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Thread: Inboard or Outboard?

  1. #1
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default Inboard or Outboard?

    I have just started at looking into getting a boat and have a question on what the advantages and disadvantages of inboard motors vs. outboards motors are. I understand that inboards are basically car engines - which I've always pretty handy with, so that seems like it would be an advantage. But I have no idea how they transfer power to the prop and how they actually operate, so maybe that is more complicated than outboards. Suggestions?

    By the way, I am looking at aluminum boats similar to Hewescraft type boats in the 18-22 foot range. I have seen them with everything from 15 hp 2 stroke outboards, up to 150 outboards, to 200 + HP inboards.

    Thanks in advance.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

  2. #2
    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    Where and how do you plan on using your boat? I like my 50 hp honda outboard prop on my 18' Hewes sea runner. I mostly fish lakes and certian rivers and am not concerned with getting places far away or in a hurry. It is quiet, ecinomical and there isn't much maintenance. For my purposes it is ideal. If I fished different rivers or fished in the salt it would be the wrong choice. It depends on how you want to use it.

  3. #3
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose-head View Post
    Where and how do you plan on using your boat? I like my 50 hp honda outboard prop on my 18' Hewes sea runner. I mostly fish lakes and certian rivers and am not concerned with getting places far away or in a hurry. It is quiet, ecinomical and there isn't much maintenance. For my purposes it is ideal. If I fished different rivers or fished in the salt it would be the wrong choice. It depends on how you want to use it.
    I would like to use it on the Kenai for dipnetting, so a four stroke is certainly in order. The rivers I'd mainly fish are the Little Su, Deschka, and 20 Mile. I'd also like to be able to take it in the salt - pony cove for silvers, maybe off of Deep Creek or Homer for halibut (obviously not WAY out though).
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    In a smaller boat, say under 30 feet there are many disadvantages to an inboard. They take up most of your fishing deck which is a big minus. Even though the box they put around the engine takes up most of your fishing deck, it is still a very cramped space to work on the engine. Fuel efficiency tends to be a bit worse then a similar hp outboard, so you have increased cost of the fuel, as well as the weight and space required to carry the extra fuel. The upside is they tend to be less expensive then a similar hp outboard.

    For the size of boat you are looking at, you're pretty much going to be going with an outboard, which isn't a bad thing.

  5. #5
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    Also you can beach a boat w/an outboard. A lower unit on an inboard sticks waaayyy down there.

  6. #6

    Default With an outboard...

    you can also set it up to swap to a jet and extend your boating season quite a bit.

  7. #7
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Hey jmg-

    Fancy meeting you here!

    An I/O= about 15 square feet out of your deck space, an engine you have to contort yourself to work on, problematic outdrives, and more weight.

    I have had both types, and will go for an outboard every time now (which at my age, is probably not many more :-).

    Outboards tilt better, are way easier to pull off and have fixed, and generally are more economical on gas.

    Remember; a car engine is designed for dry land and has been adapted for water. Outboards are designed for the water- even saltwater- from the ground up. Go outboard... you'll thank yourself.

  8. #8
    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Way easier to buy a boat with an outboard, more economical as stated above. Inboards are overpriced due to the labor put into them.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  9. #9
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I agree with everything that has been said and given your list of uses outboard is likely the best way to go for you. I think the one area where an inboard whips the outboard is when the water gets skinny. I have a Wooldridge AK tunnel hull with an outboard and after watching TJM's vids there is no way that I would be able to jump up on step like he does in super shallow water! The stomp grate available on some inboard jets is another feature that I am very jealous of if you go jet it only takes a couple times standing in the water trying to clean your jet foot out to see the genious in that invention!

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