Inflatable Boat Motors – Electric Trolling Motors, Gasoline 4-Stroke/4-Cycle
The true measure of the value of inflatable boat motors is that they free you up to enjoy the scenery and leave behind the strain of rowing your boat.
Operating inflatable boats with a motor is fairly straightforward: you need a bracket or motor mount to hang the electric motor off the boat, a battery, and of course, a motor. All of these accessories are affordable and easy to use.
Electric Powered Inflatable Boat Motors
For small dinghies and fishing craft, you can buy electric outboard motors which sell for as little as $85 for a 12v, 2-speed motor.
Here’s one example: the popular Minn-Kota FreshwaterTrolling motor ($120) comes with a 3-year warranty, and features 30lbs of thrust and a 30" shaft. This 25-pound motor is designed to power inflatable boats, kayaks, and canoes. It even features a Weedless Wedge 2 Prop that pushes weeds as well as chops through them. That’s good to know when you are lurking in the tall August weeds for trout and you don’t want plant debris wrapping around your prop blades.
Compare Prices of Electric Outboard Motors at Amazon.com
You can also get an E-Drive Electric Motor designed for powering larger pontoons and inflatable boats. The motors are high-end, priced at around $2,500. They provide the power of a gas motor with the quiet operation of an electric motor – perfect for lakes and waterways where noise and emission restrictions are enforced.
Gasoline Powered Inflatable Boat Motors
Inflatable boats can also be powered by gasoline outboard motors. Good motors up to 40hp will last up to 25 years if they are maintained, so in this category you have a choice between buying new, or saving money and buying a quality used model. Below are two examples of new outboards on the market that will work as inflatable boat motors:
The Briggs-Stratton 4-Cycle Outboard Motor at $799 is a 5-horsepower, 4-cycle OHV air-cooled engine with Magnetron electronic ignition. It features patented over-speed protection and is EPA-CARB compliant. Best of all it has great fuel efficiency at 0.5 gallons per hour at full throttle. The only drawback to getting a budget-priced outboard like one of these air-cooled models is that they are loud – much louder than an old 2-stroke engine, or a new 4-stroke water cooled motor.
Compare Prices of Gasoline Outboard Motors at Amazon.com
Another example is the Suzuki 4-stroke Short-Shaft Portable Outboard Motor at $1,675. It is a 6hp, 4-stroke engine that comes equipped with a built-in 1.5-liter fuel tank, and features Suzuki’s digital capacitor discharge ignition. Since it is compact and weighs only 55 pounds, it is a good choice for small inflatable fishing boats and dinks.
Purchasing an Engine Online
One of the reservations buyers have with buying inflatable boat motors online is dealing with any potential problems. Who are you going to call? What if you aren’t happy with your purchase? If you aren’t familiar with the model, you may not like the noise level or the amount of vibration of the engine once you test it for the first time on the water. For that reason, it is recommended that you make any purchase of an expensive gas engine at a local boat dealer or marina so that you can test it before buying.
You won’t have those types of issues with electric inflatable boat motors, however, since they are far less expensive to buy and ship. You’ll find competitive prices online, and even Free Shipping if you buy from Amazon, and retailers that sell through Amazon also offer inexpensive shipping – usually about $15 on a portable trolling motor. With proper care, these little workhorses will last for years. Check the manufacturer’s specifications of your inflatable boat to pair its size/weight with the correct size motor.
Inflatable Boat Accessories & Replacement Parts
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