Inboard Outboard vs Outboard Boat: Which Should You Buy?
There’s no one right answer as to which motor is the right choice for you. Each motor has its benefits for different activities and lifestyles, and you should carefully weigh those factors before making your decision.
The style of engine you choose may also be impacted by where you plan on cruising – outboards can tilt up in the shallows, allowing access to sandbars and beaches, while a sterndrive’s higher weight can mean that it’s a more pleasant ride in rougher seas.
The most crucial element of choosing an engine for your boat is thinking about what you plan to do with it. For many boaters, having a sterndrive is key as it allows for full use of the boat’s stern because it’s not taken up by an outboard. For those who plan to lounge and try to make the most of the boat’s interior, the uncluttered look is both more aesthetically pleasing and more functional. Additionally, an I/O engine will often be quieter, allowing for a more pleasurable cruise in some instances.
When it comes to upfront cost of the two engines, an outboard will typically be cheaper than an I/O engine, although upgrades in outboard technology has made it so the two price points are often comparable. When considering down-the-road costs, such as maintenance, sterndrives may require more attention due to their many moving parts – a prospect that is slightly more difficult than with an outboard, as outboards are far easier to access and service with the full engine outside the boat. They’ll also be easier to move, replace and upgrade. On the other hand, inboard/outboard engines may have a longer lifespan, allowing for less overall cost in the long run.
Ultimately, the choice between an inboard/outboard and an outboard motor comes down to your personal preference. Many boaters have strong opinions on which works best for them, and you should try to form your own. Compare for yourself the differences between outboard deck boats and inboard outboard deck boats.