Many boaters who consider themselves boating experts would be surprised that there is no easy answer to the in or outboard motor debate. This debate goes back to the days of steamboat and sailboat hulls when there was often quite a bit of room for debate among boating enthusiasts.
Today, more modern inboards have taken over much of the boating market, so the issue of outboard or inboard motor choice is much more complicated. However, when it comes down to it, inboard or outboard motor performance is largely a function of your boat’s engine and water conditions, so we’ll go over some of the basics to help you make this decision.
Inboard versus Outboard Motor
So what are the pros and cons of each type of motor? The short answer, as with most things boating, is not an easy one. There really is no “best” inboard motor or outboard motor, but there are some things you should keep in mind before you make a purchase, especially if you plan on boating for a long time. The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to outboard motor performance is that neither type wins absolutely in either boating debate.
Inboard motors tend to be more “stock” in terms of horsepower and generally will give you more “stick.” An inboard motor pushes water from the transom and then pushes that water through the boat. Outboard motors, on the other hand, are known for their greater amount of horsepower. This is why they tend to be better for smaller boats with lighter frames or boats with larger transom and more open bows. The increase in horsepower is not enough to make up for a slower boat with a less powerful sterndrive system. It can actually make things worse (for faster boats, this may not even matter).
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