Our wide range of outboards has been specially chosen to match our boats and cover the diverse needs of our customers.
The big move in the portable boat market is towards electric outboards and we stock both the big brands, Epropulsion and Torqeedo. However once you get above 6hp or so in the portable market petrol still has some advantages – mainly because petrol has such a huge advantage in terms of energy storage density (compared to batteries). We have experience using all of them so if you are in any doubt as to which motor is best for you, please give us a call – we’d be more than happy to help.
The term “outboard” covers a huge range of “boat propulsion devices”, from innocuous low-speed trolling motors attached to cumbersome car batteries, up to 700hp supercharged petrol V8 monsters. However, as Portable Boat Specialists it is natural that we tend to concentrate on the smaller, more portable end of the engine market.
We have been choosing and using small outboards ourselves, for several decades now: from the early days of the exposed flywheel, 12:1 (smoky!) ratio oil-burning British Seagulls; through the more advanced two-stroke era of the 80s and 90s; and on into the post-2006 four-stroke only period. The most recent (last ten years) development, mainly due to improving battery technology, is that – up to about 5hp – electric motors have become “viable, for most users most of the time”. In fact (as of late 2020) we’d go so far as to suggest that it’s difficult to think of a logical reason to buy a petrol outboard under 4hp, other than price.
German manufacturers Torqeedo are market leaders in the world of electric outboards; we were one of their earliest, and have become – as of 2019 and 2020 – their largest, UK dealer. We love and have extensive experience of using them ourselves, and our numerous customers who have made the change to electric never look back. The price is higher than petrol motors but the advantages – particularly quietness, ease of use and cleanliness – often outweigh that.
There is also another company in the field of electric outboards that can genuinely be considered useful for propulsion (as opposed to trolling motors), Epropulsion. In the most popular ultra-portable (1kW, or 3hp equivalent) sector it could be argued they are equal or even ahead, having been first to offer a direct drive motor (which Torqeedo now do as well, but a couple of years later). You also get quite a lot more battery capacity, for a bit less money overall. If you’re considering a Torqeedo you should at least read about the Epropulsion Spirit motor, see: Epropulsion Spirit motor.
Petrol outboards still dominate above 5hp and where a very long range is required, also remaining a more affordable option under 5hp. We offer petrol outboards by two manufacturers, allowing us to pick and choose what we think are the best options at each size:
Tohatsu is a name you may not have heard, but at the sizes relevant to us they also manufacture mechanically identical (other than the badge) motors for Mercury and Mariner. (In terms of units, Tohatsu make more outboards than anyone else, it’s just that a lot of them don’t have their name on.) We work closely with Tohatsu UK (they’re very near us), and in our opinion their 3.5, 9.8 and 20hp motors have several advantages over most other brands. Tohatsus are still manufactured in Japan, to very high quality standards, and – we can’t quite identify why – seem to be less prone to carburettor gumming than others on the market.
Suzuki may be more familiar, from the world of cars and motorbikes. Their small motors (up to the 20hp or so that’s relevant to us) are manufactured in Thailand. We are not a Suzuki dealer but have a good relationship with a nearby main agent, if you wish us to source a Suzuki outboard for you.Click here for Petrol Outboards