Best small outboard motors

10 Best Small Outboard Motors

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Last Updated on July 23, 2021

Our Top Pick:

Honda 2.3L Outboard Motor

★★★★★

Best Value:

Honda 5S Outboard Motor

★★★★★

Editor’s Choice:

Travel 1103CS with Short Shaft

★★★★★

If you are the proud owner of a small fishing boat, kayak, inflatable, and other types of vessels, which requires a small boost in terms of power and speed then knowing more about the best small outboard motors for your boat is crucial for the enhanced performance. There are several fantastic products available in the market, but choosing the best can be confusing factoring in all the various aspects of the best gasoline-powered motor for your time in the water.

We have compiled a list of the best small outboard motors along with what makes them a good choice for your watercraft.

Table: Best Small Outboard Motors in 2021
Product Name Price
#1 Honda 2.3L Outboard MotorCheck Price »
#2 Honda 5S Outboard MotorCheck Price »
#3 Travel 1103CS with Short ShaftCheck Price »
#4 Four-Stroke Watering Cooling Outboard Motor by LeadallwayCheck Price »
#5 Outboard Motor for Inflatable Kayaks by Sea Dog Water SportsCheck Price »
#6 Outboard Motor with Air Cooling System by AnbullCheck Price »
#7 Four-Stroke Outboard Boat Motor Engine by HangkaiCheck Price »
#8 Two-Stroke Inflatable Boat Engine by Sea Dog Water SportsCheck Price »
#9 Outboard Boat Motor by ColemanCheck Price »
#10 Two-Stroke Outboard Motor by SkyCheck Price »
#11 Four-Stroke Outboard Motor by LeadallwayCheck Price »
#12 Outboard Inflatable Motor T4.0HPby LeadallwayCheck Price »
#13 Two-Stroke Outboard Motor by Sea Dog Water SportsCheck Price »

#1. Honda 2.3L Outboard Motor

This is a reliable and lightweight outboard motor. It has a 4-stroke design and you will enjoy sufficient power without having to sacrifice portability.

Product Specs

  • Gear ratio: 2.42:1
  • Cylinder: Single
  • Maximum speed: 5000 rotation per minute
  • Ignition type: Transistorized
  • System control: Tiller control
  • Weight: 31lb
  • Warranty: 5 years

Why we recommend this product

This outboard motor is not just reliable but also fuel-efficient. It is lightweight and compact and compared to its predecessor, it packs 15% more power. It also has a larger gas tank, which can provide an hour’s operation using wide-open throttle. It is easy to carry and install. It comes with a throttle tensioner that helps to reduce fatigue. Its centrifugal clutch ensures optimal performance. It is an ideal choice for skiffs and sailboats.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact motor
  • Comes with a 2-inch shaft
  • Low emissions
  • Air-cooled
  • Trim can be adjusted
  • Tiller is a fold-down type
  • Easy to install
  • Portable
  • Attractive warranty

Cons

  • Some users complained about the carburetor getting flooded

Tip: To keep the motor running flawlessly, use lubricating oil designed for four-stroke motors.

Info alert: This outboard motor comes with a 360-degree swivel tiller that makes it very convenient to steer the boat.

#2. Honda 5S Outboard Motor

This lightweight outboard motor is compact and extremely quiet compared to similar motors. It comes with a 4-stroke design and is reliable as well as fuel-efficient.

Product Specs

  • Gear ratio: 2.08:1
  • Cylinder: single
  • Maximum speed: 4500-5500 rotation per minute
  • Ignition system: Digital CDI
  • Engine: Displacement
  • System control: Tiller control
  • Weight: 60lb
  • Warranty: 5 years

Why we recommend this product

You will be surprised at the smooth operation of the motor. It is rather silent and thanks to the pendulum mount system, the motor does not vibrate. It comes with an FNR gearshift and that makes it easy to shift gears when you need. You start the motor with a single pull of the hand. The shaft is 15 inches and it has an internal fuel tank of 1.5 liters. It even has a connection for an external fuel tank if you want to install one.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to install and operate
  • Extremely quiet and vibration-free
  • Easy to change gears
  • Low emissions
  • Can install an additional external fuel tank
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • The motor can run for just 40 minutes with a wide-open throttle

Tip: The recommended oil viscosity for this motor is 10W-30 marine oil.

Info alert: While this outboard motor does not have a power tilt, it has a power tilt range of 70 degrees.

#3. Travel 1103CS with Short Shaft

This short shaft outboard motor is part of the Travel motor series by Sea Eagle. It is an extremely efficient and reliable motor. It comes with an integrated 915 Wh lithium. You will find that the motor although powerful is exceptionally quiet for its class. 

