Re: Outboard vs I/O

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Posted by jd on March 03, 2003 at 14:53:47:

In Reply to: Outboard vs I/O posted by shopper on March 02, 2003 at 14:39:47:

The I/O stern drive will penetrate the hull so you have to maintain the boot gasket(s) to prevent leaks. Dry rotting is probably your biggest enemy. As I recall, GM and perhaps Volvo make a 4.3L engine most commonly found in boats? With the I/O, you will have a special marine alternator to prevent spark and explosion since fumes can build-up in the engine compartment. My neighbor bought a rebuilt alternator for his 5.7L engine last year that was over $400 not including labor. The water pumps are simple rubber impellers so not much difference there. You will have belts similar to your car which are not much trouble, but are there nonetheless. The 4.3L engine will last MUCH longer than a high revving outboard. However, it takes a lot of time to wear out a two-stroke. The 4 stroke outboard also lasts much longer than a two stroke, but for the size class you are seeking, costs thousands more and weighs a hundred pounds more.

The greatest advantages of outboard engines appear to be the relative light-weight and small size when compared to automotive engine and stern drive. The I/O is the smoothest and quietest ride because the engine is housed in a compartment and is not as high revving as marine engines. But, it eats up a lot of hull space and weighs more. I know the marine 4-strokes are supposedly quiet, but surely don't compare to I/O quiet. You can only get so smooth until you will be deafened by 50 mph wind in your face, but at low cruising speed, the I/O is a Cadillac. If you are a mechanic, the I/O engine would be much easier to work on for simple routine items (i.e. fuel filter) since it is not packaged as tightly.

A 4 stroke engine will not smoke, but will burn up if you do not maintain oil levels. You will have to service the engine oil in a four stroke, and the gear drive requires service in the I/O stern drive or 2/4 stroke outboard motor. Two stroke oil will cost you about 20-40 cents per gallon of fuel burned assuming 50:1 and $10-20 per gallon for oil. Some of the newer injected 2 strokes seem to be more efficient - just something else to think about!

You did not describe the seriousness of your fishing interests. For example, if you fish Guntersville and want to cross the old river channel where the water is commonly 2 feet deep or less, you will be happier with the outboard. I find myself commonly trolling or drifting in areas where I completely raise the motor to avoid stumps, rocks, and thick mats of milfoil/hydrilla. If you want to follow the marked channels, fish mostly medium to deep depth water, and know your river very well, the I/O may serve your fishing needs. A boat hull is submerged at some depth, and the I/O stern drive hull seems to sit deeper... you can check on this. I am not sure about the draft depth when the boat is on-plane.

I personally do not think that a boat with a 4.3L performs very well for skiing, but you might be real skinny. hehe. If I was "dropping a bundle," I would consider a V-8 if I was getting an I/O. If you want a smooth ride for the women, the I/O is the ticket. If you are a savage bass fisherman on a budget, you might want to stick with the 2 stroke 150. The marine 4-stroke might be a compromise, but I don't know how costs stack up.

I compromised with a Skeeter fish-n-ski with 150 Yamaha. However, I can't tie up to bridges and around dams with the glass boat like I did with my old aluminum and therefore limit my fishing methods and species on certain days. I see an aluminum in my future again this year. However, ALUMINUM IS NOT FOR CRUISING except on exceptional weather days with low boat traffic. It is all about priorities, fishing styles, and perhaps keeping momma or the girlfriend happy! My wife just had twins, so I don't think she will need another fish-n-ski for a few years. If I owned a boathouse on the water, I would buy a second boat with I/O for cruising and skiing. They tend to get hard to trailer when you get the deep hull with V-8 engine, but are sooooo smooth.

Good luck, and email if you want to ask more stuff that I probably don't know.


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