Best Outboard Motor for Saltwater In 2022 (Trusted Buying Guide)

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The best outboard motor for saltwater

Are you a recreational boating enthusiast? Whether you prefer to get on your boat for fishing, water trips, water games, or competitions, I believe that you can attest that there is more to getting the best boat Wax when you want the best boating experience, and this involves; acquiring a high-quality outboard motor.

An outboard motor provides the power that is needed to get the boat sailing. With a high-quality engine, maintaining smooth and powerful rides is quite easy, while a low-quality outboard motor restricts the capacity of your boat.

That said, you must pick the best-quality outboard motor so that you can achieve maximum performance from your boat. To make this task more comfortable for you, we shall have a look at the 10 best outboard motors for saltwater. Read on and use the provided buyer’s guide so that you can settle for the right outboard motor.

1. Newport Vessels NV-Series 36lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor

Are you looking for a smaller workload trolling motor designed to offer a longer run time without sacrificing performance and reliability?

If that is the case, I would recommend Newport Vessels NV Series Electric Trolling Motor. It is a 36lb thrust motor that derives its power from a 12volts deep cycle battery or marine battery.

The motor is easy to operate and designed to offer quiet and cool performance. Hence, you can use it all day without the fear of overheating or scaring the fish away. Also, it includes a 30” composite fiberglass shaft.

The shaft supports adequate adjustability to offer the proper depth placement in all water conditions. Also, it enhances compatibility so that you can mount the motor on all Newport Vessels inflatable boats, other kayaks, aluminum fishing boats, dinghies, fishing boats, inflatable boats, tenders, or inflatables with a transom.

The NV Series Electric Trolling Motor supports eight speeds. Five speeds support the forward movement, while three support the reverse motion for a smooth and controlled ride.

Also, the motor features a 6” telescoping handle. Not only is the handle comfortable to hold, but it enhances ease of storage because of the telescoping design.

With a 5-point LED battery meter, you can expect to get immediate feedback on the charge level. Better, the trolling motor comes with a 2-blade 8.9” diameter propeller.

This feature offers optimal compatibility and power conservation to enhance reliability further. The trolling engine features corrosion-resistant materials.

These comprise a sacrificial zinc anode, a fiberglass reinforced nylon propeller, stainless steel, and a fiberglass composite shaft to help it withstand the elements that saltwater will throw at it.

Specifications

  • 6″ telescoping handle
  • 2blade 8.9” diameter propeller.
  • 5-point LED battery meter.
  • 4ft 10 AWG battery cables.

What I Liked

  • The motor supports a smooth and powerful ride.
  • It operates quietly, even at the highest speed.
  • The casing resists rust and corrosion.

What I Don’t Like

  • The motor doesn’t come with the required batteries.

2. Goplus Electric Trolling Motor

If you are looking for a durable trolling motor, I would recommend purchasing Goplus Electric Trolling Motor.

Sturdy and durable, it incorporates a reinforced nylon bracket that offers excellent dimension stability, high strength, and good ablation resistance.

Also, it includes a fiberglass composite shaft plus durable aluminum. The benefit of these is high tensile strength and corrosion resistance, resulting in increased service life and reliable performance.

Another advantage of the motor is that it is accessible in three types. You can opt for the 46lbs thrust motor, 55lbs thrust motor, or 86lbs thrust motor, depending on the type and size of boat you want to power.

What’s more, the trolling engine offers eight speeds. Five speeds are suitable while moving in the forward direction, while three are suitable for the reverse motion, resulting in a smooth and controlled ride.

The trolling motor features a 6″ adjustable handle to help you control it easily and comfortably. Also, there is a 10-points LED lights battery indicator.

This feature plays a role in protecting the batteries by helping you observe the amount of electricity left. The adjustable fixed ring and flexible boat clamps are other additions to the motor. These work hand in hand to help you meet different moving demands. Better, the shaft angle is adjustable to help you achieve your surfing demands.

Goplus Electric Trolling Motor is a perfect choice when looking for the best outboard motor for saltwater that will deliver a smooth ride through marsh and underwater grass.

The reason is the unique design of the two-blade propeller that helps to offer smooth movement. Additionally, the depth of the propeller can be adjusted. To do so, you can move the position of the clamp to accelerate or decelerate to help you meet different moving needs.

