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In order to eliminate the chances of hitting bottom with an outboard motor, 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. Large outboards affixed to the transom using clamps and are either tiller steer up to approx 100hp. Generally 100hp plus is linked to controls at the helm. If an outboard is under 100hp it should have a tiller. Small outboard motors, up to 15 horsepower or so are easily portable. They are affixed to the boat via clamps, and thus easily moved from boat to boat.
In this application, the motor is frequently installed on the transom alongside and connected to the primary outboard to enable helm steering. Pump-jet propulsion is available as an option on most outboard motors. Although less efficient than an open propeller, they are particularly useful in applications where the ability to operate in very shallow water is important. They also eliminate the laceration dangers of an open propeller. Propane outboard motors are available from several manufacturers. These products have several advantages such as lower emissions, does not have ethanol related problems, and no need for choke once the system is pressurized.
The Waterman outboard engine appears to be the first real gasoline-powered outboard offered for sale. The most successful early outboard motor, was created by Norwegian-American inventor Ole Evinrude in 1909. 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 and oil in their exhaust, and louder noise. Although four stroke outboards have been sold since the late 1920s, particularly Roness and Sharland, in 1962 Homelite introduced a commercially viable four cycle outboard a 55-horsepower motor, based on the 4 cylinder Crosley automobile engine.
This was called the Bearcat that was later purchased by Fischer-Pierce who are the makers of Boston Whaler for use in their boats because of their technical superiority and efficiency over two strokes. Honda Marine Group, Mercury Marine, Mercury Racing, Nissan Marine, Suzuki Marine, Tohatsu Outboards, Yamaha Marine, and China Oshen-Hyfong marine have all developed new four-stroke engines. Some are carburetted, usually the smaller engines. Mercury Marine, Mercury Racing, Tohatsu, Yamaha Marine, Nissan and Evinrude each developed computer-controlled direct-injected two-stroke engines.
Each brand boasts a different method of DI. Fuel economy on both direct injected and four-stroke outboards measures from a 10 percent to 80 percent improvement, compared with conventional two-strokes. Depending on rpm and load at cruising speeds, figure on about a 30 percent mileage improvement. Produced the first line of propane powered outboards.
Herzer marked these outboards as low cost, green, and low maintenance. The first models included a 5 hp option and a 2. Since their introduction, Tohatsu has released their own 5hp versions. It is important to select a motor that is a good match for the hull in terms of power and shaft length. Overpowering is a dangerous condition that can lead to the transom accelerating past the rest of the vessel and underpowering often results in a boat that is incapable of performing in the role for which it was acquired.
Coast Guard Rating Plate which specifies the maximum recommended horsepower for the hull. Outboard motor shaft lengths are standardized to fit 15-inch, 20-inch and 25-inch transoms. If the shaft is too long it will extend farther into the water than necessary creating drag, which will impair performance and fuel economy. If the shaft is too short, the motor will be prone to ventilation. Different outboard engine brands require different transom dimensions and sizes, that affects performance and trim. Motor height on the transom is an important factor in achieving optimal performance.
The motor should be as high as possible without ventilating or loss of water pressure. This minimizes the effect of hydrodynamic drag while underway, allowing for greater speed. Trim is the angle of the motor in relation to the hull, as illustrated below. The ideal trim angle is the one in which the boat rides level, with most of the hull on the surface instead of plowing through the water. If the motor is trimmed out too far, the bow will ride too high in the water. With too little trim, the bow rides too low. With the propeller pushing mostly air instead of water, the load on the engine is greatly reduced, causing the engine to race and the propeller to spin fast enough to result in cavitation, at which point little thrust is generated at all.