Motorboating is a fun pastime that can be enjoyed by all in the family. Odisha is blessed with many areas that are suitable for boating, and it is an activity that the government is keen to expand on.
As you will be aware, many areas of normal life have been affected by Covid. Businesses have been hurt badly, and many have closed for good. One industry that has suffered terribly is the tourism sector.
As the world looks to switch back to some sense of normalcy, tourism is starting to be opened up again. Firstly this is for domestic tourists, but then for international arrivals. Odisha and Kerala have been working together to improve water-based tourism. And it is hoped that this is an area that can attract visitors to these areas.
Keep reading to find out how you can get the right outboard motor and use it to enjoy boating in Odisha or anywhere that is suitable.
How popular is boating now?
Boating is a popular activity that takes into account many variations. Sailboats, PWCs or personal watercraft, inboard boats, and of course, outboard boats.
The USA alone has nearly 90 million people who actively take part in some form of recreational boating.
Recreational boating reached a peak in 2005 over in the US, with nearly 13 million boats registered as recreational vehicles. Then things started to decline. As the Great Recession took hold, recreational boating went into decline, and now the number of registered vehicles stands at less than 12 million.
However, the pandemic saw a keen new interest in boating once more. As nations around the world were locked down, people were keen to get outside as much as possible. With the lack of tourists, many normally busy water spots suddenly became a lot emptier.
What is the difference between an outboard and an inboard motor?
If you are looking at getting into boating, and you are considering buying or leasing one, then you may want to know what you should choose.
The names in themselves are fairly descriptive, and you can probably guess one main difference from them. Inboard motors are permanently fitted inside the boat and will normally be equipped with a sterndrive. Outboard motors, however, are attached to the outside of the boat at the stern.
The other differences between them tend to revolve around cost, efficiency, weight, and maintenance.
Should you choose an outboard or an inboard boat?
Outboard motors weigh less than their inboard equivalents. This means that you may not need to spend as much on horsepower with an outboard.
Outboards are easier to maintain and most owners can manage their own servicing. New outboards are quieter than before, and they leave more room than an inboard. Because the motor is attached to the stern it doesn’t take up any room in the boat.
How do you pick the best outboard motor?
Plenty of websites such as Outboard Occasions have easy search options where you can input the power required, type of steering, and shaft length, to find motors to compare.
This comes in handy as the horsepower for an outboard motor can range from below 6 hp to over 150 hp.
When looking for the right outboard motor you will need to consider the size of your boat, what horsepower you will need, what fuel you want to use, and even how many motors you want.
Some people recommend using two outboard motors, but this isn’t necessary, and can even complicate matters such as docking.
When it comes to size and power, you can look at the boat manufacturer’s recommendations. The inspection plate will display the maximum hp the boat should have. Go with that. Underpowering a boat is no good at all.
Are boat packages worth the money?
In the past, boat packages had a bad reputation. Often the price was ideal for the consumer, and the boat was fine. Unfortunately, the dealer often made the price work by putting a low-powered, cheap outboard motor on the boat.
Nowadays though, things are better. But always look to get the biggest motor that will be usable on your boat if it is within your budget. Look for reputable brands too.
An outboard Yamaha could serve you well, and these come in a range of sizes to fit different boats and budgets. Yamaha outboard motors can be less than a thousand Euros or as much as tens of thousands. There are dealers of marine equipment, including Yamaha outboards, in Bhubaneswar, so boating in Odisha can be quite convenient.
Best places in Odisha to go boating
As part of the plan to improve ecotourism, and get people on the water, The Odisha government is making changes. At least 100 spots are being investigated to be developed into boating facilities by the Odisha government.
The Mahanadi River is one beautiful spot to go boating, but be aware that there are some restrictions in place. There are also crocodiles, and bull sharks, so take care!
Oshida has many tranquil lakes that can be visited. Check with your local authorities about where you might be able to boat.
Chilika Lake, Kolab Dam, Pata Lake, and Kanjia Lake, are all good spots for boating. Or you could of course consider the ocean and head to the Bay of Bengal. Depending on the size of your vessel that is.
Is boating a safe pastime?
Like any activity involving open water, boating requires some care and attention. Basic safety recommendations such as using a life jacket must be adhered to.
Last year saw a rise in accidents in the US. This was partly due to the sudden interest in watersports as the pandemic hit. Many people who were unprepared or inexperienced decided to hit the water.
The number of accidents while boating rose by around 25 percent in 2020, and many of these could easily have been avoided.
Around 77 percent of boat operators who were involved in an accident had no safety instructions or boat training. Of the fatalities recorded, 75 percent were from drowning, and of those 80 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
Recreational boating can be a safe and enjoyable activity but the operator should take training, and everyone must wear a lifejacket.
Some tips for looking after your outboard motor
If you have been enjoying your new boat and motor and cruising around the lakes of Odisha, then you will have to do a little T&C to keep that motor ticking along.
Outboard motors generally need very little maintenance, but there are some areas to watch out for.
- Flush the motor after every use
- Change the oil and filters regularly
- Use coolant
- Use fuel treatments
One other thing that you must understand about an outboard motor, is that it needs to be used. A motor that sits idle and unused will corrode and gather other problems. Even if you aren’t going out on your boat, start the engine every couple of weeks to let it tick over.
Boating can be highly enjoyable, and combining it with the surroundings of Odisha can make the best pastime possible. Once you have chosen the right outboard motor, the only thing to do is to head to the water.
That is after you have done your safety checks first. Take some boat training, and follow all safety guidelines for a fun and safe boating experience.