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Thread: Question about Inboard vs. Outboard

  1. #1
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    Default Question about Inboard vs. Outboard

    Hey guys just a quick question for you all about inboards vs. outboards. After some pretty serious financial hits I've finally started to get my head above water and am looking to buy a used boat in the next couple months. I'm looking for a basic boat that I can noodle around in big lakes and very short offshore outings. I'm not interested in river boating.

    Obviously there are tons of options out there. I've narrowed it down to what I know I want:

    19 - 21' length
    at least canvas topped, pref hard top
    four seats (I have kids)
    price somewhere between $8k - $16k

    Beyond that I am flexible. Here's what I've noticed about Alaskan boats: there are a LOT of inboard jet boats. I have a decent amount of experience with OB props but I've only ridden on IB jets, never owned one. For you guys that own jets, what do you think about

    1. reliability
    2. noise
    3. maintenance - heard they need to be cleaned often? is this true?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    - Pete

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    Member KantishnaCabin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akjomsviking View Post
    Hey guys just a quick question for you all about inboards vs. outboards. After some pretty serious financial hits I've finally started to get my head above water and am looking to buy a used boat in the next couple months. I'm looking for a basic boat that I can noodle around in big lakes and very short offshore outings. I'm not interested in river boating.

    Obviously there are tons of options out there. I've narrowed it down to what I know I want:

    19 - 21' length
    at least canvas topped, pref hard top
    four seats (I have kids)
    price somewhere between $8k - $16k

    Beyond that I am flexible. Here's what I've noticed about Alaskan boats: there are a LOT of inboard jet boats. I have a decent amount of experience with OB props but I've only ridden on IB jets, never owned one. For you guys that own jets, what do you think about

    1. reliability
    2. noise
    3. maintenance - heard they need to be cleaned often? is this true?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    - Pete
    I own a 21ft Jetcraft with a 5.7L Kodiak. If you do not plan to use the boat on the river at all then I would not recommend an inboard. Especially a jet. In just about every way a good 4 stroke outboard is superior to an inboard jet in the ocean or large lakes. I have owned both and can tell you with certainty that you should not be considering an inboard jet. They use way more fuel, take up valuable deck space and generally require more maintenance. The jets are built for and perform best in the river system. My boat is a completely different beast in the shallows. In the oceans it is merely adiquate. I purchased my boat specifically because I wanted it to do both rivers and coastal waters.

  3. #3
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    I've owned both. Inboard jet is noisier, and sucks a lot more fuel than a prop-equipped outboard. It's not even close if you're not going to be running rivers--go with the outboard with prop.

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    I've narrowed it down to what I know I want:

    19 - 21' length
    at least canvas topped, pref hard top
    four seats (I have kids)
    price somewhere between $8k - $16k

    Give Dave a call at the Boat Shop four five too for oh three too if interested in 19' Harbercraft, canvas top, 4 seats, 75 Honda prop and trailer...

  5. #5
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    Go with a outboard prop or jet and never look back, car engines belong in cars👍





    Quote Originally Posted by akjomsviking View Post
    Hey guys just a quick question for you all about inboards vs. outboards. After some pretty serious financial hits I've finally started to get my head above water and am looking to buy a used boat in the next couple months. I'm looking for a basic boat that I can noodle around in big lakes and very short offshore outings. I'm not interested in river boating.

    Obviously there are tons of options out there. I've narrowed it down to what I know I want:

    19 - 21' length
    at least canvas topped, pref hard top
    four seats (I have kids)
    price somewhere between $8k - $16k

    Beyond that I am flexible. Here's what I've noticed about Alaskan boats: there are a LOT of inboard jet boats. I have a decent amount of experience with OB props but I've only ridden on IB jets, never owned one. For you guys that own jets, what do you think about

    1. reliability
    2. noise
    3. maintenance - heard they need to be cleaned often? is this true?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    - Pete

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    Thanks bud! I just might do that. Appreciate that.

