What Is a Bigfoot Outboard?

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A Bigfoot outboard is an outboard engine designed for larger private watercraft such as houseboats or pontoons, made by Mercury Marine. "Bigfoot" is a trademark registered by Mercury and refers to a specially designed gear case.


Engines made by Mercury featuring the "Bigfoot" gear case are all four-stroke (the most common kind of engine, featuring intake, compression, power and exhaust). They are available in 40 hp, 50 hp and 60 hp versions as well as a 9.9 hp model.

Bigfoot Gear Case

The Bigfoot gear case is built longer with larger parts. This provides greater control and thrust, specifically designed for larger loads, according to Mercury, which also states that the larger parts make the engines more efficient and reliable.


A Bigfoot outboard is best suited for larger boats and boats whose design creates water turbulence around conventional engines. This is because the longer gear case pushes the prop down further into the water -- where it is not disturbed by turbulence from the boat -- and the larger gears provide greater thrust and control.


About the Author

Carl Mathie began working as a translator, editor and writer in 2004 at two independent literary publishers in London. His work has been published in the "Financial Times" and online at Readysteadybook and Vulpes Libris. He has translated for several important international publishers including Grupo Planeta and Oxygen Books. He has a Bachelor of Arts in comparative American studies from the University of Warwick.

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