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Would You Buy an I/O Again?

Discussion in 'Dock Talk' started by Yianni, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Yianni

    Yianni Well-Known Member

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    I was dead set on ordering a 430 HO Merc I/O for our boat but now I'm having second thoughts after reading a couple of comments on another thread. It seems the entire engine needs to be pulled at quite an expense to do any repairs such as starter replacement etc.

    I never had any issues with our last I/O but that was 15 years ago.

    So, those of you with I/O's, would you do it again or go with the outboard? How about major issues and cost for repairs.
     
  2. MikeB

    MikeB Well-Known Member

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    I currently have a 4 stroke outboard, and would never go back to an I/O.

    For me, at the time, the advantages to an I/O was no premix and much quieter operation. The disadvantages were a loss of space (fiberglass boat) and maintenance costs. Maybe I just had bad luck, but the Mercruiser outdrive was a constant source of hassle with the boots and hydraulics and even simple maintenance such as an engine oil change was a PITA, having to use a pump. Heaven forbid if you spilled into the bilge as you change the filter as you need to use rags on the end of a stick to mop it up. And shame on you if you didn't winterize properly and had to install new freeze plugs in the block.

    For me, the new outboards cant be beat for reliability and ease of maintenance. Just my 2 cents worth.
     
    myv10 likes this.
  3. myv10

    myv10 Well-Known Member

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    Same here, Outboards are the way to go.
     
  4. Link

    Link Moderator

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    From reading posts concerning this issue over the last few years I see the advantage of outboards over inboards. However when I would see my friends blacked out Q with the clad arch and the inboard it would make me forget all about the arguments of inboard vs outboard. Lust does funny things to your mind
     
  5. mattb

    mattb Well-Known Member

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    And changing the oil filter on an I/O does bad things to your back.:mad: I agree the thought of a nice new V8 is compelling but I will never go back, unless of course i hit the lotto, a 40' Fountain with out boards doesn't seem right. Hang a 400 on it.
     
    cwag911 likes this.
  6. BigKahuna

    BigKahuna Well-Known Member

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    Yes I would buy an I/O again! I've had a bowrider and my current boat. That's the only engine I've ever had. I like the clean lines and both of my I/O's have run great!

    If I ever get another boat we are open to getting an outboard. We loved the Mercury 350 Verado we test drove. Scary fast but really quiet......

    But I would buy another I/O if I had to.......
     
  7. Yianni

    Yianni Well-Known Member

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    Well, I just stopped by the local dealer here in Idaho.
    He said for this area the outboard is the way to go. They will special order an I/O for you but they don't order them for stock. Only special order.

    We are looking at a 25QX. He said we want a Yamaha 350, the V-8. He also said they pretty much only sell the Yamaha as an outboard, not too many Mercury's.

    Although I like the clean look of an I/O I'll most likely order the outboard.
     
    adkboater and cwag911 like this.
  8. mattb

    mattb Well-Known Member

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    I guess if 350 is all you can get...;)
     
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  9. JPeraino

    JPeraino Member

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    I just sold my I/O. It was great but very expensive to maintain. My new boat was ordered with an outboard. The new 4 stroke outboards have come a long way and they are much cheaper to maintain.
     
  10. tlcaud

    tlcaud Member

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    Traded my I/O in last month. Didn't want another I/O. New boat will be here in March with a Yamaha 250. Winterizing will be a breeze now. The draw back is the swim deck area. Have to get use to an engine above the deck. Won't have to lay across the engine to change the filter.
     
    cwag911 likes this.
  11. Spoiledrotten

    Spoiledrotten Well-Known Member

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    I've only owned outboards, but I read lots of posts where the I/O people have to winterize at the first signs of cold weather, whereas the outboard people can wait until the last minute, and even then, can make runs on warm days when they come around.
     
  12. Remediation

    Remediation Well-Known Member

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    Randy, I agree with you. Our Kentucky I/O went to the mechanic 2 weeks ago for winterizing and storage. We won't see the boat until the freezing danger is past in the spring. The O/B we took out Wednesday. It will be ready to use all winter if the weather is nice enough. I have to rearrange the barn storage so I don't block it in like last year. Jill has declared that we are boating on her birthday(Dec 30) no matter the weather. I love my I/O but don't think I would get another one.
     
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  13. Yianni

    Yianni Well-Known Member

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    This is my biggest consideration for switching to an outboard. I like to fish all winter long and it does get pretty cold in Idaho.

    I do see on the boat builder there is an option for the I/O to have a closed cooling system like in a car. I wonder if you kept this system full with antifreeze if it would be like a car and not freeze or need to be winterized.
     
    Spoiledrotten likes this.
  14. Remediation

    Remediation Well-Known Member

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    I would think that would be a solution. What is the cost to upgrade?
     
  15. cwag911

    cwag911 Moderator

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    I believe you still have to winterize the outdrive and risers.
     
  16. Yianni

    Yianni Well-Known Member

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    From the boat builder site:
    Fresh Water Cooling Merc $2,300

    Does this apply to outboards too?
     
  17. cwag911

    cwag911 Moderator

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  18. 1Blderbob

    1Blderbob Well-Known Member

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    Yes you do need to winterize the closed coolant systems. The exchanger and risers need to be drained along with the water system. The coolant stays in the block so it won't need to be drained as in an open coolant system. Definitely more work than an out board.
     
    cwag911 likes this.
  19. Nautical

    Nautical Well-Known Member

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    One of the reasons I bought a pontoon is because I saw the outboard as a positive. I've never owned an I/O pontoon but stupidly sold my Benny with the outboard in favor of an I/O bowrider and as other threads will show it didn't work out too well. Just sticking to the engine aspect, the I/O is noisier (which seems odd being stuffed in a closed box) and a lot more complex. I/Os are less fuel efficient, harder and more expensive to work on and have to be winterized. There could be others but the only advantages I see to an I/O are aesthetics and balance (my Benny with the 250 outboard looked like it was always trying to "pop a wheelie").
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
    MikeB likes this.
  20. Bamaman

    Bamaman Well-Known Member

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    I owned a couple of I/O boats and both gave me nothing but problems including blown motors. The mechanic at our boat dealership was like an uncle to me.

    In 28 years usage of the first 115 hp Yamaha 2 stroke, I spent $241 in repairs. When bellows' and outdrives cause problems, repairs are ultra expensive @ $115 hourly labor.

    Outboards are so much lighter and pontoons don't like 1000 lbs. on the tail.
     

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