On the flip side, stern-drives provide a clear transom. The view aft is free of obstruction, and there’s less worry of snags when fishing or swimming off the stern. The full-width swim platform also makes for easier gearing up and reboarding. Stern-drives tuck the motor away in an enclosed housing, which dampens much of its noise, although this was more of an advantage in the old days than it is with today’s quiet outboards. Horsepower for horsepower, stern-drives remain the less expensive engines to buy. On the Ebbtides we tested, the 190 hp stern-drive can be had for about $600 less than the 115 hp outboard.