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Thread: Outdrives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Outdrives

    Looked at the Boston Whaler jet boat. Very cute, but ...
    the seller had only owned it for a couple of months, very nice guy, but I think itís the small boat version of a real estate flipper. My son is gonna do a test drive for fun.

    Next question: should he stay away from inboard-outboards? Does the industry even make them anymore?
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  2. #2
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    Jul 2010
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    Tampa Bay, Gunshine State
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    Default Re: Outdrives

    Can't speak to your " next question " but good move shying away from the whaler. Donzi built a little 13' bow rider jet boat with those OMC jet drives years ago. (Sort of ashamed to say I lofted that homely thing.) It didn't sell well and the ones they sold went on craigslist a couple years later. The powerplants were problematic.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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    823

    Default Re: Outdrives

    Inboard outboards - MerCruiser and Volvo are fine
    Stay away from any OMC as they have been out of business for a long time
    Also Yamaha - only made for a year or 2 and parts are unobtanium

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Do you have a warrant?
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    Default Re: Outdrives

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    Looked at the Boston Whaler jet boat. Very cute, but ...
    the seller had only owned it for a couple of months, very nice guy, but I think it’s the small boat version of a real estate flipper. My son is gonna do a test drive for fun.

    Next question: should he stay away from inboard-outboards? Does the industry even make them anymore?
    I don't know if you can bolt a prop stern-drive on in place of the jet, on that same engine. On a jet, the engine runs a pump, sucking in water and blowing it out the stern. On an I/O stern-drive, the engine sends power aft to a transmission (either in the hull or the outdrive), and power runs horizontal aft, then through some crazy gear or U-joint (I don't know) that allows the outdrive to tilt, then vertically down to the prop gearcase, another right angle drive. IIRC, each right angle gearset costs something on the order of 5% of the energy due to friction.

    The trend has been away from I/O stern drives for a long time. Modern boats either have an inboard engine with a straight shaft aft to a prop underneath the boat, or increasingly massive outboards, and in some cases multiples of them.

    My view is don't take the boat if there is any possibility of having to put money into it. It's not very versatile nor saleable. The only plus is that the engine is a 4 stroke (yes?) but probably does not have a closed cooling system (no?) so has had salt water run through it; Even with flushing with fresh water after every run (and that is a big question), you could still have problems with internal corrosion resulting in things like head gasket problems, and then the cost of fixing exceeds the value of the boat.

    Useless boats have high disposal costs. Ask Sleek about that.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Sitka, AK
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    Default Re: Outdrives

    It's pretty simple, having owned and operated all three choices... stay the f*** away form outdrives.

    Only two acceptable forms of engine driven propulsion... Straight Inboard, or an Outboard.

    Anything else involves too many holes below the waterline.
    ďTravel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.Ē― Mark Twain,


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Saint Helena Island, SC
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    Default Re: Outdrives

    Seems that some of the only new boats that favor stern drives are the larger go fast boats. They typically run massive forced induction V8’s making as much as 1350hp.
    With the availability of Outboards making 450hp most other boats avoid the complexity of an I/O.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norwich,United Kingdom
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    7,253

    Default Re: Outdrives

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    It's pretty simple, having owned and operated all three choices... stay the f*** away form outdrives.

    Only two acceptable forms of engine driven propulsion... Straight Inboard, or an Outboard.

    Anything else involves too many holes below the waterline.
    An honest and comprehensive answer that needs no further comment.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    The Garden State
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    7,467

    Default Re: Outdrives

    I can remember back to the 80s when I/Os were all the rage. Every summer at least one boat sunk at her slip due to the big seal around the outdrive letting go
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    East Quogue,NY
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    Default Outdrives

    Sterndrives are more complex than inboards, but they offer much better speed and efficiency for the same power than a shaft strut and rudder, due to the ability to trim and because of less drag. And steerable thrust gives one much more control over maneuvering versus a fixed prop and rudder. Hit something or run aground? The drive kicks up instead of the rudder post holing the boat.
    .
    Versus an outboard, a sterndrive offers a " clean" transom which is an aesthetic some prefer, and also a full width swim platform, which is great if you spend a lot of time swimming or hanging out at a cove or sandbar.

    They are heavier than an outboard for the same power and take up room in the boat where stowage, fishwells etc might otherwise reside.

    Where they fall short is in two areas. One, corrosion gets them in saltwater. In freshwater, boaters enjoy longtime reliable ownership. Not that people don't use them in the brine, but I personally would advise against it.

    Second, they are less tolerant of deferred maintenance than other propulsion choices. An example is what Art wrote: change the bellows annually or it may sink in the slip. Keep up with the anodes. Change the gearcase lubricant. Service the gimbal bearing...plus all the maintenance required of an inboard engine.

    Kevin


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    Last edited by Breakaway; 08-08-2020 at 09:02 PM.
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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