Installation Basics

Hot water heater system

If you are going to fit a hot water heater (calorifier) and let the coolant from the closed circuit of the engine heat the water for you, It is essential to get the plumbing correct so that you don’t have an overheat problem with your engine. Keep the supply and return lines between the engine and hot water heater as short as possible and avoid any big loops or dips in the hose. Remember that you fill the coolant at the cap that is on top of the manifold that is on the engine. This must be the highest point of the cooling system because you cannot pour water uphill. If the shape of the boat forces you to mount the hot water heater above the engine, then you need to follow the drawing (link below) to ensure that your cooling system works correctly.

Engine controls at the helm

It is always easier to adjust the engine controls at the helm station so that when you push the gear lever forward, the boat moves forward not backward. And, when you move the throttle forward, the engine goes faster.

If you use our single lever control, this is adjustable at installation to work on either side of the cockpit and provide these results. If however, you are using controls on a steering (pedastal) binnacle. Only some of the better binnacle controls are reversable. Here we can help by providing a horizontal or vertical cable for the gear change and a reversing mechanism for the engine. See attached photo examples (brackets vary depending on engine model).

Vertical Bracket

On this transmission when the cable pulls the gear, you are in forward.

Horizontal Bracket

On the Horizontal cable bracket inlet, the gear lever is adjusted so when the cable pushes you have engaged forward.

Single Lever Control

Reversing Throttle Mechanism

This mechanism is used when your throttle cable from the helm needs to push to make the engine go fast instead of pull (different options for different engines).

S3 Pull Throttle

On Beta 43/50/60 engines.  This is the standard throttle position.  Pull for fast

S3 Push Throttle

On the Beta 43/50/60 engines, throttle cable setting – push for fast


In general, engines turn the propeller and the propeller drives the boat. To get the best performance from your engine, the propeller must be properly matched to the engine and transmission and the boat.Good water flow to the propeller is essential to getting good performance from it. As a rule, a larger slower turning propeller is much more efficient than a small faster turning one, especially on a vessel where the propeller is in an aperture. On boats with the prop in a cut out (or aperture) one must be careful to have enough “tip” clearance. See the drawing, T1 needs to be between 10 and 15% of the prop diameter to avoid noise and vibration through the vessel structure.

Three blade propellers definitely work better on full keel boats. In theory a two blade propeller will provide the same boat speed but because there is so much slip, powering away is often painfully slow. Fin keel boats behave differently and because the propeller is always in the water flow, a 2 blade propeller often gets used to good effect.

To reduce drag when sailing, feathering propellers have become much more popular whereas folding propellers still work well on high performance racing boats.

Beta Marine US has made arrangements with some of the better propeller suppliers in the industry. As a Beta Marine customer, you are eligible for some exclusive discounts on your propeller purchase.