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How many hours is too many??


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I'm looking at getting my first bass boat, and moving from runabouts, and small 10-25hp outboards, I'm still learning........So what the opinion around here?? When should one worry about the amount of hours on an outboard?? I'm looking at anything from 125-225HP.

Thanks in advance!

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Mines an 08 and i have just under 90 hrs. I dont use it as much as id like to, but maybe average 3 to 4 times a month. I think the hr meters run no matter if you are idling or full throttle so i think it would be hard to tell if a motor has a lot of slow trolling hours or ft hrs. Dont know if i helped any, but its something.

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Hour meters run when the key is on. Doesn't even matter if the engine is running or not.

You could call dealer and ask what the general rule of thumb is but alot has to do with the condition and care the motor has had. We just bought a pontoon with a 2003 90 hp Yamaha 4 stroke. The hour meter was around 525 for 9 years of service. Quick math with a beer in hand averaged it out to about 60 hours/season.

To us, that seemed like alot but the rig is in great shape and the motor runs perfectly. We have no fears.

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I would be more worried about an old motor with low hours than an old motor with high hours.

I have a 2000 Mercury 175 XR6 powerhead in my boat and have 1400 hours on it. Had to rebuild due to a connecting rod bearing failure at 1100 hours but the failure was due to user error in overheating the motor once too many times. (clogged jet intake). At 1100 hours compression was still fine (except for the cylinder that ate the needle bearings of course).

I bought the boat in 2008 with 850 hours (so that means I put 550 on it in 4 years.)

A high hour motor that's well maintained can be a good buy if the price is right. Especially if you have the skills to handle minor issues that may occur like failed coils/stator/water pump.

Anytime a person sells a motor with "low hours"....it throws up a flag as to why. It's bad for a motor to sit for long periods. It can cause bearing pitting, carb fouling, cylinder corrosion, etc. If the motor is run all the time, then you know the owner most likely has the knowledge to perform all the routine maintenance and knows when something isn't right with it.

If it isn't used, I always think there is a reason. Did it not start for the guy? Did it have issues that made him feel un-confident with it? How did he store it? Did he winterize it every time it was stored more than 2 months without use??? Just too many questions if the motor isn't getting used.

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High hours on a boat motor doesn't mean as much to me on a boat motor.

I feel it has been used with good success but what I would look for is the maintance on a motor like routine maintance like lower unit gear oil changed,plugs and other regular maintance related things are what I would look for. Even better if the seller as recorded these someplace.

I had gotten a older merc 20 hp that sat in a shed for 10 plus years never ran but it was because the seller didnt have anything to put it on. I set it up and put some gas to it with some seafoam fired right up. ran good for a while but thru the season it started to miss and the water pump wasn't working as good so I tore it down installed new impeller. rebuilt carb, and new plugs and it runs great.

From sitting the gaskets and needle and seat dried up along with the impeller dried and became brittle and broke.

A motor that sits for long periods of time with gas in it will not fair well as the gas will break down and cause problems down the road.

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The average boat gets about 40 hours of use per year. A low use boat is no problem if it has been properly taken care of. Impellers are going to need changing every couple of years regardless of use. Fluids will need to be changed etc.

Any motor is only going to have so many hours of use. I would rather buy a well maintained low use boat rather than a boat with high hours.

We go to a resort on a southern lake that has a longer season. They have boats in the fleet that have over 3,000 hours. An outboard can last a long time if properly maintained.

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Agreed. Imagine how guys would be "freaking out" about hours if some of those coveted 60s/70s/80s motors could show hours! Just find a well-maintained motor and you'll be good.

Mileage on a car means more because there are so many more things that can wear out on a car that can't be fixed/replaced easily and you don't have to worry about rust on motors. Hours on a boat motor is little more than an indicator of usage and that's it, not condition.

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