Best Boat Engine Brands | LakeWizard

The selection of a boat's engine is a critical decision. Different engine brands offer you diverse qualities, features and warranties.

If you own a boat, you likely already know your preferred brand and horsepower, but if it is your first time, you may need some assistance. There are plenty of boat engine brand options available at your disposal in the market. To ensure you get the most out of your money, do your due diligence before settling on any brand. Although these brands are very diverse, each with its perks, they share many characteristics, such as durability and warranty.

These are among the most popular boat engines:

  • Mercury
  • Yamaha
  • Suzuki
  • Tohatsu
  • Honda
  • Minn Kota

Before selecting a brand, you must first identify the type of engine that is best suitable for your boat. If cost is an essential factor, you should know that all boat engines consume the same fuel; therefore, look at other financial aspects before settling on the engine.

Look for pre-owned boat engines if you're searching for a cost-effective alternative to new boat engines. Occasionally, there are some incredible deals that you could get on reselling sites. However, ensure you ask for a report from an unbiased marine mechanic to ensure the engine is in proper working order.

Table of contents


1. Honda Boat Engine

Honda is a famous Japanese boat engine manufacturer with a long history of offering a quality brand and a variety of outboard motors in the marine industry. Honda outboard engines have a well-deserved reputation for excellence.

History of Honda Boat Engine

Honda started selling boat engines for small boats in 1964. The predominant market then was for two-stroke engines, which were lightweight and cheap. However, these two-stroke engines had the downside of releasing engine oil into bodies of water.

In this situation, Honda dared to introduce a four-stroke engine consistent with the founder's philosophy that "watercraft should not pollute the water."

In this light, we witnessed the global outboard motor market switching to four-stroke motors.

Ever since, Honda has commited to developing four-stroke outboard motors with excellent environmental value, effectiveness, and longevity to fulfill a broad range of needs worldwide, from recreational cruising to different applications such as coast guarding and fishing.

Quality of Engine

Honda continues to provide eco-friendly, high-performance boat engines to satisfy customer demands and enhance the pleasure of being on the water.

Honda's broad and well-established dealer network helps supports the company's fine outboard engine product line, which features unmatched service, reliability, and durability.

As a result of Honda's adjustments and improvements to some of its well-established outboard engine types, their engine quality continues to improve significantly.

Despite minor shortcomings, such as the engines being somewhat cumbersome and antiquated; Honda manufactures exceptionally high-quality products that are durable and will last for decades

Variety of Options

From 2.5 horsepower to 250 horsepower, Honda offers an extensive assortment of outboard engines. However, Honda outboards are typically found in the 50-100 horsepower range, with a small but considerable presence in the smaller and larger horsepower ranges.


Honda warrants your outboard engine for seven years with unlimited engine hours from the date of purchase for recreational owners. A warranty of three years or 1,000 hours is allotted to commercial operators.

Most Popular Engine

The Honda 105 Jet incorporates Honda's most advanced technology paired with a jet drive. It is based on the renowned BF150 design but with a powerful jet drive for improved shallow water efficiency.

The reduced foot design on this engine allows a boater to maneuver in shallow water comfortably without worrying about catching or damaging the propeller on rocky or uneven grounds with shallow or other underwater obstacles.

The BF150 serves as the foundation for the 105 Jet. It adds the flexibility of a Jet to all you enjoy from the BF150. The 105 jet features VTEC tech, which enables you to receive greater performance, rapid acceleration, and class-leading fuel economy in a motor that can go where other boats find difficult.

2. Minn Kota Boat Engine

Minn Kota manufactures electric motors with thrust ratings between 30 and 112 pounds that can be mounted on the transom or bow approximately 1.5 hp to 2 hp.

History of Minn Kota Boat Engine

Minn Kota, established in 1934 in Mankato, Minnesota, is among the most well-known firms in the fishing and marine industries. This company is renowned for manufacturing electric outboard motors that are always technologically advanced. In addition to engines, the company also sells anchors and battery chargers.

Quality of Engine

Minn Kota manufactures electric outboard motors that are dependable, long-lasting, and nearly inaudible.

