Stern Drive Cruiser

Stern-Drive Cruisers are great for fishing, waterskiing and overnight cruising.

Stern-Drive Cruisers Details

Average Length: 20 to 40 ft.
Capacity: 10
Propulsion Type: Stern-drive engine
Trailerable: Yes
Hull Type: Vee

Multi-Purpose Boating With A Stern Drive Cruiser

Great for fishing, waterskiing and overnight cruising, these popular boats have all the comforts expected from recreational cruising boats, including cooking and plumbing equipment. Powered by sturdy, steerable  drive mechanisms, these cruisers usually range in size from 25 feet to 40 feet, making them most popular in inland waterways.

If you're looking for more pleasure from your pleasure boating, a stern drive cruiser certainly delivers. Its size and multi-purpose nature make it popular among pleasure boaters exploring inland waterways. What differentiates this boat from other cruisers is the type of engine it uses. It's an inboard/outboard, as opposed to others, like the V-drive, which is just an inboard. A stern drive functions much the same as a V-drive but has a few differences in terms of handling, maintenance and speed.

Activities You Can Do With Your Family On A Stern Drive Cruiser

There is some real versatility with a cruiser boat. There's enough power and speed for it to be in a class with the best water-ski boats. The speed can also help you get to your favorite fishing spots faster. It's roomy enough to take for a spin around a river or lake for an afternoon with friends. Since it offers equipment for cooking and plumbing, you can also spend more time on it than just a quick outing. It is capable of going on long, overnight fishing trips.

Advantages Of A Stern Drive Cruiser

Because of how it is built, the stern drive cruiser has fewer engine parts in the water, so there is less drag. This is important because that means better fuel efficiency. It also means that it's a noticeably quieter engine. Technical specifications aside, cruiser boats are perfect for long fishing excursions as well as short rides with friends and family around a lake.

Advice From Experts

In a comparison of boat engines, experts preferred the stern drive cruiser to the V-drive for a number of reasons. It is easier to repair and maintain a stern drive. Even if you don't plan on doing your own repair, experts found that the stern drive was faster out of the gate, faster at top speed and didn't lift the boat off the water as much. On the down side, it is slightly more costly to maintain and winterize the stern drive. Additionally, the V-drive handled more comfortably and accurately at low speeds, such as when pulling in to dock. Overall, experts explained that making the decision between the two engines comes down to how you are going to use the boat as well as whether you will use it in fresh water or salt water.

Why Buy This Boat

A stern drive cruiser measures 20 to 40 feet, with a capacity of up to 10 people. If you're going to take this boat out on the open ocean, a V-drive is better protected against saltwater corrosion. That's not to say a stern drive can't go out on the ocean. You could lift the boat out of the saltwater and flush it after every run, but that's timely and not very cost-efficient. With their fuel efficiency, speed and versatility, the stern drive cruisers master inland lakes and rivers.

Don’t forget to register your boat, check your state boating rules and regulations before you leave the dock. Learn more about walkarounds in our next section.