Boat longevity

bojansbojans Posts: 213 Baller
The discussion on a fair price for a 1999 SN and some of the comments around "anyone who knows theses boats and engines would have no concerns" has me thinking. With good maintenance and use on a private lake 99% of the time, what is the typical useable life of a boat (and driveline) like this?


  • rodltg2rodltg2 Posts: 1,051 Crazy Baller
    mine will last 5000 hours !
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,401 Mega Baller
    edited April 2016
    The key issue is "good maintenance". And I don't think anyone really knows the answer.

    Most think that an engine is "worn out" when it uses excessive oil, has lost compression, or makes loud noises it shouldn't. I've never heard of a ski boat that has had regular oil changes and maintenance have an engine that "wore out". I'm sure there are some out there. Maybe jodyseal or some other mechanic types have seen some, but I bet the majority are from neglect vs wearing out.

    The other mechanical parts subject to wearing out (I.e steering cables) are relatively easy to replace and are good as new when done properly.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • keithh2oskierkeithh2oskier Posts: 450 Crazy Baller
    I actually think private lake course skiing "might" be harder on the engine/driveline than the recreational Joe who is cruising lakes and pulling kids around. It depends whats harder on the motor, lots of idle time with relatively short periods of 3500+ RPMs (think cop cars) or long periods of cruising at 2500-3000 rpms (your highway commuter).

    Just to try and put the hours in perspective. My 2010 Ram has ~1800 hours. I have almost 70k miles which is an average of 12-15k/year. My truck probably averages below 2000 rpms which is barely doing any work on the engine/tranny and despite what my Ford and Chevy friends say, the engine/drivetrain should go 4-5k hours without too much trouble. My parents first MC, we put ~1600 hours in 8 years (Almost as much running time as my truck that I drive daily) but it was LOTS of pulling me and friends around a big lake on beginner skis, kneeboards, cruising, etc. And that boat was super reliable up until we got a newer one (and had solid even compression when we sold it).

    Now lets take a look at a boat that primarily pulls 34-36 mph skiers. The boat is started up and doesn't really get a chance to warm-up before your into the course and pushing 4k rpms. I wouldn't hammer my truck engine like that on my way to work in the AM but I don't think twice about it on my boat... Yes its harder to put 1800 hours on a boat doing this unless your running a ski school or its a communal boat but those 1800 hours are pretty hard.

    Moral of the story is high hours don't scare me, but its all relative to how the boat was used as 1800 hours of 36 mph slalom is not the same as 1800 hours of towing tubes even if identical boats were maintained exactly the same.
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