History of the Outboard Motor

In the boating community, outboard motors and the Evinrude name go hand in hand. Many probably attribute this to the fact that Evinrude is a leading manufacturer of outboard motors, and that is certainly one reason. However, few people realize that Ole Evinrude, the company’s founder, was actually the inventor of the outboard motor.

In the early 1900s, Ole began conceptualizing and building a detachable engine to affix to a watercraft. The first successful outboard motor was constructed in 1907, the year of the company’s founding. Although it has been over a century since that first motor, many of those same components—vertical crankshaft, horizontal flywheels and bevel gears—are still used in modern engines. Today, Evinrude continues to be a trailblazer in the outboard motor industry, offering a range of premium engines and products like Evinrude XD 100.

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