Outboard vs. Inboard

Your Marine Hot Water Heaters Specialists Talk About the Benefits of Inboards and Outboards

Raritan Engineering your marine hot water heaters distributors would like to share with you this week these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding a discussion of whether or not inboards or outboards are better.

Your marine hot water heaters suppliers talk about why does everybody seem to want to put outboards on big boats these days? It looks crazy to hang a bracket with a pair of outboards on the transom of a good-looking, sturdy 36-foot hull designed for work or play. 

Won’t they?

Well, when semi custom boat builder Bill Judge showed up in one of his 36-foot Chesapeakes for the Annapolis Fish for a Cure tournament a couple of years ago, it was powered by a pair of 300 hp Suzuki outboards instead of the usual 480 hp Cummins inboard. 

Bill Judge has been both a boater and a boat builder all his life. He’s been building the 36 Chesapeakes for 10 years. In the beginning he sold it as a diesel inboard, but the last three years he’s powered it exclusively with Suzuki outboards.

The Boat

The Judge 36 Chesapeake is a classic. The 36-by-12-foot hull possesses a lovely flared, bow-proud semi-V Chesapeake deadrise shape. Unlike most Chesapeake boats, it has no keel, though the sharp deadrise extends back about two-thirds of the length before flowing smoothly into nearly flat (4-degree) transom sections.

Though he originally designed the Judge 36 Chesapeake for inboard power, Judge hasn’t built one with a diesel for three years; the new ones have all been powered by Suzuki 300s on brackets — except for the most recent, which runs Suzuki’s revolutionary new DF350A with contra-rotating propellers. 

The diesel inboard offers potential longer-term reliability, enhanced stability, and a longer cruising range.

Outboards provide increased speed, lower cost, the ability to trim completely out of the water, and easier maintenance access.


For the inboard model, we ran Justified, a 2012 inboard. Its owners fish but also like to cruise, so Justified is fitted with a full galley and dinette, an after-cabin bulkhead, air conditioning, and a genset. Its Cummins 480 had 1,450 hours of time when we tested. The owners love their boat and wouldn’t trade, citing its easy motion at all speeds and its fuel economy, which proved the best of our three testers. 

With twin Suzuki 300s, the 36 Chesapeake recorded a top speed of 43.6 mph at 6,000 rpm.

With a single 480 hp Cummins inboard, the 36 Chesapeake recorded a top speed of 33.6 mph at 3,400 rpm.

Your Marine Hot Water Heaters Manufacturers Continue Discussing If Inboards Are Better Than Outboards

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The unnamed 36 with Suzuki 300 engines is Bill Judge’s personal boat, the first that he built with outboards. Three years old, it had about 900 hours on the motors when we tested it. This boat is lighter, rigged primarily for fishing and day-cruising with an open pilothouse. It ran noticeably higher in the water, drier and flatter, with both Interceptors and engine trim available to adjust running attitude to fit conditions. 

Bill Judge uses his 36 Chesapeake with twin Suzuki 300 outboards primarily as a fishing boat.

Outboard Versus Inboard

As we began to dig into the pros and cons of the two layouts, though, a broader picture emerged of what it would mean to live with each system over the long term. The first is purchase price. 

But won’t the inboard outlast the outboards? Maybe. But Judge states he has built outboard boats for guides who have happily put over 3,000 hours on the Suzuki engines. That translates into more than a decade for most recreational owners. 

The owners of the 36 Chesapeake inboard like to fish and take long-distance cruises at trawler speeds.

Another huge difference is ease of maintenance. The cost for oil and fluid changes is comparable until we consider the inboard’s cooling system, which requires not only periodic changing but also winterization. Fouling a line or grounding and damaging a propeller requires a diver at least and perhaps a haul-out for the inboard, while tilting an outboard makes solving most problems much easier. 

So don’t forget these helpful pointers when considering whether to buy an outboard or inboard. Outboards provide increased speed, lower cost, the ability to trim completely out of the water, and easier maintenance access.

Yanmar Launches The DTorque 111 Turbo Diesel Outboard

Following its agreement with German manufacturer Neander Shark for exclusive global distribution of the game-changing Dtorque 111 twin-cylinder 50 hp diesel outboard engine, YANMAR MARINE INTERNATIONAL (YMI) has announced the official launch of this exciting new propulsion product.    

The compact Dtorque 111 is designed to revolutionize the small workboat market where its expected lifespan of well over 10,000 hours at least doubles that of any comparable outboard gasoline engine. The Dtorque 111 offers a remarkably smooth and quiet diesel engine, delivering 50 hp at the propeller with a stunning torque output of 111 Nm at just 2,500 rpm. 

To create the Dtorque 111 the German developer and manufacturer Neander deconstructed conventional small-diesel engineering to first principles. The result is a two-cylinder common-rail turbo charged diesel engine, using a unique system of dual counter-rotating crankshafts in an aluminum block, which dramatically reduces the vibration levels that a conventional small two-cylinder diesel engine would normally generate. 

Smallest diesel outboard

The Dtorque 111 is the world’s smallest diesel outboard engine with common-rail fuel injection. This enables it to deliver an impressive performance with class-leading fuel economy and exhaust emissions that fall well within the latest EU RCD 2 limits*. .

For the past 2 years both YANMAR and Neander have been trialing pre-series outboards in six EU pilot countries. “We invited a wide cross-section of our customers around Europe to performance-test the outboards in differing sea states and loading conditions gathering as many opinions as possible,” explains Floris Lettinga, YMI Global Sales Manager.

Floris Lettinga continued, “With many commercial operators maintaining a single diesel fuel policy to avoid risk of fire and explosion, the market potential for the Dtorque 111 is highly diverse. So far, the main option for small workboat propulsion has been the gasoline outboard. No longer is that true!”

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via Outboard vs. Inboard