Boat Motor Buying Guide

Boat at a dock with sunset in the background

When buying a boat motor there are a number of different things you need to consider. Understanding these details will make choosing a reliable motor much easier.

1. The Importance of a Motor

There was a time when boats didn't have, or need, motors. However, a motor is essential to get around with a boat these days. If you don't have a dependable motor you could end up wasting a lot of money on repeated repairs. When buying an outboard motor it's important to spend time looking for the types of outboard motor which are suitable for your boat. You will often be able to get a much cheaper option if you buy a used boat motor.

2. New Boat Motor

The safest option for purchasing a boat motor is to buy a new one. These motors will come with a guarantee against defects and other problems. The dealership will often repair or replace the motor for free if something goes wrong within the warranty period.

3. Choosing a Used Motor

When buying a used motor you don't always get these guarantees. If something goes wrong with the used motor then you will need to find a way to get it fixed yourself which could be expensive. It's actually a much better option if you buy a used motor from a dealer as they may offer some form of guarantee. It may be tempting to buy a motor from an Internet auction site, if so, make sure you check the feedback and what, if any, return policy is offered.

4. Additional Tips

There are lots of important things that you need to look for when choosing a used boat motor.

If the motor is already attached to a boat, then you should take the boat for a spin.

You should try to run it at full speed.

Find out more about the motor including the service history and any repair work which has been carried out.

Inspect the outside of the motor looking for any signs of wear and tear. If there are any signs of welding on the motor then find out what was done.

Before you purchase a motor you will also need to do a compression test, this test will check the condition of the cylinders. Check that the compression of each cylinder is pretty much identical, this shouldn't be any less or more than 10% difference.

Remove the covers on the motor looking for any exhaust, fuel or water leaks. If you don't know much about electricity or general engine maintenance, you should hire a professional mechanic.

Buying a boat motor is one of the most expensive things that you will ever need to buy for your boat. It can be difficult to buy a used motor which will be reliable, however if you are careful you stand a much better chance.