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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through November 17, 2003 » Boat hours « Previous Next »
By Tony Thompson (wakeboard_dad) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 12:04 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
This may be an old subject, but I'm new here.

As a wakeboard dad I'm going through the typical research pattern most of us go through before any big expenditure - new vs used, etc.

the question I would like opinions on is number of hours on a used boat. What is too many? Does it matter. This is just a general question, brand isn't important. Any input is appreciated.

By Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 12:48 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I wouldn't be concerned about how many hours verses how it was used.

I am probably going to put a 100 hours on my boat this year, which I consider to be "low" compared to my normal (lost too many weekends due to my kids being in hospitals......)

I wouldn't consider 200 hours a year to be too high for a boat that is used on a regular basis. I would rather have a boat that has been used and cared for rather than one that just sat. Finding one that has just sat for the last couple of years is not going to be a deal as bas things can happen to an engine that is not run for months at a time.

Another issue, especially with wakeboard boats, is the load that the boat has seen. If you take a boat that was designed to weigh 3000 pounds and add 2000 pounds of ballast to it the engine and transmission will work a lot harder than it would have otherwise. My next door neighbor works at the repair shop for a local boat dealer and he has been telling me all sorts of stories about the weird problems they are seeing as a result of heavily ballested boats. Transmissions wear out fast. Gas tanks get squashed. Hulls get warped.

My suggestion is to be just as wary of a boat with too few hours as one with too many. Ask about how much, if any, ballast was used. Inspect the hull carefully for signs of stress cracks. Ask for any maintenence records.

There are a lot of good boats out there. If this is your first boat, then I highly recommend used. You can buy it, use it for a season, then sell it for minimal loss. Once you are really sure what you want in a boat and know that you will be happy with it for a number of years, then buy new.

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 12:51 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'll see if I can get this started. This subject does come up every once in a while and generally speaking, the most important thing may be the Care and Maintenance given during the hours, not just hours.
If the previous owner(s) don't have dealer/shop records because they did there own maintenance, it can get a little tricky to know the quality of care.
Regular lubricant and filter changes are a must for any engine/drivtrain. Checking to see if it's clean now will only tell you that it is clean now....what about the past?
Compression checks are a must I think in order to at least determine severe wear in the cyclinders/valves. Beyond that, the general condition of the boat should be a good indication of how the boat was cared for.
It's tough to say a boat is good or bad just based on the number of hours on it.
I have 700 hours on mine and it runs and looks as good as or better then new.
Good luck

By David D (wakeguru) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 1:10 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yeah, Rod's comments are right on. I would rather buy a newer boat with a lot of hours than an old boat that has sat.
By Blain Levitt (lugwrench) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 1:26 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Rod, if you live in Michigan and put 100 hours on a boat that is pretty high. Out here to the average boater the season is barely 3 months long. I live on the water and use my boat almost every day and have 90 hours on it this season and we are on the water more than anyone else on our lake. I don't want Michigan boarders to sound like slackers but our dealer said the average boat in Michigan gets 30 to 50 hours on it per season. Judging by the people on my lake I'd have to say its the short side of that as well. But Tony as far as everything else I completely agree with Rod and Duane, I’ve seen 50000 dollar boats that just cruise around my lake at idle while people get tans. But they’re still putting hours on it. Or you have the other extreme where people put 2 tons of ballast in the boat and use it pretty infrequently. Personally when I see a boat that has higher hours on it but is in mint condition it shows me that the person valued the boat and took good care of it.
By Brian Bedell (partyb) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 2:20 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
You could do a search to find this info. But I think you will find that the overall opinion will be that the care/maintenance record of the boat is way more important then actual hours. You should probably have an independant mechanic check engine before purchasing. As above, very important is compression test. Good luck.
By Tony Thompson (wakeboard_dad) on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 6:27 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for all the info. You all have been most helpful.
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