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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I run a Maverick HPX-V, fishing around Islamorada from Nov-May and New England from May through October, primarily for striped bass inshore.

The boat is new to me this year and the 115 Yamaha (2011) has about 900 hours on it. The previous owner was meticulous in maintenance, kept all records, and I've kept on that tradition. I dont think either one of us let a service interval go over 5 hours "overdue."

I share the boat with my Father, who is talking seriously about repowering it this year. We've never had any issues, but the hour meter on our many long runs to the backcountry have made him nervous.

Neither one of us have any experience with high hour motors. Is he right? Is it about time to consider replacing the motor, considering our use case? Or is this motor barely broken in?

Thanks for any input. It's a good time to talk shop as we wait for tarpon to start swimming by us.
 

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Panhandler
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Agree with Smack. With proper servicing you can easily get several hundred hours more out of a two-stroke and another thousand if it's a four-stroke.

Get Sea Tow or BoatUS tow insurance for piece of mind.
 

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damn good question......on 2str you started thinking about it at 1000hrs but now w/ 4str ?????

I really wonder
 

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My 2 stroke Yammi is now 25 years old. Never had an hour meter but I would guess at least 2000+ hours. I run the backcountry all the time. I’ll tow to Flamingo and run all the way to the Rookery Branch and back, 100 ish mile day. I really don’t worry about a breakdown. I’ll repowner when it blows up. I’d love to have a four stroke on the Hewes, but I can buy a lot of gas for the upgrade cost.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback so far. This motor is a 4 stroke. I have never checked compression (never had a reason to) but that is a reasonable first step.
 

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Run it until it blows up! I’d rather have a 10 year old motor with a 1000 hours than a 5 year old engine with a few hours.. these things are made to be ran every weekend. Sitting around is bad for them. Sea tow, CG regularly put 2-3k hours on 4S.
 

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I haven’t had a boat long enough to re power but I would say 1200 is my mark to buy a new motor. That’s just me though.
 
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Agree with Smack. With proper servicing you can easily get several hundred hours more out of a two-stroke and another thousand if it's a four-stroke.

Get Sea Tow or BoatUS tow insurance for piece of mind.
FWIW I just changed my boat insurance to progressive, and on water towing service is included in the policy.

And I agree with Smack (did I really say that?) run it till it don't run. I ran my last outboard for 18 years, hard use, being fairly abusive of it and it still started and ran well. It was a yamaha so it started on the 3rd pull...every time.
 

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I know of two guides that repowered after 3,000 hrs on their F115’s, think you are well within safe operating range at 900 hrs. Get an opinion from a mechanic, get them to check the engine and lower unit, my guess is that if it has been taken care of they will tell you to keep it.
 

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I have a 20yr old Johnson 130 with God knows how many hours that I would love to repower, problem is it runs too well. Still perfect compression, starts so fast you can barely hear the starter engage and all maintenance is easily done at home. I’ll be sad when it finally goes, at this rate corrosion will probably kill it before anything mechanical.

As said above confidence is a big part of when I would repower. If it is always a worry in the back of my mind, it is time. Dont count on towing, you’ll never break down at a convenient place or time.
 

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I Love Skinny Water
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My Zuke is a 2003 supposed to be a low hour motor, bought it used, when i pull the dipstick the oil is crystal clear and it starts right up, non ethonal, 4 stroke. So im running it till it poops
 

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What has been described by several in this thread is what is referred to as a bathtub curve in failure rate analysis. A relatively high rate of early failures (defects), one side of the bathtub, then a long period of time with low failure rate, the tub bottom, then wear out (end of life) failures being the other side of the tub.

The other thing to consider is items that might fail not just due to usage hours, but due to age (lip seals, orings, hoses, plastic parts). So a 2011 engine is likely to be fine with aging, but a 2003 might not. But both could be fine with remaining wear life.
 
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My 95’, still runnin fine. Still on the VRO system. A lot of people disconnected the system back in the early days due to system failure.
 

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Don’t shoot yourself in the foot...if that’s not the shaft driven system and is the one with the plastic oil pump gear...

25 years on. I have changed out the tank which has the pump that supplies the tank under the cowling. If I’m not mistaken that one is gravity feed.
 

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One other thing/thought/whatever is have your outboard serviced annually regardless of how good it may be running. And when you have it serviced make sure the tech goes over the entire outboard looking for things that could be a point of potential failure such as a wire harness where the wire has started to wear, a gasket that is obviously on its last leg, etc.

My preference is to deal with those things beforehand and potentially avoid a sudden catastrophic outboard failure on the water (which totally sucks by the way LOL).
 
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