If you are in the market for a boat, one of the biggest decisions you need to make is which type of engine you want. Whether you choose an outdrive (also known as sterndrive) or an inboard will depend on your needs and what you want to use the boat for. Here we will break down the basics of the two and you can choose for yourself.
An outdrive boat has a sterndrive inboard/outdrive motor with a lower outboard that connects through the transom to the inboard engine. This style of engine is common on boats less than 30 feet long and is extremely popular due to the many advantages it has over a standard inboard. Its speed and performance surpass that of the inboard and you’ll be able to maneuver and steer easily, even in shallow water. Where the inboard may have an edge on the sterndrive is when it comes to maintenance. If you plan on using your boat in saltwater, corrosion is a major issue you will want to watch for. Inboard boats fair better in saltwater and usually result in fewer maintenance problems. Inboard motors create a smooth and stable ride due to their position deep in the hull of the boat. These engines are completely submerged and usually found on larger boats that re 30 feet or more.
If you are having a difficult time making your decision, it often boils down to the size of your boat and the type of water you will be in. A sterndrive is ideal for a smaller boat in freshwater and an inboard is better for the larger watercraft that will be used in saltwater. It never hurts to consult a marine professional when making a big decision like purchasing a boat.