What type of engine is standard on boats that have been designed for use in shallow water? With the help of our guide, you’ll understand what engine you’ll need and other engine types and their uses.
You usually find a jet drive engine on boats designed for shallow water. These can be inboard or outboard. In this article, we’ll go into further detail about why jet drives are used for boats on shallow water and why other engines are used for other boats.
Jet Drive Engines
If you’re uncertain of what a jet drive engine is, we’re here to help. Jet drive engines use water to propel and steer your boat.
It does this by taking the water through an intake on the bottom of your boat, which is then accelerated through the jet drive unit, which thrusts the boat forward.
Many people need clarification on jet boats, power boats, and motorboats.
However, one way to understand the difference is by understanding that a jet boat draws the water from under the boat, while motorboats and powerboats have an external propeller.
We should also note that when you’re steering a boat with a jet drive engine, you’ll need to change the direction of the water stream as it’s leaving the jet unit.
Naturally, this means when you’re steering with a water jet, you can lose some steering control when you’re going at a slow speed. Due to this, they’re better for shallow water, as you can still maintain some control while going slowly.
Sterndrive engines are essentially inboard/outboard engines, but we’ll go into more detail about those types of engines later.
Sterndrive engines share similar features with inboard and outboard engines and are typically mounted on the inside of the hull.
They’re attached through the transom to a drive unit resembling an outboard engine’s lower gearcase. Like outboard engines, this drive unit is used to guide the boat. As their name indicates, they’re typically at the stern.
You’ll find that sterndrives can turn in a different direction like outboard engines, as they direct the propeller in the direction you want. These are perfect for any boats that need more horsepower and torque.
You’ll also find they’re more agile when you’re maneuvering your boat or docking it, making it a popular choice of engine for pleasure boats.
You’ll find an inboard engine inside the hull, at the midship, which is in the middle of the boat. You can turn the propeller with the propeller shaft that runs through the bilge and exits near the stern.
You can steer with a rudder that can direct the water flow as it passes, making it easier to navigate the boat with the steering wheel.
Inboard engines are popular among boats used for water sports as they can create a wave that wakeboarders love to anticipate. You’ll also find them on boats that need more torque and horsepower.
Finally, we have the outboard engine, essentially an outboard motor. You’ll find that this motor contains the engine, gearbox, and propeller. These can be found mounted at the back of your boat, hanging outside the hull. This engine is then used to both power and guide the boat.
These engines must move side to side while steering and go up and down for trailering and trimming. The engine can be steered manually on smaller boats with a hand tiller, but larger ones will have steering wheels.
The propeller and gear case are underwater while the boat’s in use, so it can fly quickly. These engines allow boats to be agile when turning and docking and are incredibly versatile.
Overall, you’d find these engines are mainly used for fishing, pleasure boating, and water sports.
What Do You Need To Know About Boating On Shallow Water?
If you’re looking for the correct engine type, you’ll know that jet drive engines are the best bet for going on shallow water. But there are other factors you need to consider too.
For example, jet drive engines may have less control in shallow water, but if you want to go fast, you’ll quickly regain control. If you’re not familiar with shallow water, it’s best to go slow, but you won’t lose control too much with shallow water anyway.
You should also check whether your boat needs a lot of water to float. You can figure this out by checking your boat’s draft figures.
It’s also best to keep track of your load while on a small boat, as a smaller boat is more vulnerable to weight. Ideally, you should check how many supplies you bring and ensure the draught doesn’t change.
So long as you’re sailing comfortably, you should have no issue in shallow water.
However, as general advice, we encourage you to keep an eye on the color of the water, and if it changes, stick to as consistent a color as possible. Sticking to a consistent color will ensure your engine doesn’t snag on anything underwater.
When you’re choosing a boat and an engine for shallow water, we recommend choosing one with a jet drive engine. However, there are other factors that you need to consider as well.
When deciding on your boat’s engine, you should consider the size of your boat. Your weight estimate should include everything you estimate to have on board, and your engine should be as close to the max horsepower of your boat.
You should also consider the fuel delivery system on the market. Direct fuel injection is better for good fuel economy, but electronic fuel injection offers a higher throttle response and power.
The most affordable would be carbureted systems, but they have higher emissions and a lower fuel economy.
Knowing all of these factors, you should be able to find the best engine for your trip in shallow waters. Just remember to focus on your comfort and safety, and you should have no issues with your jet drive engine.