Skip to content Skip to navigation Skip to footer
  1. A Guide to Deck Boat Engine Sizes
March 15, 2024

A Guide to Deck Boat Engine Sizes

Back to Articles listing
< Back to Articles

Explore the thrilling world of Hurricane deck boats and discover how the right engine size is a key factor that can make or break your on-water experience and elevate your boating adventures.


Understanding Deck Boats


Deck boats employ a unique hull design, which gives them a wide bow allowing for more deck space and ample seating. This wide deck space makes deck boats, like Hurricane, versatile vessels, designed to provide the most comfort and storage space, without compromising performance. Perfect for watersports, fishing, cruising, and everything in between, these boats rely on having just enough power to get up on a plane at full capacity while towing a skier, being nimble and maneuverable, without adding the unnecessary weight of TOO MUCH engine and fuel. Each Hurricane deck boat model has an ideal engine size range specified by the manufacturer.


Engine Sizes and Power:


When we refer to engine “size”, most people think about top speed, however there are a lot of different ways to look at “size” that mean so much more than just top speed. There are three main ways to think about your engine that will impact performance: engine displacement, torque and horsepower output. Other factors include the hull design and weight of the boat, passengers and gear. Displacement means the actual size of the engine – think about motorcycle engines which are categorized by cubic centimeters such as a “1000CC engine”. In the world of boats, this really doesn’t help determine how the boat will perform as a 50HP gasoline outboard probably has a smaller displacement than a 50HP diesel inboard engine. Where displacement does come into play is when we think about the weight of the engine and fuel and how it impacts the total weight of the vessel, but we’ll talk about that later. Torque is a product of the horsepower output of the engine and how fast (RPMs) the prop turns. To simplify it all, a boat powered by a 50HP outboard engine that turns the propeller 5,000 RPMs will have more “get-up-and-go” than a trawler with a low torque 50HP diesel engine that turns around 1,000RPMs. This is especially important to understand for tow sports when you want the boat to leap out of the water and get your skier up on their skis as fast as possible. To make it easier for the average boater to understand, every boat model will be given an ideal range of horsepower – which in general means the output of the engine – to match the performance of the hull and maximum rated weight capacity of the vessel. Comparing deck boats powered by gasoline outboard engines, in general, the higher the horsepower rating, the faster it will go and the more maneuverable it will be. However, that higher performance comes with balancing other factors such as greater fuel consumption, weight and sometimes complexity resulting in more maintenance over the life of the engine.


Factors Influencing Engine Size Selection:


Boat Size: In general, a larger boat will require a higher horsepower engine to perform at higher speeds. Depending on the dimensions of a deck boat, you may select an engine within the recommended power range with either more or less horsepower in order navigate your home waterways efficiently and safely.

Intended Use: Another very vital component in deciding engine size, deck boat owners should consider the primary activities you plan to engage in. For watersports enthusiasts, a larger engine with more torque may be better. For those who plan to spend most of their time cruising or fishing on calm lakes, a smaller engine should be plenty.

Weight Capacity: Much like overall size, a deck boat’s maximum weight capacity will have a big effect on what size engine will suit it best. If you plan on packing your boat with all of your friends and family, water toys, fishing gear, grills and coolers, a larger engine will get you out to that sandbar and back in comfort.


Environmental Considerations:


For many but not all boat owners, there’s another important factor in engine size selection: it’s fuel efficiency. In broad strokes, a larger engine that packs more punch will generally burn through fuel faster, which in turn leads to a heightened impact on both the environment and the wallet. As stated earlier, a larger engine will also require more maintenance and more expensive parts and service. For those boat owners balancing performance with the impact on the environment and the cost of fuel and upkeep, talk to your dealer to find out the most efficient engine for your model and preferred activities.


Hurricane Deck Boats Engines


Selecting the right engine size is an important decision a new deck boat owner can make. After carefully considering all the relevant factors of the boat’s size, intended use, desired fuel efficiency and more, a careful boat buyer can make an informed decision on what size is right for you. Hurricane has established a wide network of knowledgeable and experienced deck boat dealers that are very familiar with popular activities in your area and the waters you will most likely explore. If you are a first-time boat buyer, the best place to start is a trip to your local dealer to see what is available and what might fit your needs.


Deck Boat Shopping Tools