Purchasing the best outboard motor can be a daunting task, that you might have postponed for some time now. We understand. There seem to be so many things to take into consideration that you’d just prefer if someone else did it for you. Well, I’ve got bad news and good news. The bad news is no one can decide on an outboard motor and purchase it for you; the good news is, we’re going to help make your life easier in this aspect, and these are not just words. There are a couple of well-known outboard motor manufacturers in the world, but they happen to offer quite pricey solutions.
We’ll try to investigate and also find the best outboard motor for the money. Taking into account that you might have also prepared your budget for this moment, we’ll also take a look at the top rated outboard motors on the market, at the moment. We’ll evaluate performance, innovating technologies and if the outboard motor manufacturers are indeed staying compliant with the environmental regulations right now.
Table of Contents
- Comparison of 10 Best Outboard Motors in 2020
- Top 10 Best Outboard Motor Reviews in 2020
- 1. Sky Superior Engine Outboard Motor
- 2. Coleman Powersports Outboard Motor
- 3. HANGKAI Outboard Boat Motors
- 4. SEA DOG WATER SPORTS Outboard Motor
- 5. Superior 2-Stroke Outboard Motor
- 6. Superior 4-Stroke Outboard Motor
- 7. US DELIVER Outboard Motor
- 8. Enshey Water Cooling Outboard Motor
- 9. LEADALLWAY Water Cooled Outboard Motors
- 10. Enshey Outboard Motor with Air Cooling System
- How Do You Make Sure You Pick the Best Outboard Motor?
- Have Fun With the Best Outboard Motor and Happy Fishing!
- Relevant Resources
Comparison of 10 Best Outboard Motors in 2020
|Sky Superior Engine Outboard Motor||Check Price|
|Coleman Powersports Outboard Motor||Check Price|
|HANGKAI Outboard Boat Motors||Check Price|
|SEA Dog Water Sports Outboard Motor||Check Price|
|Superior 2-Stroke Outboard Motor||Check Price|
|Superior 4-Stroke Outboard Motor||Check Price|
|US DELIVER Outboard Motor||Check Price|
|Enshey Water Cooling Outboard Motor||Check Price|
|LEADALLWAY Outboard Motors||Check Price|
|Enshey Outboard Motor||Check Price|
Top 10 Best Outboard Motor Reviews in 2020
The discussion over what outboard motor to fit on your boat seems like an endless one. It’s almost like purchasing a new car. You don’t want it to break down too often, you want it to be powerful enough to get you through, maybe offer a little bit of speed, and also prove efficient in the long term.
Some more environmental-friendly people might be looking for the best electric outboard motor, and we’ve got it covered in our reviews below as well. This is the time and place where you might be asking yourself: what’s the most reliable outboard motor on the market right now? We’ve also got that covered.
So, let’s get through our pic of the top rated outboard motors on the market and their reviews. In the end, we’ll look at the general features an outboard motor should have and how to make the right decision based on your needs on the long-term.
1. Sky Superior Engine Outboard Motor
The manufacturer recommends this for inflatable fishing boats, and we think it is a good pick if you’re looking for the best outboard motor for the money. Why is that? First of all, it is CE certified. It can fit on almost any inflatable boat, and even fishing boats, sailboats or small yachts.
This is what the manufacturer states, but I personally don’t see this little motor powering small yachts. It’s only got 1.4 horse power. It is economical, and its compact design is quite lightweight for a boat motor. It’s got safe twist grip throttle control and the manufacturer claims it doesn’t make much noise, and that is corrosion-resistant, so you can take it to saltwater as well.
It comes with one year warranty, and free parts in case of malfunction. Now, for a few technical details, it’s a 4 stroke engine, with a capacity of 37.68cc. The propeller diameter is 180mm, and has got a fuel tank of 650ml capacity. It can run for one hour and sixteen minutes on a full tank.
- Lightweight; it won’t overpower small boats
- Good quality build
- The autonomy stated in the description is quite good, considering the small fuel tank
- You need to go through a rather tedious starting routine everything you fire it up, and the instruction manual won’t help much
2. Coleman Powersports Outboard Motor
I know of a lot of people who were looking for the best electric outboard motor, but then ended up and fell in love with this little Coleman Powersports beast. It does not weight as much as a beast, though. It’s got only 27.5 lb of weight, four strokes and a 31-gallon internal gas tank. It’s got TCI ignition which makes it easier to start and also allows for 360-degree steering.
