What size of HP?
Thanks to their light weight and exceptional lift, inflatable boats plane with lower power outboards. To determine the correct motor HP size for your boat, follow the recommended power output:
NEVER USE A MOTOR POWER HP HIGHER THAN INDICATED ON THE MANUFACTURER’S I.D. PLATE AS THIS COULD RESULT IN LOSS OF CONTROL
- Over-powered and your boat can be difficult to control. Under no circumstances should you fit an outboard which exceeds the maximum permitted engine power: you may be breaking the law.
- Under-powered and you may not have that margin of security necessary to go upwind or against the currents.
- For quiet activities you do not need a very powerful engine: 8 hp is sufficient for a 4.20m/13’9″ boat.
- For sportier activities such as water skiing or diving you will need at least 30 hp.
- With smaller outboards, go for tiller control, giving direct control over the boat and allowing for quick maneuvering.
- Above 25 hp, for greater comfort and safety, we recommend that you choose a steering console.
It is recommended that you choose a motor suitable for your principal boating activities. The recommended and maximum powers are given in the technical specifications.
The weight of the outboard
The weight of the outboard has a direct effect on the handling of your inflatable boat.
- For the same power output, choose the lighter outboard
- Check that the engine’s weight is compatible with the maximum recommended weight for your boat.
Shaft length of the motor (short, long or extra-long)
- Each model has been designed to accept one length, not all.
- Your motor may come equipped with a “standard” propeller. Ask your dealer to assist you in choosing the optimum propeller for your principal use.
Installing the motor
- Install the motor along the centerline of the inflatable boat, in the middle of the tightening plate (1) (see diagram)
- Fully tighten the brackets (2) by hand and check that they are still properly tightened after 15 minutes of running.
- Secure the motor to the loop (4) on the motor tightening plate (1) with a safety cable (3).
Adjusting the tilt of the motor
To get the best performance and maneuverability, you may have to adjust the tilt (the angle of the motor to the transom) more often in relation to navigation conditions.
In a calm sea, the motor must be positioned so that the axis of the propeller is parallel to the water. But an adjustment of the tilt is recommended under certain other conditions:
The adjustment can be manual or by an electric trim, if supplied with the engine. The trim is a hydraulic control that inclines the motor in navigation.
- If the motor is positively trimmed, the boat will porpoise.
- If the boat is negatively trimmed, the boat will nose down.
When to use the positive trim:
- In a following sea: load the stern and if necessary set the tilt pin in the 3rd or 4th hole position (manual trim)
- When you want to increase speed (electric trim)
When to use the negative trim:
- With a head on sea and wind: load the bow and if necessary set the tilt pin in the 1st or 2nd hole position (manual trim)
- When planing to minimize the porpoiseing (electric trim)
NEVER USE A MOTOR POWER HP HIGHER THAN INDICATED ON THE MANUFACTURER’S I.D. PLATE AS THIS COULD RESULT IN LOSS OF CONTROL.
Photos and information courtesy of Zodiac Canada – www.zodiac.ca
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