Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

12" White Stickers
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

At what point does motor hours give you concern in a used boat purchase?

WishWish Posts: 8,241 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
edited November 2014 in Boat Talk
With recent boat pricing and sales talk, I wondered where that possible deal breaker point would be for most on a motor. Speaking of mult-port fuel injected here. Example; GT40 and newer. Let's say the boat was obviously well maintained, you had the records and you had a machanic give it two thumbs up. But it had more hours then you'd like to see. What's that cut off that says the motor does not have enough life left in it for me to own it. For cars it used to be 100,000-150,000 miles. Especially with our parents generation.
>>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<

At what point does motor hours give you concern in a used boat purchase? 108 votes

16% 18 votes
5% 6 votes
25% 27 votes
7% 8 votes
11% 12 votes
4% 5 votes
10% 11 votes
0% 0 votes
3% 4 votes
There is just no real limit on a properly maintained motor.
15% 17 votes


  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,799 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'm saying 1000, but it really depends on how it was used.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • GOODESkierGOODESkier Posts: 1,107 Crazy Baller
    I voted 750, but the way I look at it, the normal Joe that is going to look at my boat (you know after I bought a boat with 750 hours on it, used it for 5 years and now it has 1300 plus on it....) is going to look elsewhere over 500 hours in my opinion. Too many options for boats with lower hours. Regardless of how particular I am with maintenance and upkeep. I plan on trying to send my boat to a new home before 1000 hours. Currently have 520 on a boat I have owned for 5 years.
    2003 Nautique 196 LE Star Gazer & ZBox - GOODE NANO OneXT 66.75" - Powershell 5 (LFF) - Tournament PB: 2 Balls @ 39.5' OFF (34.2 MPH) on 7/18/2015 at BIG DAWG BROHO!
  • ZmanZman Posts: 1,736 Mega Baller
    I'm with @oldjeep‌ But - a really tough question because it depends a lot on what a buyer is looking for. If looking for an older, nice boat at high teens or low 20's $, if it looks well kept a 1000 hours is nothing. Especially if you check the engine closely, and it looks well kept too. If I am looking at a newer model, I might not want a ski school boat with a 1000 hours.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,799 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited November 2014
    For me not so much about the look, but my experience with a very well cared for boat that i ski behind is the motor feels whipped. 1000 hours of 0 to 34 to idle/off is a bit hard on the engine. Even worse if someone has been pegging it out for barefooting. A family boat that was used for cruising around at 20 and skiing will likely last for more hours.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 550 Crazy Baller
    There are a lot of boats out there that get 25 hours or less a year on them, so it was pretty easy for me to find a boat from the mid 90s last year with under 500 hours. Under 800 hours was really really easy with that era boat. So I figured why even look at boats with over 800 hours unless a truly significant discount came with it. I now know more about boats and am not as fearful of 1000+ hours, but I think I would still be searching for a well maintained boat with under 800 hours if I were buying now because I know there are plenty out there.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,163 Mega Baller
    For me, I would be cautious buying over 750 hours. It would really depend on what type of water the boat was in. Clear, clean, fresh water is better. Too much muddy water can have buildup in the cooling system and get a few hot spots that might give you cylinder problems. The big maintenance items, like manifolds and risers, would have to check out as well or be new.

    Having said that I would be cautious buying over 750 hours, I don't think I would worry about owning a boat and putting most of those hours on myself. If I put, say, 1000 of the hours on a 1200 hour boat, I would probably feel OK about keeping and putting on additional hours. I would know where it was used, how it was used and how it was cared for.

    My current boat is a 2009 with about 370 hours on it and I bought it when it was a year old and put most of those hours on it. I knew the owner, knew how it was used, and knew how it was cared for. I sold my previous boat with 300 hours and it was 10 years old. I bought that one when it had 33 hours on it and was 4 years old.

