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Thread: "Red Flag" hours on a used boat?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Knik, Alaska (Valley Trash West)

    Default "Red Flag" hours on a used boat?

    Just wanting to get a few opinions. I am really looking at getting a boat soon--been wanting to for a while. I have found a used boat with a 460 engine, jet drive, 340 horsepower, and with about 360 hours on it. My question is at what point is a "red flag" raised in regards to hours on a motor?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!


  2. #2

    Default Toby

    That is a tough question. The boat you are looking at should be far from it with only 360 hours on it. 460s are tough engines and often times last longer than the boat/truck/RV that they are in if they are well taken care of. And that is what you should be looking for in the whole boat....If it looks like things just were left for later to get fixed, you can bet that some pretty important things were left for later too. Things like oil changes and other crucial periodic care items.

  3. #3


    A good rule of thumb is to imagine the engine hours like miles on a truck. Sense boats are at cruise most of the time, its like driving your truck down the hiway for the same amount of hours. So 360 hours at 60 miles an hour would equate to about 21,600 miles on the engine. The boat engine turns at a higher rpm than hiway use but the torque on the engine is much less so the engine wear is about the same. This is just from my experience with the same engines in both my truck and boats.

  4. #4
    New member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Another thing to think about, was the boat run in the ocean? How well is his maintenance up-keep?

  5. #5
    Member atvalaska's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    camp-go-4-beer fbks


    i had 462 hours on a 1996 "2 cycle " 60hp mec and ran like a top to the day i sold it, and i see the guy out on the river every spring.......One thing with a 460 jet ..gas...lots of it ( like 15+ gal and hour...) it all depends ... my .02 cents

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Anchorage and Seward

    Default "Red Flag" hours on a used boat

    360 hours should be in good shape with plenty of hours left before you have to do anything to the engine/tranny. Depending on use and whether in salt, you should get at least 800 hours before you might need a top valve job. You might need to check the risers if it's been used in salt and not flushed after each use. I've bought two inboards with 750-800 hours on them and each needed a top job fairly soon but then put another 800 hours on the Chevy 350 block without needing anything. I overhauled it before I sold it to be sure it was in good shape and redid the bottom end even though everything came within service specs. I also bought a twin diesel, 5 years old with 1500 hours and put another 3000 hours on them without any major work on the engine so you can get more life out of a oil burner.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Whitehorse Yukon


    You can find some great deals out there on boats with those big mills in them, and, depending on your cash state, it can be a good way to go.
    If you an get a nice rig with a 460 in it for say $12,000, its probably going to be a lot cheaper than a comparable boat with a more modern engine it. So, bottom line, you can put a lot of fuel through it with the money you saved.
    I'm looking at picking up a mide '90s F-250 with a 460 in it, they are practically giving them away these days, as everyne wants diesel. Sure its sucks the fuel, but, i can buy a lot of fuel with the money saved on the initial purchase, never mind the maintenance costs on a diesel.
    Sorry, got a bit off topic.


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