Tips for selecting the right size hp for portable outboard motor for your boat.
|Motor HP||Boat length (feet)||Boat length (metres)|
|2hp – 10hp||8’ – 12’||up to 3.5m|
|5hp – 15hp||8’ – 14’||up to 4.2m|
|9hp – 20hp||11’ – 16’||up to 4.5m|
|20hp – 40hp||13’ – 18’||up to 5.0m|
|40hp – 75hp||14’ – 20’||up to 5.5m|
|90hp – 140hp||16’ – 25’||up to 6m +|
2hp – 3.6hp (Less than 18kg)
These small outboards are common for portable boats such as canoes, folding boats, inflatable boats, Dinghys, small sailboats, small pontoon boats and other small light watercraft. Outboards in this range will typically be limited to forward-only gears or forward-neutral gears which spin 360 degrees.
These are very portable with features such as built-in integral fuel tanks, and convenient carrying handles. They are lightweight and compact in design and can be easily transported.
What you can expect
- Will propel most hulls at approx 8-16 kmh
- In auxiliary or kicker motor applications, hulls less than 317kg and under 4.5m can reach troll speeds
- Engines are very lightweight, compact and very easily transported
5 – 6hp (18-25kg)
This hp range is ideal for a variety of application including small inflatable boats up to 3.5m in length, portable folding boats, larger canoes, 2.5-3.5m dinghies and inflatables.
Hulls such as these typically weigh between 22 – 113kg and require a short shaft (15” shaft length). All outboards in this hp range should also be available in 20” long shaft configurations which is ideal for sail boat power and auxiliary kicker motor applications for hulls less than 6m length.
Engines in this hp range are typically 1-cylinder, although some 2-cylinders do exist. A heavy person or more than one person in a hull in this hp class can have a dramatic effect on hull performance making plaining difficult.
Engines in this hp range feature heavier duty construction and enhanced manoeuvrability features such as forward-neutral-reverse gears. These engines may have integral fuel tanks or separate fuel tanks.
What you can expect
- Engines in this range will propel most hulls at approx. 16-28kmh with one person and light load
- Excellent choice for gasoline trolling motors, sailboat power, and emergency auxiliary kicker motors
- Engines in this range are lightweight, compact and easily transported
- Most engines in this range feature full foward-neutral-reverse gears
8 – 9.8 hp (25-45kg)
Small but mighty outboards that pack a powerful punch. This hp range is quite popular for use with inflatable boats 3m – 4.5m, aluminium boats 3m – 4.5m in length, larger sturdy canoes, larger portable folding boats, and lighter fibreglass boats up to 4.5m.
These hulls typically range in weight from 34kg – 136kg and require a 15” short shaft length outboard. Engines in this hp range are also available in 20” long shaft and 25” extra-long shaft length making them ideal choices for sail boats and emergency kicker motors. Engines in this hp range are ideal for sail boats ranging from 5m – 8m.
Newer four-stroke outboards in this range are equipped with advanced features such as audible and visual warning indicators for low oil pressure and overheating. Electric start and 12v charging capabilities are usually offered with optional models in this hp range.
Most engines in this range feature 2-cylinders for greatly improved planning time and performance, as well as reduced vibration that is typical of 1-cylinder outboards.
Outboards in this hp range have separate fuel tanks ranging from 10 litres (common with 4-strokes) to 24 litres (common with 2-strokes).
What you can expect
- Engines in this range will propel most hulls at approx. 15-28kmh with one to two persons and/or a light to moderate load
- Excellent choice for gasoline trolling motors, sailboat power, and emergency auxiliary kicker motors, especially 25" shaft applications
- 2-cylinder design for improved performance and weight handling, reduced vibration, and smoother operation
- Some engines in this range include advanced features typically found only on larger outboards (electric start, audible/visible warning, etc...)
- Many makes in this range offer electric start w/ 12V battery charging
- Some makes offer lightweight, compact, easily transportable models
15 - 25 hp (36kg-52kg)
Powerful workhorses that are still considered a part of the small outboard hp class. Outboard engines in this hp range are available primarily in 4-stroke configurations but may limited availability in 2-stroke configurations.
Due to 2006 EPA regulations, outboard manufacturers are now required to build cleaner more efficient engines that meet strict emission standards. This hp range is quite popular for use with inflatable boats 10-14ft, aluminium fishing boats 12-16ft, jon boats 12-16ft in length, fibreglass boats 12-16ft in length.
These hulls typically require a 15” short shaft length but may require a 20” shaft length as you approach 16ft in length. These hulls typically range in weight from 60-260+kgs. Engines in this hp range are available in both 15” short shaft and 20” long shaft.
These hp outboards are ideal for river trolling, emergency kicker applications, and sail boats ranging from 22-30+ feet in length. Newer four-stroke outboards in this range are equipped with advanced features such as audible and visual warning indicators for low oil pressure and overheating.
Electric start and 12v charging capabilities are usually offered on optional models in this hp range. Engines in this range feature 2-cylinders reducing vibration and providing smoother operation. 15-20hp outboards utilize 10 litres (common with 4-strokes) or 24 litres (common with 2-strokes) separate fuel tanks.
What you can expect
- Engines in this range will propel most hulls at approx. 20-40 kmh with one or more people and moderate to heavy load
- Also an excellent source of power for river trolling, larger sailboats, and emergency/auxiliary/kicker applications
- Most engines in this range include advanced outboard features • Many makes in this range offer electric start w/ 12V battery charging
It is so easy to start, economical, runs for long periods at low speeds and is quiet. Ideal for our safety ribs while instructing learner sailors.
Thank you, will definitely use again when replacing our other outboards.