Why Are Outboard Motors So Expensive? Top 5 Reasons Why

Boat motors outboards are expensive because they are equipped with high-quality parts that are not only built to withstand persistent operation at maximum RPMs, but also composed of corrosion-resistant materials. All of this necessitates a large amount of research and development (additional money), resulting in a costly product.

Wandering aimlessly on the sea on a boat from one spot to another (quickly) is an intriguing method to pass the time. However, possessing a decent (large) engine (outboard) prevents you from doing so owing to its cost, and you may wonder why boat motors are so expensive. Let’s look at top 5 reasons here:

why are outboard motors so expensive

5 Reasons Why Outboard Motors Are So Expensive

1. High Quality

The boat motors are of exceptional quality. These motors, which contain a high proportion of copper, are rather costly. Furthermore, the overall internal wiring and other materials utilized to construct the product must be of excellent quality. It is necessary since these motors must withstand being immersed in water.

In other words, outboard motors are marine-grade, meaning they can withstand harsh circumstances. These motors must be able to survive dampness, water, and the salty, harsh climate of the ocean. Such long-lasting items are always costly. To guarantee that they are safe for usage in hazardous settings, the boat motors must pass many quality assurance tests. It also adds up to a total price of the product

Because of its high quality, it leads to a longer life. Longer life means people would rarely buy another motor anytime soon. It’s well-known that durable goods are slightly expensive. The same is the case with an outboard motor. Staying inactive for a long time reduces their lives, but these motors still work well when maintained.

2. Boat motor parts are expensive

Boat motor parts are costly because they must withstand the marine environment, withstand corrosion well, be able to run continuously at maximum RPMs for longer periods of time, and use metals that will resist electrolysis due to metal alkaloids or calcium in the water; all of these factors contribute to the outboard motor price.

As a result, those parts must be made of materials that can withstand corrosion (rust), have fire-resistant versions of all electrical parts (since even the smallest spark in a boat can cause an explosion), and be made of materials that can withstand constant running at maximum RPMs for longer periods, among other things.

As a result, the outboard engine is nearly entirely made of aluminum, and the hardware is made of stainless steel, both of which are expensive materials. All of those components are costly due to the materials and technology utilized to construct them. As a result, boat motor (outboard) parts are often costly, raising the entire price of an outboard.

3. Research And Development

The majority of outboard motor manufacturers incorporate massive R&D expenses in their products. They want something in return from the clients because they have invested so much time and money in this subject. Adding to the product’s ultimate price assures that research and development will continue.

Research and development are expected expenditures that practically every company, regardless of industry, incorporates in their ultimate pricing. Apple Inc. is one such example. Furthermore, the technology employed in these motors is unique, and it would be really helpful if purchasers were willing to pay a little extra to help with the research and development process.

4. Outboard Monopoly

Boat dealers seldom sell a large number of boats or engines. The reason for this is that well-maintained outboards endure a long time. A well maintained outboard boat motor may easily last decades. People would not buy another outboard motor anytime soon because of its lengthy life. As a result, outboard motor sales are down.

They must produce a profit in order to continue in business. Profit grows if the quantity of outboard sales increases; otherwise, the makers must raise the price of the outboards. Because sales are down, the price of an outboard has risen dramatically. Even if demand is lower, prices will rise in order to stay in business.

There would be more outboard sales if everyone had a boat as they do vehicles. With more sales, it will become cheaper to make each motor, and they will be able to live with a reduced profit margin on each motor, lowering the price. As a result of the limited number of sales, the outboard’s price is expensive.

5. More Power Need To Be Used

Outboard boat motors demand more power to complete the task. When you compare an outboard to a vehicle engine, you can see why outboards require more power. Car engines can only function at maximum power for a limited time; continuous maximum power operation would overheat the engine, causing damage.

Boat motors, on the other hand, are completely different; they can run at maximum RPMs for considerably longer periods of time than vehicles since moving a boat in the water is uphill and requires more power. An automobile engine is not designed to provide the amount of power required to keep a boat moving.

In comparison to vehicles, the duty cycle of marine engines is quite high. They use far more wide-open throttle than automobile engines. An automobile uses very little horsepower to go at 70 mph, while a boat requires more (power). This entails paying more for heavy-duty components and maintaining a steady high power supply.

Read more: Symptoms of Outboard Mounted Too Low or Too High


The basic line is that manufacturing outboard motors is a precise procedure, and the product is not just sophisticated, but also must be entirely watertight for obvious reasons. Then encapsulate everything to make it safe to use. It doesn’t end there, though!

The cost of these engines is substantially more than equivalent land-based engines of comparable horsepower, due to a lower sale rate than engines going into vehicles, but a more sophisticated construction.

When you combine these factors with the fact that the target consumer has a bit greater income than the typical individual, you have a recipe for a more costly product.

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