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Outboard Motor

An outboard motor is a propulsion system for boats, consisting of a self-contained unit that includes engine, gearbox and propeller or jet drive, designed to be affixed to the outside of the transom. They are the most common motorized method of propelling small watercraft. As well as providing propulsion, outboards provide steering control, as they are designed to pivot over their mountings and thus control the direction of thrust. The skeg also acts as a rudder when the engine is not running. Compared to inboard motors, outboard motors can be easily removed for storage or repairs.

In order to eliminate the chances of hitting bottom with an outboard motorr, the motor can be tilted up to an elevated position either electronically or manually. This helps when traveling through shallow waters where there may be debris that could potentially damage the motor as well as the propeller. If the electronic motor required to move the pistons which raise or lower the engine is malfunctioning, every outboard motor is equipped with a manual piston release which will allow the operator to drop the motor down to its lowest setting.

The creation of the first practical and marketable outboard motor is often miscredited to Norwegian-American inventor Ole Evinrude in 1909. Between 1909 and 1912, Evinrude made thousands of his outboards and the three horse units were sold around the world. His Evinrude Outboard Co. was spun off to other owners, and he went onto success with ELTO. The 1920s were the first highwater mark for the outboard with Evinrude, Johnson, ELTO, Atwater Lockwood and dozens of other makers in the field.

Historically, a majority of outboards have been two-stroke powerheads fitted with a carburetor due to the design's inherent simplicity, reliability, low cost and light weight. Drawbacks include increased pollution, due to the high volume of unburned gasoline in their exhaust, and louder noise.

In the 1990s, US and European exhaust emissions regulations led to the proliferation of four-stroke outboards.

Read the full history of Outboard Motors at Wikipedia by clicking here.


Outboard Motors in the News
Read the latest news articles about outboard motors on our News page.
Top News Items

2000 Evinrude Outboard Motor Prices and Values
A premier name in outboard motors, Evinrude was formed inside Milwaukee by a Norwegian immigrant in 1907. Powering small fishing boats as well as other outboard-engined watercrafts, the popularity and ... continued..
Boat Engines
When buying an outboard engine or repowering your boat, there are plenty of questions to consider. Should I buy two-stroke or four-stroke engines? Are two engines better than one? Are three engines ... continued..
Colorado News
An international United flight headed to Paris was diverted to Denver on Thursday after the crew reported trouble with one of the plane’s engines. United Flight 990 — a Boeing 777-200 — was ... continued..

Latest Outboard Motor Videos
Check out all the latest Youtube videos about outboard motors on our Videos page.

In this video I show a few tips for re-installing an outboard lower unit or gearbox. This involves using a rachet strap to support the gearbox while you position the driveshaft, water pump pipe or hose and the gear selector. continued..
Dis-assembly and reassembly of a lower unit on a Mercury outboard. This video shows how to take apart the gearcase of an outboard motor and shows how it works, transfering the power from the drive shaft to the propeller, and selecting Forward, Neutral or Reverse. continued..
Rebuild of center section and transom continued..
When power head just won't come off continued..

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