Variety of Options

Providing a selection of freshwater and saltwater engines with various characteristics ensures that you may find an electric outboard motor that matches your needs.

3. Mercury Boat Engine

Mercury outboards have continued to top popularity charts for best boat engines for nearly eight decades. They are renowned for their superior quality, power, effectiveness, and durability. The company has always been ahead of the curve, surpassing environmental legislation to become the industry leader in outboard engines.

In addition to Mercury's diverse portfolio of the boat and sterndrive engines, the company now has inflatable boats,  trolling motors, propellers, and electronics.

However, Mercury outboard remains the company's flagship product and the market innovation leader.

History of Mercury Boat Engine

The first engine Mercury launched was released in 1947, the Mercury Lightning. This outboard motor featured economic power and high quality in a ten-horsepower, lightweight, and compact motor.

Over a decade later, the Mercury Mark 75, an outboard motor with 60 horsepower, was debuted in 1956. At the time of its release, it was the most powerful and fuel-efficient engine on the market.

Over the years, Mercury continued to come up with better, more advanced boat engines. The company presently manufactures outboards ranging in horsepower from 2.5 to 600. Their outboards are powered by 2-stroke and 4-stroke motors, propane, and jet engines.

While the 30- to 60-horsepower 4-stroke outboards are the most sought-after models, their flagship model is the 60 EFI, which produces over 70 horsepower.

Variety of Options

Although environmental regulations have reduced the availability of 2-stroke motors, Mercury still produces 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines.

While the 2-stroke motors are more powerful than their counterparts, the two-stroke motor requires more maintenance and is considerably louder. Additionally, sustaining its level is a must because the oil in a two-stroke motor is often stored in an external tank and injected into the cylinder.

The 4-stroke engines are more popular currently despite being less powerful than the 2-stroke engine because they are more fuel-efficient, dependable, and have less noise pollution, yet they are heavier and generally slower.

Despite the differences in the two outboard motors, Mercury works have to reduce the performance and maintenance gaps between the two designs, although the popular view remains generally correct.

Quality of Engine

Mercury's outboards have acquired a worldwide reputation for dependability and durability over the past eight decades. Their efficacy is their simplicity and cheap maintenance costs.

The durability of this boat engine is attributed to the fact that the company uses a substantial amount of stainless steel and alloys containing less copper.

To prevent rusting, the company uses this procedure

STEP 1: An Iridite sealer is applied

STEP 2: An Electro Deposition primer is applied

STEP 3: A final layer of a thick and durable powder coating is applied

It is impossible to determine the average lifespan of a particular outboard brand due to the variety of ways users manage them. However, if you follow all regulations advised, the engine will last quite a while.

Over the years, Mercury Marine has built several iconic and ground-breaking boats.

Most Popular Engine

The Mercury Racing 450R represents the pinnacle of performance. The 4.6l V-8 4-stroke engine, augmented by a special Mercury Racing supercharger, generates 450hp, which is almost 40% more than the potent 400R.

The Mercury Racing 450R is also remarkably lightweight, weighing only 702 pounds. In addition, it has a 20-inch long shaft with extremely high top speed characteristics for bass boats.

The supercharging prowess of Mercury Racing is used in this extraordinary engine, allowing its 4.6-liter V8 to produce an astounding level of power. A 2.4-liter, twin-screw, zero-latency supercharger generates pressure charging for quick throttle response. The supercharger is water-cooled to reduce the intake charge temperature and increase overall power.

4. Suzuki Boat Engine

Since 1965, Suzuki Marine, a global corporation, has developed and produced marine outboard motors. The firm's expertise in marine outboard motors derives from its production experience and producing vehicles and motorcycles.

History of Suzuki Boat Engine

Suzuki introduced its first outboard motor in 1965, even though the company had been in existence for over a century. Suzuki's pioneer outboard was the D55, a 2-stroke, single-cylinder engine with 5.5 horsepower.

Before introducing its first 4-stroke outboard engine in 1994, the company produced two other 2-stroke outboard motors. Since then, Suzuki has made advances in outboard technology, including several firsts in the industry that have earned them numerous accolades.

