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So I am looking to get into a bigger boat and am trying to really figure out if I want to go with an outboard or an I/O. Admittedly I don't know as much as I should on the subject so some of your opinions on the following criteria would be appreciated.

Ok so lets assume identical HP, both in top running condition....say 100 HP

overall weight....which is lighter? substantial difference?

fuel economy....generally which will be better? substantial difference?

floor space on the boat obviously goes to the outboard

maintenance costs.....which is cheaper for routine maintenance? bigger repairs?

Any other advantages one has over the other feel free to throw that in too!

Thanks
Chris
 

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I currently own an inboard 2.3 ltr. 18 foot boat. Have'nt ever owned a large h/p outboard but one advantage to the inboard is oil change and maintanance is similar to working on a car engine. One thing that would be nice for an outboard is when your trim gauge quit's you can see the engine tilt where as with the inboard you cant see the leg under water.
 

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More space with the outboard.

Easier to re-power if you so choose.

Power trims on i/o can be more durable if the tilt motor is inside the hull, outboard power trim motors often sit underwater, which can become problematic in the saltchuck.
 

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Outboard is lighter, stern drive legs from what I have seen require to much maintenance. Four stroke outboards are designed to run in the 4000 plus rpm range, stern drives are car motors not desgined for constant high rpm. We have four 150 hp Yamahas and 2 9.9 Yamahas 2 of the 150 are at 500 hrs the other 2 are at 275, oil and lube changes only.

Bret
 

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I think a lot of this answer has to do what you want to use the boat for and not just primarily. Obviously it is going to be for fishing but are you interested in wakeboarding/skiing/tubing? I just finished rebuilding my 140 Mercruiser and previously had a 55hp yamaha outboard so I can speak form both ends. First off, repowering a sterndrive is not hard at all, probably about the same as an outboard, I can pull my engine and drop it back in in 1.5hours, plus you can have a block rebuilt in a machine shop for $1000 try that with an outboard. The maintanence is IMO probably the same, all engines need oil changes regularily, all legs need oil changes regularily and all legs require to have the impellar replacedevery 1-2 years.

I think space vs Hp is going to be the big question, obviously the outboard will give you more space inside the boat but you lose the ability to have a full size swimgrid (barring a pod mount motor) sterndrives are also heavier but more powerful, better for watersports. Most 5.0L v8's pack about 300 hp and if you are the work on it yourself type the sterndrive is a huge advantage.

I was first cursing have my sterndrive (a few minor full rebuild issues) but now that it works great and is reliable I am happy with it, if I were to get a new boat I still don't know which way I would go.

Hope that helps your decision.
 

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I still run 2 strokes due to the lower initial cost, better low end torque, faster planing and great fuel mileage.

You don't see many I/O's on the WCVI or for long term moorage in salt water due to leg problems
 
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