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Thread: Outboard Hours

  1. #1

    Default Outboard Hours

    How many hours should one expect to get out of a Honda 225 4 stroke under normal sport fishing use, turning around 4400rpm at cruise with regular service.

  2. #2


    I've got close to 800 hours on my Honda 130 HPs with no problems. Have heard of one charter guy with close to 7500 hours.

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Thumbs up Impossible to answer

    Considering the maintenance and use variables, however, most newer 4 strokes can go several thousand hours before puking.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    My understanding is that the big 4-stroke outboards that are making ~1hp per cubic inch have one primary mechanical failure mode, assuming things like fuel quality, lubrication, oil changes, and corrosion/flushing are addressed.

    The outboard I'm familiar with (Honda 225) requires valve adjustment. Meaning, as the valves in your heads wear their way into the valve seats, the pre-set "slack" or clearance is taken up by that wear. If wear proceeds to the point where the valve can't seat itself firmly when not being opened by the cam, then seat erosion quickly destroys the valve seats and you have to do a full on head rebuild.

    My recollection of a conversation with one of the guys at Stormchasers in Seward was that the interval for checking and resetting valve clearance is 500-1000 hours. Probably not a bad thing to do every 500 hours for the recreational boater.

    Engine life for the most part is anecdotal. I've heard stories of coast guard honda 225s lasting over 3000 hours. I think that for the recreational boater, corrosion, electrical gremlins, and fuel quality issues claim more outboards than any sort of hard component mechanical failure...

  5. #5

    Default Also keep in mind...

    it seems most machinery (outboards, heavy equipment, semi-trucks, etc.) like to be run. Hear lots of issues with rebuilt powerheads, etc. even if the hours are low on the motor. I'd be willing to bet that if people would fire up their engines periodically on a regular basis, the overall lifespan would increase dramatically. Don't things like oil pumps, bearings, seals, etc. need routine lubrication? I realize this is hard to do if your boat is buried under 10' of snow.
    With almost daily use, I've witnessed (4) Volvo I/O's (AD41's I think) & DP drives go OVER 10k hours, each and every one of them. These were in charter boats, twin engine setup, used year 'round. I think the older boat that got sold went to 15k hours and finally needed serious attention because why? The boat sat around and never got used (we know the guy who bought it and watched it sit pretty neglected). Yes, maintenance is a religion. None of those motors had any major rebuild work done; replaced normal things like water pumps, I think 1 injector pump, motors were pulled around 8 or 9k hours and cleaned up & re-painted, put right back in. Outdrives required a little more care/attention as we had to run them tilted way up over a natural sand channel & reef on the way out/in from each trip. I firmly believe that those packages lived long lives because they were worked & maintained. It's probably better to find a boat/engine setup with lots of hours and maintained well then a newer boat with low hours that was neglected.


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