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Old 05-01-2016, 07:19 AM   #1
stynx55
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Default Question on engine hours

We are shopping around looking to possibly upgrade our boat. Recently we looked at a 2006 bow rider the boats in immaculate shape. My only concern is the amount of hours on the engine. The boat has a merc 350 mag with 400 hours. Any idea on what the engines lifespan should be

Last edited by stynx55; 05-03-2016 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by stynx55 View Post
We are shopping around looking to possibly upgrade our boat. Recently we looked at a 1996 bow rider the boats in immaculate shape. My only concern is the amount of hours on the engine. The boat has a merc 350 mag with 400 hours. Any idea on what the engines lifespan should be
A well maintained I/O engine will easily exceed 1,000 hours without any issues. The very high performance engines, built up for speed, sometimes need a rebuild in 100 hours or so but that is a lot different than a stock engine.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stynx55 View Post
We are shopping around looking to possibly upgrade our boat. Recently we looked at a 1996 bow rider the boats in immaculate shape. My only concern is the amount of hours on the engine. The boat has a merc 350 mag with 400 hours. Any idea on what the engines lifespan should be
The 350 mag is a great motor. buy doing a cylinder leak down that could put
your concerns to rest.
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Old 05-01-2016, 09:02 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by stynx55 View Post
We are shopping around looking to possibly upgrade our boat. Recently we looked at a 1996 bow rider the boats in immaculate shape. My only concern is the amount of hours on the engine. The boat has a merc 350 mag with 400 hours. Any idea on what the engines lifespan should be
Hours are not much of an indicator on engine status of lifespan. A marine engine pushes constantly. Cars roll. Engines used for (far end of the scale) 100% skiing/boarding, doing starting accelerations all the time would endure more wear, but in all reality, once the person is up, it is like driving a boat without anyone back there. 2-Strokes run better at (almost) wide open then cruising slow. I/O's like the 350 have a range they usually run in best. A survey of the engine with compression and leak down will tell you more than hours. To give an idea, my '04 cruiser has twins with ~420 hrs each. They run and idle like new, cruising or top speed.

If the person seems responsible with maintenance items, then I would go to engine check, and then to bank check if everything works out. Enjoy!
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:01 PM   #5
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Default You should be fine....

As others have said, you should be fine, (assuming all other aspects of the boat are ok). In 2013, I bought an immaculate 2004 Cobalt with 700 hours on it, (496 HO engine). It was very well maintained and the marina that took it in trade had all of the original owner's maint records. They went over the engine...compression test, etc., and said it was A-OK. I never had one single issue with it. I was a little apprehensive at first, buying a boat with 700 hours on it, but it turned out to be a non-issue. I just traded it in two weeks ago for something newer/bigger, but it was, (and still is!), an awesome boat.

Good luck!
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Old 05-01-2016, 04:27 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses, This will be our second boat, the first purchased last year so I am still very much a newbie and appreciate people with more experience chiming in.
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Old 05-01-2016, 07:37 PM   #7
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Mine has 700 hours and runs great. I worked on one recently with 1000 hours and runs great. They can easily go 2000+ hours. My pickup truck has 5600 hours and runs like new.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:14 PM   #8
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As others have said, you should be fine, (assuming all other aspects of the boat are ok). In 2013, I bought an immaculate 2004 Cobalt with 700 hours on it, (496 HO engine). It was very well maintained and the marina that took it in trade had all of the original owner's maint records. They went over the engine...compression test, etc., and said it was A-OK. I never had one single issue with it. I was a little apprehensive at first, buying a boat with 700 hours on it, but it turned out to be a non-issue. I just traded it in two weeks ago for something newer/bigger, but it was, (and still is!), an awesome boat.

Good luck!
What did you get?
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:37 PM   #9
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Default FYI ..Private Aircraft

Your common Cessna/Piper aircraft are typically rated for 2000 hours before an overhaul May be required.

