Why Buy a Four-Stroke Outboard vs. Inboard/Outboard Stern Drive

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Four-stroke outboard motors are becoming increasingly popular over inboard/outboard stern drive motors on pleasure and ski boats for a variety of reasons. That’s why all of NauticStar’s Deck Boats are factory installed with high performance Yamaha outboard motors. So why should you choose an outboard over a inboard/outboard motor? Here are just a few advantages the outboard has over the stern drives:

  • Outboards are designed specifically for boating. Inboard/outboards are just “marinized” automobile engines stuck in a boat.
  • Outboards provide more room in the boat because they are installed on the transom, outside the boat. I/O engines are in the cockpit which takes up a lot of the boat that can be used for other features and comfort.
  • The Yamaha four strokes offer higher performance–quicker to plane, quicker 0 to 30 MPH, and faster top-end per HP.
  • Four-stroke outboards offer much better fuel economy, less GPH, more MPG than I/O motors.
  • Outboards offer better power to weight ratio. Typical a four-stroke outboard is approximately 400 to 500 pounds lighter than its inboard/outboard counterpart.
  • Outboards have a more shallow draft allowing you to fish and boat in skinnier water than you can with an I/O.
  • Outboard motors are much more accessible and require less maintenance, no winterizing, and easier to work with the outboard outside the boat.
  • Fiberglass outboard registrations have historically outpace I/Os. In other words, more people want four-stroke outboards.*
  • A boat equipped with an outboard is easier to repower or trade up to more HP or newer technology. To replace an inboard/outboard motor would be much more costly.

*Source: Statistical Surveys LLC.