How much does an outboard motor cost for a boat? 8 price-determining affecting factors for boat’s outboard motor

How much does an outboard motor cost for a boat? If you are among those who have some concerns when buying an outboard motor for your boat, worry not! This technological marvel is often touted as one of the most cost-effective yet highly efficient engines on the market today. They allows boat owners to minimize costs while achieving the best performance.

How much does an outboard motor cost for a boat? Some price-determining and affecting variables

How much does an outboard motor cost for a boat? Some price-determining and affecting variables

To find out how much your current engine will cost, Scott Ewart has prepared a helpful guide to help you make your decision. Besides, we also mention 8 price-determining affecting factors for boat’s outboard motor. At the end of this post, you can consider boat’s factors and prepare yourself financially before you go shopping. Come on, let’s get started!

How much does an outboard motor cost for a boat?

If a person purchases a brand-new outboard, it can come with either an engine or a complete unit. The price of outboard motor boats is between several hundred dollars and thirty thousand dollars. The price usually starts with the price of the engine, which is determined by the size of the intake manifold. The costliest options typically set you back $1,000—and upwards of $2,000 for more recognizable manufacturers. Their hoses are frequently powered by 2- to 4-horsepower engines.

Small outboard engine

Small outboard engine

Small outboard engine

A smaller engine is often referred to as a “walk-around” engine. It’s perfect for dinghies, canoes, and other small boats. Powered by an outboard motor of about one horsepower, these engines are perfect for getting around in shallow water or on open water. As a general rule, the smaller the engine, the cheaper it tends to be.

At typical pricing, a 25-horsepower engine will set you back approximately 4,000 dollars. Despite its paltry 30 horsepower rating, a 30-horsepower engine can be purchased for around five thousand dollars.

Mid-sized outboard engine

A mid-sized engine powers larger vessels and usually costs between $5,000 and $10,000. These engines are perfect for fishing vessels, pleasure boats, and others that require more power. They are usually made of fiberglass. A 45-horsepower engine can cost between 7,500 and 10 thousand dollars.

Large outboard engine

Large outboard engine

Large outboard engine

Large engines come in all shapes and sizes but are generally tuned to provide more power than mid-sized or small engines. While they can be used on a wide variety of vessels, they are typically found on larger fishing boats and powerboats. Larger engines generally range in horsepower from 50 to 175. They can also come with extensions that make them suitable for use on yachts as well.

A large engine might cost $10,000 or more. There may be perturbations to engine models that elevate pricing. For example, the 150-horsepower engine might cost roughly $12,000 or 30,000 dollars for a 350-horsepower model.

8 price-determining affecting factors for boat’s outboard motor

8 price-determining affecting factors for boat's outboard motor

8 price-determining affecting factors for boat’s outboard motor

How much does an outboard engine cost? There are some factors affecting to the cost of the outboard motor. Here are some 8 primary factors you can consult:

Brand recognition

When comparing different models, both testers and buyers often choose well-known motor builders.

Manufacturers differ in the prices they charge for their products. Each label’s manufacturing process and advanced technologies may yield higher or lower costs. For instance, the name of a renowned brand like Mercury, Honda connotes an elevated expense yet is still held in high esteem by mariners.

Numerous manufacturers focus on boat engines. Performance is contingent upon your objectives. If you are prioritizing speed or capacity, it will likely influence your buy decisions regarding these motors. Outboard motor prices could vary based on where a manufacturer operates.

The type of fuel used

If you’re using gasoline or diesel fuel in your outboard motor, then its price will increase accordingly. But if you’re opting for a diesel engine powered by liquid petroleum gas (LPG), then its cost will be quite a bit less due to the engine’s lower emissions!

Besides, electric boat motors are currently available to choose from. Not only will you savor freedom from expenditures on fuel while taking in the tranquility of the lake. Furthermore, it has no harmful effects on marine life or our environment.

Size of the boat

Like any other type of engine, an outboard motor can be found in a wide array of sizes. They are small, mid-medium, and large motors are all available and can be a great choice for larger boats.

When making your purchase, take the dimensions of your vessel( the width, length, and height. This will help you determine which motor would be most appropriate for your needs. Jon boats and canoes make use of diminutive engines. Medium-sized or mid-range motors can be harnessed for operation on 12- to 18-foot fiberglass vessels.

Engine horsepower

Of course, the size of a boat isn’t the only factor that should be considered when purchasing an outboard motor; engine horsepower also plays a role. Larger motors typically provide greater horsepower and speed. However, they can also be more difficult to operate and maintain. So it’s important to weigh these competing factors before making your purchase.

