Inboard vs Outboard Motors: Pros and Cons

Inboard vs Outboard Motors: Pros and Cons

Buying a boat is quite a big financial investment and for this reason, it is important that you consider all the important factors before committing to anything. One of the most important – and expensive – features of any boat is the motor and when it comes to marine motors, your options are inboard or outboard. Generally speaking, inboard motors are popular in larger boats such as speedboats or ‘cruisers.’ These boats are typically leisure crafts designed to take your family for a day on the water.

Some larger game fishing boats prefer inboards, as they require large and powerful engines that do not interrupt fishing space on the rear deck. Alternatively, outboard motors are popular on trailer boats throughout Queensland and can be found most commonly on aluminium or fibreglass fishing boats. Both of these motors offer a number of advantages or disadvantages and at the end of the day it really comes down to personal opinion. There are, however, a few points that you should consider before choosing either.

A few important distinctions

When it comes to the inboard motors vs outboard motor debate, it is important that you understand the differences between the two before making any decisions. The most notable difference is, of course, their position in the vessel. Outboard motors form a complete unit on their own, with the motor positioned at the top of the unit and a vertical driveshaft meeting the propeller at the bottom of the unit. Outboards are fixed to the rear of the boat at a point known as the ‘transom’ and they can be operated from a console, or from the gearing on the engine itself. The consoles are steered with a steering wheel, while the others are steered with a tiller. Inboard motors, on the other hand, are installed below deck, with the motor connected to the propeller by a driveshaft that is more horizontal. The inboard motor itself usually fixed in the rear or middle of the boat and it is accessed through a hatch. This configuration means that inboards can only be practically fitted to boats of a certain size and they can only be driven from a console or dashboard setup.

Some Pros of Outboard Motors

Outboard motors are the most popular type of motor for boat owners in Queensland and there are a few reasons for this.

#1 Draft

Outboard motors are often more effective than inboards when it comes to navigating shallow tidal waters. The tilt and trim of an outboard motor can be adjusted to match the depth or conditions, and outboards can even be adjusted so that the propeller is out of the water entirely. This is great for anchoring in tidal waters, or anywhere in which there is a risk of becoming beached on a falling tide.

#2 Maintenance

Perhaps the most common reason expressed in favour of outboard motors is their accessibility. If you are having difficulties with your outboard motor out on the water, they are far easier to reach than inboard motors. If you take off the cowling of an outboard motor, you will be able to access many of its mechanical components, which makes identifying issues much easier.

#3 Longevity

Because outboard motors are generally more protected from water damage and are much easier to clean, they often last longer than inboards. Although you might think it was the other way around, inboard motors are a little more exposed than outboards. Scraps of fishing line, rubbish and seawater can easily find their way into the inboard motor compartment and cause damage to belts and seals. This can be catastrophic in the long term, and it is often quite hard to diagnose until it is too late.

Talk to the experts at Holt Marine today for all your outboard motor and boating needs in  Brisbane.


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