what outboards motors are good for saltwater

Best Outboard Motor For Saltwater

Getting an outboard motor to power your boat is extremely recommended for a pleasurable boating experience. It eliminates the necessity to paddle, reserving your energy for fishing. You can never go wrong powering your boat with a tiny outboard motor.

Outboard motors are pretty easy to use and control for a smooth ride on your fishing trip. They’re easy to tilt and elevate within the waters to avoid hitting rocks. However, saltwater is not always kind to equipment, and if you frequently fish saltwater, you need an outboard motor that’s up to the challenge. That’s why in this post, we’ll be talking about the best outboard motors for salt water.

HANGKAI 6HP 2 Stroke Heavy Duty Outboard Motor Boat Engine

The HANGKAI 6HP 2 Stroke Heavy Duty Outboard Motor Boat Engine is an appropriately designed outboard motor for this purpose. It’s a premium quality motor made within the USA to the best quality standards. Plus, if bought online, the motor ships pretty fast, allowing you to get right out there and fish, which is always appreciated.

best outboard motor for saltwater
This motor preforms quite well in user tests.

The motor is designed with flexibility in mind, and it’s a great choice for both fresh and saltwater applications. The motor includes a fuel tank capacity of 2.5L. This is an often forgotten consideration when choosing a motor, because it allows you to plan for longer trips without worrying about re-filling. (Make sure to use 92 Lead-free gasoline for better performance and longevity.)

Hangkai speed test, the 6.0 in action!

The engine is started manually, and it comes with a water cooling system. It also comes with an ergonomic 360-degree rotary handle for simple steering. You’ll be able to lock the handle at different positions as well.

Overall, this a durable and compact designed outboard motor. It’s pretty easy to store and carry to fishing locations, and it’s CE certified. The motor is additionally fuel-efficient with a sophisticated combustion chamber. This boat motor really offers a solid performance for the price, and we’re pretty impressed with it.


  • Full throttle operating range 5000-6000r/min
  • Maximum output 4.4KW/6HP
  • Idling speed ( in neutral) 1000±100 r/min
  • The shaft is 2” long
  • 2.5L fuel tank
  • Forward, neutral and reverse gears


  • 1-year warranty
  • Large fuel tank
  • Versatile and suitable for fresh and salt waters
  • 2-stroke engine
  • Lightweight and easy to carry


  • Difficult to start in cold weather
  • A little pricey for a 2-stroke engine
  • 26 inches might be too long a shaft to fit some boats

LEADALLWAY Four Stroke 4HP Outboard Motor

The LEADALLWAY four stroke 4HP is our top pick if you need a really small and compact motor. It’s a top-quality design motor with a built-in fuel and oil tank. You’ll be able to easily add the fuel and oil, and then they are mixed automatically at perfect ratios! It’s also really easy to check the fuel levels on this motor.

This Leadallway motor also boasts fast speeds of up to 10-16 nautical miles per hour. The motor is a perfect choice for a good range of vessels with a transom plate height of 17.3 inches. This provides the perfect depth placement for the various climates, and it’s so tiny that it works perfectly for getting into areas where bigger boats won’t dare to venture, giving you an edge when fishing.

One other advantage of using this motor is that you are able to save fuel because the maximum fuel consumption is as low as 0.8L per hour! This is because the manufacturer takes advantage of the most recent fuel-saving technology and 4-stroke advanced combustion chamber.

Its over-sized fuel tank capacity of 1.9L enables you to enjoy more time on the water, and the motor is dead easy to use. It features a superior 4-stroke engine ignition for simple starts, and there’s an additional patented air-cooling system to permit for all-day fishing without overheating. Overall, this is often an interesting design outboard with 360-degree steering.


  • Full-body anti-corrosion protection
  • Air-cooling system to prevent overheating
  • Easy start with 4-stroke engine
  • Easy 360-degree steering rotation for easy riding


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Lightweight – 30lbs
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Large tank capacity
  • Affordable
  • 3 year warranty


  • High level of noise

Coleman Powersports 2.6 hp Outboard Motor

The Coleman Power sports 2.6 hp Outboard Motor is engineered for lightweight, silent, reliable operation. This Motor is perfect for small boats, and it will perform well in many different conditions, including saltwater. This motor is most commonly used for inflatable boats or as an auxiliary trolling motor.

This high-quality product is made of an Aluminum alloy including an Aluminum propeller rather than a plastic one for durability. Since it’s a 2.6hp outboard motor it’s fairly lightweight – weighing only 37.5lbs. This enables you to lift it, move it and mount it by yourself, adding to its flexibility and saving your aching back in the process! It’s a 4-stroke motor with TCI ignition, and it’s very reliable in many climates and situations.

This motor incorporates a twist-grip throttle, and therefore the shifting is extremely smooth and simple. What separates it from the other options on our list are the tilt and trims option, allowing you to position the motor at different angles.

This makes it possible to navigate shallow waters, which is very useful for a lot of fishing situations. The shaft itself is 15 inches long making it suitable for the bulk of inflatable and other small boats, or sometimes at the same time as a trolling motor if you need it to pull double-duty.


