If you are a marine enthusiast, you’ve likely heard the term “outboard motors” but if you’re new to boating, you may be wondering what they are or how they can be used to improve your boating experiences. Below we break down everything you need to know about outboard motors, so you can decide if getting one is just what you need to improve your experiences out on the water.

If you have any questions or want help finding the right outboard motor, visit the experts at Norfolk Marine in Norfolk, Virginia.

The History of Outboard Motors

Before the existence of outboard motors, boats could only be powered in a few ways. One option was using sails, but this could be problematic because, as we all know, wind is not constant and cannot be controlled. Another strategy was using oars, but this results in exhaustion pretty quickly. Boat travel was possible, but it was slow.

Then in 1870, boat travel was changed forever when Gustav Trouvé created the first electric-powered outboard motor. In twenty short years, gasoline-powered outboard motors were built around the world. Inventors from different countries tried their hands at crafting an outboard motor and the innovation made boat travel much easier, faster, and more predictable. The design of outboard motors was continually innovated and improved upon, giving us an impressive range of options today.

How Outboard Motors Work

The basic idea is that the outboard motor gives power to the propeller, which causes the boat to move. To steer, you tilt the motor casing. This allows the propeller to move water away at an angle. Some motors are steered by hand and others are steered by a wheel. To increase your speed, you will open the throttle. This gets the outboard motor to burn fuel at a faster pace and turn over faster.

The Importance of Outboard Motors

The unique placement of outboard motors on the boat makes it easy to lift the engine out of the water. This innovative design lends itself well to a variety of situations.

Reduced Water Hazards

As your boat sits at the docks, it faces a range of water hazards. Seaweed or fishing lines, for example, can get attached to the motor and cause issues. With outboard motors, you can simply detach the motor and prevent anything from getting caught in it.

Expanded Fishing Options

If you enjoy fishing, you’ll love the advantages that outboard motors offer. Use your boat to cruise around the waterways. When you reach a shallow area where fish are found, you can simply remove your engine. That way, you won’t need to worry about incurring damage with your engine scraping against an obstacle or the bottom of the waterway.

Easy Replacement

You may end up wanting to replace your outboard motor with a newer or more powerful model. It’s easy to simply disconnect your current outboard motor and then replace it with one that is better suited to meet your needs.

Easy Maintenance

Even the highest quality motors are still going to need maintenance and can still end up needing repairs. Outboard motors are easy to service, which saves you time and stress. Whether you need to do the repairs yourself or you need expert help, you can simply disconnect the outboard motor and easily address the problem.

We hope you found this guide useful! If you want more information or need assistance finding an outboard motor, head over to Norfolk Marine. Our friendly staff is happy to help you with whatever you need, so stop by and visit our dealership today! We proudly serve those in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Virginia.