Outboard motor

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1881, electric outboard motor in use
Suzuki outboard engine with 103 kW (140 PS)
Outboard at the stern of an inflatable boat
Outboard motor with water jet propulsion

An outboard motor ( colloquially outboard motor ) is a ship's engine in which the engine, power transmission, gearbox and propeller are combined in a structural unit. In contrast to the inboard motor , this unit can be attached and detached from the boat with relatively little effort .

Most engines are internal combustion engines . For environmental reasons, internal combustion engines are prohibited in some water sports areas ; there, outboards with electric motors offer an alternative.

Application area

In contrast to inboard motors, outboard motors are often found on small motor boats and dinghies and are also used as auxiliary drives for sailing boats or yachts . More powerful outboard motors are offered for racing , which are also used in the leisure sector. Smaller boats usually only have one outboard motor. With two outboard motors, one motor with a left-hand and one with a right-hand propeller is often used; By turning in the opposite direction , the vehicle has better directional stability due to the neutralized wheel effect . There are more than two outboard motors in racing.


The outboard motor was invented in 1881 by the French Gustave Trouvé. He used an electric motor that he had patented in 1880 (French patent no. 136,560). In the years that followed, there were still several tinkerers who presented their own designs. The American Cameron B. Waterman sold 3,000 of the outboards he had developed in 1907. But it was only with the model invented by Ole Evinrude that the outboard could establish itself on a large scale from 1910 onwards. In Europe, the Swedish brothers Alrik and Oskar Hult presented design drawings for an outboard motor in 1907 and brought them onto the market a little later under the company name Archimedes . After various mergers of Swedish boat engine manufacturers, Archimedes ultimately belonged to Volvo Penta .

Attachment, equipment

Outboards are mostly attached to the stern of the boat (" engine mirror") or in a motor shaft called Bünn within the boat near the stern; Side-mounted sideboards or bow- mounted motors pulling the boat are rare . The engine can often be pulled up or tilted up at an angle so that the underwater part of the engine is not damaged during transport or landing, or creates unnecessary drag when sailing. When outboard motors are mounted to pivot laterally, pivoting the boat can be more effective than using a rudder alone . As a result, most outboard boats do not have a separate rudder; however, such boats can only be steered to a very limited extent when the propeller is stationary.

Smaller outboards are usually equipped with a pull-wire starter and a tiller control with which the motor is swiveled in its bracket around its vertical axis to port or starboard . If there is no gearbox with switchable reverse gear, the motor must be swiveled 180 degrees and, if necessary, the tiller thrown if you want to maneuver backwards. With smaller engines, the tank is usually located in the engine housing, but it can also be outside in the boat.

More powerful outboards have electric starters , usually with a charger for the starter battery and to supply the electricity consumers on board, and can be operated via remote control systems using the steering wheel and thrust lever.

With a special trimming device , the motor can be optimally adjusted to the water position around the transverse axis.

The constantly tightening emissions regulations in Europe and the USA are the main reason why the simple two-stroke carburettor engine has been significantly further developed. Based on the work of the companies Ficht (since 2000: Provenion) and OMC , two-stroke engines with direct injection are now available that meet the strict emission standards and have a clear power- to- weight advantage over four-stroke engines .

Shaft length

Outboards are made for mounting on different boats with shafts of different lengths. The lengths normal or short shaft (15  inches , approx. 38 cm) and long shaft (20 inches, approx. 51 cm) are common, with the measurement from the anti-ventilation plate to the upper edge of the boat transom. For sailing boats with a relatively high transom or for motor yachts suitable for the sea, there are also motors with super long shafts (25 inches, approx. 63 cm or 30 inches, approx. 72 cm shaft length) available. The boat builder specifies which shaft length is required by means of the height of the boat transom. If an outboard motor is fitted with a shaft length that does not match the transom, the boat's handling characteristics deteriorate.


