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What is a wing engine on a boat?

Boating enthusiasts are familiar with different types of engines installed in a boat, but some may not have heard about a “wing engine.” So,? It is a secondary engine installed on either side of a boat’s transom, allowing the boat to maneuver easily in tight spaces and in case of a mechanical failure.

A wing engine is a lifesaver when the main engine fails while navigating in narrow or shallow waters. It is an independent power source that can be used to ferry the boat to safety until the main engine is repaired. A wing engine typically has its own power inverter, fuel pump, and other components necessary for generating power, making it a reliable backup in case of emergencies.

A wing engine is particularly useful for vessels that are more than 40 feet long because larger yachts require significant power to maneuver at slow speeds. The placement of these engines on either side of the boat’s transom creates improved propulsion, which allows the boat to make tighter turns effortlessly and lessens the need for bow and stern thrusters.

Moreover, a wing engine installation helps in reducing fuel consumption, which is particularly important for long trips. Boats running at low speeds rely heavily on horsepower, which can quickly drain the fuel. The installation of a wing engine, however, eliminates this concern, allowing boat operators to lessen the need for the primary engine when maneuvering in tight areas.

Wing engines are usually smaller than a conventional main engine, measuring around 10-25 horsepower. But that is enough to ferry the boat during an emergency or when maneuvering in tight areas. Installations vary depending on the boat’s design, and most boats can be retrofit with a wing engine. It is essential to consult a marine specialist to ensure that the installation of a wing engine is not only compatible with the boat’s design but also meets safety standards.

A wing engine is a supplemental engine placed in a boat’s stern that enables easy navigation through tight spaces and serves as a reliable source of power in case of an emergency. With the installation of a wing engine, boat operators can navigate confidently, knowing they have a backup power source that can get them to safety. It is an important addition to any boat, particularly for those that operate in challenging areas.

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