If you are looking forward to purchasing a boat or even replacing your engine, you would want to know the horsepower appropriate for your boat. The amount of horsepower that your boat needs are dependent upon many factors. And it is important to understand every single one of them if you don’t want to overpower your boat.
Limits set by the manufacturer
The first and foremost factor that goes into determining the amount of horsepower appropriate for your boat is the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual is not only going to give you the number of passengers or cargo, but it will also let you know the maximum horsepower capacity.
You may not have an owner’s manual if your boat is very old, built at home or from overseas. However, you can always find help online. You can also contact the manufacturer of the boat if you have further queries.
Weight of the boat
When you are determining the horsepower capacity of your boat, you need to consider the weight of the boat. This can be calculated in a simple way and is called the horsepower-to-weight ratio of the boat, expressed in pounds per horsepower, or horsepower per pound.
All you need to do, to calculate the horsepower-to-weight ratio of the boat, is to divide the weight of the boat to the horsepower of the engine. The smaller this number, the faster your boat is going to run.
Most of the decisions that you make about your boat are dependent on how much you use your boat. Do you use your boat just for the sake of cruising every now and then? Will you use your boat to pull water skiers? The additional weight of someone that is being pulled behind the boat will add up to the amount of horsepower used.
The speed that your boat is accustomed to or the speed at which you are planning for it to run also goes into determining how much horsepower it needs. The rougher the use, the more horsepower it will need.
Number of people
What is the average number of people that your boat is going to carry? If you are going to use your boat only with your spouse, then you would need less horsepower. However, if you have to take trips with family and friends very often, then you would most definitely need more horsepower.
The amount of horsepower that you use will have a direct impact on the efficiency of the fuel. However, if you have a high horsepower engine, it doesn’t always mean that you will have to use more fuel.
Is it illegal to overpower a boat?
In most of the countries, yes it is. What does overpowering a boat mean? It means that you provide it with more horsepower than its capacity. So if you want to avoid such a situation, you need to determine the horsepower needed by your boat by following all the factors listed above.