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Old     (e_rock32)      Join Date: Oct 2009       01-09-2018, 5:22 PM Reply   
How many boat hours is too many that you wouldn't buy? I've heard that if a boat engine is well taken care of they should last forever; on the other hand, I've heard that for a gas engine that 1000-1500 hours is about the time that an engine needs to be rebuilt depending on how it is used.

I'm currently looking at a boat that has all the additions I would like (v-drive, tower, perfect pass, ballast, updated upholstery) and looks to be in really good condition, but the hull itself has about 2200 hours and the engine was rebuilt at 1200 hours.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       01-09-2018, 6:20 PM Reply   
If the price was right and there was paperwork to support the rebuild 1200 isn't terrible. IMO its more about how those hours were put on and how much care the previous owner(s) took in the boat.

I would guess our boat has 80% of its hours in low rpm idle situation because the previous owner was a 65 year old lady who would use it like a pontoon, very few of the house are actually under heavy load.... but it shard to know that with a stranger's boat.
Old     (Bam6961)      Join Date: Apr 2011       01-09-2018, 6:50 PM Reply   
I have a friend that has almost 1600hrs on his 04 SAN, and we still weight it down, engine is still strong. ive heard of a pro's 05ish VLX having over 2000hrs and they still use it from time to time, since he's sponsored by nautique now.

Another friend has a 84 SN2001 with about 1600hrs, still runs good and we used to weight it for wakeboarding all the time. It doesn't run like when he first got it at 1000hrs though. His compression has dropped a little.

I saw a ski school selling their boats that had 3000-4000hrs on the same engine. Id say that is probably about time to rebuild, but it all comes down to the compression , if it still holds good compression why rebuild?

Last edited by Bam6961; 01-09-2018 at 6:53 PM.
Old     (onetogofast)      Join Date: Jun 2012       01-09-2018, 7:09 PM Reply   
500-5000 hours, itís a crap shoot. Compression check and run the dog out of it!
Old     (infinitysurf)      Join Date: Apr 2017       01-09-2018, 8:32 PM Reply   
If boat overall looks like it was well taken care of, babied and loved (you said it looks to be in really good condition), then for the right price it would be worth it.
Compression check, check for any fluid leaks and look in the areas that many don't clean on regular basis unless they take extra care of their boat, like engine and under floor....that will tell you a lot.
Old     (e_rock32)      Join Date: Oct 2009       01-10-2018, 4:55 PM Reply   
I am no mechanic and I've never done a compression test. After watching some youtube videos, looks like you have to take the spark plugs out and disconnect the main electric wire. Then you can do a dry and wet (oil) compression test. Look for any big variance in compression. The test seems it could be a little obtrusive to a private seller, especially with my inexperience. Have you brought a mechanic with you to check this? I will probably try and get some practice on my current boat after I pick up a gauge.
Old     (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       01-10-2018, 5:50 PM Reply   
The price is going to have to be right for that one. Lets face it most of us will never see a tow boat with 2200 hours. Very few people use them that much. Compared to other similar boats with 1000-1500 hours this boat should show a substantial discount. I'd say around 25-30% less than a comparable boat of same year and equipment with normal hours.

If this is your first boat you will likely want to upgrade in just a few years. Then that boat is going to have 2400 hours and it will be difficult to sell unless you are significantly cheaper than the other boats.

If it checks out and the price is right it may be the right deal for you. What kind of boat is it. Post up make options and year and we can tell you roughly what it should be worth.
Old     (infinitysurf)      Join Date: Apr 2017       01-10-2018, 9:55 PM Reply   
Compression test is not that hard. Take out one plug, insert the tube...and check compression by turning over the engine. Then go to the next and so on. Since you do 1 at a time, no way to mess up the wires and you can do it in 15-30mins depending on if you have done it before. I would be nervous of buying a boat from a seller that had an issue with me doing this. For what these boats cost.....
Or, spend $300 for a mechanic to check it out, he will do the compression test and much more. Money well spent when you are looking to buy a toy that costs $20k-$100k, when 1 mechanical issue can easily cost $3-$5k to fix and cost you half of your summer. If I didn't have the knowledge, I would hire someone to check it out. I have been around boats all my life, so am able to do myself and so far have not made a bad purchase. Lots of people would cover up issues and sell a boat hoping that someone else will inherit the problem and they don't have to deal with it or pay for the repair and if not a dealer that is giving a warranty, its an as-is sale and your problem unless you can PROVE they knew about it, good luck with that one. Sure, there are honest people too but in my experience honesty is an exception and I assume everyone is trying to screw me. Unfortunate, but that is the world we live in.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       01-11-2018, 9:16 AM Reply   
that one's a bit tricky. first off, it was rebuilt at 1000 hours, which is on the low side for these modern engines. Did he never change the oil? run it hot a couple times? hard to say, but these engines last well beyond 1000 hours IF properly maintained. Secondly, the same guy has been maintaining the engine for the last 1200 hours. maybe he learned a lesson on the rebuild, and changed oil religiously at 50 hours. who knows.

agree that if this is a starter boat, you'll want bigger/better soon. will be hard to sell a boat with that many hours and limited history.

