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“Life is 440 horsepower in a 2-cylinder engine."

—Henry Miller

Terry McCartney

Terry McCartney has been around boats since his childhood and got his start on the water playing around with and working on his own boats as a kid. He learned through necessity how to take care of a boat and motor. His first paying gig in the boat industry was in high school. He worked at a boatyard fixing outboard motors, and from there got into hydroplane racing and hydroplane outboards. During this time McCartney met Greg Jacobsen, who would later become his business partner. He and Jacobsen together purchased Jacobsen’s Marine from founder Bob Jacobsen.

Tom Ross

Tom Ross, much like McCartney, grew up around boats and anglers. He remembers crabbing with his dad at five years old, and many times in his childhood took his dinghy cruising around Camano Island. McCartney gave him is first job, going to work at Jacobsen’s Marine, at 16 years old.



ther than the boat hull itself, and rigging when applicable, the motor is the biggest factor in a how a boat performs. Outboard motors are traditionally seen on smaller craft, but with their versatility and convenience, the outboard motor has become more favored among manufacturers of larger boats. This increased popularity has inspired us to dive into outboards and get the info you need for your next motor purchase. The motor you choose can make or break your boating experience, so you need to know what you’re looking for. There’s an outboard that’s best for trolling around in a dinghy at 3 knots, another for spending a few days offshore fishing, a different one for opening the throttle to make some waves, and everything in between. Outboards come in different strokes, a range of horse powers, various weights, and utilize different fuel sources. The perfect motor for your craft might not even be close to what someone else needs to get the job done; the battle is finding the perfect Goldilocks fit for your craft. And that’s just the beginning, for outboard owners should know how to clean the motor, how to store it, and what fuel is best. We decided to sit down with Terry McCartney and Tom Ross of Jacobsen’s Marine, an outboard motor dealer in Edmonds, Washington, and asked them about all things outboard motors.

Q: What advice would you give a brand new boater on what outboard to purchase? Terry: Well, the place to start would be to figure out what you want to do, what type of boating you see yourself doing, and if it’s a boat you’re going to cruise with. Once you’ve established your needs with a boat, that dictates your needs in an engine. To have an adequate performing boat, depending on its size and weight, will determine how big a motor you need. Tom: We have a lot of entry level guys that come through, and it’s good to keep it simple. You don’t want to overwhelm them with a big boat, especially if they’re going into boating for the first time. Think 19-footer, single-axel trailer, single engine, reliable. The 19’ Grady White is probably one of our most popular entry-level boats. Q: What are some advantages of an outboard over an inboard motor? Terry: Winterization is not as big of a factor with outboards. With outboard motors, there’s no need to drain them and they’re less complicated than inboards, so they’re less costly to own. You mentioned inboards, well there’s straight inboards which have the shaft and the rudder and fixed strut, that’s big boats usually 36' and above. Inboard/outboards are common 34' and below, where you have an automotive engine that’s been converted to marine, and then the PTO (power take off) is in a horizontal plane. It’s gotta go down, and then it’s gotta go to the propeller, so you have two transmissions. That way involves a lot more through-hulls with U-joints and gimble bearings,

bellows, more vulnerable moving parts, and because the engine was an automotive engine that’s been converted, the life expectancy has been diminished. It’s not uncommon to see a ten-year-old stern drive boat on its second engine. It’s also nice not to have to worry about a through-hull with outboards. Tom: For safety, no throughhulls is great. I remember once a real nice 28’ boat across the way was nose up, half-sunk in the water. They suspected that one of the through-hull fittings or a bellows leaked and caused it to take on water, sunk it, through no fault of the owner, just happenstance. Outboard boats can be built as unsinkable boats. Grady White is an example. That company builds boats for people who want to fish offshore. They’re strictly outboard boats, and the thing that really pushed them into that (outboard motors) is a guy fishing 50 miles out into the ocean finds some comfort knowing that he’s in an unsinkable boat. If it’s a case where they can fill the boat with foam and make it self-bailing, you can’t put enough water in it to cause it to go under. An inboard has a big hole in the floor where the engine sits down below the waterline. If you swamp the cockpit, it fills the engine room with water. Now you have a big cast iron anchor in the back that pulls the boat under. Also, there’s no ignition source down in the bilge with outboards. With inboard/outboards, you have to run a fan for four or five minutes before you try and start it just to evacuate any fumes from below deck. With an outboard boat, there’s nothing in the bilge that

Profile for Northwest Yachting

NW Yachting March 2018  

The latest on power and sail boating in the Northwest, featuring the 75th Running of the Iconic Swiftsure sailboat race, A roundup of the be...

NW Yachting March 2018  

The latest on power and sail boating in the Northwest, featuring the 75th Running of the Iconic Swiftsure sailboat race, A roundup of the be...