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Pros and Cons of Inboard/Outboard Boat

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When buying a boat, you might have challenges in choosing the right type of engine. The best way to choose the engine type is to look at your own preferences, size of boat, cost, and what you intend to do with the boat.

Inboard/outboard (I/O) also known as Sterndrive is a hybrid of both outboard drivability and inboard power. The outboard unit connects through the transom of the boat in an inboard engine. Before buying a boat with this type of engine, look at the pros and cons to know whether it will be suitable for your needs.



1. Performance: The IO motor is well known for its speed. The position of outdrive motor in the back gives the boat a better and faster performance.

2. Convenience: This type of boat has tilt mechanisms which are excellent for shallow waters and you can easily control them in almost everywhere.

3. Easy to use: It is easy to operate this type of boat especially those equipped with joystick control for easy docking. It also uses the same steering system even when the power is off.

4. Easy maintenance: I/O boats can last 1500 hours if they’re using petrol engine or 3000 hours when using diesel before doing routine maintenance. The engine is cheaper to replace in case of damages and require less maintenance.

5. Comfort: Most I/O boats have carpets making them more comfortable inside. They also have a large saddle pad at the back for relation purpose.

6. More efficient: They are designed with an improved structure for greater speeds and improved fuel economy. They can easily maneuver in freshwater lakes at top speeds.

7. Quieter: I/O engine produce less noise compared to other designs. The four-stroke outboards are great, quiet and easy to operate.

8. Cost-effective: I/O boats costs relatively low compared to the price of the same outboard boat.

9. Extra features: It provides you with a clean transom which is suitable for fishing or carrying out sports activity. The boats also have a low center of gravity.

10. Electric fuel pump: The boat use an electric fuel pump and a turnkey to easily restart the motor. The engine can use both diesel and petrol to operate.



1. Explosion: Sterndrives are prone to fire explosion caused by gasoline fuel vapor in the engine compartment.

2. Prone to corrosion: The I/O engine position makes it easy prone to damage by water and moisture vapor. When exposed to salt water, it is prone to corrosion.

3. Reliability: Due to corrosion caused by salty water, IO boats do not last long as compared to the inboard boat. If you’re buying a secondhand I/O boat, inspect the motor yourself and ask for maintenance records from the previous owner.

4. Not suitable for cold weather: When it is very cold, it is difficult to operate the IO boat and you may end up being stuck because the engine may freeze prompting you to have a new engine block.

5. Cushion seated carped mildew: The carpeted floor and seat cushions are not water resistant thus, they are not designed to be used anywhere near water.

6. Large giant box: These boats have the engine take up a lot of cockpit space compared to outboard engines.

7. Heavyweight: The sterndrive engine is not easily removed, it’s bigger and heavier. The compartments are cramped and if the outdrive seal fails, the boat will sink.

8. More exposed: The hoses, rubber bellows, and oil lines are more exposed in the water which can easily be damaged.

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