New boat: I/O vs. O/B?


Old 08-06-07, 07:50 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 224
New boat: I/O vs. O/B?

I'm looking at buying a new boat.
I'm planning to use it for waterskiing/tubing etc. as well as just cruising around. I have cottage on a small lake in NH. approx 1 square mile. litterally accross the street is Lake Winnipisaukee. (very large 45,000 acre lake). I anticipate that the majority of the time will be spent on my small lake, but occasionally I would trailer over to the big lake for a day or two on a weekend.
The two boats I've narrowed down to are:
Four Winns 190 Horizon with 225hp efi Volvo Penta or a
Key West 176 Dual Consol with 115 hp Honda EFI four stroke O/B.

Does anyone have an opinion on which motor/ or boat I should go with?
My biggest question is whether to get the I/O or I/B.
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Old 08-06-07, 05:49 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 65
i'm interested in the replies also, i am on my 2nd outboard now, and i like the simplicity of them, and everything is "right there" in front of you, no bellows to dry out and leak, and if something major ever happened, i know the motor can just unbolt off the back, and be replaced. i also like how easy it is to work on the motor at eye level instead of being bent over upside done in the damn motor compartment that has about 6" of clearance around the motor. outbaords are usually louder (but that 4-stroker should be nice and quiet). Winterizing is a snap, 1/2 hour and your done. One other thing i like, since i fish too, is that the motor is all in back, so there's no big hump in the center of the rear, makes a little more room inside. i will prob keep this boat a few yrs and upgrade, but i too would like to see what people say to this question. I've heard response is a little quicker and you get a little more thrust out of an outbaord too, just not sure how this is figured, maybe because it's more of a "direct drive"??
Old 08-07-07, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,268
You're going to get responses leaning both ways - they each have their virtues. Personally, I've owned many, many boats over the years, including inboards, in/outs, and outboards - and prefer a straight inboard over all others. But - that's not in your post - so I'll leave that out.

It depends on a lot of factors as to which is better for your needs. Both are relatively the same as far as how they push the boat - both have lower units that drive the prop at a relatively shallow depth. The inboard engine offers more power - and more low end torque - which is valuable when pulling up a slalom skier (or multiple slalom skiers) out of the water. On the other hand, it also has more weight - which uses up a lot of that horsepower just getting the boat out of the hole. With the proper prop - that inboard will give you better hole shot - but less top end. You are able to prop the in/out to provide better top speed, but sacrifice the towing power you need for skiers.

The outboard will rev higher - and, when propped properly, will provide higher top speed - but that sacrifices low end torque. It's quieter - but has that nasty high pitched whine common to outboards (nothing like the exhaust of a well tuned small block - though with most in/outs, you lose that with a through hub exhaust). One good point above is - you get more room inside the boat with an outboard - though, since I never overload my boats - it's never an issue.

Maintenance may, or may not, be an issue. I find an inboard (in/out) a lot easier for the DIYer to work on - since it's nothing more than a slightly modified automobile engine. When that outboard needs maintenance - be prepared to pay through the nose for competent service. I can rebuild a Chevy/Ford in my garage - which I cannot do with a Honda/Evinrude/Mercury.

Ask a lot of questions - do some serious test driving under actual conditions that you plan to use the boat for.... and when you finally write the check - you'll know you got the one you wanted that works best for you. Good luck!
Old 08-08-07, 11:59 AM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389

For what you want to do Id for sure go with an in/out

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