The engine has got 1 cylinder, and it is CE& EPA approved. It can be used on inflatable and other types of small boats, or even as an auxiliary trolling motor. It’s got forward and neutral gears and it burns 0.53 gallons of gas per hour. I looks reliable and like it could take a beating. This is our final wrap-up on the product.
- Good quality control manufacturing
- Starts up second pull at most
- Solid build, despite the lightweight design
- If it gets flooded, it might take some 20 minutes to restart
3. HANGKAI Outboard Boat Motors
These Kangkai come in different sizes and powers. The one we’re reviewing right now is a 2-stroke 12 HP engine with water cooling technology, and working on gasoline. Apart from this one with the best outboard motor reviews, you will also find some more options. The most powerful on the list is a 18HP, 2-stroke motor, then comes a 6.5HP, 6HP, 5HP, 4HP, 3.5HP or 3.6HP.
Anyways, let’s talk about the 12HP version. It comes with a 3-year warranty, and corrosion-resistant materials. The manufacturer claims it is efficient, durable and very good for daily use. This motor has also met the CE certification requirements like the other two outboard motors above.
It promotes green sports and does not let burning oil spill into the water. This uses pressurized circulating oil to safely keep the main components lubricated. It can operate on maximum throttle for more than 20 hours, and the manufacturer claims that the fuel consumption does not increase over the average.
- It comes with some extra parts
- Quite reliable
- It starts easily and runs smoothly
- Poor pull cord handle quality
4. SEA DOG WATER SPORTS Outboard Motor
This Sea Dog motor has got 2 strokes and 2.5 horse power. It’s probably the best cheap outboard motor on the market right now, and it features an engine air cooling system. It looks quite compact and lightweight; it is probably fit for inflatable little boats, or just little fishing boats. It’s got an anti-corrosive construction, and the manufacturer claims it is quite silent, as well.
It’s got a single cylinder and 2 strokes. As we said, it is air-cooled. More on the technical part now, this Sea Dog outboard motor has got a capacity of 52cc, 1.9Kw and 7500 rpm. It starts manually, and you’ve got to mix 25:1 gasoline: oil to get it rocking properly. The idle RPM is 3000. It’s got two gear positions: forward and neutral.
- Good value for money
- It offers good power for small boats, not overpowering them over the limit
- The shear pin breaks easily, but it’s an easy fix
5. Superior 2-Stroke Outboard Motor
We continue our list with the best outboard motors, and now review this another engine from Sky. It’s a two-cycle, single cylinder motor, and it is water-cooled. It is made of anti-corrosive materials, which should last long in saltwater conditions. However, apart from the pure technical details, the manufacturer does not say much about it.
We know it’s got 3.5HP, and the full throttle operates at around 4000-5000 rpm. It’s got a manual starting system and a manual tilt control system. It’s got clutch control and works on a 30/50:1 mix of fuel and oil.
However, it does not look bad at all. It can travel at speeds of about 6.5 mi/hour, attached to a 14ft boat. That looks like it will work well for a john boat or other kinds of inflatable fishing boats. It also looks quite reliable for little canoes, because it will not overpower them.
- Starts easily
- It will run well in calm waters, powering small boats
- Quite lightweight and easy to grease and get it ready for the water in almost no time
- It needs maintenance too often
6. Superior 4-Stroke Outboard Motor
A worthy “candidate” for the title of the most reliable outboard motor out there could very well be handed to this other motor from Sky. This is bigger than the previous one above, and it’s got CE certification. This also boasts reverse gear which can come in handy in many situations.
It can easily power inflatable kayaks, sailboats, fishing boats and canoes and it is also suitable for saltwater. It does not look too bulky and it should be quite easy to carry around. The manufacturer mentions a fuel saving technology that makes it quite efficient, and apparently a 4-stroke motor uses 30% less fuel than a 2-stroke.
The fuel emissions are apparently so clean, the manufacturer has managed to pass every European and American Environmental Control certifications. All in all, this is a 3.2KW and 3600rpm boat engine equipped with a 20cm propeller and a manual start system, with three gears, forward, neutral and reverse.
- It looks like it’s got enough thrust to get you through the wind with no problem
- Overall solid build
- It can power almost any small to medium-sized fishing boat
- The on/off switch looks pretty flimsy
7. US DELIVER Outboard Motor
Now, in looking for a new best outboard motor for your boat, you’d want only the top rated outboard motors on the market, and not settle for less, right? It’s complicated business, because you also have to make sure it is a versatile engine that can fit on your boat and work well on it and so on.
