So you just bought a 6hp outboard motor for fishing, relaxing, cruising, or you simply want to escape from the stagnation of everyday life. Taking your boat out for a spin can be good for you. But after some time, you start to get bored with its performance and are left wanting more from it since you first took it out of the box and fired it up. You want to improve its performance. Here we will discuss how to improve your 6hp outboard motor performance.
- Photo by GKVP
There are two types of outboard motors. One is petrol powered while the other is electric. Both engine types have their pros and cons.
Improving the performance of a 6hp engine is subjective to the person using it. We all have different needs and preferences. Some boat owners may want to improve the top speed of their boats. Others may want to improve acceleration. Some would like to increase the mileage their craft can travel. So it really depends on what the individual wants to accomplish.
You will have to choose the proper setup to improve outboard motor performance. The stock configuration of your outboard motor is suitable for general use, but it is not tailor-made to your specifications. For this, you will need to change a few parts. Like an automobile you just bought from the dealership, your newly acquired vehicle may not look or perform to your liking. Some people change the wheels to bigger, more attractive ones for show or choose lighter but stronger wheels for weight savings and speed.
Changing any part of your outboard motor will affect its performance. But there can be drawbacks to each and every modification you make. Improving the performance of your 6hp outboard motor also depends on your budget. Upgrades are not free, and you will have to choose wisely. You may want to join groups or clubs that have the same type of outboard motor as you so you can share notes and listen to stories about which part was best and which one was a total waste of time and money.
An outboard motor’s standard part, whether it be petrol or electric powered, is the propeller. The size and pitch of a propeller dictate if the boat will have faster acceleration but lower top speed or if it will have a slightly slower acceleration but have gained to full speed. The former is true when you use a smaller propeller, while the latter refers to fitting the motor with a larger propeller.
The material composition of your propeller also plays a role in its performance. A propeller made of softer material can flex and bend. Small amounts of deformation can affect during or after operation affects performance negatively. You want a propeller that is light but rigid in construction to prevent this.
It is best to upgrade your propeller to one that can work within the limits of your boat’s engine.
Adjusting the trim of your outboard motor is one of the adjustments you can make on your free motor.
Trim is the vertical angle of the outboard motor relative to the boat. The term “trimming up” means that the propeller is pointing upwards, which makes the bow(the front of the boat) point upwards. Trimming up is suitable for shallow waters and allows for faster speeds as there is less contact between the boat and the water.
You must be careful, though, because too much trimming can make the boat bounce and lose control. “Trimming down” means that the propeller is pointing downwards, which in turn makes the bow of the boat point down.
Trimming down is good when your boat is carrying a considerable load and when the water is choppy because it allows for a smoother ride by pushing more surface area of the boat under the water hence avoiding choppy waves.
There is also a “neutral trim” where the propeller is pointing parallel to the water. This is best used for achieving good fuel economy and speed. Make sure that you have the proper trim.
The shaft length is important. Too long can cause unwanted drag, creating bad electric/fuel economy and performance. Short shafts are generally for small boats and the opposite for large ones. If the shaft is too short, it can cause ventilation. Your engine may take in the air instead of water which can cause overheating.
Get the right shaft for your needs.
Make sure your outboard motor is adequately maintained and periodically. Whether electric or petrol, clean it every after use and make sure you flush all the dirt or salt water from it. Always put your motor up out of the water after every use. Do not keep it submerged when not in use. This will prevent corrosion and preserve the life of your motor.
Photo by Emil Døsen
Boaters are starting to notice the advantages of using electric outboard motors. Outboard motors running on petrol need to have the engine oil and filter changes periodically. This is not an issue with electric outboard motors as they are maintenance-free.
With the advent of electric cars, people see electricity as a more favourable alternative to gas-powered engines, given the price increase and fluctuations of crude oil in the global market.
They may cost more than a gas-powered outboard motor initially, but electric motors are cheaper to own in the long run. You can choose the battery that fits your travel range requirements. There is also a company that offers electric outboard motors that can charge their battery from wind and water.