Why Repower Your Boat with an Upgraded Outboard Motor
While boat hulls can easily last many years, engines tend to show their age much sooner. If your outboard motor hasn’t been delivering like it should, it may be time for a change. Fortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean buying a new boat.
If you’re looking to upgrade your power source, increase fuel efficiency, and take advantage of digital instrumentation, repowering your existing boat may be the answer. While repowering your boat with a new outboard motor can be pricey, it costs a lot less than buying a new boat or continuing to spend money to fix an aging machine.
And the latest technology offers exciting new features you can incorporate into your existing boat. Power and Motor Yacht says outboards have gone high-tech. "They have digital brains under the cowling, digital controls at the helm, active throttle adjustment and auto trim … they’re fuel-efficient, less polluting and ultra-reliable. Repower now … and your boat will be faster and burn less fuel."
What’s your goal?
Repowering your boat is much more complex than pulling out the old engine and bolting in a new one. You also need to determine what, if any, ancillary equipment also needs updating. Factors to consider include:
- Your budget. First, do your homework. In addition to the cost of a new motor, you may need new controls and instruments. Larry Teeling, product category manager for Mercury Marine told Sport Fishing Magazine that, when repowering, “It's a good idea to update everything — steering, throttle and shift, cables, electrical harnesses, battery cables, and instruments.” Significant advances in digital instruments provide valuable information on fuel consumption and efficiency, providing cost savings over the long haul.
Estimate how long you plan to keep your boat. If you plan to keep your boat another 10 years or so, the cost of repowering makes sense. If you hope to buy a new boat sooner than that, it may make better sense to do that now rather than sinking a lot of money into repowering.
- Horsepower and fuel efficiency. Determine the maximum rated horsepower for your boat (found on the capacity plate). For best performance, your new engine should be rated for that maximum. This will ensure the best fuel economy, and will give you the power you need. It’s also highly recommended to replace all fuel hoses with Coast Guard-approved, ethanol-resistant hoses.
- New technology options. The sky’s the limit with new available tech. From intuitive joysticks that will make docking a 30+ foot boat in a tight space a breeze, to eco-friendly electric or propane motors, to tiller options that feature touch troll and trim switches, and more. Make a list of all the features on your wish list, then price them out, and trim the list down to what you can’t live without.
Check out Derek Horner’s repower story
Derek Horner started winning bass fishing tournaments when he was just 15, then went on to compete in college and national tournaments, winning the Pennsylvania Bass Federation state title. He recently decided to repower his beloved boat, and says the results, "… exceeded my expectations."
The upside to repowering is persuasive – increased safety, better fuel economy, less noise, more comfort, less environmental impact, new warranties, and an increase in boat value. While you’re adding up the pluses, here are some great new motors to consider:
- Suzuki 25 HP Outboard Motor is now available in classy white. High tech green technology ensures a clean, fuel efficient motor that is fuel injected and battery-less. Equipped with electric push button start or back up manual recoil pull rope, a 20 inch shaft, power trim and tilt, and tiller steering. Lightest and quietest in class yet easily powers larger, heavier jon boats, skiffs and inflatable boats. 3 year Suzuki factory warranty.
- Mercury 5hp FourStroke Propane outboard offers best-in-class power by delivering a true 5 horsepower. Eco-friendly, easy-to-use, reliable and intuitive outboard ideal for aluminum tiller, inflatable or jon / utility boats. The pressurized fuel system eliminates priming, making the outboard easier to start.
- 2020 Honda 9.9 HP Outboard Motor features fuel efficient power. Quieter performance with easier to use features. Dependable, reliable, portable. Honda’s True 5 warranty is the best in the business. Optional Power Thrust design adds 60% more thrust in reverse and 15% more in forward.
- The Tohatsu 15 HP EFI outboard motor was named as top choice in the 15 hp outboard motor class in Boating Magazine's Buyer Guide. 20 inch long shaft, tiller steering and electric start with manual rope backup is perfect for larger sized aluminum boats, jon boats, skiff or larger inflatable boats. Portable power at a great price! 5 year factory warranty.
- Cumberland Watersports