  • F-n/360 degree steering
  • Made from Aluminum
  • Quiet efficient 4 stroke motor
  • Forward and Neutral gears
  • CE & EPA Approved
  • 53 (gal/hr) is its max fuel consumption
  • 31-gallon internal gas Tank


  • Lightweight – 37.5lb
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Easy to carry
  • TCI ignition
  • Tilt operation
  • Quiet efficient


  • A little pricey
  • Only 2.6 horse power, unfortunately

Sky Superior Engine System Outboard Motor 4-stroke Inflatable Fishing Boat

If you want your boat moving quietly at an incredible speed, then this sturdily built motor might be for you. This outboard motor has a 7 horsepower engine which is perfect for any small boat. Whether you like cruising, fishing, or any other boating activity, this motor has you covered.

To save on energy consumption, the motor comes with a clutch feature and start-in-gear protection to control rotation of the crop when the boat is idling. This saves precious fuel from being burnt up when you aren’t using the motor, a valuable feature to be sure. This motor is also CE certified, and if you go this route you can feel good about not contributing to the massive amount of boating pollution in our waters.

The 360-degree steering will allow you to reverse your boat in any direction without shifting gears as well, a feature you won’t find in most of the other outboard motors on our list. Plus, even though it’s a powerful 4 stroke motor, it’s also lightweight and can easily be hauled around without a lot of hassle.

Its advanced fuel combustion chamber has the most recent fuel-saving technology, and that technology is also why this is one of the quietest outboard motors that you’ll find on today’s market.


  • F-n/360 degree steering
  • Advanced fuel combustion chamber
  • Quiet efficient 4 stroke motor
  • CE & EU Approved
  • Saves 30% more fuel than comparable motors


  • Anti-corrosive construction
  • Environmental friendly
  • Fuel efficient
  • Durable
  • Quietest motor on our list
  • Suitable for fresh and saltwater
  • Lightweight (60 lbs)


  • A bit pricey

SEA DOG WATER SPORT 4 Stroke 4.0HP Superior Engine Outboard Motor

Like our last entry, the Sea Dog offers a quiet and smooth ride, and it will give you all the power you need while maneuvering. The Superior Engine System Outboard Motor has a 4 horsepower which is enough for any small boat. The negative? This motor has no reverse gear. However, it can rotate 360 degrees using rotary handle with self-lock, allowing you to easily changes directions despite a lack of reverse.

Keep in mind that this is a small motor, and the fuel tank isn’t huge. You’ll get about an hour and 10 minutes of drive time out of it with it filled to capacity. Even with its fuel saving features, that’s a tad disappointing, and you may need to bring extra gas to top it off if you’ve got a long trip planned.

However, it is a 4-stroke, lightweight engine that comes in at a much more attractive price tag than our other options. You won’t have to worry about adding more weight to your boat, and it’s compact design makes it easy to manager alone.

It features a 20 inch shaft length, and has a 5000rpm idling speed, useful for navigating calmer waters. However, you should be warned that this motor requires a good deal of maintenance and attention as well, otherwise you’ll end up with an expensive door stopper.

When the Superior Engine System Outboard Motor works continuously, the crankcase temperature shouldn’t exceed 90 degrees. When it’s overheated, it should be stopped about 20 minutes before you try to start it again. Always clean your filters, check your fuel and oil levels, and don’t start the motor outside the water, because it’s water cooled, and the motor will overheat on land.


  • F-n/360 degree steering
  • Advanced fuel combustion chamber
  • Manual starting
  • Choke valve starting
  • Quiet efficient 4 stroke motor
  • CE Approved


  • Anti-corrosive construction
  • Environmental friendly
  • Fuel efficient
  • Durable
  • Suitable for fresh and saltwater
  • Lightweight (22 lbs)


  • A lot of maintenance to worry about
  • Small gas tank

Alright, those are our picks, but remember, when choosing a good outboard motor for usage in saltwater it’s important to take a few things into consideration.

What to know before buying an outboard motor for saltwater

  • Match the motor’s power to your application

Can you afford to sacrifice horsepower? In calm waters, maybe, but in rough environments, that’s likely a no. Higher horsepower means easier cruising with no worries about the tides and currents. This motor might be right if you’re concerned about lowered HP motors.

  • How much noise can you tolerate?

I don’t like noise ruining my fishing trip, so a quiet motor is a must for me. However, for others, it might not be a big deal. We’ve noted the most quiet motors in our review for you if you’d like something with some stealth.

  • How fuel efficient is the motor

The best outboard motor for saltwater is.. the one that doesn’t run out of gas half-way through your trip. Make sure to note fuel efficiency and tank capacity. If this is a concern for you, then our pick for this is this motor. However, as a rule, two-stroke consumes more fuel, so get a 4-stroke if you’re worried about gas consumption.

  • Motor build quality

Is it really worth it to save $100 only to buy a motor that craps out in 3 months? We don’t think so. We’d prefer to spend a bit more on a quality motor, like this one, instead. This is especially true for anglers who spend a lot of time in harsh saltwater environments.

  • Shaft length

What size shaft do you need? Higher boats require longer shafts, but those motors might have trouble in shallower water. So, make sure the motor matches what you’ve got! A mismatched shaft can negatively impact your motor’s performance, even if it’s a really good motor.

Like This Post?

Join The Mailer To Get Our Best Content in Your Inbox. Including Exclusive Discounts and Freebies.

Top Fishing Gear Of 2020
Ranked and Rated!

Like This Post?

Join The Mailer, and Get Our Best Content In Your Inbox!

Are You Prepared?

Get Our FREE Boating Emergency Preparedness Checklist and Find Out.