Outboard Hours

Discussion in 'Outboard Maintenance' started by jtgriffin, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. jtgriffin

    jtgriffin I Love microskiff.com!

    Hey fellas,
    I'm new to boating and am trying to soak in as much info here as possible. I had a question about outboard engine hours.

    I know that a lot has to do with how well and often maintenance was performed, but when you're looking to buy a used boat, how many hours should you expect to get out of an outboard engine?
  2. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Typical saltwater outboard can do 1000 hours before irregular maintenance destroys it.
    I've seen commercial engines that made it 2500 hours due to a religious maintenance schedule.
    Big problem is corrosion, metal fatigue and the design life of the electronics.
    Running the engine at 3/4 throttle or less improves the chances of a longer lifespan.

  3. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    I have 6 Mercury bigfoot motors and I would say the one with the least hours is with me in FL and a very conservative estimate on hours is 3,000+.

    These are not standard motors and I do not take them to the doctor everytime their nose runs - I let it break and then fix but I can say that they nave never let me down and I use them like I rented them.

    The one in FL is a 25 with a lower unit from a 60. These things are heavy and tough. If I were ever to buy a used motor I would never buy mine. ;)

    The best advice I can give you is to look at the sacrificial metals on the motor. If they are shot then the motor is not far behind. Even if the compression checks out OK but the diodes are junk the electrical system already has started to rot as Brett said.
  4. Creek Runner

    Creek Runner Well-Known Member

    I'm going to have to disagree with you a little, out of all the people boats I work and have worked on my crabber use their boats the most and do as little maintenance as possible with only 2 speeds idle and WOT, they only bring it to me when it won't run and they get the most use/hrs than anyone. I have seen one older 88hp OMC that had 4800hrs which is insane.  My father in law has 480hrs on his engine which only has ever seen fresh water and is babied can't stand to ride with him I'm like go it's a bass boat with a 225hp no need to do 40mph twist the darn prop already and it's on it 2nd power head and the Maintenance is done because I do it FREE (sucks to have family with a boat).

    I also will say Yamaha, Zuke, and BMC electronics are good on average to 10,000hrs they just don't go bad.
    Now with that being said I will always buy a motor with lower hours than high hours condition being the same. I will also state if I'm buying a used boat and it has more than 350hrs I'm going to keep looking. I also believe that a motor ran at 3/4 or less throttle puts more strain on the engine I run my engine within 10% of the max RPM range 90% of the time. All of this is info for 2stroke engines only 4 strokes are a different breed. 
  5. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Disagreeing is needed. I'd never seen or heard of outboards with lifespans
    that you and DN have produced. Wonder if daily use is the secret to longevity?
    The old "use it or lose it" rule seems to apply.
  6. Creek Runner

    Creek Runner Well-Known Member

    Next time I'm over my buddies house I will get a pic of his Honda 4S it has 3200hrs and counting. ;D Stupid Honda motors!!!

    I do agree with you that 1000hrs is probably the average life span. I equate it like this 500hrs is like 100,000 miles on a car so 1000hrs is like 200,000 now there a plenty of cars and truck with over 200K miles but I wouldn't buy one.
  7. topnative2

    topnative2 Well-Known Member

    FMP/fwc look to repower anytime after 1,000hrs w/ 1500 hrs being about the max life--2str-----and they are abused engines going thru at least 2 lower units
  8. topnative2

    topnative2 Well-Known Member

    A good question--- how many hrs does the average boater put on an engine in a year?
  9. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Oh goody, statistics... ;D

    I see that the USCG has done a few studies, looks like the average boater spends
    about 100 to 125 hours on the water per year. Question is, is that under power
    or just hanging out catchin' a buzz at the local sandbar?  ;)

    Another statistical bite:

  10. Creek Runner

    Creek Runner Well-Known Member

    From what I see the average boater runs approx, 40-60hrs per year.
  11. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    ^ this.
    No way in heck "average" is over 100..

    We got a guy thats got 4000 hours on a set of gen 1 yamaha f350s....
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