With internet now widely accessible worldwide it has become common to find and order used outboards from specialist shops with just a few clicks of a mouse. Such purchases prove to be safe and money/time saving and the outboards are professionally maintained/tested before being sold and come with different kinds of warranty.
If you don't want to risk buying a used outboard from a private seller, I would recommend visiting such well established specialists as hardcoremarine.com (for US), casse-marine.com (for France and Mediterranean), outboards-direct.co.uk or avondale-marine.com (worldwide).
If, however, you cannot find an outboard you need from a specialist and are planning to buy one from a private seller, you need to be extra careful and inspect it inside and out before purchasing. If you are unsure, seek advise from an engineer, as buying privately offers no guarantees and could result in unexpected expenditures rectifying technical faults.
Reasons for buying a used outboard engines include:
-Financial considerations (new engines are extremely expensive)
-Matching a suitable engine to an engineless used boat you’ve just bought
-Adding an outboard to a sailing boat to provide auxiliary power for when the wind drops
-Replacing a worn-out old motor
-Finding a more suitable or more powerful outboard
It can seem quite a daunting process when you first embark on this purchase but in order to make the right decision, these two following questions are the starting point for choice:
1) Where will your outboard be used?
2) What is the weight and horsepower for your boat?
Running your engine inland on lakes, canals and rivers requires perhaps more of a quiet and smooth operating system than running in coastal waters that would require acceleration, speed and high-end performance. The number one rule when purchasing used outboard engines is to buy the maximum power you think you're ever going to need.
Information regarding horsepower and outboard engine weight can be located on the hull number plate which you will find fitted on the boat. Here it will state the maximum kW/weight/hp recommended for any used outboard engines.
Buying an excessively powerful motor won’t make the boat go faster, will consume fuel unnecessarily, cause a large wake and make the boat difficult to handle.