Specifications

  • 10-points LED lights battery indicator.
  • 6″ adjustable handle
  • 2-blade propeller.

What I Liked

  • Well-built motor.
  • The motor supports smooth and fast speeds.
  • It is quiet to avoid scaring fish away.
  • The battery display is easy to read during the night.

What I don’t Like

  • The motor comes without batteries.

3. SEA DOG WATER SPORTS Outboard Motor

For saltwater and freshwater use, I would recommend the Sea Dog Water Sports Outboard Motor. Featuring a compact and lightweight structure, it can power sailboats, fishing boats, inflatable boats, and small yachts.

Additionally, the motor delivers power up to 6HP. Hence, you can expect it to power most small boats and help them to deliver reliable performance.

Featuring durable construction, the motor can withstand all elements nature has to throw at it without the fear of rust or corrosion.

Moreover, the outboard motor features a twist grip throttle to control the movement, and a 360¡ã steering rotation to help you reverse it without changing the gear.

Specifications

  • 2.5liter fuel tank requires 92 Lead-free gasoline.
  • Maximum speed rating: 4500 to 5500rpms/min.
  • Forward, neutral, and reverse gear positions.

What I Liked

  • Sturdy design.
  • The motor starts without any problems.
  • It is easy to set up.

What I don’t Like

  • Difficult to follow instructions.

4. LEADALLWAY Four Stroke Air-Cooled 4 HP Outboard Motor

A powerful and affordable option while looking for an outboard motor for fishing boats, small yachts, inflatable boats, sailboats, and kayaks is Leadallway Four Stroke Air-Cooled 4 HP Outboard Motor.

Featuring a lightweight and compact size, it is an excellent choice for use in small boats. Also, it features an anti-corrosive construction to guarantee strength.

The 360-degree steering rotation is another plus. This allows you to reverse without shifting the gear, which assures you of getting an outboard motor that is easy to use.

Also, there is a throttle control lever. The lever offers convenient speed control and turning to guarantee smooth operation.

Leadallway Four Stroke Air-Cooled 4 HP Outboard Motor is safe to use. The reason is the start-in-gear clutch that prohibits prop rotation while idling. Furthermore, the motor is easy to maintain.

This is because of the easy pull-off engine cover that offers instant access to the engine. You can use the motor on freshwater and saltwater, thanks to the durable anti-rust and anti-corrosion materials.

Specifications​

  • Maximum speed level: 4000-5000rpm/min.
  • 360-degree steering rotation.

What I Liked

  • Strong horsepower for superior performance.
  • The motor features a fuel-saving design.
  • It operates quietly.

What I don’t Like

  • Unclear instructions.

​5. Sky 4-Stroke 1.4HP Superior Engine Outboard Motor

The Sky Outboard Motor is a 4-Stroke 1.4HP Superior Engine designed for use with sailboats, inflatable boats, small yachts, and fishing boats. Easy to carry and mount, it features a lightweight and compact structure that also makes it suitable for small boats.

Also, the motor features durable construction. The reason is the anti-corrosive and anti-rust materials that make it suitable when used in saltwater and freshwater. You can use the engine while fishing, thanks to the quiet operation. Moreover, the motor features a safe twist grip throttle to help you control the movement.

Specifications​

  • 650ml fuel tank capacity.
  • Maximum speed level: 8000rpm/min.
  • 180mm diameter propeller.

What I Liked

  • Powerful and compact motor.
  • The motor operates quietly.
  • It resists rusting even in saltwater.

What I don’t Like

  • The oil leaks from the air filter after exceeding 80ml.
  • Trim adjustment requires tools while adjusting.

6. MinnKota Traxxis 45 Transom Mount Trolling Motor

As one of the best outboard motors for saltwater, MinnKota Traxxis Transom is a 45-pound thrust trolling motor suitable for small boats.

It features a durable composite shaft measuring 36″ to 42″. Also, there is a versatile steering tension control that offers increased maneuverability through tight spaces. The trolling motor is easy to use, thanks to the one-hand stow mechanism.

