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Thread: Service life of new outboard engines?

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    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    Default Service life of new outboard engines?

    Okay, I'd love to have the actual manufacturer's data for typical service life on each brand but I'm looking specifically for Honda and Suzuki 175-225hp engines. How many hours will these things last?

    Thanks!

    IceKing02

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    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    I know on the Hondas the Coast Guard has many BF225's with over 10,000 hrs on them but heck any of the new motors should get 5K to 10K hrs with proper maintenance.
    A private boater will have a hard time getting this many hours as we don't run them 10 or 12 hours a day EVERY day , the most abuse we do to our motors is NOT running them , the average boater only puts about 100 hrs a year on their motor/s.

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    I have a hard time putting 100 hrs on my main engine o/b in a year and I do a fair amount of boating.

    For planning purposes, I figure I'll get 10-12 years out of my 2-cycle Merc. I doubt it will have 1k hours on it at the end.

    Really want to go 4-stroke, but have to get everything out of my investment in the 2-stroke.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    , the most abuse we do to our motors is NOT running them
    You are absolutely correct. Boat machinery ages and wears out faster on the trailer or dry docked than if used regularly and left in the water. That is a fact. If you think you're out of the woods because you have your boat secured, fogged and winterized you have another thing coming. The temperature changes alone reek havoc on things because of condensation, mainly

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    Agree 100% with the above except it seems diesel inboards seem to take the downtime in stride; my buddy's 32' gillnetter has a single 3208 Cat w/shaft and that motor will crank to life instantly, every year after sitting drydocked all winter, 10k hours on it; outboards and high speed diesels seem to not like sitting around.
    Back to the original, I've got a friend who just swapped out his twin Suzuki 70's (4 strokes; after 7,000 hrs. still running strong but he needed to accrue some business expense so he re-powered with new Suzuki's.

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    Outboards with 10k hours? I find that hard to believe.

    I do agree that most folks will experience more problems due to neglect than over-use; 1500hrs is a long time for a recreational user.

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    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    I have Honda everything (2 autos, 4-wheeler, 2 generators, garden tiller etc), and have never owned a Suzuki anything, but I've driven a little Suzuki Samari auto, ...there is a reason that Honda always tops the auto reliability lists and you never see Suzuki on one. I've put 300K on several Honda autos without any problems except stuff like brakes and mufflers that you expect to replace. Go with the Honda and then take good care of it, you can't go wrong. There are folks on this forum that have Suzuki outboards and love them, and they MAY be right, but I've got friends that can't wait to get rid of their Suzuki outboards and buy a Honda to replace it...mostly fuel pump and electrical problems.

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    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    The next question is which motor has a 5 star dealer closest to you , go with that one. Where I live I'm screwed either way so I went with the Honda and love it .I'm at 505 hours now and 4 years old.

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    Member FISHFACE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    The next question is which motor has a 5 star dealer closest to you , go with that one. Where I live I'm screwed either way so I went with the Honda and love it .I'm at 505 hours now and 4 years old.
    Couldn't agree more. While it seems like you are partial to honda, the warranty is only as good as the service you get from your dealer. Anchorage Yamaha services our zuke 300's and I can't say enough good thing about those guys. I have six year warranty on our 300's and know that Anchorage Yamaha will always take me and the motors. The problems I have with Honda is the dealer in Anchorage and lack of higher H.P. options.
    Boatless

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FISHFACE View Post
    Couldn't agree more. While it seems like you are partial to honda, the warranty is only as good as the service you get from your dealer. Anchorage Yamaha services our zuke 300's and I can't say enough good thing about those guys. I have six year warranty on our 300's and know that Anchorage Yamaha will always take me and the motors. The problems I have with Honda is the dealer in Anchorage and lack of higher H.P. options.
    That was my problem with the Honda I had. The lack of service here in Anchorage was a major problem so I was happy to go with Yamaha.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pilebuck View Post
    Outboards with 10k hours? I find that hard to believe.


    I do too as it would be about the same as 600,000 miles on a car motor. Can it happen? Surely it can, but it is even less likely given the harsh environment we all run our boats in. I would think that a reasonable amount of hours one could expect out of a well built outboard is somewhere between 1500-3000 under good conditions and meticulous care. I have about 1000 on my honda 45s and they still run well. However, they are showing signs of age at this point. I don't worry about their dependability yet as they always start right up and don't burn any oil, but they are far from new. I am glad you called that one