If he had every service record and a maintenance log, it would be a different thing. either aim really low on price or find another.
Old     (hal2814)      Join Date: Feb 2006       01-11-2018, 12:03 PM Reply   
As far as hours, it really depends on the age of the boat and what they're asking for it. The older and cheaper a boat gets, the less hours matter as far as what you can get for one. I bought my 83 Ski Nautique with a broken hour meter. It stopped way back at 384. I personally wouldn't sweat hours on anything more than 20ish years old. I would buy a 15-20 year old boat with 2000+ hours if it was otherwise in good condition. Less than that, I'd pass unless it was a really good deal.

I wouldn't let a buyer I didn't know do a compression test on my boat. It's pretty simple but there are a few things that can go wrong like forgetting to disconnect the ignition wire or running the starter for too long at a time during testing. I don't mind a buyer taking the boat to a marine mechanic of their choosing to get the boat compression tested or otherwise inspected. If they were really serious and that was all that was in the way, I'd agree to do a compression test while they watched. Another seller may feel differently. I'd discuss it with the seller before showing up with a compression tester in hand and just expecting to be able to do it then and there.
Old     (Blamey)      Join Date: Apr 2016       01-11-2018, 12:53 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by hal2814 View Post
As far as hours, it really depends on the age of the boat and what they're asking for it. The older and cheaper a boat gets, the less hours matter as far as what you can get for one. I bought my 83 Ski Nautique with a broken hour meter. It stopped way back at 384. I personally wouldn't sweat hours on anything more than 20ish years old. I would buy a 15-20 year old boat with 2000+ hours if it was otherwise in good condition. Less than that, I'd pass unless it was a really good deal.

I wouldn't let a buyer I didn't know do a compression test on my boat. It's pretty simple but there are a few things that can go wrong like forgetting to disconnect the ignition wire or running the starter for too long at a time during testing. I don't mind a buyer taking the boat to a marine mechanic of their choosing to get the boat compression tested or otherwise inspected. If they were really serious and that was all that was in the way, I'd agree to do a compression test while they watched. Another seller may feel differently. I'd discuss it with the seller before showing up with a compression tester in hand and just expecting to be able to do it then and there.
I was about to make the same post.

A boat over 20 years old and I probably wouldn't be concerned with hours either. Overall condition is more important.

I also wouldn't want a random person doing g a compression test on my boat, especially if it something they have no experience in. Fine to take it to a mechanic or watch me do it.

I just bought a 2009 with over 1000 hrs. Boat ran great but I made sure the price was appropriate and I factored in a 50% of the cost of a rebuild into what I thought the boat was worth.
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       01-11-2018, 1:02 PM Reply   
Hours don't mean much to me. I care about condition, and primarily condition of the rest of the boat. I can rebuild an engine and driveline no problem for peanuts in both time and money compared to what glass work, gel, stringers, floor, interior, upholstery, etc. would take me. Depends on what skills you have and what you're willing to learn, but hours on a boat are like miles on a car... Almost entirely irrelevant. Focus on condition, particularly on the things you don't have the space, time, or money to dive too deep into.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       01-11-2018, 2:12 PM Reply   
what's year is the boat? what engine? age has a lot to do with it.

what price? for the right price, anything can be a good deal
Old     (e_rock32)      Join Date: Oct 2009       01-11-2018, 7:51 PM Reply   
1996 Super Sport, GT-40. ~15.5K

They say that there has been 3 owners, all know each other and have kept maintenance records. Oil change every 50 hours and water pump changed once a year. Its Florida, so no winterizing, and say they haven't been on the ocean.

I currently have a 94 Ski Nautique with Windsor 351. I could practice a compression test on my current boat to learn. Good advice above.
Old     (CALIV210)      Join Date: Jun 2015       01-12-2018, 10:17 AM Reply   
High hours doesn't scare me a bit . I care more about the servicing . If the boats well taken care of then 1200 hours doesn't mean much to me .

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