Houseboat Outboard Engine Options - Speed, Power, High Thrust, Makes?
(San Antonio, TX, USA)
Houseboat with a high thrust 25 hp Mercury Big Foot outboard.
I have a houseboat with an outboard engine, and am curious about high thrust models, the power, the speed, of various makes or manufacturers?
I have a 25 hp Mercury Big Foot to power a 31' Houseboat. I'm thinking I may need a little more power if I find myself in a strong current and headwind at the same time.
I'm going to be running around in some shallow bay water down on the coast. So, I'm wondering is anybody knows anything about the new jet thrust outboards.
They say that they are quieter, more efficient, and am curious if anybody has any experience or information to share?
Thanks Mo, Texas Reply - Answer
Well Mo, thanks for sharing and posting a picture of the outboard, bracket, and stern of your houseboat. A picture is worth 1000 words :)
In response to your post about looking at Jet Thrust Outboards, the only experience that I have with them is that the Police and Fire department have them installed on some of their small rescue boats.
Jet thrust outboards will be discussed a little further down, but first, lets look at some of the basic, preliminary decisions and options available.
As a houseboat owner, you should take a moment to analyze the houseboats intended use and purpose. Once this is identified, and a decision on whether it should be powered with a single or twin engine or outboard installation, can we make a decision on a suitable and adequate propulsion system.
Lets look at some of the frequently asked questions below:What type of houseboat?
You first have to look at the style of houseboat that you want to power. Is the houseboat a slower displacement style hull, or is it a planing style hull?
A slower displacement hull generally has a speed of +/- @ 6-8 mph and would benefit from a high thrust outboard engine.
A faster planing hull generally has a higher top speed of +/- @ 20-25 mph, and would benefit from higher horsepower outboards.What is better, a single or twin engine houseboat?
Each boat has to be evaluated, and both are excellent choices. You will commonly find single outboards installed on smaller houseboats (@ 20-40 ft). Where as twin outboard installations are commonly found on bigger larger houseboats of 35 feet and up.What are the benefits or disadvantages to single or dual outboards?
A single outboard will have less maintenance, yet be more trouble should it breakdown (towing).
A twin outboard installation is double the maintenance, yet provides a security blanket should one breakdown.
whether the fuel consumption or gas mileage of houseboats
with 1 or 2 outboards is a discussion far beyond the scope of this forum post.What are the traditional choices and makes for outboards:
Depending on location or area of the world, you will find makes or models of outboards such as Mercury, Johnson, Evinrude, Mariner, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Nissan, Tohatsu, and many others.
There are some outboard manufacturers that build 2 stroke and 4 stroke outboards for other wholesalers, distributors, or retailers everywhere. But what about Jet Thrust Outboards?
My experience with jet thrust outboards has been from the local Police and Fire department use, and they have had a fairly good track record. They have small 14 ft flat bottom fishing boats for search and rescue operations.
Their fishing style boats are light, flat bottomed, and are usually fiberglass, aluminum, or kevlar construction.
These jet thrust engines are fairly rare in quantity or percentage, in comparison to the traditional propeller style engines found everywhere around the world.
When it comes to maintenance and repairs, the choices for local or distant repair service centers appear to be much more limited, in comparison to the traditional popular lower gear case propeller shaft design.
On the plus side, the are far superior when it comes to shallow water operation, and if I was to operate in these conditions, a jet outboard would rank highly on my list.
Now from a comparison point of view, will a 25 hp propeller outboard provide the same thrust as a 25 hp jet outboard, now that is a good question.
My opinion which is based from the police and fire department personnel, the jet outboards appear to provide less thrust than the propeller models. However I have no technical specifications to back this up.Outboard Maintenance and Repairs
When it comes to outboards, I find them fairly simple to maintain and repair, yet I have always had an outboard repair manual on hand
since they pay or themselves in the first use.
Just from a troubleshooting or diagnostic point of view, they have saved me repeatedly when an outboard runs rough, stalls, or just doesn't start.
In closing, the topic of outboard powered houseboats is a large one and would be require many other posts and discussions.Lastly
, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat outboard installations and experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.
Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats
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