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Purchasing an outboard motor for your boat does not have to be a difficult decision. It is understandable, however, that you might have a hard time narrowing down the many options to choose from when selecting the right outboard motor for your boat. There are many types of engine configurations and fuel types to choose from, along with what horsepower you are interested in.
Whether you are using a small yacht, inflatable boat, kayak, sailboat, fishing boat, or rubber boat, there are many options to choose from that can fit any of these types of boats. We carefully researched the best 4HP outboard motors to fit all these boat types to help make your decision a little bit easier.
Types of Outboard Motors
Outboard motors can be powered by both gas and electric engines. Gas outboard motors are most commonly used, but sometimes electric motors are preferred.
Outboard motors powered by gasoline are the most common type of outboard motors. They typically range in power anywhere from 1.4 horsepower to over 300 horsepower.
Gas-powered outboard motors have many engine configurations that range from 1 cylinder to 8 cylinders and are either 2 stroke or 4 stroke. These types of motors can be controlled by a throttle on the end of an arm or hooked up to your boat’s steering wheel.
While electric outboard motors are not as common as gasoline-powered outboard motors, they still are a popular choice. These types of outboard motors are smaller than gasoline-powered motors and are measured in thrust pounds.
Gas outboard motors are measured in horsepower. The cost of these motors is inexpensive because of their size and is usually used for small fishing boats, kayaks, and small-sized yachts.
2.5HP vs 4HP
Outboard motors that are 4 horsepower cannot beat the price and weight of 2.5 horsepower outboard motors. 4 horsepower motors are heavy enough that you likely can’t even carry it using one hand.
Carrying a 4 horsepower motor with two hands is even a struggle, but spending the extra money on a 4 horsepower outboard motor will allow you to get the most of your money. 4 horsepower outboard motors have great fuel flexibility, internally and externally.
The internal tanks are sized about the same. The only difference between the internal tanks sizes is about 1 cup of fuel, which is equivalent to 15 minutes of running time.
The transmission is a little different on a 4 horsepower motor. Instead of doing a full 360-degree turn (like you can do with a 2.5 horsepower motor), the motor will only turn between 170 and 180 degrees.
4 horsepower motors have more transom options, meaning their shaft lengths come in either 15 or 20-inch models. Lastly, when it comes to battery charging, you can use an alternator to charge all brands except for Mercury because it does not have the option to do so.
3.5HP vs 4HP
The 3.5 horsepower outboard motors are almost as heavy as the 4 horsepower motors. Their internal and external tanks are sized similarly and hold about the same amount of fuel.
Pretty much everything is the same when comparing the 3.5 horsepower outboard motor to the 4 horsepower outboard motor. The only difference is the power the engine gives off. The 4 horsepower engine has more strength than the 3.5 motors.
5HP vs 4HP
With all manufacturers, the 4 horsepower outboard motor is just a watered-down version of the 5 horsepower motor. They are identical except for the power output. The engine displacement, fuel capacities, and transmission are all the same.
The one advantage the 4 horsepower outboard motor has when compared to a 5 horsepower motor is its lower price. If you would rather spend a little more money to have a bit more power, then the 5 horsepower engine might be a better choice for you.
Main Factors to Consider When Choosing a 4HP Outboard Motor
When purchasing a 4 horsepower outboard motor, there are a few factors to take into consideration.
The power of your outboard motor is one of the most important factors to consider before making a purchase. Your outboard motor’s power impacts more than just its speed, but it also determines how well your motor will handle midrange speed and how it handles rough waters. If you are an avid water skier or like water sports, you will want an outboard motor that has a lot of power.
Depending on the size of the outboard motor you are interested in purchasing, speed can be a huge factor. If you want a faster motor, you will likely purchase one higher in horsepower, like a 4HP motor.
Motors with less speed, like the 2.5 horsepower motor, are usually not used for much else than fishing or canoeing. You will want an outboard engine with a lot of speed if you want to water ski or plan on bringing the boat out in the choppy water.
The less your outboard motor weighs, the faster your boat will move. You will want a lightweight outboard motor if you usually use a small yacht, inflatable boat, kayak, canoe, or fishing boat. If you plan on having a lot of guests in your boat, this will also affect how quickly your boat moves and it will have nothing to do with the weight of the motor.
Most outboard motors can support up to 4 people before it starts running a bit slower. Be sure to follow your outboard motor’s instructions regarding its maximum capacity to ensure your lightweight motor runs as expected.
If the motor is not lightweight, your boat will not run as quickly as you would like. Most modern outboard motors are lightweight except for the ones high in horsepower, like a 6 horsepower.
Outboard motors have both short shaft motors and long shaft motors. In order to choose the correct one for your boat, you will need to measure the middle of the transom from top to bottom. If the measurement of the transom is around 15 inches long, you will need to purchase a short shaft outboard motor.
If the transom measures between 17 and 22 inches long, you will need to purchase a long shaft outboard motor. If you choose the wrong shaft motor for your boat, your top-end speed will be negatively affected, steering issues can occur, and you will blow through your fuel quicker than you would expect.
The price of the outboard motor you are planning on using is an important factor to consider before making a purchase. Most outboard motors are priced starting at $200 and can be priced over $700.
