Outboard motors are still a prevalent choice for small boats because they free up valuable space and are endlessly customizable. However, not all outboards are that reliable and most will require frequent maintenance to keep them in good working order. Still, four cylinders four-stroke motors are generally more reliable, though often at the expense of power output. Nonetheless, there are several marine engines pushing out over 500 horsepower out there. Combine that with the fact that you can install more than one on the same boat, and you can easily have upwards of 2000 hp on a single boat if money isn’t a problem.
However, the primary factor should be reliability, especially if, like most people, you only have one motor. Since no one wants to be stranded in the middle of a lake, far away from the shore, there are ways to minimize this risk. For example, investing in a good Yamaha outboard manual or an Evinrude/Mercury/Seven Marine alternative will help you avoid breakdowns or allow you to fix the problem on the go.
That being said, the best thing you can do is get a reliable outboard engine in the first place. But what are the really reliable outboards on the market? Let’s discuss.
- 【Main Parameters】Full throttle speed range: 4000-5000r/Min, maximum output power: (3.5 horsepower), speed: 12 km/h (four people), type: 2-stroke, ignition system: Cdi system, starting system: manual start, engine to propeller ratio: 2:1, recommended fuel: regular unleaded gasoline.
- 【CDI Ignition System】The ignition system of this motor is CDI ignition system. You can start the motor quickly and safely. It saves you time and is also very convenient to use.
- 【Regarding Noise】All gasoline engines have noise, and currently we have not tested decibels, but the noise is the same as that of motorcycles, so this is a normal phenomenon.
- 【Please Note】Our machines are all without gear oil versions. Please add gear oil to the gears before using the motor and replace gear oil after the run-in period. (If you do not know how to handle this, please contact us). Our outboard motor doesn't with oil of gear, please prepare it by yourself.
- 【Widely Used】Outboard boat motors are perfectly matched with inflatable boat, fishing boats, sailboats and small yachts. They have better performance, can be quickly started, and can position motors at multiple angles.
- Please add gear oil to the gears before use the motor and replace gear oil after the run-in period (10hours). After run-in period, you need to replace the gear oil second time after 100 hours running.
- All the gasoline machines are noisy, currently we did not test the decibel , but the noise is the same as the motorcycle, so it is a normal phenomenon.
- The machine itself is lightweight, it can use on boat weight of 100kg or less , load-bearing 4 people, but the speed is certainly not the same when one person on it or 4 people on it . Customer who has high expectations on speed, please be noticed.
- It can be marched with inflatable boats, rubber boats or fishing boats. You have to prepare a boat-motor stand or Hanging board on your boat.
- If you encounter any problems, please contact us in time, we will deal with it within 24 hours.
- 【Parameters】Output power: 2.6 kW/3.6 horsepower; Full throttle operating range (rpm): 4000-5000; Stroke: 2-stroke; Engine (horsepower): 3.6HP; Cooling system: water cooling
- 【360 degree steering rotation】This outboard engine has a 360 degree steering and rotation function, which can reverse without shifting gears. It is also equipped with gear start protection and clutch function to avoid the transmission from rotating during idle speed.
- 【Easy to use】The engine hood with button latch can be easily removed for quick access to the motor. Twist the throttle handle and engine stop button to improve responsiveness.
- 【Standard CDI ignition system and water cooling system】Our outboard engine has a standard CDI ignition system that allows you to start quickly and easily. The excellent engine water cooling system can improve engine performance.
- 【Carbonization system】Excellent carbonization system, equipped with primer ball heads, can improve efficiency. Excellent outboard anti-corrosion system and anode, improving durability.
- 【CDI Ignition System】The ignition system of this outboard motor boat engine is a CDI ignition system. You can start the motor quickly and safely. It saves your time and is convenient to use.
- 【Powerful Motor】The maximum output of this outboard motor boat engine is 2.5kw/3.5hp, the motor is able to handle harsh waters and provide safety to you. This motor is ideal if you are venturing into harsh rivers.
- 【Independent Fin Streamline Design】When it collides with an object underwater, the design can protect the propeller that is running at high speed.
- 【Extra Fuel Tank】The package comes with an extra fuel tank, you refill the motor with it when the outboard motor boat engine runs out of fuel. The fuel tank allows you to have a longer driving distance.
- 【Good Cooling Effect】There are motor vents in the shell of the outboard motor boat engine. It helps cool down the motor and it has a better performance. The motor also has a long life span with the motor vents.
- 【High-quality Material】The product made of high-quality aluminum alloy and plastic has high hardness, anti-corrosion, and anti-rust properties, which can effectively extend the life of the product. Powerful: The 4-stroke 4hp engine can rotate up to 5000rpm, which is powerful enough for you to drive quickly and save a lot of time and energy.Flexible Steering: This product has a 360-degree steering function and clutch control, which can easily control the steering of the boat.
