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Long Tail Outboard engines are a proud Thai creation. The concept was developed in Thailand as a simple, low cost means of motorizing boats, used in rivers, canals and oceans where people and cargo must be transported through shallow waterways. They are also commonly used for coastal transportation, small scale fishing and tourism.
The long-tail boat, known as Ruea Hang Yao (เรือหางยาว) in the Thai language, are an ubiquitous sight in Thai rivers and waterways. They were created by local people living in the middle part of Thailand around 1937.
The engine is mounted on an inboard turret-like pole which can rotate through 180 degrees, allowing steering by thrust vectoring. The propeller is mounted directly on the driveshaft with no additional gearing or transmission. The engine also swivels up and down to provide a "neutral gear" where the propeller does not contact the water. The engine driveshaft must be extended by several feet of metal rod and casing to properly position the propeller, giving the boat its name and distinct appearance.