The sun is shining in your face as you cruise your boat through the sparkling water. As you start the engine and the boat slowly pulls away from the jetty, you suddenly feel a jerk and the boat stalls. The engine has failed. And now what?

This is exactly where the outboard motor comes into play - because it will get your boat running again in no time. Whether for a quick ride over the waves or for relaxing hours on the water: the outboard motor is one of the most important companions of every boat lover. But what questions should you ask yourself before buying and what should you look out for? All the answers can be found in the following article.

Buying an outboard motor: What should you look for when buying an outboard motor?

When buying an outboard motor, you should pay attention to important factors to find the right product for your individual needs. First, it is important to consider the performance of the motor. You should make sure that the outboard motor has enough power to move the boat effectively.

In addition, one should consider the volume of the engine so that it is not too loud and detracts from the boating experience. Another crucial factor is fuel efficiency: an economical engine can help save money while reducing environmental impact. You should also take into account the size and weight of the engine, especially when it comes to portability and storage.


Do you need a short-shaft or long-shaft outboard motor?

Whether you need a short-shaft or long-shaft outboard motor depends on several factors of your boat. These aspects should be considered:

Boat length

Outboard shaft lengths play a crucial role.
Short-shaft outboards are most suitable for boats up to about 4.5 metres in length, such as dinghies and faster motorboats.
On the other hand, long-shaft outboards are particularly recommended for boats over 4.5 metres in length.

Boat type

Do you own a flat boat with a flat stern? Then a short-shaft outboard motor is suitable. However, if your boat has a higher side or a deep stern, you should go for a long-shaft outboard motor. You also have to take into account whether the engine is pulled out of the water by the wave at the stern, as is the case with a sailboat, for example. In this case, a long-shaft outboard motor is also suitable.

from £49.99
from £29.99 (£29.99 / m) (£19.99 / 1 m)

Which outboard is the right one?

Now you are asking yourself the question "But which outboard is the right one for my boat?" To answer the question, various boat types are presented - along with a basic recommendation.

Inflatable boat

Short-shaft outboard engines are usually best suited for inflatable boats, as they are very light and handy. A 4-stroke engine with a power of about 5-10 hp is often already sufficient.

Sport boats

Sport boats usually require more powerful outboard motors than inflatable boats. A long-shaft outboard motor with an output of 50 to 200 hp is the usual choice. However, the power output differs depending on the size of the boat and its intended use.


Sailing boats do not usually need a powerful engine, as they are mainly driven by wind. An outboard motor here acts more as a support in difficult wind conditions or when manoeuvring in the harbour. A long-shaft outboard motor with a power of about 5-15 hp is recommended here.

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2-stroke, 4-stroke or electric outboard: what to choose

Now the question arises about an outboard 4-stroke or an outboard 2-stroke. To answer the question, here is an overview of the most important advantages and disadvantages.

2-stroke outboard engines:

2-stroke outboard engines offer numerous advantages and disadvantages. In many countries, 2-stroke engines can no longer be bought new (since 1.1.2017 EURO 4 in Europe), but used ones may still be used. In Switzerland and Lake Constance, 2-stroke engines may no longer be used since 1.1.2018.


  • Easy
  • Simple in construction
  • Inexpensive
  • high performance compared to size
  • easier maintenance and repair


  • More fuel consumption and emissions than 4-stroke engines
  • Louder than 4-stroke engines
  • Slightly less powerful at low revs

4-stroke outboard engines

4-stroke outboard engines also come with various advantages and disadvantages:


  • quieter and more environmentally friendly than 2-stroke engines
  • lower fuel consumption and emissions than 2-stroke engines
  • more torque in the lower speed range


  • often more expensive than 2-stroke engines
  • heavier and larger than 2-stroke engines due to additional components and larger displacement
  • More maintenance required due to complex construction

Electric outboard motors

In addition to 2-stroke and 4-stroke outboard engines, there are also electric outboard engines. Electric outboards have the following advantages and disadvantages:


  • environmentally friendly, as they produce no exhaust fumes quiet
  • leise
  • less maintenance (compared to combustion engines)
  • easy to handle and operate


  • batteries are usually heavy and bulky
  • power and range can be limited compared to internal combustion engines
  • charging the battery can take longer

What to look for in 2-stroke and 4-stroke outboard engines?

In addition to choosing the right outboard engines, you should pay attention to what fuel and engine oil you need. 2-stroke engines usually need a mixture of petrol and oil, while 4-stroke engines only need petrol.

In addition, 2-stroke engines need a special two-stroke oil, which is usually mixed with the petrol. For 4-stroke engines, a separate engine oil is recommended, which is usually filled into the engine's oil tank. Regular maintenance is required for both engines to ensure optimum performance and long life.

Häufig gestellte Fragen - FAQs

Was ist ein Außenborder?

Ein Außenborder bezeichnet einen Schiffsmotor, der außerhalb des Bootes montiert wird und für den Antrieb sorgt.

Wie tief muss ein Außenborder ins Wasser?

Die genaue Eintauchtiefe des Außenborders hängt von verschiedenen Faktoren wie beispielsweise der Bootslänge, dem Gewicht des Bootes bzw. Motors und den Seebedingungen ab. Als Faustregel gilt jedoch: Der Propeller sollte mindestens bis zur Unterkante des Bootsrumpfs eintauchen, um eine optimale Leistung und Manövrierfähigkeit zu gewährleisten.