outdriveWhat is the difference between inboard and outboard motors? Here are the main differences, pros and cons between these boat motors.


  • -An inboard motor is an automotive engine that has been adapted for use in a boat.

It is mounted inside the hull with a driveshaft that goes through the bottom of the hull to attach to the propeller at the other end.

  • -Steering is usually controlled by a rudder that is behind the propeller.


  • -Better fuel economy
  • -More maintenance at higher cost for that maintenance
  • -Cheaper to replace parts
  • -More powerful
  • -Because the weight is farther forward, the inboards are more stable
  • -Esthetically, looks better because the motor is mostly hidden
  • -Reduces drag because it is not protruding upward


  • -Tend to be heavier and slow down the boat
  • -Difficult to repair because of location
  • -Basic cost is usually higher


  • -An outboard motor is portable and self-contained.
  • -The engine, gear case and propeller are usually attached to the rear of the boat.
  • -Steering is controlled by swiveling the entire engine which directs the propeller thrust.


  • -Easier to operate
  • -More flexible (can usually be taken completely out of the water if needed)
  • -More room in the boat with the engine hanging off the back
  • -Removal for replacement is easier
  • -Cheaper than an inboard
  • -Minimal vibrations


  • -Esthetic appeal is lower because it is all in view
  • -The prop is not very deep in the water which could cause a bumpier ride
  • -Filling up the gas tank may be difficult as it is usually in an awkward position
  • -A sailboats balance can be compromised with a motor that is too large

If you’re trying to decide on a motor for your boat, consider all of your options. If you decide that an outboard motor is the best for you, then consider Tohatsu outboard motors for your choice.

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