Outboard Trims and Tilts

For fishers and anglers who enjoy using small watercraft to explore different inlets and estuaries with the hopes of landing that prize catch, using an outboard trim and tilt motor is an easy way to motorize your small skiff. Trim and tilt outboard motors are nimble, quick, and easy to install; many models offer superior fuel efficiency for their size and capability. Understanding what features you need and how to operate your trim and tilt for maximum efficiency will help you make the right purchasing decision.

How much horsepower do you need for an outboard motor?

Before deciding how much horsepower you want for your outboard trim and tilt motor, you need to take careful stock of the watercraft in which you plan to operate the motor. The amount of horsepower you need is directly in proportion to the size, weight, and length of your boat or skiff, so you should locate the specs on your watercraft and use those to determine which outboard motor is the optimal fit for your needs.

If you use a motor that offers too little horsepower for the size of your boat, you may experience significant drag in the water as the motor cannot efficiently move the boat. The motor may even burn out as it attempts to move more weight than it can handle.

If you use a motor with too much horsepower for the size of your boat, you may experience instability as the motor moves the small boat much faster than it is designed to run. That instability may also lead to stresses on the transom and hull of your boat, causing damage.

How tall should trim and tilt motor be?

Trim and tilt outboard motors are mounted on the transom part of your boat, which is located at the end of the hull or rear, of your boat. This mounting allows the thrust of the motor to transfer to this structural portion of the back of your boat and push or propel your boat forward.

Trim and tilt outboard motors have a shaft that extends from the motor unit downward; this shaft is in the water when the motor is in use. The shaft length of your trim and tilt motor should be the same length as the height of your boats transom.

Whats the difference between two- and four-stroke engines?

Older two and four stroke engines differ in the time of their engine cycle, in their responsiveness, and in their power levels. Two-stroke engines were prized for their higher thrust and overall ability to power a boat through the water while four-stroke engines were slower overall. However, as design and manufacturing have changed, most new trim and tilt outboard motors bear a four-stroke design that features larger valves, fuel efficiency, and decreased environmental impact.