How To Choose a Sailboat Outboard

ARG Marine offers a wide variety of outboard engines for sale in Palm Beach Gardens. Whether you’re looking for an outboard for a fishing boat, cruising boat, or sailboat, we have you covered in our selection. If you’re new to the world of sailboats, it’s important to have an outboard engine on your craft. Let’s take a look at how to choose one.

Things To Look At

Even though there are a wide variety of outboard engines for sale, there’s not much doubt that four-stroke gas outboards tend to be the most popular for many applications. The following are some things to consider when looking for a sailboat outboard.

Shaft Length

Many small outboard engines have a few different choices for shaft size. Longer shafts are usually used with small sailboats or rigid fishing boats with high transoms. 

Propeller Type

As with shaft length, most outboards come with different prop choices. For a sailboat outboard, you’ll want to look for a prop with a deeper pitch to give more drive power at lower RPM. This allows for better displacement when you use the motor to stop or reverse, which is a common maneuver for sailboats under non-wind power.


For a small dinghy, it’s not generally a problem to have a side-mounted gear shift. However, for anything larger, it tends to be much easier if the gear shift is mounted in the front. Small motors with 2-3 horsepower often only have forward and neutral gears, which means you’ll have to rotate the entire motor 180 degrees to move astern. If you need engine power to stop quickly, this maneuver can be hard to do.


Portable outboards generally always come equipped with a twist-grip throttle these days. The simplest setup is forward-neutral-reverse. Neutral is in the middle, and then you can choose forward and reverse by turning the twist-grip throttle clockwise or counterclockwise.

Shallow Water Drive

This is also usually a standard feature on all modern small outboard engines for sale. The leg will pop up if the boat gets into a grounding situation. 

Leading Brands For Small Gas Outboards

These small gas motors are the standard for most of the cruising community.

Honda Outboards

You can get Honda outboard engines in a wide selection of different horsepower ratings, including 2.6, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10. The single-cylinder outboards feature a 7.75ci powerhead as well as an internal fuel tank and easy access to the fuel pump, filter and drain for the carburetor. 

Yamaha Outboards

Similar to Honda, these come in several horsepower ratings, including 2.5, 4, 6, 8 and 9.9. The 2.5 horsepower Yamaha motor is small and lightweight with forward-neutral-reverse gears. These are excellent portable motors. The 4 and 6 horsepower motors give you a bit more power and are also heavier. However, they feature large handles to make movement easy.

Tohatsu/Mercury Outboards

Another good selection, these outboards come in horsepower ratings of 2.5, 3.5, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9.9. The 2.5 and 3.5 motors are easy to use with a forward and neutral gear only. The 4 and larger motors have forward-neutral-reverse gears with a front shift.

Suzuki Outboards

Suzuki offers some of the lightest outboards with its 2.5 horsepower model weighing only 30 pounds. The larger 4, 5 and 6 horsepower models are based on the newer and bigger 8.42ci engine.

Come to ARG Marine in Palm Beach Gardens for one of the world’s best and biggest selections of outboard engines for sale. We are an authorized dealer as well asa a service center for some of the most well-known brands.