The outboard motors on the lower end of this price range are usually electric motors and do not have a lot of thrusts. There are some gasoline-powered outboard motors within this price range but they do not have a lot of power.
The 5 Best 4HP Outboard Motors
Out of all the great 4 horsepower outboard motors, these are 5 of the best motors you can purchase.
Hangkai 4HP 4 Stroke Outboard Motor
This 4 horsepower 4 stroke outboard motor is reliable, easy to carry, and is lightweight. This outboard motor is inexpensive and the maximum throttle can run longer than 20 hours. There is barely any noise in this gas-powered motor and it is comfortable and easy to use.
Hangkai’s 4 horsepower outboard motor is great to use on fishing boats, inflatable boats, and rubber boats. It has a manual start and consumes up to 1.4 liters of fuel per hour. This motor has a short shaft with 360-degree rotation and it is recommended to use 4 stroke lubricating oil on this motor.
- Easy to use
- Not loud
- Cannot be used on all types of small boats
Tabodd New 4 Stroke 4HP Outboard Engine
This new Tabodd outboard motor is 4 horsepower, 4 stroke, and has a 360-degree steering rotation. It has unique air cooling technology that enhances the performance of the engine.
We really like that this motor is lightweight, is fuel-efficient, and can be used for multiple types of boats. Since it is gas-powered, it can be loud. This outboard motor is best used with fishing boats, small sailboats, kayaks, small yachts, and canoes.
- Fuel efficient
- Can be used on many types of boats
- Can be loud
Sican 4 Stroke 4HP Boat Engine
The Sican 4 stroke 4HP outboard motor is made to be used on kayaks, small yachts, sailboats, canoes, inflatable boats, and fishing boats. This motor is simple to operate and runs at about 10 to 16 nautical miles per hour based on how heavy the load is that your boat is carrying. This engine can typically run normally while holding up to 4 people.
The Sican outboard motor is reliable, resistant to corrosion, and is energy efficient. It has a modern air cooling system that will allow you to fish all day long without worrying about your engine overheating.
- Difficult to overheat due to air cooling system
- Simple to maneuver
- Easily slows down your boat if it is too heavy
- Can be noisy
Cliensy 4HP 4 Stroke Outboard Motor Boat Engine
The Cliensy 4HP 4 stroke outboard motor comes at a great price and is a high-quality outboard motor. This motor will not overheat because of its air cooling system and is simple to maneuver. It has a 360-degree steering rotation for reverse gear without shifting.
The Cliensy outboard motor can be used on inflatable boats, kayaks, rubber boats, or fishing boats. You can use this motor in both saltwater and freshwater, as it is corrosion-resistant. It weighs about 29 pounds, so it is lightweight for being a 4HP motor.
- Lightweight and compact
- Priced great for being a high-quality motor
- Loud when used at full power
- Sometimes the propellers are slow to turn
Dominty Outboard Motors, 4HP 2 Stroke 63CC Outboard Motor
This whole motor is extremely simple to use and easy to maneuver. It is a reliable motor at a good price and is energy efficient. This engine is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater and the engine is resistant to corrosion.
The Dominty outboard motor is compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry. This outboard motor is great for shallow water use because of its lift/tilt feature. It is a high-performing, quality motor and is the perfect match for inflatable boats, sailboats, fishing boats, and small yachts.
- Easy to carry
- High-quality performance
- Great for shallow water use
- Can sound as loud as a lawnmower
Frequently Asked Questions About 4HP Outboard Motors
Here are some frequently asked questions you might have regarding 4HP outboard motors before you choose the right motor for your boat.
Answer: Both types of outboard motors have their pros and their cons. While 2 stroke engines are usually less expensive than the 4 stroke engines, 2 stroke motors require you to mix the fuel with oil and often require more maintenance. Whether you choose a 2 stroke or 4 stroke outboard motor is completely up to you, as they both work well.
Answer: Electric outboard motors are best to use for fishing because they are quieter than gas motors and will not scare fish away. If you plan on using your boat in choppy water or for a long-distance, you should use a gas-powered outboard motor because it will have extra power.
Answer: Horsepower speed is measured in knots, which is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour. An outboard motor can typically range in speed from 3.3 knots to 12 knots. Sometimes it can even reach 15 knots if there are only 2 people on board.
Answer: You can use a fuel stabilizer with your outboard motor. It is encouraged to use a stabilizer in the off-season since many people use their boats seasonally.
Answer: Outboard motors are expensive because they need to be capable of withstanding the marine environment and the parts used to make an outboard motor are expensive. Since motors aren’t being sold year-round, they need to sell them at a high price to stay in business and make a profit.
Answer: All modern outboard motors are designed to safely operate using fuel that is no more than 10 percent Ethanol, also known as E10. Fuel with more than 10 percent Ethanol should never be used for your outboard motor because it will cause damage.
There are so many great options to choose from when selecting a 4 horsepower outboard motor for your boat. Out of the 5 best outboard motors we reviewed, our favorite outboard motor is the Sican 4 Stroke 4HP boat engine. We love that this reliable motor does not overheat and is simple to maneuver through the water.
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