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Thread: I/O vs. Outboard?

  1. #1

    Default I/O vs. Outboard?

    OK, so I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I can't find it on the search. So I'm hoping you all can help me out with your recomendations.

    My wife gave me the OK to get a new boat for next summer. But, I'm going back and forth between an I/O vs. an outboard. Everyone tells me to go with an outboard due to reliablity. However, I like knowing that I could work on an inboard if need be. I've also heard that it is cheaper to replace an inboard motor and outdrive for cheaper than it is an entire outboard.

    Here's what I know:
    • I'm getting an alluminum 22-26 foot ocean boat
    • Considering Boulton or Wooldridge (Wooldridge told me they don't do I/O's on their ocean boats)
    • The room the dog house takes up with an I/O won't bother me
    • Boat will be used for fishing, but more often for family outings
    Thanks in advance for any recomendations!

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I'll probably forget a few items but here is the upside of o/b's

    No doghouse, a 22-26' boat really isn't that big, you want every possible square foot you can get and the doghouse takes up most of the fishing deck, not to mention no place to put a couple of large coolers to hold fish and refreshments.

    Since the doghouse is located where your fuel tank would be for an o/b, the fuel tank takes up additional space.

    O/B's are much easier to work on, just pull the couling and you have full access to the engine. Doghouses are made as small as possible, which makes working on the engine a PITA.

    Large below the waterline hole in hull. I can't like anything go through the hull below the waterline, especially something really, really big.

    Twins, you can go with twins w/ o/b's which provides additional manuverability and if sized properly, one of them will still get you up on plane and back home vs. limping in on a kicker.

    I don't see the advantage of i/o unless you get to 30' and larger vessels where you can run a diesel for fuel savings, and big enough that the engine is below deck.

  3. #3
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Ohhhhhh....

    .... how I hate I/Os! Just hate 'em. Take up space, hard to work on, not easily pulled, problematic tilt, harder to beach, gas in bilge hazard... I could go on.
    Did I say how much I hate them?

  4. #4
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Ruger01, you said "new boat", so I'm assuming you meant brand-spankin' new and not just new to you. If that's the case, I'd definitely agree with the reasons already stated to go with outboard(s). Even if you're getting a used boat, I'd still be looking for outboards, but it would all depend on what you find and at what price...in this case I wouldn't totally rule out an I/O setup.

  5. #5
    Member bhollis's Avatar
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    Default

    Here are a few pros of the I/O:
    • Pretty much your only option if you want diesel (although I wouldn't recommend a diesel in a boat the size you're considering)
    • Better weight distribution
    • No outboards to fish over/around
    • Inboard engine provides cabin heat/defroster
    I won't list the cons, as others already have.

    On balance, for a boat the size you're looking at, I think I'd go outboard. OTOH, if you come across a good deal on a I/O boat that otherwise meets your needs, I wouldn't reject it out of hand just because it's got an I/O. I've had two boats, both with I/O engines, and I've been very happy with both.

  6. #6

    Default One vote for Inboard

    I like the inboard, over the years it's grown on me. The cost of replacing the engine block itself is peanuts compared to a new outboard. I like having open space off the back for fighting fish and a cooler on the swim step. My doghouse is the perfect height, some are huge and can't be walked across without a step ladder and some are low, they are no good for a table and become a trip hazzard. Mine is great for cleaning fish, eating lunch, and speech podium for addressing the crew about how many fish they need to catch before you will bring them home.

    The best thing is the heater/defroster, that can't be beat!

  7. #7

    Default inboard fuel injected is hard to work on

    Try replacing a starter in the parking lot let alone bobbing in the ocean. Same thing with electric fuel pump. You at least want to be able to pull your plugs to dry them out if necessary. You can't exactly fix an ignition module or time the **** thing without following extra procedure either. All pains in the butt (been there). Oh yeah, several bellows through the outdrive, the smallest most brittle one being the throttle/shift bellows which is very thin and leaks easily...direct stream running down inside of transom. Plus what everyone else said. I won't do it again though many people have good luck. It's only a matter of time though. At least I'm honest.

  8. #8
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default Outboards seem

    to get better fuel economy.
    2000 Bayliner Ciera Express 2452
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    Own both. Wooldridge with an outboard and a Sea Sport with an inboard. It is a personal choice but the first boat we looked at while ocean boat shopping had twin outboards and my wife about threw a fit. She said no way no how would she fish around those motors hanging way off the back end.
    Inboards are cheaper initally and for replacement. Take care of one and can't see any reason why it couldnt last 3,000 hours. Pretty easy to fit parts for, and mileage is really good. Average 2.2 mpg in our Sea Sport running high 20's with it's 8.1 liter 385 hp. Seriously doubt twin 200's could match that plus they would cost almost double the 8.1.

    Dog house? yep, ours is about 12 inches high and is a great place to sit on while fishing. Engine harder to work on? Most likely but cant say for sure as I never had to. Lose space? Have 2 gigantic fish wells on our 24 footer and we use one for storage. The other one is so huge it could easily hold a miminum of 1,000 pounds of fish so it ends up holding the rope, buoy, etc.

