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Thread: outboard Vs inboard

  1. #1
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Default outboard Vs inboard

    I have always had an outboard jet on my river boats.... but I am looking at buying a new river boat and am debating the outboard vs. inboard issue now.

    what are your thoughts?? what are the pros and cons of each set-up?

    type of usage I'm looking at is mostly skinny water rivers... IE big Su drainages, Little su, as well as bigger water like Yukon and Tanana...

    have at it guys... let me hear what you think.... thanks

    Greg

  2. #2
    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Sounds like you will need 3 boats.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
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  3. #3
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Default yea

    i wish.... haven't even gotten into the ocean going boat needs yet!!!!! hahaha

    G

  4. #4
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    Default Stick with the outboard

    Not that tough of a question. Unless you have massive freight hauling needs (probably not), stick with the outboard. Get a 2 stroke (E-Tec is a good rig), more power:weight, simpler, etc rather than a 4 stroke. Many folks run props on the bigger rivers, so might want to consider a hull type that lends itself to swapping out lower units. Some hull types, i.e. Wooldridge Alaskan series, is specifically made for a jet configuration (transom height, tunnel, etc). Others are a little more forgiving with hull design (Xtra Sport, etc), and/or you can rig with a lift for adjusting as you go.

    Think of it this way: Your only real limiting factor with an outboard is the freighting function; you can go into a wider variety of water with the outboard, have much more deck space w/o tripping over the dog box, they tend to be quieter (this depends on a lot of factors), and I think they have a longer life span if properly cared for (that's throwing rocks for some folks Plus, you easily have the option of swapping lower units if you desire. I regularly run my Alaskan in everything from the skinny upper Chena to trolling 10 miles out in Valdez, all with a standard issue outboard jet.

    I've just seen too many people with inboards either (A) unable to put stuff/people/lumber/etc or fish comfortably with the dog box unless it's a biiiiiig boat, (B) getting stuck in places they shouldn't have tried to run in the first place, (C) being unable to extract goodies that they ingested, or (D) having to winch the boat up on a gunwale to get to the goodies (provided they could tie off and/or make it close enough to shore to winch in the first place). Seeing (D) take place is always high entertainment, and makes me appreciate the outboard all the more.

    Inboards do have more power, but is that a realistic limiting factor? I don't think so. Going for the Binford 4000 grade might not be the best approach. A properly configured boat/motor combo with enough HP to get the job done isn't that tough to rig up - seriously consider the shortcomings of A-D above, be honest with what your usage will be, and make a go of it.

  5. #5
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default I've got a great deal of respect for an outboard...

    But I love my inboards and will probably never be without one!

    Your personal use habits will have more to do with it than anything. I'm not the most fanatical fisherman so making sure I have a cooler along to keep fish in rather than sliming the boat, fishing from shore more often than not, and things like that suit me just fine. I happen to enjoy boating more than fishing so the fun of operating and getting through those places mentined earlier where folks often do A), B), C) and D) seem like an enjoyable challenge to me. I dont haul freight all the time, so on the days when I do, I'm ok with using cushions and padding to fit the stuff inside in spite of the motor compartment and all.

    I do think the warmth factor is more readily dealt with in an inboard than an outboard, though I know there are options available for a guy with an outboard that will make you more than comfortable.

    I honestly dont know how a guy could go wrong either way (as long as you dont buy some junker that is!) I mean, they're all BOATS for crying out loud... having a BOAT in Alaska has got to be one of the top three things worth experiencing in life no matter how you slice it.

  6. #6
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Default I prefer outboards

    Winterizing an outboard is easier and chaeper than in inboard. If you want to run late in the year, the outboard is much easier to care for in freezing temps.
    They are also lighter and very dependable these days. Usually use less gas for similiar HP engines.
    The inboard will pump more "trash" through it especially with the larger diameter nozzles that they put on the big inboards.
    I think a real good combo is the way the Extreme shallows are outfitted with a outboard motor head set in the boat as an inboard would be mounted.
    Find someone who has the boat you are thinking about and pick thier brain and go for a ride.
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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    I was just getting ready to mention what bkhail brought up. What about the sportjets. Is a mercury outboard motor mounted in the boat hooked up to a jet pump. I was considering such a boat since I can' afford a dedicated river boat and ocean boat at this time. What do people think about this option for river running.

