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Difference Between Inboard and Outboard Motors

Inboard vs Outboard Motors

There are two common types of boat motors, and their names are derived in the way that they are attached to the boat. Outboard motors are mounted outside the hull on the stern of the boat while inboard motors are mounted inside the hull and often in the center of the boat. There are quite a few considerations in choosing either type of motor, and one is sometimes better than the other for certain needs.

A boat can typically accommodate bigger and more powerful inboard motors than outboard motors. This is mainly because of the position of the motor in the boat. Being mounted in the center, the weight of the inboard motor is more evenly distributed compared to an outboard motor which is mounted on the rear. Having too big of an outboard motor can make the boat unbalanced. Inboard motors also provide a lower center of gravity compared to outboard motors where the weight of the motor is mounted fairly high. A lower center of gravity makes the boat more stable and less likely to capsize when hit by a strong wave or if the weight on top moves to one side.

An outboard motor is rather simple and often doesn’t require a separate rudder since the motor itself is turned to change directions. But it is necessary for the pilot to sit at the stern of the boat. Since an inboard motor cannot change its directionality, a separate rudder is needed to steer the boat. It adds another layer of complexity but gives the freedom of having the pilot sit up front.

The main drawback of inboard motors is the difficulty in servicing them once something goes wrong. Outboard motors are easily accessible since they are located on the outside. They can even be removed to be brought to a shop for repairs. On the other hand, inboard motors are located under the boat and are only accessible through a hatch or a door. This isn’t too big of a problem for large ships since they have dedicated engine rooms with space to work with. But with small boats, it is often too cramped and difficult to work on.


1.An outboard motor is mounted outside the hull of the boat while an inboard motor is mounted inside the hull of the boat.
2.Inboard motors are typically bigger and more powerful than outboard motors.
3.Inboard motors provide a lower center of gravity than outboard motors.
4.Inboard motors require a separate rudder while outboard motors don’t.
5.Inboard motors are more difficult to service than outboard motors.

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