Talk:Outboard motor

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internal layout[edit]

Which way is the driveshaft oriented? I have never seen a cutaway drawing that indicates whether the engine output shaft is horizontal (like a car or airplane engine) or vertical )like an early helicopter engine). It makes sense to arrange the shaft vertically--that way, only one set of gears is needed to transmit power to the horizontal propeller shaft--but I'd rather not guess, just ask someone who might know.165.91.65.17 (talk) 02:59, 6 July 2009 (UTC)RKH

In almost all cases the engine is vertical, unlike a car engine. I have seen an exception to this once, but can not remember what engine it was. Here is a youtube video of an engine cutaway. On the first image in the article you can also see that the sparkplugs are aligned vertically. --NJR_ZA (talk) 07:39, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Vertical spark plug orientation is a fairly new phenomenon. Notice that the drive gears are permenantly engaged with the drive shaft pinion gear, and spin 100% of the time, freewheeling on the propshaft when in neutral. The clutch dog is splined to the propshaft and engages the drive gears on the fly. I don't think that concept has changed since the first outboard ever made with forward/neutral/reverse gearing. Dusty.crockett (talk) 04:09, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

internal layout[edit]

whut is the differents between long shaft and short shaft and where do you measure from on the boat to see what one you need.Thank You

Answer: long shaft is 20 inches, short shaft is 15 inches. measure transom height from bottom to top dead center. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dusty.crockett (talkcontribs) 15:27, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I removed this

...and are notoriously unreliable compared to most mechanical contrivances.

since it is pure editorial opinion, most likely from someone who extrapolated one bad experience to the entire population. The reliability of any mechanical contrivance would suffer from being left idle most of the time then run hard in a harsh environment.

I removed this:

Marine engine manufacturers are now designing an outboard motor to run on hydrogen. It makes sense to try and utilize the abundance of water surrounding the vessel to fuel the engine.

Since it is nonsense. Hydrogen could ofcourse be used as fuel, but it costs more thermal/electric energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen than can be recovered from burning hydrogen (because 100% efficiency is impossible). So whatever the power source, directly using it to propel the watercraft is more efficient. Not to mention the weight of the extra machinery that would be required.

Illegal engines[edit]

Most types of two-strokes that uses carburetor is illegal in EU and other countries like Norway, because they pollute to much, especially NOx... Think this happened in 2007, and if true, it should be added in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.108.241.197 (talk) 21:44, 7 September 2007 (UTC)


The use of two stroke engines in the EU and California are not illegal. The sale of these engines is. So, starting in 2007 you can only buy direct injection two strokes or four stroke outboards in these areas. Deadly windex (talk) 19:29, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

I can't speak for the EU, but California does not ban the 2-stroke technology. They set emissions standards, and any 2-stroke that meets the standards can be sold. Presently that includes only the Evinrude E-TECH Dusty.crockett (talk) 03:52, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Origin of the outboard[edit]

I can't find anything about "Waterford Outboard" -- unless somebody comes up with a cite, I'm taking it out. Dusty.crockett (talk) 04:30, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I added "citation needed" tags in the hope that someone will back up this claim which goes against most established sources. 01:04, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

General uses[edit]

The "Types of" section had better descriptions of "uses" so I combined those sections -- still needs work, though. Dusty.crockett (talk) 19:01, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Fuel spilling out[edit]

I've heard that as a normal part of outboard motor operation, a certain amount of fuel continuously spills into the water. True? False? If true, could a knowledgeable editor add some data to the article? Comet Tuttle (talk) 16:45, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Probably only for the really old engines from around the 70's, at times when pollution wasn't such a big deal... - Jørgen88 (talk) 16:28, 12 August 2010 (UTC)


Well, sort of...to my knowlege fuel spillage is not a design feature of any outboard. My knowlege is limited to American-made motors of the 1970's and later. That said, poorly maintained and tuned motors will spill fuel & oil, and unfortunately poor maintenance seems to be the norm. Also, an inherent feature of 2-stroke technology is incomplete burn, and many have underwater exhaust, so hydrocarbons do get vented into the water. Note the exception is the Evinrude E-TECH, which is cleaner-burning than many 4-strokes, and meets California emissions standards. - Dusty.crockett (talk) 04:01, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
There is some truth to it, as older two stroke engines will generally loose some of the fuel during some parts of the cycle, not that it is exclusive to two-strokes, not in any way to outnboards 77.253.89.189 (talk) 03:48, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

Four-stroke availability[edit]

How is possible to state: "...four-stroke outboards have always been available."? Were they available in the year 1874? 1553? No, they haven't "...always been available." Perhaps somebody should correct this statement. 85.220.26.90 (talk) 22:54, 8 April 2012 (UTC)Þorvaldur Sigurðsson

The obvious interpretation is that four stroke outboards have been available for as long as outboards have been available, i.e. the four-stroke outboard (which is increasingly popular recently) is not a new invention. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:25, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Which of course implies that outboards have always been available. That is in contradiction to what is stated in the article. And; I was under the impression that Wikipedia articles shouldn't be open to interpretation. So the proper action shouldn't be to imply that some, probably the wise ones, readers understood the article correctly and some didn't. Would it have hurt to add to the article "...as long as outboards have been available."? 85.220.26.90 (talk) 23:48, 8 April 2012 (UTC)Þorvaldur Sigurðsson
Ahm, the first out boarder was electric and I don't think there is such a thing like a four stroke electric motor. Will remove that redundant sentence.TMCk (talk) 01:05, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Implausible statement[edit]

"Large outboards are usually bolted to the transom (or to a bracket bolted to the transom), and are linked to controls at the helm. These range from 2-, 3- and 4-cylinder models generating 15 to 135 horsepower suitable for hulls up to 17 feet (5.2 m) in length, to powerful V6 and V8 cylinder blocks rated up to 557 hp (415 kW).,[2] with sufficient power to be used on boats of 37 feet (11 m) or longer."

So, as it currently stands, there are no outboard motors suitable for boats between 17 and 37 feet long ?

In actual fact, most boats requiring outboard motors for propulsion are between 17 and 37 feet long.Eregli bob (talk) 08:50, 9 January 2013 (UTC)