Moreover, it helps you save some time while fishing. The reason is the vantage that enables you to slip into the back trolling mode so that you can stow and deploy the motor at the push of a button.

Vantage’s mounting system also breaks away on impact. The benefit of this is fast and easy reset, as well as protecting the motor and boat’s transform from unseen hazards.

The versatile tiller tilts up to 45° while it extends up to up to 6″. As such, you can take command of the hand control trolling motor, which assures you of smooth operation. Furthermore, the motor adopts a 4:1 articulated steering.

Hence, you can rotate the lower unit to 180° by moving the tiller to 45°. The effect is more steering response with less effort so that the trolling motor can remain out of the way for easier control.

Equipped with a digital maximizer, the motor can deliver up to 5 times longer run-time on a single battery charge. Better, the engine incorporates extra-large windings and commutators. These help to dissipate the heat resulting in cooler operation, longer motor life, and extended battery power.

Specifications

  • 36” long shaft is compatible with most boats.
  • 4:1 articulated steering for more steering response.

What I Liked

  • Swept-back flared blades power the motor through anything without the risk of battery draining.
  • A digital battery indicator lets you know the remaining power and time to recharge
  • An innovative collar offers easy adjustment to the steering tension.
  • The composite shaft flexes on impact without breaking or kinking.

What I don’t Like

  • A little bit challenging to mount.

7. HANGKAI 3.5-18HP 2-4Stroke Outboard Boat Motors

Introducing Hangkai Outboard Boat Motors, this is a 2-Stroke engine designed to offers 18Horse Powers. Easy to carry and mount, the motor features a lightweight and compact design.

Asides from that, it adopts water cooling technology. The benefit of this is protecting it from overheating to enhance the reliability of the machine.

The outboard engine meets the CE certification to guarantee safety. Also, it features corrosion-resistant parts to enhance durability.

With a circulating oil lubrication system and direct bearing supporting precision, the motor can offer smooth and quiet operation, making it suitable when used on fishing boats.

Also, it works for more than 20 hours after setting the maximum throttle level.

Specifications

  • • Maximum speed output: 4500rpm/min to 5500rpms/min.
  • • Recommended engine oil: two-stroke engine oil.
  • • Recommended fuel: 92 lead-free gasoline.

What I Liked

  • The motor operates quietly and smoothly.
  •  Small and comfortable to operate.
  •  Corrosion-resistant motor.
  • Durable and stylish design.
  •  Easy to operate and maintain.

What I don’t Like

  • A little bit challenging to start.
  • Vague instructions.

8. Coleman 5HP Easy Start Outboard Boat Motor

Responding to the need for a lightweight and quiet outboard motor is Coleman 4-stroke Outboard Boat Motor. It is lightweight at 54lbs, making it easy to carry and set up.

Designed to deliver 5HP of power, it is suitable when used to power inflatable boats, small boats, or once you use it as an auxiliary trolling motor.

The motor features a high-grade marine aluminum alloy and a heavy-duty aluminum propeller. Because of this, it can deliver ultimate corrosion resistance so that it can hold up to freshwater and saltwater.

Also, it meets the EPA and CE standards. As a result, you can get it while looking for a safe and durable outboard motor.

Something else that makes this a great choice is the twist-grip throttle and adjustable steering function. The throttle helps you control the movement while the steering function offers increased maneuverability through tight spaces for easy control.

Better, the motor supports the forward-neutral-reverse shifting. This allows you to shift and control your boat with a lot of ease.

Coleman 4-stroke Outboard Boat Motor is easy to start, thanks to the reliable TCI ignition system that helps it to start quickly despite the weather. Moreover, the motor is suitable when you want to move the boat through shallow water.

The reason is the tilt and trim option that positions the motor at several angles. Because of the thermostat-controlled water-cooling system, you can expect the motor to maintain a consistent engine temperature alongside reduced vibration for smooth and reliable operation.

Specifications

  • The maximum throttle ranges from 4000rpm/min to 5000rpm/min.
  • 15” shaft is suitable for small boats and most inflatables.
  • Lightweight 54pounds weight enhances portability.

What I Liked

  • An oil-level gauge helps you monitor the oil levels.
  • The motor adopts an ultra-low emission design.
  • A safety lanyard and emergency shutoff enhance safety.
  • An external tank helps to pressurize the fuel line and ensure a fast start-up.