    We went inboard mainly for two reasons. No huge outboards hanging off the back of the boat and wife wanted heat and defroster while we were running. Maintence? Once a year change the oil and the fuel filters.

    If you need around 350-400 hp I think choosing inboard over twin outboards would probably save enough money to pay for your boat gas for many years.

    There are no right or wrong choices. Just make the choice that is right for you and your family.
    Tennessee

  10. #10
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    I have run only outboards and love them for the reasons stated. The heat/defrost issue always comes up as a pro for the I/O and a con for the OB. I have a question for you I/O guys: How well does your heater work while kicking back on the hook? I solved the problem, my ESPAR rocks while I am running or at anchor.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  11. #11

    Default

    Sea Sports are obviously fiberglass and loaded with carpet, and covered padding in certain places. The ceiling has an interior piece of fiberglass panel for looks and covers a space about an inch or so, wires run in this space. Then the roof itself is actually two inches solid core with fiberglass and plywood in addition to all that. All in all the boat is extremely well insulated. Running the defrost is short lived before the door must be opened, it gets really warm fast, I always run with a window open a bit. On the hook, I have a little Coleman Black Cat tent heater, about the size of a sunflower, we turn that on for a few minutes and if there are at least four people inside we shut it down quickly.

    If four people are sleeping inside, no heater is needed and this is with ice covering the exterior of the boat! Happens every year!

    (The insulation factor is the key! New modern green buildings like shopping malls are using the people to heat them because of the insulation technology is so effective.)

  12. #12
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    I have run only outboards and love them for the reasons stated. The heat/defrost issue always comes up as a pro for the I/O and a con for the OB. I have a question for you I/O guys: How well does your heater work while kicking back on the hook? I solved the problem, my ESPAR rocks while I am running or at anchor.
    Dont know, never use the heater while on the hook as we are fishing off the deck
    Tennessee

  13. #13
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    Default Hot water tank

    One other item that is a benefit of inboards is a hot water tank that seems to stay warm for 12 hours. It is nice to have hot water for showers & dishes. On smaller boats I wonder about the Volvo d3 diesel? It might be the ticket. I have the d4 and so far no problem. The MPG seems to be great compared to outboards and gas inboards, but I do admit the price tag is tough to swallow.
    Twin outboards do temp me but the MPG is not there when you compare to diesel. But diesel comes at a $$$. I could have bought twins and a kicker for what I have in my main.
    So what would I do if i started again?? If I wanted to beach often and was on the water for less then 150 hour per year I would have gone for twin outboards. Stick in the ocean and put on miles, single diesel and gas kicker.

    My 2 bits

    Chuck

  14. #14
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    This is a never vicious, never ending cycle that gets hammered every spring. I like my outboards, I like my ESPAR, I like my insulated cabin, and I like my water heater (yes I have one even with outboards). I suspect that a boat in the size that you are looking for will hold its value better with outboards. Just a thought. My beer is empty. Time to hit the kegerator. Kodiak brown this time.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Default high five on the kodiak brown!

    Pick your poison, each has their merits. The bottom line, get out there and enjoy!!!

  16. #16
    Member ocnfish's Avatar
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    Default One more thought

    This is documented quite well, It is not just the motor it is HP in the water.

    Jet drive about 12% to 15% efficient

    Single Stainless Steel prop about 20% to 22% efficient

    Duoprop Stainless Steel counter rotating props about 30% efficient

    Twin engines are less efficient that one engine.

    That is why my 9,000 lb Osprey has a comfortable 30 mph cruise and tops out at 44 mph with a 280 hp 5.7 GM marine power.

  17. #17
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default One thing I don't know if it was mentioned

    You can PULL start and outboard with a dead battery!
    Have fun pull starting that v-8
    2000 Bayliner Ciera Express 2452
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  18. #18
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskanmutt View Post
    You can PULL start and outboard with a dead battery!
    Have fun pull starting that v-8
    Have you tried pull starting your 140? I bet you cannot start it. Especially with the cheesy little pull string that the manufacturer supplies.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  19. #19
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default I tossed

    the cheesy one ( I swear I actually thought it was someone playing a joke on me) And bought a real pull rope

    But I have pull started it

    Once. ONLY once

    And I hope to God never again. But I did it in the driveway when I got it just to make sure I could.

    Could I do it again? I would have to read the manual again and probably could. If my life depended on it. I do know I would spend the next few weeks recovering (bad shoulders)

    A few years ago my buddies Honda BF90's starter quit working. We pull started that pig all weekend long. THEN we noticed that the ground strap had gotten caught when he had the motor up all the way and when he lowered it it had yanks the ground out of the lug. Fun weekend.
    2000 Bayliner Ciera Express 2452
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  20. #20
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskanmutt View Post
    You can PULL start and outboard with a dead battery!
    Have fun pull starting that v-8

    Geez, pull start a 140? My old Yamaha 115 has a spot for a rope on the flywheel, my DF 140 has no such thing?
    Your Suzuki does?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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