What’s the difference between sterndrive and outboard motors?

“There are two choices to power your craft: outboard or stern (inboard) drive. Outboards provide more room in the boat because they are installed on the transom, outside the boat. A sterndrive combines inboard power with outboard drive. The engine sits just forward of the transom while the drive unit (outdrive or drive leg) lies outside the hull.

“Ten years ago, if you wanted more than 200 HP, stern drives were your only option,” says Joe Lewis, General Manager at Mt. Dora Boating Center & Marina. “That’s not the case today. Outboards in the 200, 250 and even 300 HP range are common place.”

Both engines have advantages, depending on the kind of boat you have and the activities you’re planning, be it fishing, cruising or watersports. Outboards are the best choice to power pontoons and tritoons simply because of the boat configuration. “There isn’t a good place for an inboard engine on a pontoon/tritoon to be installed,” Lewis notes.”

Read more on the differences between the two motors here.

People who are more interested in watersports like water skiing will find that a sterndrive might be more beneficial. These types of engines allow for quicker and sharper turns and generally aren’t in the way of the skier. Maintenance-wise both engines are fairly similar.

At Robbinsdale Marine we offer used and rebuild outboard engine sales from the most popular brands. Call us at 763-533-0300 if you’re in the market for a great outboard motor!

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