How Does an Outboard Motor Work?

Written by claudette pendleton
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How Does an Outboard Motor Work?

An outboard motor is a propulsion system or driving force for smaller boats. However, they are also used in other devices such as lawn and garden equipment, chain saws, dirt bikes, jet skis, mopeds and radio-controlled model planes. Although many people refer to them as outboard motors, they are actually engines. Outboard motors for boats are developed as self-contained units with engines, propellers (driveshaft), and auxiliary systems that are mounted at the rear of the boating units. Outboard motors are the customary method used to propel small watercraft.

Outboard Motor Benefits

The smallest outboard motor is self-contained and consists of integral fuel tanks and controls that are positioned on the body of the motor. The outboard motor is steered by what is called a tiller (wheel or rudder) which is directly attached to the motor. Outboard motors provide the propulsion and also steering control. They are constructed to pivot above their mountings, allowing for the direction of the propeller (driving shaft) to be better controlled. The transmission leg located in the water also works like a rudder even when the propeller is not providing any power. When boats are being drawn through shallow waters or are out of service, the outboard motors are capable of being tipped forward over their mounts for the purpose of elevating the transmission shaft and the propeller up out of the water to avoid hitting rocks or experiencing some other underwater danger. Their ability to be tipped forward also helps the driver to steer clear of seaweed.

How Does an Outboard Motor Work?
Outboard motor covers

Outboard Motors: How Do They Work?

Outboard motors are composed of a shaft in the motor that forces the moving of the boat or other watercraft. The engine turns the driveshaft; however, the driveshaft doesn't spin in the exact same direction as the prop shaft. The driveshaft is a mechanism used for the purpose of transmitting power from the engine or motor to the position where exertion is applied. A driveshaft that attaches a gearbox to a back differential is referred to as a prop shaft or propeller-shaft. The rotation direction of the shafts is altered when the pinion gear on the end of the driveshaft drives or forces both the frontward and reverse gears simultaneously. All three gears are turning at the same time.

How Does an Outboard Motor Work?
Outboard motor by Honda

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