Ah yes, the old debate continues between Inboard powered boats versus Sterndrive powered models. To be clear:
“Inboard” recreational propulsion is an engine enclosed within the hull of the boat and connected to a propulsion screw by a driveshaft and steered with a rudder placed aft of the propeller.
“Sterndrive” (Inboard/Outboard or I/O) propulsion is when the engine is located inboard just forward of the transom (stern) and provides power to the drive unit (outdrive) located outside the hull. The rudder is built into the drive and the entire drive turns for directional control.
To trim or not to trim? Is it really a question at all?
Sterndrives offer many advantages with their ability to electronically “trim” up or down. These controls are located at your fingertips and can save you MONEY and TIME. Inboards do NOT have the ability to “trim” out their drive shafts.
What about fuel efficiency and handling?
Sterndrives have several efficiencies over the single propeller and rudder controlled inboard propulsion systems.
• Trimming – Adjustable drive trim creates less water resistance, better use of thrust angle and better rough water control, as seen in the images above. All of these factors contribute to better fuel efficiency.
• Duo-Prop Efficiency with Built-in Rudder– Two counter-rotating propellers not only increase fuel efficiency and power, but also provide better docking control at slower speeds. Inboards only have one propeller that creates a bad pull in one direction when trying to dock. With counter-rotating propellers and an integrated rudder and drive system, docking control is increased well beyond that of an inboard propulsion system – especially in reverse!
What about maintenance costs?
In the past, the biggest argument AGAINST the STERNDRIVE was maintenance costs. It was true in years past, especially in salt water environments, maintaining a sterndrive system could be more expensive. This was because sensitive engine components were below water and often in need of replacement or repair. Thanks to modern advances in recreational marine propulsion these disadvantages have been remedied. Both Volvo Penta’s Ocean X series and MerCruiser’s SeaCore series have developed proven corrosion resistant engines. These power choices are specifically manufactured with coastal boating in mind. They also stand behind their engines with respected warranties and maintenance plans. Cobalt also has the BEST warranty in the boating industry today, increasing and enhancing these power manufacturer warranties.
Well – hopefully this article sheds some light on the debate between Sterndrive and Inboard recreational propulsion features. There is one more way to make sure you experience the most dependable and luxurious sterndrive boat on the water and that is for you to test drive a Cobalt — where quality, luxury and customer satisfaction all combine to create the boat on the planet.
– The Cobalt Team