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Motor Boat Forum

The end of I/O sports boats ?

by argonaut » 10 Nov 2023, 10:47

Looking at all the designs at latest US shows, and discussion on manufacturers forums.

Plus seeing options disappearing for small I/O boats in manufacturers catalogues.

The trend is to cease production of I/O boats and move to outboards.
Removing inboard engine means a boat can be a metre shorter and still give same internal space.
Removal of a metre has big weight saving.
Now fitting outboard to be off a bracket, looks like being off a ‘bathing platform’ means no lost space around the transom.
Moored up boats prefer tilting engine out of water

I had 5 boats with outboards, and was so glad to move to inboards … better economy, better reliability. (Never had inboard fail to start)
Seems now with newer design outboards and the off-transom mounting, the future is changing.
Saw one Mercury design where whole engine jacks up vertically on mooring.

Interested in thoughts on this design change of direction.
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by Ianfs » 14 Nov 2023, 16:35

Interesting article.

I've been watching the markets change over the years after the demise of two stroke outboards and how manufacturers have developed quieter more compact and more economical engines. Indeed sterndrive petrol engines haven't come as far as outboards except for fuel injection and some salt water protection.

Sterndrives were always quieter and more economical, however today this has been over taken by outboard petrol engines.

As we all know, in the states boating it very big indeed and the biggest seller has always been the outboard, last time I looked there were about 14 million registered boats in the US, most motor boats with outboards, some over 50'. Worldwide therefore I'm guessing the market for sterndrives is not as viable as it is for outboards, consequently which one makes sense to put money into R&D?
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by MartynG » 13 Dec 2023, 08:01

My understanding is the Americans treat things differently to the UK . eg they are not so much into DIY maintenance. And of course petrol is much cheaper in the USA. Maybe they also like the size of their engines to be on show.This all influences boat design.
But I do think the time of the inboard sterndrive engine may be drawing to a close.
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