Repowering Your Boat:
What You Need To Know

By Michael Vatalaro
Published: April/May 2013

Is This Also A Good Time To Upgrade To Electronic Controls?

Now's your chance to simplify your dash and clean up the console, as well as consider adding joystick control, if you are running twins. If you've got a large multifunction display, you may also wish to network it to your outboard(s) to allow it to display engine data. To do so, you need to look for an outboard that supports NMEA standard data outputs or one that offers a “gateway” converter that changes proprietary outputs into a data stream that your chartplotter can use.

Converting to joystick control will also require hydraulic steering, and a specialized command bus to talk to the joystick.

Duty Cycle

How you intend to use your outboard? If you do a lot of trolling or low speed operation, you may benefit from an outboard that makes use of fuel saving tactics like stratified combustion. If you run offshore or through an inlet to go fishing, you may benefit from electronic throttle controls combined with an outboard with instantaneous mid-range punch.

Maintenance Schedules

Scheduled maintenance intervals have a big impact on the cost of ownership during the life of the outboard. In general, DI two-strokes will have longer intervals between scheduled services because they lack mechanically-controlled drive trains that need adjustment every 500 to 1,000 hours. Although recently Mercury unveiled a 150-hp four-stroke that should not require valve adjustments at all during it's lifetime. Four strokes also need regular oil changes. But annual oil changes should be weighed against the operating cost of burning oil in a DI two-stroke.

Electrical Demand

The amperage output of most outboards has increased over the years, but if you run an electric trolling motor all day, or a suite of electronics while drifting or slow-trolling, the alternator on your outboard better be able to keep up. Check not only the rated amperage output, but also make a note of what the output is a low rpm, where it could half of what it is a cruising speeds. End of story marker

| 1 | 2


 


BoatUS Magazine Is A Benefit Of BoatUS Membership

Membership Also Provides:

  • Subscription to the print version of BoatUS Magazine
  • 4% back on purchases from West Marine stores or online at WestMarine.com
  • Discounts on fuel, transient slips, repairs and more at over 1,000 businesses
  • Deals on cruises, charters, car rentals, hotel stays and much more ...
  • All For Only $24 A Year!


Join Today!

 

 Recommended Articles
Gray rule

Thumbnail photo of checking engine temperatureBoat Engine Troubleshooting

What's that funny smell? Do you hear a strange noise? Wait a second, that feels too hot! Stop and trust your senses. They've got some important news for you.


Thumbnail photo of a Standard Horizon Matrix marine radioMaking Your Helm Station Sizzle

At this year's Miami International Boat Show, the crop of new electronics did not disappoint. Here's what's new, and what's hot.


Thumbnail photo of a man inspecting the hydraulic steeringCaring For Your Hydraulic Steering

What you should know about this often overlooked marine system.