Which outboard is the best?
As is the case with most things, there is no 'one size fits all' answer to the question of the best outboard. Individual requirements will always determine greatly which is the most suitable. Constant innovations in the outboard sector, whether petrol or electric, mean that performance, and in particular the range of electric outboards, is always improving.
In our online shop you will find the best electric outboards from popular names such as Torqeedo, Minn Kota and Temo. We also havethe best petrol outboards from brands such as Honda, Mercury and Suzuki.
Here too, the best outboard manufacturer depends on your own requirements and what you want your motor to be able to do.
For short trips, the best electric outboard is the Temo e-outboard. It’s compact, can be carried around by hand and used in a wide range of applications. It's great for small inflatable boats and paddle boats, as well as for mini dinghies and jolly boats.
According to our customers, the best electric outboards for fishing are made by Minn Kota. As an auxiliary motor, the powerful outboard from Torqeedo is particularly suitable.
Outboard motors compared
Comparing one electric outboard with another is difficult, as is comparing electric outboards with petrol outboards. The reason for this is that, apart from differences in the way key features of different types of motor can be evaluated, there will also be advantages and disadvantages of individual motors depending on the intended use. For example, petrol outboards usually indicate HP for performance. For electric outboards, this is given in lbs of thrust. This alone makes a straight comparison of the engine types difficult, as different parameters are evaluated.
In our outboard comparison, we provide you with an overview of outboards with different performance levels.
Outboard motors under 5 HP compared
Petrol and electric outboards under 5 HP are great for dinghies, jolly boats and yacht tenders. They are generally easy to transport and even if you don't have a boating licence, you are mostly allowed to use them in Germany. Use our outboard comparison to find the right one for you and make your boating experience the best fun you can have on the water!
How did we do our comparison and test?
For the best comparison of our outboard motors, various factors are taken into consideration in the evaluations. This includes the features of the respective product, the many years of experience of our SVB experts as well as our customer comments and reviews.
Our assessment categories
- Test winner / comparison winner: (best overall result, regardless of price)
- Price/performance winner (lowest price with best results)
- Best-seller (bought and recommended by customers the most)
- Green aspect (better for the environment than other outboards)
Outboard motors 5 to 10 HP compared
Petrol outboards that are between 5 and 10 HP will get you from A to B and have quick acceleration. These low powered motors are often used to power small dinghies, or to get from a mooring to the jetty, for example. In most cases, they can be driven without the user requiring a special licence, making them perfect for anyone starting out in boating.
Outboard motors 10 to 20 HP compared
Petrol outboards between 10 and 20 HP have plenty of torque and fast acceleration. They are perfect for larger inflatable boats, tenders and sailing dinghies, among others, and as "pushers" for fishing and sailing boats.
Electric outboards compared
We have compared electric motors of various manufacturers to give you an overview of the different e-outboards from Temo, Minn Kota and Torqeedo. The outboards compared are designed for different purposes and differ accordingly. Minn Kota outboards are particularly popular with anglers, Temo for cruising or recreational use and larger outboards from Torqeedo can even compete with some petrol outboards in terms of performance.
Our Newcomer among the electric outboards is the Temo outboard. Temo won the DAME Award 2020 at METS Trade Amsterdam. This is the highest accolade in Europe in the boating industry. An international jury singled out the Temo electric outboard for its innovation (portable electric motor for small watercraft). It's perfect if you're looking for a portable, practical outboard without needing too much power.
Range comparison of petrol & electric outboards
The energy density of electric outboard batteries is much lower than that of petrol engines. For this reason, the range of electric outboards is also less than that of petrol outboards. However, range can be increased by using a solar panel or spare batteries.
You can find out more about the range of electric outboards in our guide to „How to find the right electric outboard“.
For more information about individual electric outboards, see the product descriptions, product manuals and data sheets.
Which is better, a petrol or electric outboard?
Whether it's better to buy an electric or petrol outboard depends on individual needs and requirements. Factors to consider include the type of boat, intended use and location. For larger boats and especially for use in salt water, petrol outboards are the best option right now in respect of current levels of research and technology.
If you need further guidance and help in choosing the best electric boat drive for your boat, read our guide „How to find the right electric outboard“ or take a look at our category texts. There we give important tips on how to find the right outboard. Of course, our customer service team will also be happy to give you individual advice.
'Yacht', Europe's biggest sailing magazine, tested a number of 5 HP outboards for its 13/2018 issue. Six models suitable for dinghies and as auxiliary engines on smaller sailboats were selected for the test. Among them were outboards from the brands Mercury, Suzuki and Honda, which are available from SVB.
The practical part of the test was a comparison of how the motors performed in operation. This included a close examination of various performance aspects to see how the motors would fare in practice on the Dove-Elbe River.
In terms of tiller operation, the Honda came out on top, closely followed by the Suzuki DF5A outboard. In addition, all the engines tested, including the Suzuki DF5A and Mercury F5MLH, were deemed to be more than suitable as an auxiliary engine on a larger boat up to seven metres in length and a displacement of up to 1.7 tonnes.
Overall, all the petrol engines tested performed to the same high level.
Electric outboard test
German magazine 'Segeln' carried out a test of electric outboard motors with three different engines for its July 2020 issue. The test focused on speed, power and noise level of electric outboard motors. In the test, noise output, pulling power, top speed and acceleration were measured for the electric motors. The Torqeedo Travel 1103 C emerged as the winner of the electric outboard test. This motor, the Travel 1103 C, has by far the highest pulling force (340 N), is very quiet in comparison (78 dB backwards & 96 dB forwards on land) and has the most features.
The magazine 'Yacht' also conducted an electric outboard test in its issue 19 (2.9.2020). It gave the Torqeedo Travel 1103 C the best score in terms of range and autonomy. It was also the quietest motor in their electric outboard motor test. Compared to combustion engines with 100 decibels, all electric motors in the yacht test are quiet at just 61 to 85 decibels.
What is the cost of an outboard engine?
The cost of buying a new outboard motor varies widely. Energy source, i.e., petrol or electricity, plays a decisive role.
What is the cost of a petrol outboard engine?
The costs of a petrol outboard motor also vary greatly, depending on make, model and power output. At SVB, we sell a range of outboards that cost between 860 € and 6,200 €. Petrol outboards are sometimes cheaper to buy than electric motors, but you will have to pay more for fuel and annual maintenance.
What is the cost of an electric outboard engine?
In terms of price, electric outboards are different depending on brand and model. Costs in our online shop are approximately between € 200 and € 3,600. Always check the delivery contents and features, because additional costs could occur if spare batteries, chargers and other accessories are needed, such as carrying bags and solar panels. Electric outboards, including batteries, are usually more expensive to purchase than petrol outboards, but cheaper to run (on electricity). Maintenance costs are also often cheaper with e-motors than petrol, in fact virtually non-existent. If you were to compare the actual running costs of an electric motor with a petrol motor over a long period of time, you would probably see that you've saved a lot of money in the long run.
Conclusion - Standard vs. Electric Outboards
- Electric motors are a more sustainable type of boat drive. They are lighter, quieter and kinder to the environment.
- Performance, range, purchasing costs etc differ greatly in some cases. Petrol engines are usually more powerful than e-motors.
- If you mainly sail in salt water and are planning longer trips, you're better off with a petrol outboard, at least at the moment.
- Electric outboards are for many boat owners a good alternative to petrol outboards.
Do your research before buying a petrol or electric outboard. Plenty of useful information can be found in our category texts, product descriptions and guides. If you have any further questions, our customer service team will be happy to help.