The eight major reasons why outboard engines are more popular nowadays than sterndrives are as follows:
- Better performance
- Lighter weight
- More efficiency
- Easier maintenance
- Better draft
- Tiltable design
- More storage and seating capacity
If you want to drill into the details, this post is for you.
We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know under one roof!
8 Reasons Why Outboard Motors Are Now So Popular
1. Better Performance
There’s no question that one of the major reasons why outboards are so popular nowadays is how great the performance is of the latest models.
New outboard motors are not only quieter and cleaner but also more powerful than their outdated predecessors.
Today’s smooth 4-stroke and powerful direct fuel injected 2-stroke outboards have great HP ratings along with much better reliability and durability.
As a rule of thumb, a 100 HP outboard produces about the same performance as a 125 HP sterndrive. (This unwritten fact is true in virtually any horsepower scale.)
First, outboards are not only lighter but they are also mounted on the stern of the boat instead of sitting inside the hull. This position ensures better efficiency, which translates to better acceleration and a higher top speed.
This also means that an outboard can get the boat to plane faster and with less effort.
2. Lower Weight
Since outboards are significantly lighter than inboard engines, they offer a much better power-to-weight ratio.
This not only ensures better performance but also makes the boat easier to tow and handle out of the water.
You can expect to have the best power-to-weight ratios on 2-stroke outboards.
3. Better Fuel Economy
Thanks to their efficient design and light weight, an outboard offers a better fuel economy than an inboard engine.
This translates to lower running costs and a better fuel range!
4. Easier Maintenance
Another reason why outboards are so popular is that they are much easier to fix and maintain than inboards.
Since they are mounted on the stern, outboards are more accessible. When the boat is sitting on the trailer you can work on the engine conveniently and effortlessly.
In contrast, inboard engines are typically nestled in tight spaces that are hard to access, making maintenance more difficult.
Thanks to their simplicity, outboard engines can be maintained more easily by yourself if you are mechanically inclined.
On top of that, certain outboards come with a whopping warranty of 5-6 years.
5. Better Draft
Unlike sterndrives, outboards allow you to trim the propeller much higher, which ensures a very shallow draft.
This feature lets the boat go into shallower waters. This can be a game-changer for fishermen who want to explore shallow areas!
6. Can be Tilted Out of the Water
One of the biggest drawbacks of sterndrives is that they can’t be tilted out of the water when they are not in use. This means that if the boat is moored in saltwater, the propulsion system is exposed to corrosion and marine life.
In contrast, outboards can be tilted all the way up, which keeps the propeller and the entire lower unit out of the water.
7. More Storage and Seating Capacity
Another advantage of outboard engines is that they are located outside of the hull, so they don’t take up passenger or storage space inside the boat.
This can be a game-changer, especially for smaller boats where interior space is always a big concern.
No matter how carefully the location of an inboard engine is designed, it takes up a lot of space in the interior. Therefore, if you are looking for the maximum capacities available, an outboard is the only way to go.
Last but not least, don’t forget that outboards provide great flexibility.
If they are worn out or get damaged, outboards can be replaced relatively easily. For example, while it takes days to replace an inboard engine, the same process for an outboard only takes a couple of hours.
Therefore, this swappable design gives you the opportunity to easily repower your boat, even annually if necessary.
What’s more, you can choose from a wide variety of sizes and brands of outboards, while the available inboard engine options are usually much more limited.
Conclusion – Why are Outboards Becoming More Popular?
It seems more and more customers are switching to outboards from inboard boat engines nowadays, and with good reason.
Outboards are lighter and more efficient, so they ensure better power-to-weight ratio and performance. This also translates to faster acceleration and higher top speeds along with better fuel mileage.
Another advantage of outboards is that they can be tilted completely out of the water. This allows the boat to run in many shallow areas.
What’s more, the propeller can be completely tilted out of the water, which helps prevent corrosion and buildup. This can be especially advantageous if the boat is moored full-time in corrosive saltwater.
Outboards are also much easier to maintain and replace than inboard engines. Since they hang on the stern of the boat they are easy to access, whether on water or on land.
On top of that, outboards don’t take up space inside of the boat, ensuring more storage and passenger space. This can be very important on small boats where space is always very limited.
Sure, outboards have their drawbacks, as they have a much more exposed propeller, and don’t allow for the regular large swim platform or a sun pad.
Despite this, the growing popularity of outboards is unstoppable!