Summer is in full swing, and there’s a frenzy of watercraft activity in lakes and rivers nationwide. If you want to add your craft to the mix, it’s important to choose an outboard motor that’s powerful enough to keep you in control but also environmentally friendly. First consider your boating needs, and then select an engine accordingly.
Small sailboat owners will want to stick to a light-weight, compact motor in the 2-3.5 hp range. Larger engines tend to hold these smaller vessels back. For small fiberglass boats and aluminum jon boats, an 8-10 hp outboard motor should pack plenty of power. Larger sailboats and longer fiberglass boats require more horsepower – something closer to the 15-20 hp range.
When selecting the proper outboard motor for your boat, bear in mind that 2-stroke engines are now much more environmentally safe than they were only a few years ago. Rigid EPA standards have helped clean up the waterways and improved outboard efficiency. As such, most standard 2-cycle oil makers have stepped up their game as well. Mercury oil is just one of several types that surpass safety standards with ease.