The company has continued to develop some of the best boat engines in the market. This is evident in the Suzuki DF350 that was launched in 2017. The engine shook the marine industry and was awarded an Innovation award from The National Maritime Manufacturers Association for its technological and design advancements.

Quality of Engine

Suzuki has come a long way since the introduction of its outboard motors and is now recognized for providing unrivalled technology and service within the marine industry.

Although Suzuki's outboard motors are less well-known than its inboard motors, those who own and use them frequently sing their praises.

Suzuki's growing popularity is a result of its ability to produce affordable, dependable engines of high quality.

Infact, Suzuki produces one of, if not the most dependable 4-stroke outboard motors currently available. Despite not being as well-known as some other boat engine brands, Suzuki is getting prominence.

Like any other outboard engine brand, a Suzuki outboard motor should last between 1,500 and 2,000 hours. Mind you, a boat engine is usually used for approximately 200 hours annually. With these values, the engine should serve you for seven to eight years, trouble-free.

Additionally, Suzuki boat engines are renowned for their dependability and user-friendliness. Changing your oil after every 50 hours of operation and regularly cleansing your engine can help it last up to 20 years.


Suzuki provides three-year warranty coverage on all new outboards for leisure use.

In addition, for new outboards ranging from 25 to 300 horsepower, a complimentary extended 3-year warranty is included, giving you a total of 6 years of protection.

Most Popular Engine

With its 4.4-l V6 engine and contra-rotating propellers, the DF350A is the most powerful boat engine Suzuki has ever produced. These counter-rotating propellers operate on one shaft and provide a tremendous amount of bite to the bottom unit, enabling it to harness every ounce of power and quickly propel massive, heavy boats onto the water.

Additionally, thanks to a revolutionary air-fuel cooling system, the DF350A has the highest compression ratio of any outboard engine.

5. Tohatsu Boat Engine

Tohatsu offers a unique outboard motor with five horsepower, which is rarely seen in other brands. Lesser-known and smaller Japanese companies manufacture Tohastu outboard engines, and their structure and technology are frequently dated compared to their more prominent and developed Japanese competitors.

Quality of Engine

Tohatsu outboard motors contain significantly fewer electronics than their competitor motors and are generally less advanced. Still, the boat engines are excellent, dependable, and durable, with few known flaws. For instance, Tohatsu engines are hampered by their shoddy finish, which is inadequate. Additionally, the fuel consumption and noise levels of the Tohatsu boat engines are manageable but not exceptional. There is still a lot of room for improvement. After a few years, the biggest downside of Tohatsu outboard engines is their low resale value, and this brand also lacks refinement.

The most prevalent advantages of the Tohastu boat engine are its simplicity, ease of maintenance, and original low cost. Tohatsu's dependability is also one of its most appealing qualities; however, this is limited to if the engine is serviced annually.

Variety of Options

Tohatsu continues to develop new boat engines enriching its portfolio. The variety of Tohatsu outboard models available in each horsepower range within the sub-40hp category significantly benefits most boat owners.

This is especially true for specialized boat owners seeking outboard motors with unique starting mechanisms,  shaft length, and control gear combinations. A small Tohatsu outboard motor, for instance, is a popular option for yacht owners seeking a sail drive.


Tohatsu offers a seven-year warranty on all new boat engines from the date of purchase. This long and extended warranty proves that their products are high quality.

Most Popular Engine

Tohatsu MFS5D PORTABLE is the Tohatsu's best seller. The engine is renowned for its simplicity and portability and is best for many boating activities. The engine is also perfect for yacht tenders and inflatables.

The new 2022 edition features completely redesigned full engine covers and new conveniently styled carrying handles.

6. Yamaha Boat Engine

Since more than three decades ago, Yamaha has offered much more than excellent power, efficiency, and performance. The outstanding dependability of Yamaha cannot be measured in horsepower or revolutions per minute.

Every so often, Yamaha introduces a new machine that shakes up the entire boat industry that its competitors cannot match up.