What I don’t Like

  • The motor leaks the oil when you lay it on one side.

9. LEADALLWAY T4.0HP Four Stroke Outboard Motor

A perfect match when looking for an outboard motor for kayaks, inflatable boats, small yachts, sailboats, and fishing boats is the Leadallway 4stroke 4HP Outboard motor.

Utilizing a 4-stroke power air-cooling technology, you can expect improved reliability of the whole machine. Better, the engine is compact and lightweight. As a result, it is easy to carry and mount, which makes it applicable to small boats.

While operating at the maximum throttle, the outboard motor can last for more than 20hours without extra fuel consumption.

Asides from that, the motor adopts a comparable lubricating system for 4-stroke outboard engines and vehicle lubricating systems. This results in a smooth and quiet operation so that you can use the motor while fishing.

Leadallway 4stroke 4HP Outboard motor is CE and EPA certified. Because of this, it is an excellent choice for an outboard motor that is safe and durable to use. What’s more, the engine adopts a 360-degree steering rotation.

The benefit of this is the ability to reverse the boat without changing the gear. The motor includes a durable black propeller while it is made using aluminum materials. As a result, you can be sure to get a reliable performance while using it on freshwater and saltwater.

Specifications

  • 360-debree steering rotation.
  • 7.25” x 5”-A durable propeller.
  • Maximum speed: 4000rpm/min to 5000rpm/min.

What I Liked

  • The motor features an anti-corrosive construction.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • A throttle control lever guarantees easy operation and convenient speed control.

What I don’t Like

  • The throttle has to be manually held to keep the motor running.

10. Superior Engine Water Cooling System Outboard Motor by Sky

This is a single-cylinder 2-stroke air-cooled engine. It features an anti-corrosive construction making it suitable for saltwater use. Also, the motor is lightweight and compact.

As a result, you can mount it on small boats, and rest assured to install and carry it easily. Designed for professional standard performance, it can offer enough power making it suitable for fishing boats, small yachts, inflatable boats, and sailboats.

Specifications

  • The maximum throttle operating range equals 4000rpms/min to 5000rpms/min.
  • Recommended fuel 93 lead-free gasoline.

What I Liked

  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • The motor is easy to mount.
  • Powerful and durable.

What I don’t Like

  • The motor is quite loud.

Types of Outboard motors

Outboard motors are of two kinds. You can opt to get a two-stroke outboard motor or four-stroke outboard motor based on your needs and budget level.

Let have a look at the key features that differentiate both engines.

1. Two-stroke motors

Two-stroke outboard engines release power after burning a mixture of gasoline and oil. Unlike four-stroke motors, these engines aren’t environmentally friendly, given the fact that they are louder than their counterparts.

However, two-stroke engines feature a lighter weight with the same horsepower as four-stroke motors. Therefore, this means that they have a better power to weight ratio.

2. Four-stroke motors.

For a cleaner and extra dependable performance, this is the engine to acquire. Four-stroke engines release their power upon burning gas.

Unlike two-stroke engines that burn oil plus fuel, the oil in this motor is added to the engine and not the fuel, resulting in better fuel economy, lower emissions, and quieter performance.

How to Choose the Best Outboard Motor – Buying Guide

So, which factors are you supposed to consider for you to pick the right outboard motor among our reviewed products? Discussed below are some of these features.

1. Shaft size

What should be the size of your outboard motor’s shaft? Well, this depends on the type and size of boat you will be mounting the motor on.

A short shaft on a long transom doesn’t reach the water, resulting in inadequate cooling and poor performance of the engine. On the other hand, a long shaft on a short transom can result in a thrust point that is very low in the water, which could capsize the boat.

That said, you will want to get it right from the start to avoid such accidents.

To determine whether to get a short or long shaft, measure the transom height from the top of the transom to the bottom of the hull.

For transom heights ranging from 15″ to 17.5″, get a short shaft. For transom heights ranging from 19″ to 22.5″, get a long shaft, and for those with transoms longer than 22.5″, get extra-long shafts.