Product Specs

  • Power: 1100 W
  • 3 HP equivalent
  • Thrust level: 70
  • Shaft length: 24.6 inches
  • Weight: 32.4 pounds
  • Warranty: Two-year warranty

Why We Recommend This Product

This is a top-of-the-line outboard motor. It is extremely quiet and you will find that it is easy to install and use. It comes with a high-performance lithium battery of 915 Wh. This motor is designed to offer 10% more power, around 1,100 W. It is completely waterproof and offers immediate throttle response. This outboard motor is a good choice for skiffs, dinghies, and transom boats.

Pros

  • Great battery power
  • Extremely quiet motor emitting just 33 dB
  • Considered best in its class
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Equipped with a magnetic kill switch
  • Easy to install and dismantle
  • Comes with a solar chargeable computer that has GPS
  • Can be used in saltwater and freshwater

Cons

  • Cannot be used with a frameless pontoon or inflatable

Tip: The motor is certified IP7, making it completely waterproof

Info alert: The motor comes with an aluminum pylon that protects it from impact-related damage.

#4. Four-Stroke Watering Cooling Outboard Motor by Leadallway

Small boats often require simple and fuel-efficient motors, with enough horsepower and thrust to move against wide-driven waves. This four-stroke cooling motor by Leadallway offers fantastic performance and is a fuel-efficient option for a small boat. It comes equipped with an exceptional cooling technology, which allows for superior performance on the water.

Product Specs

  • Gear ratio: 27:13
  • Displacement: 52 cc
  • Cylinder: single
  • Maximum speed: 4000-5000 rotation per minute
  • Ignition type: CDI, manual startup
  • System control: Tiller control
  • Dimension: 36.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Weight: 10.8 kg
  • Warranty: 3 years

Why we recommend this product

This is one of the top-rated products, for its fuel efficiency and unparalleled performance in the water. This is well suited for freshwater and saltwater use and is equipped with unique air cooling technology, to ensure a smooth and inaudible motor, enabling speed for your boat. The product also comes with an advanced fuel consumption technology, which ensures that the motor uses only 0.8 liters per hour, meeting the mandatory regulation required for an environmentally safe machine. With a CDI manual ignition, the motor is capable of 360 degrees rotation steering, reversing with ease without the need for a gear change.

Pros

  • Stable and powerful, corrosion-resistant motor
  • Equipped with an exceptional cooling technology
  • Fuel efficiency assured motor
  • Quiet and inaudible motor performance
  • The motor is tested for an hour before delivery
  • Equipped with all support tools and high-quality durable components

Cons

  • Equipped only with a forward lever, and no neutral lever

Tip: It is recommended to use Four Stroke lubricating oil for the motor.

Info alert: The three-year warranty of the product is highly desirable. In case of technical problems, however, company engineers are extremely reliable and provide ample technical support.

#5. Outboard Motor for Inflatable Kayaks by Sea Dog Water Sports

Outboard Motor for Inflatable Kayaks by Sea Dog Water Sports is compact and sturdy, with comes equipped with the latest fuel efficiency technology enabling it to meet the standards of the CE certification. The motor is designed for neutral and forward design, with a self-locking mechanism.

Product Specs

  • Gear ratio: 27:13
  • Displacement: 53.2 cc
  • Maximum power: 2.8 KW
  • Maximum speed: 4000-5000 RMP
  • Ignition type: CDI, manual startup
  • Transmission ratio:2.08(27/13)
  • Transom plate height: 72.35 cm
  • The ratio for engine and screw gear:2:1 
  • Dimension: 92 × 32× 29cm
  • Weight: 10.8 kg
  • Warranty: 1 year

Why we recommend this product

A superior engine suitable for both freshwater and saltwater use, as it comes with an anti-corrosion coating. It is also equipped with the latest fuel efficiency technology, conserving fuel without compromising the power output of the motor. It has a single-cylinder, with a four-stroke engine and is air-cooled to ensure the longevity of the motor. This is one of the best small outboard motors for sailboats, fishing boats, canoes, inflatable, and kayaks. 

Pros

  • CE certified engine with 360 degrees’ rotation with self-locking mechanism
  • Can be used in freshwater as well as saltwater
  • Compact and lightweight, easy to carry without hassle
  • Superior combustion chamber with fuel efficiency technology

Cons

  • Tank filled will only last for a little more than an hour (1 hour and 7 minutes)

Tip: In case of overheating of the motor, switch it off for a minimum of twenty minutes, before restarting. The motor should always be started underwater and not on land.