Electric outboard (trolling motor for slow travel) with battery box

European manufacturers of outboard motors did not play a major role in the world market. Outboard motors from the following manufacturers are currently on the market:

  • Mercury Marine
  • Yamaha engine , which at times had the most powerful four-stroke outboard engine in its range with 260 kW (350 hp).
  • Yanmar , which had a diesel engine as an outboard engine.
  • Neander Shark GmbH from Kiel, who produce a 50 HP diesel outboard motor.
  • Selva Marine , whose current four-stroke engines are produced by Yamaha.
  • Suzuki , whose four-stroke outboard engines are also available under the label of z. B. OMC-Johnson were sold.
  • Tohatsu , the u. A. produce engines up to 30 hp for Mercury Marine (Brunswick Corporation).
  • Johnson and Evinrude , which merged into Outboard Motor Corporation in 1936 . For a long time, identical engines were sold under both brand names, while the Evinrude label is currently used for more powerful direct-injected two-stroke engines, while Johnson is used for smaller four-stroke outboards. Today both belong to BRP .
  • Honda , whose engines from 60 HP are also sold by Tohatsu (BFP series)
  • Seven Marine uses a 6.2 liter engine from General Motors to build the world's most powerful outboard with 468 kW (627 hp).
  • Minn Kota , specializes in electric motors, which are also sold under the label of z. B. Yamaha distributed; With the help of electronic circuits, some types have a low-loss, stepless speed adjustment.
  • Torqeedo , builds electric outboards - all motors are developed and manufactured in Germany. Torqeedo currently offers 13 outboards from 180 W to 29.7 kW and accessories - such as B. solar charging technology and lithium batteries.

Environmental regulations prevent the European and US American distribution of products manufactured by Russian and Indian manufacturers, while Chinese manufacturers are struggling with the protective and patent rights in force in the USA, Europe and Japan.

German manufacturer

The first German outboard motor was offered in 1911 by the Berlin company Fritz Ziegenspeck under the brand name "EffZett". The best-known German manufacturer was the König company , and Zündapp also produced outboard motors for a time.

The two-stroke outboard engine "Forelle" from the GDR manufacturer IFA was no longer sold after German reunification ; it's a rear engine. A side board from the GDR is the IFA type "Tümmler" with 1.8 kW (2.5 HP) rated power. The "Delphin" engines manufactured by the Zündapp company are also side-mounted; At the end of the 1960s, Zündapp brought out a 3.7 kW (5 HP) two-stroke outboard with a reversing gear and 6-V electrical system, which was not widely used.

There were other small German manufacturers after the Second World War , such as B. the company Berning from Schwelm , but none of them could prevail against the American mass products and disappeared from the market.

Torqeedo , founded in 2005, develops and manufactures electric outboards, inboards and hybrid motor systems in Gilching near Munich.

Web links

Commons : Outboard Motor  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: outboard motor  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ "A Century of Outboard Racing," page 15, author Kevin Desmond, Osceola, WI, MBI Pub. Co., 2001, ISBN 0-7603-1047-5
  2. Kevin Desmond: The Guinness book of motorboating facts and feats . Guinness Superlatives Ltd, Enfield 1979, ISBN 0-900424-86-9
  3. 100 years full throttle , magazine Boats (Hamburg), No. 5/2007, page 32 ( Memento of the original on 28 August 2010 at the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link is automatically inserted and not yet tested. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.dk-content.de
  4. Yamaha Operating Instructions , p. 444 ( Memento of the original from August 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.bootshop-online.de
  5. ^ Report on the Hamburg Fair, Water Sports magazine (Lübeck), issue 12/2007, p. 45
  6. Jump up Lenny Rudow, YachtWorld.com: Most Powerful Outboard Engine Ever: Seven Marine 627. Retrieved July 12, 2015 .
  7. 100 years motorboat , Extraheft Journal Boats (Hamburg), No. 8/1986
  8. Company advertisement in the magazine The Yacht (Hamburg), No. 12/1959
  9. The Süddeutsche Zeitung of May 9, 2011, p. 31, describes them as "the most advanced electric outboards in the world". Torqeedo homepage