So, this is why we’re going to discuss this Hangkaiwith 2.5HP and 2 strokes. It is a primarily gasoline engine, and the manufacturer is pretty honest to mention that it makes just about the noise of a motorcycle. We get precise information as to the maximum weight of the boat you can fit this engine on, and this is a nice touch. Not all manufacturers give these details.
Thus, this 3.5-horsepower Hangkai outboard motor can be fitted on a 100kg boat carrying at most 4 people. It can be a inflatable boat, a rubber boat or any other kind of fishing boat that does not exceed the weight limit stipulated above. This engine comes with three gears, forward, neutral and reverse, and it features a CDI ignition system. The motor is water cooled and starts manually. The displacement is 123CC.
- It has got three gears, forward, neutral and reverse
- It looks well-built and durable
- With a fully-loaded boat, it might not achieve too much speed
8. Enshey Water Cooling Outboard Motor
Moving right away, with the top outboard motors, we arrive at this 4-stroke Enshey engine, with a capacity of 55cc and a power of 3.6HP. The nicest thing here is the 360-degree steering rotation which doesn’t need a reverse additional gear. The manufacturer boasts a superior engine cooling system for improved performance.
It’s got superior outboard anti corrosion protection and anodes for better durability. The body is made of durable aluminum, while the propeller is also heavy duty aluminum, as standard. It’s got a special exhaust outlet which decreases the noise and pollutants released in the air.
- The throttle does not spring back automatically, thus you can keep the speed you want locked on
- Lightweight and good-quality build
- It does the job of going around ponds and lakes
- The turning cannot be locked for boats with rudders of their own
9. LEADALLWAY Water Cooled Outboard Motors
This best outboard motor from Leadallway has got a superior water cooling system, or at least this is what the manufacturer states. It also features a CDI ignition system, which means easy start-up and more performance. It’s got an exhaust for less pollutants and decreased noise. It is also made of cast aluminum and has got corrosion protection.
It features a 3-gear system, with forward-neutral-reverse. It’s a 1-cylinder engine with an idling speed at around 1100-1200 rpm, and 5000rpm for maximum output. The trim and tilt system is manual and the fuel tank can take up about 2.8l of fuel. At a full tank, you should also add 100 ml of oil. Overall, it is a well-balanced outboard motor which deserves a good place on your short list.
- Lightweight and durable build
- Easy to pull
- Good performance for small-medium sized fishing boats
- The fuel tank is a little too small for its power
10. Enshey Outboard Motor with Air Cooling System
We end our short list with one of the best inexpensive outboard motors out there right now. It is an Enshey boat engine with a durable cast aluminum construction which offers superior corrosion protection and durability. At least, this is what the manufacturer states. The motor has got 360 degree steering rotation, so you won’t need a reverse gear in that case.
The propeller is lightweight aluminum. The engine is air-cooled for improved performance, and the motor has also got a prop exhaust outlet for less noise and pollutants. The throttle is twist-grip style and the engine stop button should have an almost instant response. In the package you’ll also find an instruction manual and a tool kit.
The additional information includes the oil-adding process. You need to add about 350ml of oil to the fuel and then replace it regularly. You’ve got two different tanks, one for gasoline-only and one for oil. You are not advised to start the outboard motor on the shore. All in all, it looks like you’ve got all the info there and the next step will be to have fun. Here’s our wrap up of this final product on our list!
- Good weight
- It is looks quite maneuverable
- Clear, easy-to-understand user manual
- We don’t have any information on its autonomy
How Do You Make Sure You Pick the Best Outboard Motor?
Buying a boat is a little bit more complicated than buying a car, because usually you need to buy the boat and outboard motor separately; and then you need to make sure that they fit together and that the engine is powerful enough to power your unit.
Furthermore, you need to make sure it will last a couple of years, it’s not too overweight to burden your boat and that you can rely on it for any tough wind or bad weather. So, all these being said, let’s jump in and see all the most important features of outboard motors and how to navigate through them.
Two-Stroke Vs Four-Stroke: What’s the Real Difference?
As you have probably seen in the examples above, there are two main types of outboard motors out there. There is the two-stroke engine and the four-stroke engine type. The two-stroke engine uses a mixture of fuel-air that enters the combustion chamber through the side of the cylinder. The exhaust is then linked to another port in the cylinder. At first, two stroke engines used carburetors, but they were deemed very inefficient.
Anyways, a four-stroke engine is more similar to that of an automobile. The air-flue mixture is taken into the combustion chamber via intake valves and the exhaust happens via another exhaust valves. For this reason, a four-stroke outboard motor will be heavier than a two-stroke one of the same horse power. That valve train, camshaft, and other sorts of belts and chains are an extra weight on a four-stroke motor. The two-stroke motor has fewer moving parts, and thus can even accelerate faster than the same horsepower four-stroke twin.