Info alert: The one-year warranty of the product covers free parts unless it has been damaged by the customers, which will be not be paid for; however, we can provide all essential parts for years to come, for replacements.

#6. Outboard Motor with Air Cooling System by Anbull

Outboard Motor with Air Cooling System by Anbull is a two-stroke superior performance engine at a moderate price. It can be easily used with inflatable, sailboat, canoes, and small yachts, whether in freshwater or saltwater, as it is corrosion-resistant. The product has been beautifully crafted and also offers superior performance for the price, making it a sought-after motor for small boats.

Product Specs

  • Gear ratio: 27:13
  • Displacement: 53.2 cc
  • Maximum power: 2.5 KW m(3.6 HP)
  • Maximum speed: 4000-5000 RMP
  • Ignition type: CDI, manual startup
  • Fuel to oil ratio: 25:1
  • Transom plate height: 42 cm
  • Speed: 20/km/per for four people
  • The ratio for engine and propeller gear: 2:1 
  • Gear ratio: 27/13
  • Dimension: 92 × 36.5 × 22 cm
  • Weight: 10.8 kg
  • Warranty: 1 year

Why we recommend this product

This is a one of a kind motor, which is extra powerful, for its price; the motor is air-cooled and not water-cooled. Light and compact design make it easy to carry and use. This product can handle a mixed oil ratio of 25:1 and can be reversed without a gear. 

Pros

  • Safe and easy to use motor
  • Suitable for freshwater, as well as saltwater
  • Small and lightweight, and deceptively powerful
  • Utmost fuel efficiency and environmentally friendly

Cons

  • The crank can break if not careful

Tip: This can be comfortably used with sailboats up to 16 or 17 feet, and possibly fast, depending on the weight on board.

Info alert: The maximum speed for this motor can reach up to 13km/hr.

#7. Four-Stroke Outboard Boat Motor Engine by Hangkai

The Four-Stroke Outboard Boat Motor Engine by Hangkai is a water-cooled model, which is fast and efficient in terms of fuel conservation and environmentally friendly performance with an air filtration system. It is a smooth and easy to use a motor, which is a delightful addition for kayaks, inflatables, canoes, and small sailboats and other watercraft.

Product Specs

  • Displacement: 123 cc
  • Maximum power: 4.8 KW m(6.5 HP)
  • Maximum speed: 5000-6000 RMP
  • Ignition type: CDI, manual startup
  • Fuel to oil ratio: 25:1
  • Gear ratio: 27/13, 2.08
  • Dimension: 114 × 64 × 41 cm
  • Warranty: 1 year

Why we recommend this product

This motor has reports of supreme performance, with a large tank capacity of twelve liters, it can easily perform up to twenty hours, without requiring and another round of fueling. All the hardware for the motor is made from stainless steel, which ensures that you can use it in saltwater, albeit rinsing thoroughly after each use to ensures, the longevity of the motor.  

Pros

  • Water cooling system
  • Compact and powerful machine
  • Deceptively durable and strong with incredible speeds
  • The motor can be used at the maximum throttle for more than 20 hours on a full tank
  • The noiseless motor can be used in saltwater but must be rinsed thoroughly after each outing.

Cons

  • Requires a catch pan for the residual gear oil from testing the motor before dispatch

Tip: This motor should only be used with pure gasoline and not mixed.

Info alert: It does not come with an alternator for charging batteries.

#8. Two-Stroke Inflatable Boat Engine by Sea Dog Water Sports

The Two-Stroke Inflatable Boat Engine by Sea Dog Water Sports is great and powerful, for small vessels of various types, like an inflatable, kayaks, and sailboats. This is an air-cooled motor, with improved scope for maneuverability and is light and compact enough to carry comfortably. This is one of the best outboard motors to buy for a small boat, as it is almost a professional level performance.

Product Specs

  • Displacement: 0cc
  • Maximum power: 4.4 KW m(6.5 HP)
  • Maximum speed: 4500-5500 RMP
  • Ignition type: CDI, manual startup
  • Gear ratio: 27/13, 2.08
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 2.5 liters
  • Dimension: 44 × 15 × 24.4
  • Warranty: 1 year

Why we recommend this product

This is a great product if you are looking for fast speed but without breaking the bank. This motor performance is hand-down one of the best, considering the great price it comes for. It is designed so that the propeller tilts upwards, in case of encountering any stumps, which is helpful, making it an exceptional purchase for its price.

Pros

  • Durable and light, and comes in a compact size
  • Inaudible motor to ensure peace and a tranquil outing, each time
  • Moderately priced for better performance
  • It is a double cylinder motor
  • Throttle control is through a safe-twist mechanism for easy maneuverability

Cons

  • The motor is not as noiseless as advertised
  • The shear pin should be sturdier to avoid breaking

Tip: should be used for unleaded gasoline.

