A motorboat, speedboat, or powerboat is a boat which is powered by an engine. Some motorboats are fitted with inboard engines, others have an outboard motor installed on the rear, containing the internal combustion engine, the gearbox and the propeller in one portable unit.
An inboard/outboard contains a hybrid of a powerplant and an outboard, where the internal combustion engine is installed inside the boat, and the gearbox and propeller are outside.
There are two configurations of an inboard, v-drive and direct drive. A direct drive has the powerplant mounted near the middle of the boat with the propeller shaft straight out the back, where a v-drive has the powerplant mounted in the back of the boat facing backwards having the shaft go towards the front of the boat then making a 'V' towards the rear. The v-drive has become increasingly popular due to the wakeboarding and wakesurfing sports.
Motorboats vary greatly in size and configuration, from the 4-meter, open center console type to the luxury mega-yachts capable of crossing an ocean.
The first boat powered by a petrol engine was tested on the Neckar river by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1886, when they tested their new "longcase clock" engine. It had been constructed in the former greenhouse (converted into a workshop) in Daimler's back yard. The first public display took place on the Waldsee in Cannstatt, today a suburb of Stuttgart, at the end of that year.
source - Wikipedia
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