History of Yamaha Outboards

Yamaha began manufacturing outboard motors in 1960, with the P-7 being their first commercially available model. Since then, Yamaha has come a long way and is now one of the world's leading makers of boat engines.

They have a vast assortment of outboard engines for both commercial and recreational use.

Quality of Engine

Yamaha is the worldwide powerhouse in outboard engines and has a solid reputation for manufacturing high-quality components. Yamaha boat engines are typically recognized as among the best available.

It comes as no surprise that they won IBEX Innovation Awards. In 1999, they won the IMTEC Innovation Award for developing High-Pressure Direct Injection.

The engines from this company are also mighty and fuel-efficient. In addition, they are equipped with an array of features, such as the capability to angle the engine up for transport, gauges, and trolling motors.

Yamaha outboard motors are highly dependable. They are typically selected over their competitors because of their longevity and resilience.

Variable camshaft timing is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Yamaha outboard engines. This leads to enhanced fuel efficiency and tremendous power at low rpm. Additionally, it improves riding comfort and minimizes engine sound.

Due to the fuel efficiency of these engines, you will save money on gas. They also provide a quiet, comfortable ride. Yamaha is a fantastic option if you are looking for a durable and fuel-efficient outboard engine.

Yamaha engines have a longer expected lifespan than other engine brands. Their long shelf life is mostly attributed to the watertight external wall. The wall prevents water from entering the engine and inflicting harm.

Additionally, Yamaha outboards operate on cooling exhaust water. The cooling water makes the engines quieter than other types of outboard motors.

Yamaha also manufactures portable variants with a tiller handle. If you are searching for a portable outboard engine, Yamaha has you set.

Their engines are easy to use and maintain due to various features. Due to their compact size, outboard motors can be moved by a single individual.

Variety of Options

Yamaha offers an assortment of outboard engine models, each with its characteristics. Yamaha provides a model that will match your needs, regardless of whether you require a high-powered or fuel-efficient engine.

The engines are available in two-stroke and four-stroke configurations and operate on gasoline and diesel. Yamaha also offers a selection of engine sizes.

Yamaha's F200, F225, and F250 models have a single electronic throttle valve. As a result, the engine has smooth, quick power and excellent torque.

Yamaha outboard engines are a fantastic option for anyone seeking a reliable, fuel-efficient, and easy-to-maintain motor. Yamaha provides an extensive selection of engine sizes and configurations to fit your needs. In addition, they give superb customer service and support, making them an excellent selection for purchasers of outboard engines.

Durability of Engine

Yamaha outboard motors are unquestionably among the most durable available. When it comes to boat engines, many people view them as the benchmark. Yamaha has an extensive history of producing high outboard motors, and their expertise is evident in their products.

Due to the company's meticulous product development and testing procedures, Yamaha engines are incredibly durable. The company invented the pioneer Direct-injection Four-Stroke outboard, directly delivering gasoline under high pressure into the combustion chamber for optimum power and torque. The engines are also constructed from marine-grade aluminum, making them resistant to corrosion and durable.

High-pressure fuel supply is one of the reasons why Yamaha boat engines are so durable. This technique injects high-pressure fuel directly into the combustion chamber, resulting in maximum efficiency and output. Due to this technology, Yamaha engines can achieve high performance and fuel efficiency.

Yamaha boat engine manufacturers are also the first manufacturers in the industry to include a fully electronic steering system. The steering system gives you more direct and fluid control over your boat. It makes your time on the water more pleasurable by allowing you to maneuver your boat in any desired direction.

Durability is a hallmark of Yamaha's outboard motors. A large number of folks favor them because they are durable. Yamaha is renowned for manufacturing durable products of excellent quality.

If you want your Yamaha outboard to last as long as possible, it is crucial to maintain it properly. This involves routinely inspecting the oil level and replacing it when necessary. In addition, you must routinely clean the engine and examine the fluid levels.

Most Popular Engine

The Yamaha F250 is the undisputed favorite of boaters in the United States. This 4.2-liter engine has been in use for over a decade and has demonstrated its reliability in various conditions on numerous transoms.


Brian Samson

Brian Samson

I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.

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