    Quote Originally Posted by akgriz View Post
    I've narrowed it down to what I know I want:

    19 - 21' length
    at least canvas topped, pref hard top
    four seats (I have kids)
    price somewhere between $8k - $16k

    Give Dave a call at the Boat Shop four five too for oh three too if interested in 19' Harbercraft, canvas top, 4 seats, 75 Honda prop and trailer...

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    Quote Originally Posted by KantishnaCabin View Post
    I own a 21ft Jetcraft with a 5.7L Kodiak. If you do not plan to use the boat on the river at all then I would not recommend an inboard. Especially a jet. In just about every way a good 4 stroke outboard is superior to an inboard jet in the ocean or large lakes. I have owned both and can tell you with certainty that you should not be considering an inboard jet. They use way more fuel, take up valuable deck space and generally require more maintenance. The jets are built for and perform best in the river system. My boat is a completely different beast in the shallows. In the oceans it is merely adiquate. I purchased my boat specifically because I wanted it to do both rivers and coastal waters.
    Thank you very much! That is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. That narrows my search way down.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter1951 View Post
    Go with a outboard prop or jet and never look back, car engines belong in cars
    Not sure I entirely agree. Inboard jet is great for rivers and can push way more weight easier than an OB. My pushrod V8 is miles easier to maintain and work on that a compact outboard unit and I can pick up the parts at NAPA rather than have to go through a dealer which makes them way cheaper. It burns more gas yes but it makes up for it in other areas.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6 batmobile View Post
    Not sure I entirely agree. Inboard jet is great for rivers and can push way more weight easier than an OB. My pushrod V8 is miles easier to maintain and work on that a compact outboard unit and I can pick up the parts at NAPA rather than have to go through a dealer which makes them way cheaper. It burns more gas yes but it makes up for it in other areas.
    He stated "I'm not interested in river boating." in his very 1st paragraph!!

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    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    I love inboards. I learned hardly anything when I had my Honda 90 outboard. Change an impeller, change a plug, change oil..... My inboard has given me the opportunity to greatly enhance my mechanical skills. I meet lots of people at the different marine stores and automotive parts stores. I have grown with my online ordering, research techniques and problem solving skills too. I have taught the other boaters around me new descriptors for parts, many requiring only 4-letters. My inboard has been a blessing and an enlightenment to my learning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    I love inboards. I learned hardly anything when I had my Honda 90 outboard. Change an impeller, change a plug, change oil..... My inboard has given me the opportunity to greatly enhance my mechanical skills. I meet lots of people at the different marine stores and automotive parts stores. I have grown with my online ordering, research techniques and problem solving skills too. I have taught the other boaters around me new descriptors for parts, many requiring only 4-letters. My inboard has been a blessing and an enlightenment to my learning.
    Glass half full kinda guy.
    I like it.
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    I think you just sold the reason to own an outboard, I am not sure there are many people buying a boat that want to work on it all the time, me myself and I just want to have fun and go fishing LOL



    QUOTE=Daveinthebush;1639604]I love inboards. I learned hardly anything when I had my Honda 90 outboard. Change an impeller, change a plug, change oil..... My inboard has given me the opportunity to greatly enhance my mechanical skills. I meet lots of people at the different marine stores and automotive parts stores. I have grown with my online ordering, research techniques and problem solving skills too. I have taught the other boaters around me new descriptors for parts, many requiring only 4-letters. My inboard has been a blessing and an enlightenment to my learning.[/QUOTE]

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    [QUOTE=hunter1951;1639639]I think you just sold the reason to own an outboard, I am not sure there are many people buying a boat that want to work on it all the time, me myself and I just want to have fun and go fishing LOL


    In the last 6-7 years with my fuel injected 4.3l inboard ($6,000 turnkey new) I change the oil annually and change the plugs/cap/rotor every two years for good measure. Otherwise I just play and fish. Anything old needs to be worked on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akjomsviking View Post
    I'm looking for a basic boat that I can noodle around in big lakes and very short offshore outings. I'm not interested in river boating.