    Cars are another story. I buy new and drive them until I no longer can. Still driving my 1996 Tahoe with 260,000 on it.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • rawlyrawly Posts: 536 Crazy Baller
    Recently bought an 09 196 with 950 hours. Well maintained and set up nicely. With the 80 hours I put on per year , the boat will last another 20 years before it will need a motor. The higher hours saved me 10 K. That's a lot of gas money.
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,578 Mega Baller
    it's all about the price discount that comes with hours, and a well maintained engine should go 5000 hours
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • rockdogrockdog Posts: 640 Crazy Baller
    I notice Dave Millers 07 with 1770 hrs hasn't been picked up yet for$20k and I'm presuming it has been reasonably well looked after. It will be interesting to see how long it takes. 1770 hrs is way too many for me..
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,189 Mega Baller
    edited November 2014
    Figure that for 1770 hours @17 seconds a pass in the course is preseded and followed by 30 seconds of run in and run out @ 34mph followed by one minute of idle or engine off so for every six pass set you're looking at 1.5 minutes running 34mph followed by 2 minutes of running at idle worst case. So 3 minutes per pass. Boat roughly only runs 20 minutes for each hour of use, 1770 hours really is only about 590 hours of running time. In a car at 70mph that's 41,300 miles.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • SpuddySpuddy Posts: 171 Baller
    I would be more cautious of a boat that is over 10 years old that has very low hours, means it has sat for far to long which is not great for the engines.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,433 Crazy Baller
    Kinda like @rawly said, it depends to some extent on how many hours you put on a boat once you get it. It's somewhat foolish, granted, but my ski partner and I each have a boat. By alternating boats we put only 30 hours each on them this season. We skied 83 days. You may be able to take a relatively high hour boat and get many years of service, or if you put 200 hours a year on it, not so many left in it. Kind of a "mister obvious" comment but worth mentioning.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,799 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @thager I don't think you can really make a car analogy, but if there was one it would be like taking a 3000lb car, putting it in 2nd or 3rd gear, and dumping the throttle until you got to 75% of its top speed in that gear. Run it there for 17 seconds, idle for 30 seconds and then repeat.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,435 Mega Baller
    For me it's all about who owned and how they used and maintained it. A really, really well maintained boat with up to 2000 hours would not concern me, would just need to be priced right.
  • Skoot1123Skoot1123 Posts: 2,052 Mega Baller
    A well maintained engine should last a LONG time - > 3000 hours. If you put that many hours on a boat, more than likely you aren't thinking about resale. But if you are thinking about resale as @wish stated, then you really ought to look at the rest of the boat and consider the condition it is in. But for an overall idea of how well a boat is taken care of - look at the engine. Just my two cents.
  • ntxntx Posts: 838 Crazy Baller
    @skoot1123 has a point. Cosmetic things are easy and cheap to fix. We have club boats that get a ton of hours. The motor maintence is done on a regular basis. Unfortunatly, several members are not the best drivers around the dock. We get gel coat damage that looks bad but the motor is good. We do end up selling our boats cheap every two years or so.

    Think about a farmer with a tractor. They might never wash the tractor, but you can bet that they take care of the motor. The boat is a tool. The most important part of the tool is the motor. I would rather have one that gets oil changes over one that gets waxed each week. My guess is that @eleeski thinks the same way.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,241 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I vote @Jody_Seal‌ should be labeled as "industry professional" vs "crazy baller" We all know he's crazy (wink) but he put's out some very useful posts when it comes to boats and other items. Thanks @Jody_Seal‌ great advice.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 541 Crazy Baller
    This is a hard one, because you didn't say a year.
    A 2000 model year with 1500 hours would be just fine. A 2010 with 1500 hours and I might keep looking.
    I don't have a dead set number for when I walk away, it is all relative. A boat could be trash at 500 hours just as easily as it could be at 2500 hours. It is all dependent.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,241 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @BrennanKMN‌ Agreed but a variable just to hard to include. My thought is a motor is a motor is a motor. Hours are hours. The yr may change the price based on age of the boat as a whole but the motors are not clocked by time in earth not running.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,189 Mega Baller
    Don't forget... Click... and the ECM could be changed. Can't prove it but I do think it is going on.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • WishWish Posts: 8,241 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I could be wrong but the ECM can only be set back to 0. That may be where a super low hour boat could be a potential problem. Also if I had to do this over I would have put how many hours per yr is to many 100, 150, 200, and so on.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,244 Mega Baller
    No It does not work that way. Actually pretty close guarded programming and lock out.
    have seen ECM's go to 1999.9 hours and stop counting !
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,799 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Wish not sure why hours per year really matters. Unless they parked the thing for 10 years without fogging it I wouldn't have any issues with boats that sit. I just fired up a 460 last week that I haven't run in 7 years, works just as well as the day I put it away.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,189 Mega Baller
    I was talking about installing a new ECM, not messing with an old one. My ZO conversion does not show previous time. My engine log does and will be passed on to the buyer if I ever sell it.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,063 Mega Baller
    I have had to put two different PP computers in my boat and didn't reset the hours when I made the switch. I am sure you can get the engine hours off the ECM but I have no idea how to.

    An honest estimate from me for my boat would be 750 hours but I am not sure what I will do when it comes time to sell.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,244 Mega Baller
    If you have a GT-40 Ford you can not obtain hours off the ECM, no communication capabilities.
    GM-MEFI 3,4,5 and E-control have the communication capabilities.

    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • TELTEL Posts: 418 Crazy Baller
    Not just hours matter, how old the boat matters too. I think if your looking for a used boat you will buy one with ZO at lest a 2008 and newer. Thinks begin to fail with age, interior recovering's are expensive to replace, Etc.
  • slowslow Posts: 451 Crazy Baller
    Wish ford was back in the marine engine business with pcm/cc with a new gt40.
Sign In or Register to comment.