Although many people might consider it out of fashion, I think it is here to stay for a while. DFI two-stroke outboards are good boat motors that could do the job well and should not be laughed at. For an angler, however, choosing a two-stroke or four-stroke motor also depends on the preferred style of fishing. If you like to spend long periods on the boat and engage in several-mile pursuits to find the fish you’re after, then you’ll nee a four-stroke engine that is both quiet and has got good autonomy for longer distances.
If you love speed fishing and competition is in your blood and want to get first to those “honey-holes”, then a two-stroke engine will be a faster sprinter, faster to reach that maximum speed and thus the first to the race. A four-stroke motor has got a better torque than the two-torque and bigger boats will need that. Basically, it is highly more effective, and supply a more linear performance whereas driving.
How to Fit the Right Boat With the Right Outboard Motor
The one question that might have come to mind when thinking of outboard motors is: “Is it going to balance well with my boat?”. Well, first of all, your boat should have a placard of some sort which indicates its weight capacity. Rule of thumb says you need to fit an engine that is within that weight limit, and also leave space for you and maybe one or two other friends in the boat.
Naturally, if you have a small boat, you’ll need to go with the two-stroke motor, because it is more lightweight than its “twin”. However, if you’ve got a 21-feet plus rig or if you usually fish alone and don’t like taking extra stuff with you, then you can start looking for a four-stroke outboard motor. The general rule is that you should have around 5HP per ton, in order to maintain your transferring steadily. The boat propeller is also very important and should be correctly matched with the motor and boat.
Another important feature of the motor-boat compatibility is the hull capacity. Basically, the hull needs to have the perfect capacity and size to be able to deal with the motor weight when you mount it on the transom. You should find this info in the manufacturer’s guide about the product.
Some boats have actually been designed for a specific type of motor, be it a two-stroke or four-stroke. However, you can use a four-stroke on a boat that has been constructed for a two-stroke motor, as long as you comply with all the rules in the book. Still, you’ll have to keep in mind not to overload your boat. It can prove very counterproductive, even dangerous, if the boat is tipped.
The Fuel Efficiency and Shaft Size
Now, let’s talk about another two important factors you should consider when looking to buy top rated outboard motors. First, the fuel efficiency. As a rule, a 2-stroke engine is less effective than its 4-stroke twin. Actually, the fuel consumption is the largest drawback of a 2-stroke engine. Every one time in the 2-stroke engine cycle, the air-gasoline-oil mixture leaves the engine without even being burned because the exhaust ports are open at a similar time.
This means more gasoline consumption and more emissions. The 4-stroke motor is more efficient because the exhaust valve closes while burning the petrol. Moreover, while in a 2-stroke moto you combine oil and fuel in the fuel tank, in the 4-stroke engine you have separate oil systems for lubricating.
Now, let’s discuss the long shaft vs shaft size matter. First off, you should know that the shaft size can dramatically affect the flexibility of the motor and the maneuverability of the boat. Usually, a short shaft of about 15 inches is recommended for inflatable boats, while a 20-inch shaft or longer is better for a lot of other kinds of fishing boats.
Measure the Boat Thoroughly Before Purchasing the Motor
This is our ultimate advice. Don’t jump right away to buying the most powerful, muscle-motor out there on the market without checking with your boat first. Your boat should be like your wife, in this matter. Do not go head on and buy the kitchen furniture without consulting with her first, because all hell could break loose. Do not get me wrong! You rock, ladies!
So, as I was saying, you should measure the boat first. One important area to measure is from the prime of transom (that’s where the motor sits), down till you “arrive” at the hull backside. This is where the shaft ought to go. If the shaft is too short, it might not even touch the water properly and it will not be sufficient to work correctly.
If the shaft is too long, then you’ll have stability issues and it may even raise the bow, and if the motor is powerful enough, it could even flip the vessel in this scenario. So, the final advice is to measure your boat thoroughly and read all the instructions and details that the manufacturer displays on their product, even those little, miniscule letters and numbers.
Have Fun With the Best Outboard Motor and Happy Fishing!
Purchasing the most reliable outboard motor that has got enough power to give you the thrills and can also pe dependable should not be spatial engineering. If you keep to the specifications of your boat and that of the motor, decide whether you want speed or autonomy and fuel consumption and measure your boat correctly, you’re in for some fun times on the water. May your fishing be great and your fun at maximum with the best outboard motor out there! Cheers!