Inboard or outboard?
The answer depends on a couple variables.
How are you going to use the boat? I have a Colgate 26. I am a daysailor. I like having an outboard for a number of reasons:
1. Servicing the engine is easier. Just take it off and bring it in or do it yourself on shore. Also, with today''s 4 stroke outboards, reliablity is great, there is no smoke or smell from burning oil like the 2 stroke outboards. They are also very quiet. At least my 4hp 4 stroke Yamaha is very quiet.
2. Less expense.
3 Don''t have to winterize the engine, just take it off and bring it home in the winter.
If you are going to cruise extensively.
4. Its safe. It is not enclosed. If you have a gas inboard there is always the danger of fumes collecting in the engine compartment if you don''t ventilate before starting--explosion. Also, diesel is very safe but you do get the diesel smell which can permeate the cabin. This happened to me once on a charter boat that needed its fuel system redone right before we go the boat. We had to terminate the charter early because of the terrible stench. Under normal conditions, most boats with a diesel inboard have pretty minimal smell. Also there is always the problem with diesel fuel with contamination: water and microorganisms. This can be minimized with the right additives and correct preventitive maintanence, but on a older diesel there is always the problem of sludge buildup in the tank etc. The outboard has almost none of these problems.
5. Easy to replace when the engine is at the end of its life.
6. If you race, you can take the engine off and save weight.
7. If you want to trailer at all, an inboard adds alot of weight. My Colgate is incredibly easy to trailer. A comperable sized boat with an inboard would be much heavier I think.
If you do ALOT of cruising it would adventageous to have an inboard. When you get in heavy weather the outboard prop will pop out of the water often. With an inboard this is not a problem. Some boats have wells for their outboard, and I''m not sure if this helps this problem, but I would guess that it would.
Also an outboard can be easy for someone to steal if it is not locked up well There are very good locks out there though.
Thats my 2cents. What do the rest of you think. I know there are alot of inboard diehards out there, and for the type of sailing they do (alot of cruising), it makes sense.
Remember, if you are mainly going to daysail, get a daysailor with an outboard. And when you want to cruise, just charter. You''ll save a ton of money, and instead of cruising in your local waters, go somewhere warm and exotic.