Boat Outdrive - What to Know

By Matt Claiborne

What is an Outdrive on a Boat?

Stern Drives and Out Drives

A sterndrive is a type of marine engine configuration that goes by several different names.  Sometimes it’s called an outdrive, and other times an inboard-outboard, or I/O. 

Three Options for Your Marine Propulsion System

Outboard Motor

One unit–engine, transmission, and propeller–all mounted externally on a boat’s transom.  Outboards are typically seen on dinghies, tenders, johnboats, skiffs, pontoon boats, fishing boats, small sailboats (less than 25 feet), and some small power cruisers. 

Inboard Motor

An inboard motor is internally mounted inside the boat.  Inboards are found on ski boats, traditional fishing boats, some small powerboats, large sailboats, trawlers, motor yachts, and ships.

Outdrive Boat aka Sterndrive Engines

Inboard-outboards, sterndrives, or whatever you call them, are only common on bowriders, wakeboarding boats, and express cruisers.

Palm Leaf

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