    Obviously there are tons of options out there. I've narrowed it down to what I know I want:

    19 - 21' length
    at least canvas topped, pref hard top
    four seats (I have kids)
    price somewhere between $8k - $16k
    You are right on target for price range and length. The key for used boat shopping is finding a boat with clean and tidy wiring with little corrosion. Inboards of this size can be very reliable if you pop the hood and it looks really good. But yes the outboards will give you a lot more deck space in this size, and should be more reliable/require less attention. Plus outboards are easy to replace/upgrade.

    Don't know if this is still for sale:
    https://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa...624081587.html

    or this
    https://kenai.craigslist.org/boa/d/j...637951060.html


    Sobie2

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    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=kubs;1639669]
    Quote Originally Posted by hunter1951 View Post
    I think you just sold the reason to own an outboard, I am not sure there are many people buying a boat that want to work on it all the time, me myself and I just want to have fun and go fishing LOL


    In the last 6-7 years with my fuel injected 4.3l inboard ($6,000 turnkey new) I change the oil annually and change the plugs/cap/rotor every two years for good measure. Otherwise I just play and fish. Anything old needs to be worked on.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    325 hours on my original carbed 350 changed the plugs, cap, rotor, and pug wires at 150hours, change the oil at the beginning of the season ever year and has run flawless except for a new alterinator last year. Ive run the ocean, lakes and rivers. 8 - 10 gph aint bad. If you don't like the sound of an inline muffeled v-8 you should turn in your pee-ing standing up status. (HAHAHA Just kidding). Properly maintained as with any motor an inboard or outboard will will provide good service.
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    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Actually, since I took my boat over to Andy at Noah Marine in Anchorage, it has run excellent. Little things like the rotor cap gasket rotting and have to be replaced and that has been about it. He is the best mechanic I have ever had work on my boat. It turns over and starts every time. I just have to maintain it. And for a boat in the ocean, that has to be a love for motors/boats. My spring check is probably far more than most peoples. I run about the most expensive motor oil I can get and I change everything each spring.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    IMHO the only time I'd choose an inboard is on an ocean boat that is large enough that the engine(s) are below deck and diesel(s)

    For smaller boats, that dog box takes up the majority of the deck and never has enough room to easily work on the engine.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Got a (still relatively new) 23' Wooly with a 360hp inboard KEM, Hamilton Jet.

    Pros: V-8 provides heat while running; plenty of power; Jet is great on "shallow" water; with this engine, there is no shortage of power delivered to the water; insulated doghouse provides a good spot for additional seating or a "table" while stopped; while not a flat hull, pretty easy to get on step; other than one minor manufacturing defect, no problems in (light) use over two years.

    Cons: Complex engine (I don't think that distinguishes it from a big O/B, though); harder to access even for the routine maintenance stuff than an outboard; not as effective in the water, particularly for slow speed maneuvering; jets can suck up debris that can make it past the stomp grate; not a fit-for-purpose saltwater boat, but that's more hull shape than anything else.

    Had I been designing a boat specifically for rivers or saltwater, I'd probably gone with a different hull in either case; if specific for saltwater, I'd go with either a big outboard or two big-ish O/B's. For a bit of everything, I'm pretty happy with this setup
    Back in AK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    Actually, since I took my boat over to Andy at Noah Marine in Anchorage, it has run excellent. Little things like the rotor cap gasket rotting and have to be replaced and that has been about it. He is the best mechanic I have ever had work on my boat. It turns over and starts every time. I just have to maintain it. And for a boat in the ocean, that has to be a love for motors/boats. My spring check is probably far more than most peoples. I run about the most expensive motor oil I can get and I change everything each spring.
    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Awesome!!
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