a magical fairy propels a boat in a demonstration of the ultimate alternative outboard
a magical fairy propels a boat in a demonstration of the ultimate alternative outboard

Alternative Outboards

Foundation Findings #52 - September 2013

When looking around at the options available in outboards in the market today there are a lot of places you could go. Not only are the gasoline powered options better and cleaner than ever before, the alternatives are getting bigger, better and more readily available than ever before.

Like the options in type of engines, the different uses these outboard will be put to can vary widely. What's right for one boater or situation could be completely wrong in the hands of a boater next door, let alone on the other side of the country. With that in mind, the Foundation put a series of outboards through some testing, not to find out the 'best' or the winner, but to find out what we could about the behavior of these engines and how they performed in a real world test.

The opinions below reflect that of the tester and the boat they used to test these, and although people liked different models better than others, it's universally agreed that the options are better now than ever before.

The Jon Boat

The jon boat was captained by the great Mike and he gave us some great insight into how the outboards performed on his boat.

Check out the video to learn more.

The Day Sailer

This lovely sailboat was captained by Charles for the tests.

Charles got to experience a ton of motors and offered some great insight into them below.

The Day Boater

The inflatable was piloted by the awesome Sophie for as much of the testing as she could attend.

Charles and other qualified candidates filled in when she was unable.


Although none of these outboards are perfect, they all have great strengths. We applaud not only the great alternative options out there today, but the efficiency and construction of the current gasoline outboards as well.

We know we can't make the decision for you and tell you which outboard is best or which one to buy, but hopefully we've provided some insight to you in order to make your decision a bit easier, or at least better informed.