2. Hull capacity

How much weight can your boat’s hull handle? Well, you can’t go about purchasing the biggest and heaviest motors without determining whether your boat can endure the weight.

Hence, consider the hull capacity and be sure to stick within the weight capacity of the original motor’s weight. Besides that, avoid lighter motors since such engines create fewer drafts.

3. Torque

Outboard motors have different torque capacities. For greater displacement, you will need a six-cylinder motor instead of a four-cylinder motor.

The reason is that six-cylinder motors include two extra cylinders. The benefit of this is the ability to develop more torque faster and over a wider range of revolutions per minute(RPMs).

4. Fuel efficiency

Who doesn’t want to save some money by getting a fuel-efficient motor? Well, the best outboard motor for saltwater has to be fuel-efficient, the reason you will want to consider this factor.

While comparing a four-cylinder engine to a six-cylinder motor, (all factors constant), a four-cylinder motor uses less fuel, given that it features two fewer cylinders and lesser weight.

However, do not forget that this is only applicable when you mount the engine on a compatible boat.

If you install a four-cylinder motor on a boat that requires a six-cylinder motor, you might have to use more fuel, since the larger boat will require the smaller engine to work harder to meet its needs.

5. Boat weight

What’s the weight of the boat where the motor will be mounted? Well, for sufficient power, speed, safety, and maneuverability, you will want to ensure that the boat can bear the weight of the motor comfortably.

That said, lightweight boats and those with center consoles under 22′ should be good to go with four-cylinder outboards.

On the other hand, larger and heavier boats should use a six-cylinder outboard to help them get the required acceleration.

6. Materials

Remember, saltwater features lots of elements likely to affect the longevity of your outboard motor’s materials.

As such, you will want to invest in a motor that incorporates high-quality materials for reliable and extended performance. In so doing, I would recommend that you buy a motor made using materials that resist rust and corrosion.

That way, you will not have to worry about exposing it to elements that accelerate the wearing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do you need a unique outboard motor for saltwater?

Yes. When buying an outboard motor, I would recommend buying models designed for use in saltwater.

The reason is that saltwater features elements that hasten the rusting and corrosion process. As a result, you will want to get an outboard motor that is suited to resist rusting and corrosion effectively.

2. How much Horsepower is required for my boat?

Well, outboard motors offer different power ratings. Some engines are suitable for small boats, while others are suitable for large boats.

When choosing an outboard engine based on this factor, I would recommend that you purchase an engine that offers the maximum power recommended by the manufacturer. In so doing, you can expect more speed and reliable performance.

3. Are electric outboard motors available?

Yes. These motors are an excellent choice for users looking for low-maintenance engines designed to operate quietly.

Better, the motors are a great option when you want to save fuel costs in the long run since all that is required of you is to recharge the battery overnight.

Although such engines are a little bit expensive when buying, you will appreciate the long-term savings that come along.

4. What is the best outboard motor for saltwater?

Ideally, there isn’t a specific outboard motor that is best for saltwater. Once you get an engine that suits your boat effectively and one that will resist elements posed by seawater to accelerate the rusting process, then you can be sure to have the best outboard motor for saltwater.

5. Which is better; two-stroke or four-stroke outboard motors?

As we had stated earlier, these engines have different advantages and disadvantages when compared, which means that it is what matters to you that will help you determine which is better.

Two-stroke engines have a better power-to-weight ratio compared to four-stroke motors. On the other hand, four-stroke engines are better in terms of better fuel economy, lower emissions, and quieter performance.

6. Does a boat go faster in saltwater or freshwater?

A boat cruises faster in freshwater than saltwater, all factors held constant. The reason is that the density in freshwater lakes is low, resulting in the boat sitting lower. As a result, freshwater poses lesser resistance to speed enabling the boat to move faster.

GearAre Overview

Having looked into the ten best outboard motors for saltwater, I believe that you have the right information to help you pick the appropriate item.

Remember, for the best value for your money, you will want to purchase a motor that is sized correctly for your boat, and one that offers reliable and effective performance.

So, compare the choices reviewed in this article while paying attention to the buyer’s guide, and rest assured to have settled for the right engine to boost your boat.

Also, do not forget to offer the necessary care and maintenance to maintain the smooth working of the motor.

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