Powered Boats Can Blow Your Socks off!

Powered boats can be anything from a sail boat or a Zodiac type of inflated craft that is powered by a motor. Powered boats are mostly the Cruisers that many people enjoy pottering about on both coastal waters and inland lakes, inland seas and rivers.

Power boats are fun boats that are often used in racing and to convey people from larger boats standing off shore due to their size. Some are based upon the motor launches of military design – i.e. search and rescue boats – and they may be immensely powerful.

A powerboat is usually less than 10 meters (about 33 feet) in length however there are power boats that are considerably larger. Powerboats are usually extremely nimble and fast making them great fun to drive, however, one may not do much sightseeing on a powerboat. Power boats can be rigid in construction or inflatable as mentioned previously.

Inboard and outboard power units are in general terms motor vehicle engines that have been modified for use in boats. Inboard motors are built into the boat in an engine space and importantly vented to atmosphere to expel CO emissions, whereas outboard motors are mounted on the transom making them accessible, removable, and easier to keep maintained.

It is also far easier to replace an outboard motor in the event of acquiring an upgrade or simply to replace a broken motor .When shopping around for a new boat engine ask for professional advice, and check the makers recommendations on the correct motor for the size and weight of the boat when loaded (including skipper and crew), efficiency is paramount, too small and your boat will struggle, plus you may use more fuel to propel the boat, bear in mind that in an emergency power may well be required to get you out of trouble – optimum power is cool! Boat engines are the beating heart of any powered boat, it is essential then to understand what alternatives there are available.

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Outboards are also very important on a sail boat as an outboard motor will get you into or out from your moorings. Diesel engines are similar to the petrol/gasoline/diesel engines that we have in our cars. Fuel has to be carried in tanks for inboard motors and extra fuel carried for outboards.

NB. Always use specially designed fuel metal containers for storing fuels. Not plastic containers please. Check for leaks regularly, fuel leakage in any boat must be eliminated.

Fuel economy depends on the size, weight and usage of a boat, but you should get a lot of miles for your buck. Good marinas and fuel suppliers are widely available.

NB. Diesel motors are getting bad press now because of concerns about pollution. Jet propulsion use water throughput to provide forward thrust.

NB. We are not talking aero engines here folks!

Water is driven by pumps – using the principal that for every action there is a reaction. The main advantage being that there isn’t a propeller churning causing a risk to swimmers/scuba divers etc, and wildlife, unnoticed by the skipper – being run down by any boat is always bad news, slow down and look where you are going.

Water jet have inboard motors, they funnel water into an impeller that thrusts the water out the back/stern, using a style nozzle the water out through a nozzle under pressure, steering is enabled by moving the nozzle.

Solar power is an area of growing interest, utilising the power of the sun to drive boats is growing apace, of course we have had renewables driving sail boats since Noah built the ark.

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Electric power, there is a growing range of electricity powered boats with the advent of battery technology, plus solar panel technology, this is an area of interest as it becomes higher tech and easy to use and maintain, and pollution free.

Using non-fossil fuelled boats seems to be taking us back to the original clean seas going way of life, abusing nothing and leaving nothing behind, quite a profound thought.

Powered boats are fun, just as much as sailboats, and can be enjoyed to the full by amateur boaters on any waters be they inland or at sea. Before buying your power boat talk to the pro’s, shop around, take a course of study run by experienced sailing professionals, join a club and talk with the old hands there, join a marina, visit boats shows and manufacturers (most have websites), then when you have decided to buy from a responsible dealership/supplier avoid online unless you really know your stuff – a lot of stolen goods are sold this way plus no one wants to pay good money for junk that is unseen and has no warranty.

Enjoy your cruise boat.