The outboard engine is clearly going to be one of the most important parts of your boat, so it makes sense to spend a little time making your choice. There are plenty of factors to consider, but one of the most important is whether to opt for a two-stroke engine or a four-stroke engine.
The difference between them is fairly easy to grasp. A two-stroke engine features an intake and exhaust stroke, so the air, fuel, and combustion materials are all moved during two strokes. A four-stroke outboard adds two more strokes to move burned and unburned materials – they feature an intake, compression, expansion, and exhaust stroke.
Both options come with their own set of benefits, but here are just a few reasons why you might want to consider a two-stroke outboard motor.
Unlike four-stroke outboards, two-stroke outboards do not feature valves, and this makes their construction much simpler. Mechanics find them easier to work on, meaning you'll spend less money if the outboard ever needs to be serviced, and many repairs can be carried out by hand, even when you're still out on the water. In contrast, the four-stroke is so complex that servicing away from a mechanic is almost always impossible. Furthermore, four-stroke engines require regular oil changes, and more moving parts means more to go wrong.
A four-stroke outboard is the engine you want if you're looking to cruise smoothly and quietly. However, a two-stroke outboard is going to appeal if you desire faster and sportier performance. They accelerate very quickly, and their lower weight means they don't weigh down your craft as much as a four-stroke.
Easier to Transport
If your outboard motor isn't going to be permanently fixed to one craft, you'll want to seriously consider opting for a two-stoke model. This is because they are much smaller and lighter, making them a lot easier to carry. Four-stroke models are notoriously heavy and unwieldy; carrying them is uncomfortable, and you run the risk of dropping your motor and either damaging it or injuring yourself.
Cheaper and More Customizable
Two-stroke motors are easier to make and therefore cheaper to buy – if you're on a budget, two-stroke motors are going to be ideal. They're also great if you're looking to buy used since there's such a wide used market available. Additionally, there are plenty of parts available, so you should be able to repair or modify your two-stroke outboard without much expense.