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickL View Post
    What about the sportjets. What do people think about this option for river running.
    good option..not the best in my opinion but Im far from an expert...I have over 200 hours in an inboard in the last 2 summers, up nearly every bit of water that is boatable off the Su and south central, and have never had an issue with A, B, C, or D.....perhaps im just lucky....
    ------------------------------------------------
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  9. #9
    Member fishin_ak's Avatar
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    Default

    As far as weight goes, if you're talking about a V-8 inboard then you are correct. The mercury in my Sportjon is 210hp and including the pump and nozzle weighs the same as my buddy's new 90/60 yamaha 4 stroke. 2x the HP for the same weight. As for winterizing, it takes a little more time to do the inboard (changing the oil in the pump) but it's not that bad. Inboards are quite a bit noiser. Like all other conversations that lead this way, it mostly boils down to preference and what you're looking to do with the boat. As to whether the outboard has an advantage getting places, I'll follow an outboard anywhere you want to go with my inboard.
    " There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot" - Steven Wright

  10. #10
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default I cant imagine how much easier winterizing could get?

    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Winterizing an outboard is easier and chaeper than in inboard. If you want to run late in the year, the outboard is much easier to care for in freezing temps.
    They are also lighter and very dependable these days. Usually use less gas for similiar HP engines.
    The inboard will pump more "trash" through it especially with the larger diameter nozzles that they put on the big inboards.
    I think a real good combo is the way the Extreme shallows are outfitted with a outboard motor head set in the boat as an inboard would be mounted.
    Find someone who has the boat you are thinking about and pick thier brain and go for a ride.
    BK
    On my stock V-8's we pull the batteries out and change the oil, on my custom one, we open two draincocks on the exhaust, change the oil and pull the batteries. On my Sport Jet we change the oil in the jet and pull the batteries. I'm not sure how easy an outboard is nowadays to winterize, but they'd have had to gotten a lot simpler than the ones I still own to beat that for ease of winteriziation.

  11. #11
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default Or good!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    good option..not the best in my opinion but Im far from an expert...I have over 200 hours in an inboard in the last 2 summers, up nearly every bit of water that is boatable off the Su and south central, and have never had an issue with A, B, C, or D.....perhaps im just lucky....
    Or GOOD!!!!

  12. #12
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default But the question is... would you "LEAD" and outboard anywhere?

    Quote Originally Posted by fishin_ak View Post
    As far as weight goes, if you're talking about a V-8 inboard then you are correct. The mercury in my Sportjon is 210hp and including the pump and nozzle weighs the same as my buddy's new 90/60 yamaha 4 stroke. 2x the HP for the same weight. As for winterizing, it takes a little more time to do the inboard (changing the oil in the pump) but it's not that bad. Inboards are quite a bit noiser. Like all other conversations that lead this way, it mostly boils down to preference and what you're looking to do with the boat. As to whether the outboard has an advantage getting places, I'll follow an outboard anywhere you want to go with my inboard.
    I know, that s crappy thing to pin on you, but I couldnt resist!

    (you know I only run inboards anymore right?)

    As for weight, mine (with the jet) weighs the same as 2 of the Sportjets, and has 2 1/2 the horse power, nowadays as far as power to weight ratio you can get it with a V8 too. I know, if I stick something in the grate I cant hit "tilt" and clean it out, but like you said, it'll spit a lot of trash through it and keep on running.

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    Everyone has an opinion and mine is about opposite to some of the above quotes. It mostly amounts to personal preference - There are a lot of fine boats both inboards and outboards.

    I have used and abused the same inboard for the last 29 years. Simple is an old V8 motor, you don't have to be much of a mechanic to understand and trouble shoot if a problem does arise. Winterization is a very simple process that can be performed in limited amount of time. The motor provides a good source of heat for the cold climate and plenty of charging power to run all electronics. The versatility has taken me in a lot skinnier places than I could have imagined, 1000 mile round trips on the big rivers, all over PWS and into the gulf. It will haul 2 people and gear along with 2 large moose with bones so cargo capacity is not a problem.

    I reguarly fish with 4 people and 4 dogs for several days at a time - gets crowded with that many but the dog house makes a nice bed and we manage to be comfortable. Getting stuck is not unique to an inboard or outboard but is more relative to the driver - I have seen a lot of both stuck out in the middle of the Yukon. Cleaning the jet in an inboard is relatively easy with the proper tools - best bet is not to run over crap to start with and when on step they don't clog easily.