Info alert: The motor can be tilted during storage.

#9. Outboard Boat Motor by Coleman

Outboard Boat Motor by Coleman is durable and extremely powerful. This product has a sleek and attractive design and operates soundlessly. The motor’s lightweight design makes it easy to carry and comes certified by CE and EPS, with an aluminum propeller, which is durable and will not be affected by saltwater, with proper maintenance. It is considered one of the best small outboard motors for small boats.

Product Specs

  • Displacement: 0cc
  • Idling speed: 1450 to 1550 
  • Maximum power: 2,6 HP
  • Ignition type: TCI, manual startup
  • Gear ratio: 2.08:1
  • Shaft length: 15 inches
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 2.5 liters
  • Dimension: 44 × 15 × 24.4
  • Warranty: 1 year

Why we recommend this product

This is a great motor for small boats without trouble. It comes with technology to reduce the vibration of the motor, making it a soundless operation to enjoy your time on the water. This motor comes equipped with a thermostat-controlled water cooling system to able the motor to work at high speeds, smoothly and safely for the best experience.

Pros

  • Single cylinder OHV
  • The twist-grip throttle design of the product enables easy steering in water
  • Three gear, for forward, neutral and reverse
  • Aluminum alloy body ensures resistance to corrosions, and therefore can be used for saltwater, as well as freshwater.
  • Throttle control is through a safe-twist mechanism for easy maneuverability

Cons

  • The cowling is difficult to remove, and should not be tried in water.
  • Getting parts for the replacement can be difficult.

Tip: This product can be used as an auxiliary trolling motor.

Info alert: The thermostat-controlled engine cooled by air ensures constant and safe temperature during operation.

#10. Two-Stroke Outboard Motor by Sky

In the US, you will find this electric reel with a warranty. It comes with a braided line that has a capacity of 800 meters for every 100 pounds. You can enjoy deep drop fishing with this reel with ease, thanks to its high-level capacity.

Product Specs

  • Displacement: 49 cc
  • Maximum power: 2.5 KW, 3.5HP
  • Maximum speed: 4000-50003 RMP
  • Ignition type: CDI, manual startup
  • Gear ratio: 27:13
  • Gear shift control: Clutch control
  • Dimension: 920 × 365 × 2208 mm
  • Warranty: 1 year

Why we recommend this product

If you are looking for a moderately priced product that offers the true value for your money then this motor is it. It is extremely light and easy to install, without hassle. Also, it does not have a reverse gear, it is very easy to maneuver and use, making it a great purchase if a budget is a problem, without compromising the quality of the product.

Pros

  • Single-cylinder motor
  • Easy to grease and use
  • A stunning performance in the water at a professional level
  • Resistance to corrosion means that it can be used in saltwater

Cons

  • has to be pulled hard to start the motor
  • It can freeze up if not rinsed and dried thoroughly after use in saltwater.

Tip: The motor should be fueled with 93 lead-free gasoline 15 and with professional gear oil.

Info alert: Comes with a one-year warranty and free replacement of the part, in case of trouble.

#11. Four-Stroke Outboard Motor by Leadallway

The Four-Stroke Outboard Motor by Leadallway comes with a one of a kind system, that locks the prop and does not allows it to rotate while idling. This ensures that there is not too much pressure on the motors, and increases its longevity over the years. This motor is durable and sturdy, along with an attractive price, making it a highly sought-after product to buy.

Product Specs

  • Ignition type: CDI, manual startup
  • Dimension: 14.4 × 8.6 × 36.2 inches
  • Gasoline consumption: 0.6 l/hr
  • Full tank capacity: 1.4 liter
  • Warranty: 1 year

Why we recommend this product

This is reliable motors with an air cooling system. It is almost soundless and works smoothly without hassle. The motor should be considered for a change after a 10-hour operation. It is an economical product and can be changed without hassle. This motor is well suited for sailboats, kayaks, small yachts.

Pros

  • Star-in-gear protection which does not allow the prop to rotate while idling
  • Equipped with a 360 degrees rotation along with reversing, without shifting gear
  • Push-button latch for easy access to the motor.
  • It is made environmentally friendly, with its fuel-efficiency system.
  • All motors have been checked extensively to ensure stringent quality measures for this product.

Cons

  • All motors have been checked extensively to ensure stringent quality measures for this product.

Tip: The motor requires pure gasoline for optimum performance in the water.

Info alert: The oil should be changed intermittently, even while being stored, for the best performance each time.