Planned usage

Determining the planned usage of your outboard motor can be an integral factor in calculating its cost. We have a fully complete guide about how are boat engine hours calculated here. 

For example, if you’re planning to use it only for boating or fishing trips, a budget-friendly model may suffice. If you want to use it for extended ocean voyages, get a more durable model.

On most occasions, you don’t need to select a motor that will push your vessel to its limit. For example, let’s say you’re an amateur fisherman with a modest 18-foot Jon boat that is usually utilized in shallow waters and along muddy banks.

Even though this type of flat-bottom boat shouldn’t have more than 60 horsepower, you don’t need that much power for the fishing boat you want to use.

Boat’s weight

Heavier boats usually need bigger and more powerful motors so they can stay in control in more dangerous conditions. Also, larger, heavier boats require a more powerful motor to negotiate the water. It leads to higher outboard boat motor costs.

Consider the capacity of the hull

Considering hull capacity is an essential feature when purchasing a motor for your boat. Certain models are limited in how much additional weight they can accommodate and may have size restrictions. This makes it necessary to verify if the new one will actually fit on the outboard motor. Don’t forget to think about whether or not you want to carry extra weight that could cause your inflatable dinghy to break down. Or if you just don’t have any room for such a big piece of equipment.

Height of the transom

If your outboard motor shaft is much longer than your transom height, you may be putting yourself at risk. Extravagant driveshafts are often incompatible with the mobility that a boat requires. Moreover, they can severely hamper fuel economy as well. Additionally, your outboard motor will never attain its anticipated peak speed.

A tuned transom for a boat which can be sold as a kit for retrofitting hulls or can be sold as a part and installed on new boats, particularly boats using outboard motors,


Additional fees for an outboard boat motor cost

Additional fees for an outboard boat motor cost

Additional fees for an outboard boat motor cost

Shipping cost

Typically, outboard motors can weigh anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds and measure anywhere from 18 to 24 inches in diameter. Because these units are so big and heavy, they often need special shipping arrangements. This equipment is not usually included in the price of the motor itself.

In some cases, this may include the need for a lift or forklift to transport the unit from a distributor or manufacturer directly to your boat’s dock. However, depending on the vendor, there can be additional delivery costs if the transaction is made online.


Another important consideration when purchasing an outboard motor is installation. Many manufacturers now offer pre-installed systems that allow you to simply attach the unit to your boat’s hull. However, if you’re not experienced with boat mechanics or electrical wiring, it may be better to hire an installation service.

The price to install a new outboard motor may vary depending on the motor’s size, your location, and the dealer you choose. Expect to pay an additional $400 to $1,200 on average.


Don’t forget to budget for upcoming maintenance and/or repairs, such as oil changes or winterize your inboard motor. Here is the steps to how to winterize an inboard boat motor. Again, this will vary depending on the make and model of your motor, but in general, you can expect to spend anywhere from $10 to $50 per year on such upkeep. So, how much does a motor for a boat cost? The final price is depend on the factors, so you should consider carefully before making the decision.

FAQs: How much does an outboard motor cost for a boat?

How long do outboard motors last?

Outboard motors typically have 1,500 hours of use, or a life of 7–8 years. So, how many hours on a boat engine is a lot? External engine maintenance varies by model type; however, if stored properly, it can easily last longer.

Which is the most dependable outboard motor brand?

Some of the more popular brands for boat motors include Torqueedo, Yamaha, and Mercury. It’s important to do your research and compare various models before making a purchase.

Should premium gas be used in outboard motors?

The prevailing recommendations stipulate that up to 87 octane and 89 octane should be utilized. There are no added benefits associated with higher-octane fuels. In fact, it might prove challenging to get vehicles started when ambient temperatures rise.

Is it better to leave your outboard motor up or down?

The simplest method to do this is to either keep the motor on the boat or place it on an engine stand so that it is standing vertically rather than at an angle. If neither of these solutions works, you should ensure that the engine is tilted backward so that it can drain on its own. If you are unable to do this, you need to make sure that the cooling system is entirely emptied.


In short, how much does an outboard motor cost for a boat? Outboard motor prices can vary greatly based on the model, brand, and size of your vessel. Moreover, outboard motors can be extremely affordable when compared to inboard models.  So, if you’re thinking about adding an outboard motor to your boating arsenal, be sure to do your research first and shop around for the best deal! Hopefully, this article from will help you learn more about what to think about when buying an outboard motor.


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