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Boat First or Engine First – Some Considerations for Those On the Market

Should one buy a boat first, or pick the engine first and have the boat built around it? This is a very good question and the type of marine engine procured solely depends on what the boat will be used for. Either way the efficiency of the marine engine can be maximized to work well in any application, so there’s no need to fret if the engine is already present in the boat.

Building a Boat Around an Engine

Many prefer to slip a marine engine into an existing design, but creating a design to optimize the engine of choice makes a huge difference. There are many skilled boat builders that can do this, think of it as designing a custom home – same idea! The customer comes to the builder with their design ideas and general needs and the very first thing that the best boat builders do is help them choose a marine engine.

This way, the boat is designed completely around the engine’s capabilities. With a marine engine perfectly matched to the vessel the owner will get the very best performance. The right size pitch propeller that’s controllable is very efficient for a larger rpm range, and handle the power and torque curves even better. Today’s marine engines are powerful but still quiet and smooth operating; so regardless it’ll provide an amazing performance.

Choosing a Vessel

There are many boats on the market that are great for marine sport fun, so anyone thinking about buying a boat for recreation will have to determine what factors are most important to them, including the type of marine engine installed. Other than that they’ll have to choose the material, size and more.

When it comes to the engine there are two basic choices; inboard, outboard and stern drive. Here those choices are broken down to help anyone make a more informed decision.

The Outboard Motor

Outboard motors are a popular marine engine system for smaller boats. They include the engine, component and gearbox, and propeller. The structure is self-contained and made to be placed on the transom to make up the boat’s stern.

Among the advantages to the outboard motor including it taking up less space and accessibility since it’s in an external location. Another bonus is the fact it can be completely lifted out of the water to prevent damages.

The Inboard Motor

The inboard is enclosed within the hull of the boat and connected by a driveshaft to the propulsion screw. This is great for protecting the marine engine from salt water conditions and in turn helps it give longer service, and offers stability. Handling won’t be an issue, even at higher speeds. Most prefer this type of engine for sporting activities and speed racing.

Stern Drive

Finally, the last type of marine engine is the stern drive, which is also called an inboard/outboard motor amongst boating experts. It’s a system made to combine both the awesome drive of an outboard but the power of an inboard. Also installed in the transom, the drive unite is outside the hull. It’s basically the best of both worlds. Expect more propulsion power with this type of engine.


So there it is, the basics of the three types of engines. All that is left for anyone on the market for a boat to decide is to choose the engine first or the vessel with engine included. Knowing the purpose of each type of engine will allow one to determine if an existing vessel has the right type of engine for what they are wanting. Nothing is more disappointing than getting out on the water and discovering that the wrong combination is included and there’s not enough power for skiing or racing.

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