How Do Inboard Motors Differ From Outboard Motors?

Inboard Motors

How do inboard motors and outboard motors really differ? It’s a fairly simple question to answer but it makes all the world’s difference in knowing what your maintenance needs are.

Inboard and outboard motors are sometimes a point of contention for boat owners: everyone has their own preference and opinions, while much of it simply boils down to context-specific applications and what you really want out of an engine. There are big differences between the two that are important to understand and, as a result, you need to know what maintenance requirements comes along with each option and what kind of considerations there are. Let’s break down the basic differences between the two kinds of motors.

What Makes Inboard Motors Special?

When it comes to inboard motors, it’s all in the name: most components of an inboard motor are in the boat, like the motor, gears, and cooling system. For larger vessels, like cabin cruisers or yachts, inboards are sometimes the only option. The main talking points include:

  • Tend to be significantly more quiet than outboards.
  • Minimal external hardware which makes for a sleeker profile.
  • Provide much more power, which is why they are suitable for larger boats.
  • Require a professional to service—but Tidewater can handle that.
  • Take up much more space than outboards.

What About Outboard Motors?

Outboard motors are self-contained, meaning that every aspect of the engine is built into the unit itself. Typically, they are used to power smaller boats, but when multiple outboards are used together, they can be suitable for larger boats. Details include:

  • Easy removal for servicing or replacement.
  • Can be raised out of the water—great for smaller boats docking in shallow water.
  • Tend to be inexpensive to maintain or purchase outright if working with a smaller vessel.

What’s Right For You?

Really, it boils down to what kind of boat you’re working with. Smaller speedboats or pontoons simply don’t have room for inboards (or the need for that kind of power or maneuverability). Larger cabin cruisers and yachts benefit from the quiet, steady operation that comes with inboards. Make sure you’re aware of what kind of engine you’re working with so you can properly service it and follow the right maintenance steps.

Reach Out to Tidewater Today!

If you’re in the greater Baltimore area and are in need of boat services, contact Tidewater Yacht Service at 410-625-4992 or by email at Our location is at 321 East Cromwell Street Baltimore, MD 21230. Get in touch with us today! Whether you need hauling, systems repaired, or storage, we have the experience and expertise to help. We’ve been providing our services to the Chesapeake Bay for over 30 years and know how to properly handle your vessel with care.


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This entry was posted on Friday, November 9th, 2018 at 1:18 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.