    Attahing a link to an old video to dispell the myth that you cant run an inboard skinny.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS4bV9NeCMI

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I would think that an inboard would run skinnier than an OB. I love my Wolly AK but I will certainly give it to the inboard guys in the area of turning response! I am really working to swing that OB to make it through a twisty shallow river! There are plenty of inboards that will let you go full starboard to port in 135*-270* of steering input. I have to spin the darn wheel 4.5 turns!!! If ever there was reason I am considering switching then that is it! Unless I can find a faster spinning helm that will work in my boat it may well get sold and replaced with a skinny water focused inboard. I just can't resist trying to go places I probably shouldn't! Other than that I love the simplicity of my OB. Yes I like being able to nose up to a gravel bar tilt the motor up and clean it out. I am planning on putting a stomp grate on it to make that process even easier one of these days!
    I have seen some inboards start much shallower than my OB will as well, I think it is because the intake for the OB is so far back. When the bow comes up the intake get dropped lower in the water and vacuums the river bottom, loses thrust and has to be cleaned again. Since the intake for inboards is so far forward it seems to actually get raised up along with the bow and as it pushes water the intake is supplied with all that fresh water. This is just an observation and could be totally wrong. We do try and put some weight in the bow on my AK to fight this a bit and it does seem to help. The weight is usually my cousin but I figure one day I will hit bottom doing that before we get up on step and launch him off into the water. That will probably be the last time he agrees to that but I don't see a reason to warn him now

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    Default Outboads are pretty versatile

    I've found the outboards to be more useful since you can move them up/down etc to best suit your hull type, loads, etc. Inboards are pretty much set to the manufacturers specs. Thats fine if you don't like tinkering.
    I saw an interesting set-up at Manley last year. A 22ft boat with 2 outboards. One with a prop and the other with a jet. He runs the bigger river on a 75 prop then lowers and fires up the jet engine when he turns into the skinnier side rivers. A unique idea that gives several options to let you get more places.

  16. #16
    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    Inboard. I take the tub in the Big Su, Talkeetna, and side channels. Take her to Seward and hit big blue to pony cove with never a problem. The heat and defrost keeps the queen of the house hold happy. The kids love to sit on the dog house. I fish 4 on the ocean and have haulded six adults and gear with out a problem. 8 gallons an hour aint to bad. Winterization is a snap, since the pump and motor self drain them selves. Change the oil run it for 10 minutes, let the water drain on the incline of the drive way, done.

    I do have a 14 degree dead rise, so my haul is a little more user friendly in the ocean than most jet boats. $0.02
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  17. #17

    Default inboard

    I will take an inboard any day especially on skinny water. I can go places in my sport jon that the out board would struggle and that was riding in the water with people that own outboards on their boats! They said they simply wouldn't be able to do it. I've went by people in their boats and outboards wondering if they could make it. I would go through it and come back and they would decide that there was no way they were going to make it. Now, if I was running the Yukon and could use a prop, there would be a case where having the outboard with the jet and prop would be benficiail

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    Not sure if I missed something but is anyone talking about a sportjet. I don't mean to hijack the thread but is this a reasonable option. They seem to get good performance but I don't really know.

    Jimw, what is the setup of your boat? How well do you does it do in the big blue. I still can't decide if I, on my limited budget, should try and get a boat to do both ocean and river. If so, what's the best route to go.

  19. #19
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    If I was going to do river and ocean then I would lose the dreams of skinny water up front. I would go with a good outboard on a 20'-22' and set it up to be able to convert from jet to prop. This should cover you safely and cost effectively for everything from Deshka to PWS.

  20. #20
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Lujon,

    Would you recommend a jon with an outboard jet. I certainly can't afford an ocean boat and then a substantial river boat. I was thinking either a good jet boat that can handle ocean or an ocean boat and a jon with an outboard jet. Something like a 16-18 footer with a 50-75+ jet. Which route would you recommend.

    I realize there's no perfect boat I will never be able to afford 100K worth of boat. So I was thinking of a good ocean boat to go after fish, maybe some deer, then a simple river boat to get after fish, moose, and maybe some bou up north. Something like a G3 with an outboard jet.

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