What’s the difference between an outboard boat and an inboard boat?

Outboard motors for a boat are developed as an easily removed self-contained unit with engine, subsidiary systems, and propeller, designed to be mounted at the stern (rear) of the craft. They are the most common motorized method of propelling small water-craft. Outboard motors benefit from the ability to draw coolant from the water, eliminating the need for radiators and cooling fans, thereby simplifying the design and lowering component weight.


The inboard, or stern drive, is also called inboard/outboard (I/O), and is a form of marine propulsion. The engine (or upper unit) is located inboard just forward of the transom (stern) and delivers power via a shaft that goes through the transom to the drive unit (often referred to as the outdrive or lower unit) located outside the hull, which resembles the bottom half of an outboard. This unit contains the gearing for the system and carries the propeller. The boat is steered by pivoting this unit, just like with an outboard motor, and no rudder is needed.

Mercruiser inboard outdrive

The engine itself is usually the same as those used in true inboard systems, historically the most popular of which being marinized versions of Chevrolet and Ford V-8 automotive engines. In Europe diesel engines are more popular with up to 370hp available with Volvo Pentas D6A-370. The most popular brands of stern drive are Volvo Penta part of the Volvo Group and MerCruiser, produced by Brunswick Corporation’s Mercury Marine, which also manufactures outboard motors.


About WSB Distribution

WSB Distribution is the official Distributor of Wahoo Powerboats UK.

Posted on July 18, 2013, in Wahoo Powerboats and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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