 4-stroke is the newer and better option. It’s way more advanced, with better outboard technology and fuel efficiency. It’s much quieter, smoother, environmentally friendly and, because it doesn’t use an oil-fuel mixture, it’s less smoky. And it provides much better performance and reliability for your money. Kevin says it’s generally the better option for almost every application. In fact, 4-strokes are among Suzuki most famously awarded outboard motors.
Check out all your options of Suzuki outboards.
2 SHOULD YOU BUY A USED OR NEW OUTBOARD?
While a used motor might seem like a cheaper investment option, Kevin warns that buying second-hand means you don’t know the history of the motor, the conditions it was used in, service history and whether the motor was used in salt- or freshwater – or even cleaned properly. So you’re very reliant on info from the previous owner and guidance from your salesperson. You need to be able to really trust your supplier – see proper dealer-approved second-hand outboards.
New outboards mean you get the quality guarantee and superior fitment, not to mention your all-important warranty.
3 THE BOATING APPLICATION YOU NEED THE OUTBOARD FOR
Kevin distinguishes between 4 general boating categories: small inflatables, bass boats, freshwater leisure boats and recreational sports fishing.
Small inflatables, he says, are normally for tending yachts. Where, if you’re one person on a small inflatable, a Suzuki DF6 gives you all the power you need. But, if you’re ferrying a family to a yacht, maybe consider the Suzuki DF15 or remote-steer DF15ATL.
Your weekend bass fisherman using a smaller craft, like a Bandit 410, for example, will be looking at something in the vicinity of the Suzuki DF80, the Suzuki DF100 or even the Suzuki DF115. While a competitive bass fisherman probably wants something in the Suzuki DF200 range.
Your recreational boater, perhaps using a single motor on a cabin cruiser or even a party boat on freshwater and maybe a fishing mono-hull boat for saltwater, will for a boat size 16–18 foot use a Suzuki DF100, the Suzuki DF115 or Suzuki DF140. And for 24-foot boats, you’ll opt for a Suzuki DF150 or Suzuki DF200.
In the recreational sports fishing category, you’re going miles out to see, so you’re probably looking at a cat hull with twin motors. And in the 16–20-foot boat range you’ll go for twin Suzuki DF60, the Suzuki DF80 or Suzuki DF100. In the awesome 21–24-foot boat range, you’ll want twin Suzuki DF140, the Suzuki DF150 or Suzuki DF200.
4 YOUR BUDGET AND THE BEST OUTBOARD ON THE MARKET
We’re not going to just claim Suzuki is the best outboard you can buy. There are a lot of great options available. Suzuki is, however, the most awarded outboard manufacturer in the world. And you don’t usually win awards for nothing. See our most awarded outboard motors.
BONUS (5): OUTBOARD MOTOR SIZE CALCULATOR FOR YOUR BOAT
You might remember that at the bottom of our post with some of the coolest recent boat repower work we did, there’s a section on calculating the right outboard motor size for your boat. We said:
Get a general idea of how much power you’ll need by converting your boat’s weight into pounds. So, a 2.2-ton boat becomes 5000 pounds. Normally, for average performance boat, you need about one horsepower (hp) for every 25–40 pounds of weight (the range is wide because of all the different types and brands of boats you get).
If you take 5000 and divide it by 200 (that’s a Suzuki DF200), you get 25 pounds per horsepower. And, 5000 divided by 125 is 40. So you can get away with 125hp–200hp on that boat. But the lower that number is, the better your boat will perform. Try dividing 5000 by 300 and you’ll get 16.6, which is starting to become nice and fast (that’s a Suzuki DF300). Divide it by 350 and you’re building a boat that’s going to make you very famous (that’s a Suzuki DF350, by the way).
ABOUT KEVIN GOODSPEED
Featured in the video, Kevin is the co-owner at Atlantic Suzuki down in Cape Town. And they don’t need any introduction to Western Cape anglers. But, if you don’t know them, Kevin takes huge pride in ensuring every customer leaves the floor happy. And you can call him on 021 555 1977 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THIS #GETBOATING SERIES
Our boating series comes courtesy of Suzuki Marine South Africa’s #SuziFlix project, and the SA network of Suzuki dealers we call #BoatPros. You can be part of the vibe by following Suzuki Marine SA on Facebook and YouTube.
WATCH: From the meaning of boating to accessories online and where to get your boating license, to reasons to start boating, 34+ boating dams and lakes in SA and more. Here’s what you should know about boating.
THE PURSUIT OF AWESOME
Legend also has it that most boats run better under Suzuki power. Discover it for yourself among these Suzuki outboards.
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