Advantages of Twin Outboard Motors on Your Boat
Offshore fishing boats in the 23- to 26- foot size are some of the most popular size categories today. Often, buyers are faced with the option of fitting their boat with a single or twin outboard motors. Although a single-engine setup will obviously cost less, there are numerous advantages to twin outboards.
Some of today’s boat models in this size range aren’t designed to handle twin motors. With these, there simply isn’t the physical room to fit twin motors, so only a single engine option is offered. For example, nearly all bay boats are designed for a single-engine. On the other hand, catamarans are nearly always a virtual necessity. Their extra width and size practically require twin engines. However, with v-hulls, deciding between a single motor and twins is more complicated.
Although many buyers consider both choices, they usually decide on twin motors instead of one single-engine. Here are our top reasons for making this choice:
In case one of your twin motors breaks down, you can use the other to make it back home. However, this may not apply if the reason for the breakdown is bad or contaminated fuel, which would fuel both motors and create the same problem in both.
Redundancy was a great argument many years ago when outboard motors were prone to frequent problems. Over the years, engine reliability has gotten much better, and today’s outboard motors are more dependable than ever.
But reliability isn’t everything when you’re comparing one versus two motors. Hitting a submerged rock or stump can incapacitate a boat with one engine. When there’s a second engine still running, however, you’re in much better shape.
Having twin motors also gives you an advantage when you have a mechanical breakdown. With the second engine still working, you’ll get home a lot faster than if your single-engine failed.
If all things were equal, including the horsepower and hull weight, a single outboard should be faster in the water. A single gear case and propeller would normally create less drag in the water than two. And, the weight of two smaller outboard motors will usually exceed the weight of one large motor.
In real life, many twin installations offer horsepower figures that greatly exceed a single outboard. The difference in weight between twin 150s and twin 200s is very little. Yet, the additional 100 horsepower gives a much better top-speed advantage over a single 300.
The engines in a twin-engine setup are subject to less stress than a single-engine because each one is only pulling half its weight in powering the boat. At high speeds, a single-engine may be running at its maximum. At the same speed, twin-engines will be cruising along smoothly and more comfortably. The boat can travel at a higher top speed for greater distances without overheating or over-stressing a single-engine.
A boat that has twin outboards is considerably easier to maneuver than a single-outboard setup. Twins work together as a team. They have directional thrust vectors that allow you to even spin the boat in place and turn it extremely sharp angles. At low speeds, you won’t have to swing the stern out, and you can even “walk” the boat sideways to sidle right up to the dock. Yes, a single-outboard system is maneuverable, but with a twin, you have a big edge. The ability to jockey the boat around inside tighter than normal spaces with ease is quite valuable when you need it.
With twin engines at the stern of your boat, you’ll have much greater stability. If you’re out fishing, cruising, or just anchored in place, you’ll get a lot less movement in a twin-engine boat than with one that has just one. This is because the weight of the engines is spread out across the width of the boat, making it much more stable than with a single-engine.
Quicker hole shots
Twin outboards should also achieve a quicker hole shot than by using a single outboard with the same horsepower. The reason is that twins have a greater blade area allowing you to punch out of the hole much faster. Drag is also less of a factor when you initially accelerate than it is at higher speeds.
Synchronizing is easier
Not too long ago, synchronizing the RPM and trim angles for twin outboards was tedious at best. Nowadays, with so many advances in electronic engine controls, the task of running multiple outboards is much easier. Although a twin setup comes with twin throttle and shift levers, the newest systems let you control your RPM and trim for both motors. Once you’re underway, a single lever and trim switch makes things much simpler than years ago.
Better resale value
A twin-engine boat will have a much better resale value than one with a single engine. In general, boats that have more power usually sell much faster and carry a higher value on the used boat market.
Even though we’ve outlined these advantages of a twin-engine setup, it is a fact that twins can more than double the cost of powering your boat. In addition, there are many assorted costs, including extra weight and additional rigging. From controls, cables, wiring harnesses, propping, instrumentation, and labour, the costs of twin motors are nearly double that of a single motor. Plus, you can usually count on paying twice the cost of maintaining two outboards vs. just one.
However, the benefits of twin engines far exceed those of a single engine. Two is always better than one when there’s the chance of one breaking down. Two can more than double the power you have at your disposal without over-stressing a single engine. Two engines balance your boat better and make maneuvering in tight spaces much easier. And with two engines, your boat keeps its value longer and makes for a better investment.
Westshore Marine & Leisure
Westshore Marine & Leisure is one of the largest power sports dealers in Manitoba and the Prairies. We are one of Canada’s only Tri-Line outboard motor dealers and specialize in Evinrude, Yamaha, and Mercury outboard motors.
Get the boat and motor package you want at Westshore Marine & Leisure, centrally located just north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, between the big lakes in Arborg. Contact Us today; we look forward to serving you soon!