So you have finally decided you are in the position to buy a boat. Do you have some uses already in mind? Do you plan on fishing or using your boat as more of a pleasure craft? Do you expect to have a number of people one the boat or will ease of getting on and off be important. If you said yes to any of the above questions, you may want to consider getting a boat with a stern drive.
This drive is a propulsion system that is also sometimes referred to as an inboard-outboard drive. Basically, if one was to imagine a cross between an outboard motor and an inboard one, you would have the stern drive. It has some distinct advantages over the other types of propulsion systems and careful consideration can help a prospective purchaser choose the right one for their boat.
First, let us start with aesthetics and ease of getting in and out of a boat. In these categories, the stern drive and the inboard system are generally considered to be superior. Both lack an exterior motor which could interrupt the line of the boat’s appearance. While this may be only a small consideration for some, it could be a problem if one was planning on using the boat for water skiing, swimming, fishing, or scuba diving. With water skiing, scuba diving, and swimming, an outboard motor can obstruct entry into the boat from the water. When fishing, an exposed outboard motor can become an obstruction to one’s fishing line. The last thing someone wants is something on their boat that will potentially interfere with their hooking the big one.
Next, take the amount of available space in the boat into consideration. This is particularly important if you plan to use the boat as a pleasure craft and especially important if you want to have sleeping quarters Final Drive Motors or a small galley. The outboard motor is, hands down the champion in this area. All the motor is outside the boat! However, the power limitations or appearance of the outboard might make it less attractive. When comparing this drive versus the inboard drive, the stern drive is more economical on interior space because various linkages and rudder systems are not needed. The result is less equipment in the boat and, therefore, more usable space that can be used for passengers, amenities, and other features.
When it comes to power, this drive sits between the outboard and the inboard motor. There is considerably more available horsepower to the propeller than the outboard. Although the motor used is the same as that in inboard systems, the drive does not have quite the same power.
It should be noted that conscientious maintenance and responsible motor boating will mitigate the chance of extensive repairs. Additionally, a fresh air blower system may be a good idea because an enclosed engine will build up gasoline vapor when not used and these may ignite when the engine is turned over.