Marine Engines Unconfused

engines twin dual

Let's break 'em down.

We've all heard the term engine but do we really know the true definition? Let alone the difference between an engine and a motor. Believe it or not, they're two totally different means of propulsion. Continue reading and you might be surprised at all the different versions and why the verbage can be oh so important.

Engines vs Motors
The main difference is the fact that motors run on electricity, while engines run on internal combustion. On the rare occasion we encounter one, we refer to a steam locomotive as an engine. The same word that we give to the motive power of an aircraft. But all electrical devices are driven by motors. Right on down to your basic golf cart.
Marine automobile engines are types of automobile (petrol or diesel) engines that have been specifically modified for use in the marine environment. The differences include changes made for the operating in a marine environment, safety, performance, and for regulatory requirements.
What is the main difference in a marine engine?
Marine engines are Heavy Duty. While a car engine typically uses only a portion of its horsepower to maintain a decent speed on the road. Essentially, a marine engine has just one gear compared to the four or more that a car engine has. This is another major difference between marine engines and car engines.
Why do marine engines seemingly run backwards?
Usually the reverse rotation of the screw (propeller) is handled by the outdrive on an I/O or the gearbox on an inboard, not by the engine itself. The whole purpose is to eliminate torque steer at the screw, and it's cheaper and easier to do it with the outdrive or gearbox than building a unique engine
How do you determine engine rotation direction?
Engine rotation is viewed from the flywheel of the engine, clockwise would be Right Hand, and counter-clockwise would be Left Hand. Since you usually cannot see the flywheel with the engine in the boat it can also be determined from the front of the engine.
Can I use synthetic oil in my boat engine?
Only chemicals or friction will remove carbon deposits. Synthetic oil, which has no carbon, leaves no deposits. It's a bit more expensive, but depending on how often you use your boat, synthetic engine oils can last an entire boating season. The good news is that conventional gear oils are less costly than synthetics.
How can you determine if an engine is running clockwise or counterclockwise?
If the propeller shaft rotates to the left, your engine is counter clockwise shaft end, or CCWSE. To determine lead end perspective, hold your motor up and point the shaft away from you. If the shaft rotates to the right, your engine is clockwise lead end, or CWLE. If the shaft rotates to the left, your engine is CCWLE.
We hope this article has helped to explain all of the various differences when it comes to marine engines as well as the importance of knowing those differences. At the end of the day it comes down to the best engine for the job at hand. And that means using a marine specific engine to power your boat.