Boat Motor Positioning

11 December 2011 On The Water

Running the cottage boat motor at the correct angle saves you time and money.

What is the Best Angle for the Boat Motor?

Most boats with an outboard motor have a power tilt or trim function that allows you to adjust the angle of the motor in the water. The best position for getting the most efficiency from the boat motor depends on the requirements of the situation.

Neutral Position
The boat motor sits in a neutral position when the propeller is parallel with the top of the water and the motor shaft is at a 90 degree angle. This position normally provides the most efficient operation of the motor and boat in normal conditions.

Boat Motor Tilted Down
Trimming-in the angle of the boat motor brings the propeller closer to the boat. This is normally done when you have a heavier load in the boat and you want to get the boat running up on plane faster. It has the effect of forcing the bow down and also makes the ride a bit smoother in rough water.

Boat Motor Tilted Up
Trimming-out the angle of the motor moves the propeller away from the boat and closer to the surface. This is normally done to increase speed and has the effect of lifting the bow. If the prop is tilted up too far the boat will begin to bounce. Trimming-out the motor is also done in shallow water conditions to avoid hitting the bottom or submerged obstacles.

The Best Position for the Boat Motor

The optimal position depends on the conditions of the lake, and the weight that the boat is carrying. Begin with the motor slightly tilted down until you get up on plane. Slowly trim out the angle through the neutral position until the boat starts to bounce. Then trim it in a bit to obtain the most efficient operation.

Go to the Boat Motor Maintenance page.