- 【Easy to Operate】The simple manual start method and the detailed English manual inside the product package can help you operate easily and accurately. All you need to do is pull the rope and you're ready to start.Easy to Carry: The outboard with a size of 36.22*14.37*8.66 inches has a compact body, which is easy to carry on the go. You can easily store it in the trunk of your car.
- 【Fast Heat Dissipation】The large heat dissipation holes on the engine housing can help dissipate heat quickly and prevent the engine from burning after a long period of use, thus effectively extending the life of the engine.Good Noise Reduction Effect: Compared with two-stroke, the four-stroke outboard has a better noise reduction effect. It can provide you with a quieter working environment.
- 【Low Fuel Consumption】This product adopts new fuel saving and has a low energy consumption of 0.26 gal/H. This can help you save a lot of energy and money.Air Cooling System: It cools fast and has a low failure rate. There is almost never leakage, which will not make oil and water mix and damage the oil pump.Baffle: The baffle above the propeller can effectively reduce the bumps of the waves and avoid water from getting the boat board wet.
- 【Three-blade Propeller】The Three-blade propeller with streamlined design can reduce water resistance and provide stronger power during operation.Large Capacity Fuel Tank: The 0.37-gallon fuel tank can effectively reduce the number of times you have to add fuel, thus increasing your efficiency.
- Safety features: This outboard motor is equipped with a Kill Urgent Stop Switch design and Safety Lanyard Tether Cord, providing superior safety for you and your passengers on the water. The Start-In-Gear protection/clutch feature ensures that the prop rotation is prohibited while idling, reducing the risk of accidents.
- Luxury handle: The luxury handle is designed to provide a comfortable and secure grip, with high-quality speed control and cruise control. The handle can be folded up when not in use, making storage and transportation a breeze.
- Performance: This outboard motor provides strong horsepower and superior performance, with a maximum output of 2.8kw(7HP) and a maximum speed of 19km/h. The engine model is 200, with a displacement of 196CC, and it features a Single cylinder horizontal, 4-stroke(OHV) engine type. The propeller size is 20cm, and the starting system is manual.
- Easy access: The outboard motor features an easy pull off engine cover with push-button latch, providing instant motor access for maintenance and inspection. The compact design and large tank capacity make it both efficient and environmentally friendly.
- Wide application: This outboard motor is suitable for use with inflatable boats, fishing boats, sailboats, and small yachts, and it can be positioned at several angles to ensure optimal performance in various directions.
- 🏄【Wide Application】The fishing boat engine with a 1.2L /0.32gal built-in fuel tank is suitable for all kinds of small boats of 7.5-16.4ft, such as rubber boats, fishing boats, wooden boats, etc. You can use it for fishing on the river, water farming, river rescue, water excursions, flood relief, etc.
- 🏄【Powerful Engine】The engine is a 4-stroke 4 HP engine, so its power is very strong. Its speed can reach 15km/h. So the superpower engine makes it very time-saving and energy-saving. You can travel quickly through the river with it.
- 🏄【Three-Blade Plastisol Propeller】This bracket uses a three-blade propeller to replace the traditional manual boat propeller. This propeller has a fast speed and allows the boat to be driven quickly.
- 🏄【Easy to Use】This engine has a hand-pull start. Pull the engine's switch and then open the handle speed switch, then the boat will move on the river. So it is very simple and convenient for you to use.
- 🏄【Control Lever】This engine has a lever to control the direction within 360° and a handle on the lever to control the speed. It is convenient to control the running speed by adjusting the handle as well as controlling the running direction by adjusting the lever.
- 【Cdi ignition system】The ignition system of this 3.5hp outboard motor with CDI ignition system. You can start the motor quickly and safely. It saves your time and is convenient to use.
- 【Independent fin streamline design】This outboard motor fishing boat engine with independent fin streamline design, When it collides with an object underwater, the design can protect the propeller that is running at high speed.
- 【High Powerful motor】The maximum output of this fishing boat engine outboard motor is 2.5kw/3.5hp, the motor is able to handle harsh waters and provide safety to you. This motor is ideal.
- 【Good cooling effect】There are fishing boat engine outboard motor vents in the shell of the engine. It helps cool down the motor and it has a better performance. The motor also has a long life span with the motor vents.
- 【Note】Our machines are all without gear oil versions. Please add gear oil to the gears before using the motor and replace gear oil after the run-in period. (If you do not know how to handle this, please contact us). Our outboard motor doesn't with oil of gear, please prepare it by yourself.
- Effortless Operation and Easy Maintenance: Engineered for user-friendly convenience, this outboard motor features a Four-Stroke Lubricating System for durability and smooth performance. The twist grip throttle control ensures safe maneuvering. With a manageable weight of 15 KG, it's designed for easy handling. Our round-the-clock online assistance ensures peace of mind.