At a minimum, annual checkups are FAA mandatory. I guess that means..regular maintenance WILL occur. Most of it must be done by an FAA Certified mechanic.

Bottom Line: 2000 hours is a reasonable time for an internal combustion engine to remain serviceable.

Just a Benchmark...... for consideration. NB
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:47 PM   #10
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Your common Cessna/Piper aircraft are typically rated for 2000 hours before an overhaul May be required.

At a minimum, annual checkups are FAA mandatory. I guess that means..regular maintenance WILL occur. Most of it must be done by an FAA Certified mechanic.

Bottom Line: 2000 hours is a reasonable time for an internal combustion engine to remain serviceable.

Just a Benchmark...... for consideration. NB
Talk about apples and oranges. The results of an aircraft engine failure are very likely to be considerably more dire than an engine failure on a small pleasure boat.
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:34 AM   #11
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STYNX55 -- 350 Mags are the "workhorse" engines. I would dare say, better than 60-70% of all boats on Winni currently (20'-26') have one.

As far as hours are concerned, take a look in the forum archives for the Poll that asks "what your average engine hours" in the past season. http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...ad.php?t=19941

Take that and multiply by your 19yr. old boat. For us, we run on the high side averaging 90 - 110 hours a Season -- but admittedly that is quite a high average.

For me - a 19 year old boat, with ONLY 400 hrs. (avg. 21 hrs./yr.), would make me start asking other questions -- was this the proverbial "Grandma's boat only used on Sunday's to go to church? -- Was the original engine replaced ? -- is that 400 hrs. on the dash gauge or off the Engine chip? (if you replace the gauges say at 600 hrs., the dash gauge begins at zero from there)


Bottom line -- do not be so concerned with Engine hours as much as the Hull, interior, etc


.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:35 AM   #12
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The boat is a 2006, not a 1996. I don't know why I posted 96,
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:16 AM   #13
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Asked the same question to my mechanic couple years ago. A lot depends on how it's used as mentioned above but he said general rule of thumb is when they hit 1200 hours they start to get tired. Mine is a 1997 with 1000 on it but a lot of those are trolling hours with no skiing/tubing and being well maintained. I expect to 1500 or better of it.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:56 AM   #14
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What did you get?

It begins with "F", ends with "A", and has 27' of fiberglass in between
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:26 AM   #15
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I have a 1999 Cobalt with around 1600 hours that still runs flawlessly. Most marine engines break because of poor maintenance, water ingestion, or neglect. The 350 MAG with proper maintenance should last at least 2000 hours before it needs a major rebuild.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:04 PM   #16
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It begins with "F", ends with "A", and has 27' of fiberglass in between
Sweet, best of luck with it!!
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:09 PM   #17
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400 hours is just broken in as long as it has been maintained. I have a ski boat I bought 3 years ago with 1000 hours and I didn't think twice. Also in a lot of boats the hour meter ticks if the key is on without the motor running. I'd ask for maintenance records. I think hours are way over emphasized when discussing the condition of a boat.
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:11 AM   #18
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400 hours on a boat is like 20,000 miles on a car.Just broken in.
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:24 PM   #19
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Sold our 8.1 Merc with 1,400 hours on it. Top speed stayed the same from new 'til I sold it. Regular maintenance, nothing special.
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:17 AM   #20
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Default Over 1500 hours

I agree with maintenance is key. I have over 1500 hours on my 1995 225 Sundowner FourWinns. Bought this new. It has a 351 Ford block with 255 hp and OMC outdrive. Other than a water pump and a few belts over the years, primarily just annual maintenance. Still runs good.

My previous boat a 1989 180 Horizon, FourWinns with a small V8, 200 hp, is still being run by the 2nd owner, with over 2500 hours.

Hope this helps,
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:21 PM   #21
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Just think if we all lived somewhere warm year round some of us would be putting on 400 hours in a season!
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