How many hours is too many

Discussion in 'Inboards' started by bbmlpoole, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. bbmlpoole
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    bbmlpoole New Member

    I am looking at a used ski boat that is a 2003 with over 900 hours. It was used by a ski club. It was serviced (oil, etc) every 50 hours, and they claim it runs like new. The boat looks good, but I am concerned with that many hours. What things should I be concerned about?
  2. Toot
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Toot Senior Member

    Coming from the perspective of used aircraft, I can tell you that "club" planes and rentals typically have a lot of hard wear and tear on them for their hours- more "takes offs and landings"... or whatever the equivalent is for boats.

    Undoubtedly, it was well-serviced. And undoubtedly it was run harder than if someone actually put their own money up for the boat. Instead of a loving owner, you have a bunch of club members who all chipped in their hundred bucks or whatever and feel they need to "get their money's worth...". If you catch my drift....

    I can't say whether that's high time for a marine motor- in aviation, most normally-aspirated piston engines will run for 2,000+ hours in typical use, or 1600-2000 in use as a trainer or rental plane (trainers have a lot of throttle changes which kill aviation motors and then there's the whole "getting your money's worth" problem again...).

    So, in sum, I think it sounds like high mileage for a marine motor, but I really don't know much. I also suspect you can rest easy on the subject of service intervals and maintenance.
  3. Luchog
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Luchog Junior Member

    I think that if the boat was well serviced and did not have any significant engine repair you can have a decent running boat for another 900hrs at least.
  4. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    When I was at Coast Guard Base San Francisco, running the industrial base, our engine shop overhauled at lot of engines. Generally we did this at 1000 hours for diesels. Usually 400 hours for gas. These were run hard, used and abused, used for a lot of towing, running at high speed in bad seas, etc. In other words run really hard. You are looking at the same kind of scenario here with one exception. There were a lot of different people who ran this ski boat. Each person is different in how they handle a boat and how hard they drive it. What I would do is if the boat is on a trailer, take it to a marine faciltiy you trust and have them give it a complete going over. Sort of a "subject to survey" type of thing. Have them run it as well. Know what you're getting

    By the way, the average boat owner runs his boat about 100 hours a year. So you are looking at nine years of wear and tear on this boat.
  5. timplett
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    timplett Junior Member

    I would look into the initial quality of the boat. Check into the manufacturer, the model, read reviews, etc. If the boat has a reputation for great quality and solid performance, then it should probably hold up fairly well. If the boat was so-so when it was new, I wouldn't even think about it after all that abuse.

    That's my two bits.

    Tim Plett
  6. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    marshmat Senior Member

    I'd find an honest mechanic or surveyor, and have him/her do a full inspection including running it through its paces. This is sound practice for any motor vehicle purchase but especially so in the case of a potentially high-wear machine like this one. Without a mechanic's word on the motor, it's hard to say what's actually going on.
    What make is the boat? The motor?
  7. george allard
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: kentucky

    george allard Junior Member

    I had a work boat with 2 Cat D342 diesel engines. They had over 42,000 hrs before one gave up. Never had a head or oil pan removed. Good maintance did that.
  8. Jango
    Joined: Aug 2005
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    Location: Mid Atlantic

    Jango Senior Enthusiast

    Ski Boats rarely run wide open, which is a plus. But, You should have it checked out by a reputeable shop. Good luck
  9. DGG
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Midland, Texas

    DGG New Member

    I have a 1986 Sea Ray bow rider with a Merc. Drive and a chevy 250 mercruiser engine with 710 hours and it has never been in the shop. It runs like a top. I just this year changed the water pump on the drive out.

  10. StianM
    Joined: May 2006
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    StianM Senior Member

    I had diesels running 6000 hours in a year without annything else, but a oilchange and overhault off injectors.

    It all depends on engine type and how good oil, maintinance is used.
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