Explore America's Campgrounds
You can find the specs for the Johnson 115 TL in the owner's manual, or you can look at the serial number tag, a metal tag or sticker that’s slightly larger than a quarter, located on the engine’s clamp bracket or on the swivel-housing bracket. The serial number begins with the letter “J,” for Johnson. The next three digits represent the nominal horsepower. Following the horsepower is a letter for the engine’s features and, after that, a letter that represents the drive shaft length.
Serial Numbers Game
The Johnson 115 TL is a 115-horsepower outboard. The “T” represents tiller steering and the “L” indicates a 20-inch drive shaft. A single digit after that tells you how many cylinders the engine has, three or four. Next comes the code for the outboard’s model year, based on the word “INTRODUCES.” The first letter of INTRODUCES, “I,” stands for 1. The tenth letter “S,” is zero. For example, if the letters after the shaft length are IT, the “I” means 1 and the “T” -- the third letter in INTRODUCES -- stands for 3. This means the outboard was part of the 2013 model year.
Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.