How To Choose An Inboard Motor Read Count : 103

Category : Blogs

Sub Category : Miscellaneous
When doing your research on the equipment you’ll need on your new boat, you’ll need to consider a lot of different things. That includes your boat gas tank bladder, the tech you’ll have on board, and even the amount of deck space you have. 

One of the most important things you’ll need to consider though, is the motor. You have the choice of an inboard or outboard motor, so why would you go with an inboard motor? If you are choosing this option, which one is right for you? Let’s find out. 

Inboard Vs Outboard Engines

With most equipment, like your marine fuel bladder, there won’t be huge amounts of variation between different types. Unlike that fuel bladder for boats though, there really is a difference when it comes to your motor. What’s the difference between an outboard and inboard motor?

An outboard engine is one that you’ll see installed on the outside of the boat, typically at the stern. They’re used to power and steer the boat. An inboard motor, however, will be installed inside the boat. You’ll most likely find them either in the bilge or in an engine room, if you have a larger boat. 

Your inboard engine will need rudders for steering, and these are placed behind the propeller. With an inboard engine, your boat won’t pivot in the way it would with an outboard engine. As such, boats with inboard engines are steered with a wheel instead of a tiller. 

Why Consider An Inboard Motor?

The next question to ask is, why would an inboard motor be right for you? That’s the question no matter what equipment you’re buying, whether it’s your navigation system or a boat gas tank bladder. If you’re going to consider getting this type of motor, it has to be the right one for you. 

There are several reasons why you may want to go for an inboard motor rather than an outboard one. Firstly, they’re often a lot quieter than outboard ones, so if you want a more peaceful trip on the water then they will be for you. 

Another common reason for picking an inboard engine is because they offer more safety for anyone who is being towed behind the boat. They’re a common motor for those who use their boats for watersports, partly for this reason. The motor offers great waves for wakeboarding, for example. You can even get inboard motors with ballast, that creates different types of waves. 

Of course, if your motor is inside the hull, that allows you to have plenty of room on deck. That means more room for lounging, get set up for fishing, or even place a marine fuel bladder should you want to. 

Picking The Right Type Of Inboard Engine

Again, much like a fuel bladder for boats, hulls, or any other boating equipment, there are actually different types of inboard engine that you can get for your boat. Let’s see what’s available to you:

Direct drive (D-drive): This is a common system that you’ll see on a lot of inboard motors. In these systems, the engine faces aft and will connect to a drive shaft that will come out through the bottom of the boat. These are very simple systems that make the motor highly reliable, however they do sometimes need to be moved further forward. That reduces space for seating, cabins, and equipment like a boat gas tank bladder. 

V- drive:  The V-drive motor gets its name from the way its installed in your boat. The motor sits facing forward, and the transmission redirects the drive shaft towards the stern. That’s what creates that V shape. This will allow for extra space, so you can add in that marine fuel bladder or extra seating as needed. However, you will lose some efficiency in the engine by using this configuration.

Hydro-jet engines: These engines are created specifically for jet-skis and small speedboats. If that’s the type of boat you have, you’ll want to look into these. 

Z-drive: This is somewhat of a hybrid between an inboard and outboard motor. The engine block will be placed inside the hull, and it’s connected to a base plate in a similar manner to an outboard engine. The base plate is connected to a propeller, and when turning, the base plate pivots to move you in that direction. 

Considerations When Getting An Inboard Engine

As with any motor you get for your boat, there will be some considerations that you have to make when thinking about an inboard engine. This includes: 

Size: Having an inboard engine will affect your boat, as they’re typically larger and heavier. When you have a heavier boat, that’s going to make it harder to transport when needed. Also, think about how you’ll store the boat. You’ll most likely need more space for a boat with an inboard engine.

Cost: Cost is always going to be big factor in which kind of boat motor you get. You’re paying out for a lot of things with a new boat, and it’s not just the equipment like the boat gas tank bladder. You’ll need to insure the boat, and with an inboard engine, that insurance will be more expensive. 

You’ll also see that inboard engines will typically be more expensive than outboard ones. You’ll need to factor that into your budget, if you want one. 

Operation: Many feel that it’s better to get an inboard engine if you’re an experienced boater, as they’re more difficult to dock. If you’re a new boater, that’s something that you want to keep in mind. 

Maintenance: Like everything else on your boat, like the deck, your fuel bladder for boats, and all your equipment, you’ll need to do maintenance on your inboard engine. As they’re located in the bilge, they can be damaged by moisture. They’re also more difficult to access. 

There are lots of things you need to consider when you’re choosing between an inboard and outboard engine. Each type of motor is best for someone, so do your research and see what suits you. 


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