I/O vs Outboard for a Pontoon Boat? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-16-2014, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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I/O vs Outboard for a Pontoon Boat?

Hey Folks..

What is the going opinion on I/O vs Outboards for Pontoon Boats?

This boat would ultimatley be in Northern California, so winter weather is not harsh...

Looking to purchase something <= 10 years old

Any thoughts would be appreciated... this is new territory for me.



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post #2 of 9 Old 04-17-2014, 05:33 AM
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imho, would depend on the size of the boat HP needed to power it. if this is a pontoon, overnight camper with kitchen, bath and sunroof., i would go inboard as you will need some decent size HP to move that around. smaller sized engines that can be lifted off the boat and easier to bring to service. easier than loading and unloading boat and trailering for service or repairs.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-22-2014, 07:40 PM
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If you're looking at a large enough pontoon boat to justify asking the question, I'd go with the I/O. In the long run, it's cheaper to maintain, and engine access is usually pretty good on pontoon boats, so maintenance is easier than an outboard too.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-25-2014, 01:36 PM
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It sure is easy to replace an outboard if you need to. Not many boat mechanics want to mess with I/Os. Some do, and they are good at it....but there are more outboard guys out there in some areas of the country. Whatever you get...make sure it has more HP than you think you need, because those crafts are nothing more than huge sails in high winds.

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-06-2014, 11:08 PM
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Outboard for sure for the main reason no one wants to work on I/O.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-07-2014, 08:45 AM
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I/O vs outboard is the wrong question to be asking.

Generally you will find:
I/0s on larger tri toons 24'+
outboards on pontoons
higher power outboards on tri toons 22'+
Outboards offer more power and performance vs a similar hp rated IO

An outboard will be able to be raised higher out of the water (or completely out) where an I/O will not. This would come into play in shallow water operation.

I/0 will be four stroke where as an outboard can be a four stroke, oil injected two stroke, or premix two stroke.

So it will depend on what type of toon you want, whether it be a tri toon or a pontoon, as well as how big of a watercraft you desire.

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post #7 of 9 Old 10-04-2014, 05:29 PM
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Outboard all the way. Maintenance is easier. More power in a smaller package and if needed you can put three 300hp motors on it.

I would focus more on lifting stakes or tri-toons.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-05-2014, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 10Xk View Post
Outboard all the way. Maintenance is easier. More power in a smaller package and if needed you can put three 300hp motors on it.

I would focus more on lifting stakes or tri-toons.
I was a marine tech in LaConner, WA for a long time and I completely agree. I/Os and outdrives HATE sitting idle. I/Os are only worth it if the boat sees year round weekly or at least monthly use. I/Os that sit over winter need more money and care to get them ready for spring than an outboard that just needs an impeller and enough ether to burn off the fogger you winterized with. If they sit for a whole year due to a bad year at work or something like having a kid that taps your free tie for a while, get ready for all kinds of suprises. If, Gosh forbid, it goes three or four years with minimal use, You're heat exchangers, impellers, gaskets, fuelpump and so many other things will be so rotten that bringing it back to life will cost as much as the same HP outpboard.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-19-2020, 01:14 PM
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Pontoon boats are not very seaworthy but can carry a lot of people.
Modern outboards are really good.
I can't imagine how you would set up a pontoon for an I/O.
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