- Thrilling Speed with Elegant Design: Powered by a 4-Stroke, 4.0 HP engine, this motor harnesses Four Stroke technology and Air Cooling advancements for enhanced machine reliability and style.
- Enhanced Universal Performance and Durability: Elevate safety and quality with our upgraded motor. From improved corrosion resistance to stunning aesthetics, it's a reliable travel companion for both freshwater and saltwater adventures. Expect a safer and more environmentally friendly journey.
- Unrivaled Cooling System for Extended Adventures: Dive into seamless fishing escapades with our patented Air-Cooling system. Engineered to maintain optimal temperature, you can enjoy uninterrupted fishing all day long. The 18cm propeller guarantees peak performance.
- Bonus Gift for Added Utility: As a token of our commitment to your satisfaction, we include a common-sized LIFT JACKET. This thoughtful addition enhances the convenience of using your motor, providing an all-inclusive package.
- Lightweight (37.5lb); quiet 4-stroke Motor; .24 gallon (.9 liters) internal gas tank
- Easy start TCI ignition
- F-n/360 degree steering
- 1 cylinder OHV engine
- CE & EPA Approval
Most Reliable Outboard Motors By Power Output
Entry-Level Outboard — Yamaha F2.5
The Yamaha 2.5 horsepower is the best engine in this power output range. Sure, it won’t be the cheapest, but that is for a good reason. Yamaha makes some of the best engines for almost anything you can think of, including cars.
With that in mind, a small overhead valve 4-stroke engine is a breeze to build for a brand such as Yamaha. As a result, it’s exceptionally well-engineered, quite lightweight at only 17kg, and surprisingly quiet, running at a maximum of 72db.
Moreover, to demonstrate how confident it is about the reliability of its engine, Yamaha provides a 5-year warranty. Combine that with a good Yamaha OEM service manual, and you will have an engine that will serve you for decades.
And if 2.5 hp seems a little low for you, Yamaha also offers a very similar 139cc engine producing either 4 or 6 horsepower that is equally reliable.
Mid-Power Outboard — Suzuki DF90
Suzuki marine engines are finally starting to be recognized for their build quality, and the DF90 is the perfect example. Owner testimonials show that this is one of the most reliable outboards they have owned despite being riddled with the latest technologies, including a zero maintenance timing chain and lean-burn control, setting the air/fuel mixture to 18:1 in certain conditions making it the cleanest and most fuel-efficient engine in its class.
Furthermore, at only 155kg, it’s a whopping 26 kg lighter than a Mercury equivalent. Also worth mentioning, Suzuki has a lot of experience with 16 valve DOHC engines, the most popular layout used for its motorcycles, another point in favor of the DF90.
High-Power/Small Displacement Outboard — Yamaha VF150 and VF175
In a category where you need the most power you can get out of a small engine, no outboard can compete with the Yamaha VF series. indeed, these engines still provide a similar efficiency as small four-cylinder engines, and their power-to-weight ratio is at the top of the range for outboards of this size, thanks to the use of a variable camshaft timing system.
While everyone would agree that Yamaha makes some of the most reliable marine engines, and this 2.8 liter DOHC is no different, it’s important to remember that this class’s engines are high-performance models. Thus, the stress it will have to endure will be significantly higher than the Suzuki DF90, for example. Consequently, it will be essential to service it on a regular basis. Luckily, these outboards are quite simple to repair and a good Yamaha outboard motor manual and a bunch of tools will be pretty much all you need here.
Not sure where to find one? Have a look at eManualOnline — their repair manuals are the same used by professionals and pay for themselves after the first repair you’ll tackle on your own!
High-Power Outboard — Mercury 450R
While 450 horsepower in an outboard engine rarely goes hand in hand with reliability, the power output is only the beginning of the story. Despite its superior power, the Mercury 450R is under-stressed since it’s a 4.6 liter V8. Suddenly 450hp doesn’t sound that much, and that’s before we mention that it gets a 2.4-liter supercharger.
Mercury further backs up the reliability with a three-year warranty and a limited three-year warranty on corrosion. Also, all this power is achieved on 89 octane gas, adding to its usability. So, if you are a speed addict, and are bothered about the fact that reliability and power don’t usually go together, look for a Mercury 450R — it won’t disappoint!
For obvious reasons, outboard motors are the option of choice for most small boat owners and will probably continue to be so for years to come. Every year, they keep improving, becoming ever more powerful and reliable. However, as long as we have internal combustion engines, regular maintenance and quality replacement parts will always be the key to longevity and reliability.
Luckily, it’s fairly easy to save on maintenance when performing it on your own. I personally saved thousands by using a Yamaha service manual to maintain and fix my outboard. Of course, you’ll need to learn the basics but when you get the hang of it, it’s a much better alternative than going to the repair shop.