#12. Outboard Inflatable Motor T4.0HP by Leadallway

This motor is durable and sturdy along with an attractive price, making it a much sought after product to buy. The main difference between the Four-Stroke Outboard Motor and Outboard Inflatable Motor T4.0HP is the designed and the aesthetic appeal of the motors, as they both have similar performance.

Product Specs

  • Gear ratio: 27:13
  • Displacement: 52 cc
  • Cylinder: single
  • Maximum speed: 4000-5000 rotation per minute
  • Ignition type: CDI, manual startup
  • System control: Tiller control
  • Dimension: 36.2 x 8.7 x 14.4 inches
  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years

Why we recommend this product

The company provides superior services, and offer three years warranties on their products. It is extremely affordable; it does not compromise the quality of the motor. If you are looking for a good product with minimal investments then this product is one of the best options available for a small boat, inflatable, and other small vessels.

Pros

  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Superior cooling technology to counter overheating.
  • Fuel efficiency for optimal performance
  • Quiet and inaudible motor
  • Exceptional performance in water with utmost stability
  • Large tank capacity

Cons

  • oes not crank well
  • Starts well, but has trouble while idling

Tip: The motor does not come with a serial number for registration, which is mandatory for registration.

Info alert: The fuel should not be mixed and should be pure gasoline.

#13. Two-Stroke Outboard Motor by Sea Dog Water Sports

The Two-Stroke Outboard Motor by Sea Dog Water Sports is durable, lightweight, and functional for its price. The company is renowned for its superior make of high-performance motors that are reliable and will not let you down, no matter the price. If you are looking for a hassle-free option then this motor is one of the best options, within a tight budget.

Product Specs

  • Gear ratio: 27:13
  • Displacement: 102 cc
  • Cylinder: single
  • Maximum speed: 4500-5500 rotation per minute
  • Ignition type: CDI, manual startup
  • System control: Tiller control
  • Fuel tanks capacity: 2.5 liters
  • Shaft length: 26 inches
  • Dimension: 44 x 15 x 24.4 inches
  • Weight: 46 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year

Why we recommend this product

Sea Dog Water Sports has ensured that this product is available to all, ensuring affordability with a practical motor. It performs well and without too much trouble, with ample maintenance. It requires diligent maintenance to perform well, consistently.

Pros

  • ompact and durable
  • Steering rotation of 36 degrees
  • Allows boat reversal, without having a reverse gear
  • Easy to maneuver throttle
  • Saltwater and freshwater usage

Cons

  • Saltwater and freshwater usage

Tip: The engine should only be started underwater for testing, and not on land, as it can damage the product.

Info alert: A female fuel fitting can be hard to find without contacting the manufacturing company.

Buying Guide for the Best Small Outboard Motors in 2021

There are several factors to understand before buying the best small outboard motor for your boat. A few of the main points for buying the best-suited one are briefly discussed below for full clarity before you buy the right one.

Size

This is a crucial factor, as choosing the wrong powered motor can negatively impact the boat in the water. The US Coast Guard should be able to give the right capacity plate for the right horsepower for the motors, depending on the size of the boards. In most cases, although there are exceptions, 8-20 HP motors should work well unless you are looking for professional-level performance.

Shaft length

The right shaft length is essential, as depending on the length of the transom, the right motor can be chosen. It can have disastrous results on water if the length of the shaft is either too long or short and will not be a good match for the boat.

Features

The features are chosen based on requirements and also personal preferences. Poer tilt is one of the most important features for small boats, as it is easier to navigate slower water without hassle.

Opting for power thrust is a good option, as it boosts the thrust by almost 60 percent in reverse and 15 percent forward. It allows the boast to pick up the speed fast, and smoothly, and also maneuver the boat well in difficult or rough water.

The other factors to consider will be the fuel efficiency of the motor, as some may guzzle way more than it should, and also tank capacity, depending on how long and what the purpose of the bat is. If you like mostly going to small streams and ponds, it is unlikely that you will require high powered motors, however, in the ocean, strong motors are essential for the best performance.

Our Verdict

These are the best small outboard motors for small boats, but as per our compiled list, the motor that stands out is the Four-Stroke Watering Cooling Outboard Motor by Leadallway, which is stable and comes with an exceptional air cooling system with utmost fuel efficiency and is tested thoroughly before being dispatched. The best factors are the extended warranty on the purchase, which makes it a reliable option, no matter the issue, as the company will replace the products or have spare parts when required.

We also have comprehesive guides on the best electric trolling motors for kayaks and best 12 volt trolling motors.

Make sure to check out our list of 4 things you have to know before operating a trolling motor.