What Electric Boat Engine Size Do I Need?

When it comes to electric boat engines, size does matter. Choosing the wrong engine can leave you underpowered and struggling to get your boat where you want it to go.

Are you  planning on cruising at high speeds, or do you prefer a leisurely pace? Are you looking to tow water toys or transport large loads? These are important factors to consider when selecting your engine size. Once you have these factors figured out, you are on your way to  finding the perfect engine for your needs.

In this article, we will discuss these factors in detail to help you choose the right electric outboard engine for your needs. So, what size electric boat engine do you need? Let’s find out!


BOATING 101: Selecting the right electric outboard for your needs

Here are vital  factors to consider when selecting your electric outboard engine size:

Boat size

It’s a no brainer that  bigger boats require larger engines to power them. However, it’s also important to note that a bigger engine will not necessarily increase your speed. The shape and weight distribution of the boat also play a role in its speed capabilities. A good rule of thumb is getting 1HP  of thrust for every 25-40 pounds of fully loaded boat weight. This implies  that a 800 pound boat would require an engine with at least 20-32HP.

Cruising speed

Next , let’s talk about cruising speed. This is the speed at which you will likely spend most of your time on the water and can have a major impact on your overall enjoyment of the boat. As a general rule, the larger the engine, the faster your cruising speed will be. However, it’s important to consider how you plan to use your boat. If you’re primarily interested in leisurely cruises on calm waters, a smaller engine may be sufficient. But if you plan on using your boat for watersports or navigating rough seas, a larger engine may be necessary.


Shaft length

Another factor to consider is shaft length. This refers to the distance from the engine’s drive shaft to the propeller, and it can have a big impact on performance in shallow waters. In fact, longer shafts provide better performance and maneuverability but may not be necessary for all boats or situations. If you plan on using your boat in shallow waters or tight spaces, it’s important to pay attention to the shaft length and choose an appropriate size for your needs.


Here is one factor  that may not have a direct impact on performance, but it’s still important to consider: price. Larger engines typically cost more, so it’s important to balance your needs and budget when selecting the right size for you. For instance,  if you have a small boat and primarily plan on leisurely cruises, it may not be necessary to invest in a larger, more expensive engine.


What you use your electric outboard engine for and where  you use it will play a big role in determining the appropriate engine size. Are you primarily using your boat for fishing or cruising? Will you be traversing larger bodies of water or smaller, more confined lakes and rivers?  These  considerations will impact the amount of power you need from your engine. For starters,  fishing or cruising on smaller lakes and rivers may require less power than if you were to use your boat for watersports or longer distance travel.


Check with local laws

You should  also check with your local boating laws and regulations, as some areas have horsepower limits for electric boat engines. You don’t  want to accidentally purchase an engine that exceeds the legal limit. This could  lead to fines and other legal issues.


When you need a trolling motor instead of an outboard

There are a handful of instance where you’ll  want to opt for a trolling motor instead of an outboard engine. Some of these include:

Fishing in shallow waters

Without a doubt,  trolling motors are the preferred choice for fishing in shallow waters. They are quiet and allow for precise maneuverability, making them ideal for stealthy fishing trips.

Low speed use

If you plan on using your boat primarily at low speeds, a trolling motor may be the better option. These smaller engines provide enough power for slow cruising or fishing without the added expense and weight of a larger outboard engine.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to use a trolling motor with confidence – and get the most out of your fishing trips.



There it is – a simple guide to  determining the right electric boat engine size for you. It’s important to consider factors such as the weight of your boat, cruising speed, shaft length, price, and intended activities. And remember to check with local laws before making a purchase. In some cases, a trolling motor may be the better option for low speed use or fishing in shallow waters. Happy boating!

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