inboard vs outboard motor

The inboard vs outboard motor debate is like comparing apples and oranges. Sure, both provide propulsion but in different ways. Each has its own pros and cons, so finding the best option for you will depend on the specific needs of your boat and the type of boating you plan to do.

What is an Inboard Motor?

Inboard motors are an ideal choice for boats designed for longer trips, heavier loads, and occasional high speeds. They have the power to take on calm waters, and large swells, as well as rougher coastal and deep sea waters. Inboard motors are mounted on the hull of the boat, either transversely or longitudinally, and generally theyre heavier and more expensive than outboard motors.

Inboard motors typically run on diesel or gasoline fuel and require regular maintenance, such as oil changes and anticorrosion treatments, to keep them operating at peak performance. Plus, theyre integrated into the boats power, so if something goes seriously wrong, youll need to have the inboard motor removed to have it repaired. 

What is an Outboard Motor?

Outboard motors are designed for smaller, lighter boats used mainly for recreation and short trips. They have an advantage in that they can be detached from the boat and transported to a dealer for repairs or to be changed more easily. Theyre usually more lightweight than inboard motors and are gasolinepowered. Commonly, owners will use multiple outboard motors to match the power of an inboard while keeping the convenience of an outboard motor.

Outboard motors are mounted on the transom of the boat, so theyre less of a hindrance when it comes to storage and service. Plus, theyre generally cheaper than inboard motors. On the downside, they cant produce the same power or thrust that an inboard engine can and are more likely to require maintenance due to their exposure to the elements.

What Type Of Boat Motor Should You Get?

Which is better for your boat depends on the size of your boat, the type of boating you plan to do, your budget, and the amount of maintenance youre willing to put into the motor. Inboard motors offer greater thrust and power, but involve more maintenance and cost more than an outboard motor. Outboard motors are more economical, easier to maintain, but dont always have the same power. Ultimately, choosing between an inboard and outboard motor is up to you.