3 Reasons to Buy an Outboard Motor Cover

Got a cover to protect your boat from the elements when it’s not in use? … Perfect! But what about a cover for your outboard(s)? 

Outboard engine covers why buy

It’s hard to believe, but that motor hanging off the back of the transom is sometimes worth more than the actual boat it’s attached to! And even if it’s not, the outboard should still be protected like the boat. Here are three reasons you should get an individual cover for every outboard engine you own.

Reason #1: Protection Against Fading

Repeated exposure to UV rays will cause the top and lower cowling on your outboard to fade over time. 

Outboard engine covers sun protection

The painted plastic used to make outboard cowlings is notoriously prone to sun-fading. If you’re planning to sell your boat with the outboard engines attached, nothing says “I neglect my boat” more than a chalky, bleached-out motor for everyone to see. An outboard cover is the perfect way to protect engine cowlings. 

PRO TIP: As of this writing, a basic top cowl cover for a Mercury 115HP outboard can cost as low as $50, with custom-fit covers costing approximately $150. However, replacing a Mercury 115HP top cowling will set you back approximately $1500, and that’s not including the cowling decals, which can cost up to 70+ dollars.

Reason #2: Protection While Trailering

Stones and gravel kicked up by your vehicle’s and trailer’s tires will easily gouge and chip your outboard. 

Outboard engine covers protection

Even small dust particles can have the effect of sand-blasting your outboard when you’re trailering your boat at moderate speeds. Outboard covers are designed to protect against flying debris from the road or elsewhere.

PRO TIP: Replacing a Yamaha F70 lower casing costs more than $1000, while replacing the propeller with a Yamaha OEM prop can set you back more than $500, depending on its specs. On the other hand, a full outboard cover tailor-made to fit the Yamaha F70 might set you back a couple of hundred bucks, but it protects both the gearcase and prop.

Yamaha full outboard engine cover

Yamaha full outboard motor cover

Reason #3: Protection Against Accidental Damage

Chafing from towing or mooring ropes; scratches from errant fishing hooks and lures; or any accidental chips, scrapes and gouges can be avoided by fitting a vented cover to the outboard. 

Yamaha vented outboard engine cover

Yamaha outboard motor vented cover

Vented covers are designed to be left on even while the outboard is running, providing 24/7 protection to the cowling. Buy a vented cover for your outboard and you can simply leave it on for cowling protection while the engine gets splashed. 

PRO TIP: Replacing a Yamaha F150 top cowl comes with a price of at least $1100, plus $150 for the decals set. A vented outboard cover designed to fit the Yamaha F150 will cost about $135, which is less than the price of replacing the top cowl’s decals, never mind the price of the top cowling itself.

Speaking of the cowling and its decals, if you haven’t protected your outboard motor and its decals are in need of replacing, watch the video above to see how to remove and replace outboard decals. 


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