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  • Writer's pictureSpencer Kent

Outboard vs. Inboard Motors

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

When it comes to choosing the right propulsion system for your yacht, the decision between an outboard and inboard motor is a crucial one. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that can significantly impact your boating experience.

Let's dive into the basics before exploring the pros and cons of both outboard and inboard motors.

Understanding the Basics

Outboard Motors

Outboard motors are portable units mounted on the transom of the boat. They typically consist of an engine, gearbox, and propeller and are designed to be easily removed for maintenance or storage.

Inboard Motors

Inboard motors, on the other hand, are fixed within the hull of the boat. They are situated below the deck and are connected to the propeller by a shaft that runs through the hull.

The Differences

Now that we have a basic understanding, let's explore the distinctive features that set outboard and inboard motors apart.

Size and Portability




Compact and portable, easy to remove for maintenance or storage.

Excellent maneuverability, as they can be rotated in any direction.

Can be easily tilted out of the water, reducing drag and improving speed.


Permanently fixed within the hull, making them less portable and requiring more effort for maintenance.

Typically have less maneuverability due to their fixed position.

Generally provides better balance and stability, especially in rough waters.

Advantages & Disadvantages for Outboard & Inboard Motors




Trimming Capabilities: The entire engine can be trimmed, allowing your boat to navigate shallower waters effortlessly. When not in use, the outboard motor can be trimmed out of the water, minimizing the risk of corrosion, growth on the drive system, and the need for frequent maintenance on the engine. This dual functionality makes outboard motors a versatile and convenient choice for boaters looking for both performance and easy maintenance

Versatility: Their portability makes them suitable for a variety of boat sizes and types.

Maneuverability: Outboards offer superior maneuverability, making docking and navigating tight spaces a breeze.

Performance: Inboard motors often deliver better overall performance, especially in larger vessels.

Weight Distribution: They contribute to a more balanced weight distribution, enhancing stability in challenging conditions.

Aesthetics: Inboards provide a cleaner, sleeker look as the motor is hidden within the hull.


Limited Power: In general, outboard motors may have limitations in terms of power, affecting performance in larger boats.

Aesthetics: Some boat owners find the appearance of outboard motors less appealing.

Complex Maintenance: Inboard motors are more challenging to access for routine maintenance and repairs.

Cost: Installation and maintenance costs for inboard motors can be higher than their outboard counterparts.

Maneuverability: Inboards may not offer the same level of maneuverability, particularly in tight spaces.

Ultimately, the choice between an outboard and inboard motor depends on your boating preferences, the type of vessel you own, and your intended use. Both options have their merits and drawbacks, so it's crucial to weigh these factors against your specific needs.

Whether you lean towards prioritizing maintenance simplicity, crave optimal performance, or place aesthetics at the forefront, striking the right balance ensures that your maritime adventures unfold seamlessly. As you embark on this journey of choice, we invite you to reach out with any lingering questions or uncertainties. Our dedicated team of brokers is more than eager to assist you in navigating the intricacies of inboard and outboard motors. Smooth seas await, and we're here to help you set sail with confidence!

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