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    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    I do too as it would be about the same as 600,000 miles on a car motor. Can it happen? Surely it can, but it is even less likely given the harsh environment we all run our boats in. I would think that a reasonable amount of hours one could expect out of a well built outboard is somewhere between 1500-3000 under good conditions and meticulous care. I have about 1000 on my honda 45s and they still run well. However, they are showing signs of age at this point. I don't worry about their dependability yet as they always start right up and don't burn any oil, but they are far from new. I am glad you called that one
    Well I don't mean to start a argument but the coasties motors do have that many hours on them , sorry , I went with my Honda because my dealer in SoCal , Tradewind Inflatables & Marine was the biggest seller of Honda's [ NEW ] on the west coast he also sells Yamaha and Tahatsu , when I made my purchase [ Boat, motor and trailer ] I had my choice of motors so I ask him which ones get Towed in the most and his reply was he had NEVER towed in one of his Hondas but had fetched some of his Yamahas . I AM NOT SAYING THEY DON'T BREAK but they all have made it back in under there own power.
    I'm not trying to start a who's motor is better thing , this was my choice just as y'all have made yours . As of the last 5 years I would not be afraid to buy ANY 4 stroke motor so .... Run what ya brung and let's go fishing. It all boils down to who can work on it .

    It would be cool if Honda made a bigger motor or cranked up the 225 to 250 or 275HP.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    Well I don't mean to start a argument but the coasties motors do have that many hours on them , sorry , I went with my Honda because my dealer in SoCal , Tradewind Inflatables & Marine was the biggest seller of Honda's [ NEW ] on the west coast he also sells Yamaha and Tahatsu , when I made my purchase [ Boat, motor and trailer ] I had my choice of motors so I ask him which ones get Towed in the most and his reply was he had NEVER towed in one of his Hondas but had fetched some of his Yamahas . I AM NOT SAYING THEY DON'T BREAK but they all have made it back in under there own power.
    I'm not trying to start a who's motor is better thing , this was my choice just as y'all have made yours . As of the last 5 years I would not be afraid to buy ANY 4 stroke motor so .... Run what ya brung and let's go fishing. It all boils down to who can work on it .

    It would be cool if Honda made a bigger motor or cranked up the 225 to 250 or 275HP.
    There is no aguement from me that 10 thousands hours could be attainable on a commercial/industrial boat motor. I think the internals can last that long with responsible use and proper care. My original posting said they could so we really are not arguing, but in agreement. I do doubt it is common for them to be around that long without an overhaul though. What I was trying to say is it will take most of us one hundred years of recreational use to get to 10000 hours and I seriously doubt these things are going to be around then. Not that it matters, because I won't be there to celebrate with them. In fact, it is going to take 30 or more years on my hondas to get 3000 hours. My Hondas, as are most recreational boat motors, are going to corrode apart before they "die" due to mechanical breakdown.....

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    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    T.R. Bauer, were cool and I'm in your boat as I have 505 in 4 years so it would take 20 years to put 2500 hours so yeah , it will probably rot away.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    T.R. Bauer, were cool and I'm in your boat as I have 505 in 4 years so it would take 20 years to put 2500 hours so yeah , it will probably rot away.
    I think that will be a really rotten day....

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by pilebuck View Post
    Outboards with 10k hours? I find that hard to believe.

    I do agree that most folks will experience more problems due to neglect than over-use; 1500hrs is a long time for a recreational user.
    The coasties are probably pretty good at doing scheduled maintenance. 100hr services are critical. I'm sure it helps to do them every 3 or 4 months too, to keep the fluids fresh. My dealer told me that a 4 stroke will last a really long time if you do the maintenance and if you don't run the motor at too high of an rpm. An underpowered boat really puts a strain on those outboards too. The coasties don't seem to have a lack of HP.

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    I think the life of any boat engine is directly connected to how far forward you push that red knob on the dash!! Every notice the same guys always have broken boats all the time?? At least thats what i've noticed in the commercial fleet i fish in.

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    I run 400 hp tug(s) 10hrs/day - 6 days/wk for an average of about 3200hrs/year. in order to do this I need to be shut down 1 day out of every 20 to do maint, I need to pump 1200gals/wk of fuel into the tanks, yada yada. This is some serious use for an outboard, and for 3 years straight! IMO most folks overestimate the actual hours accrued. It is concievable to run an outboard 10k hours, but I doubt it happens often. Most commercial users I know of (whale watch tours, etc) replace their outboards yearly through leasing programs with the dealers.

    Point I was trying to make is that unless you are using a motor on a daily basis commercially, I think the motor will die of old-age or neglect long before it is worn out. Just my opinion.

    As an aside, why would a gov't agency that cannot afford a failure run their equipment to the bitter end? I imagine they would swap out the motors before that risk gets too high.

  19. #19

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    Kinda confusing as to why it's hard to believe for motors to log MANY hours? Using them (established already) is the best thing for them along with regular maintenance; see pilebuck's post.
    I understand the seasonal use in a place like Alaska (difficult to pile up hours) but just to go with the general consensus of limited/short motor life seems shortsighted to me.
    I know we're focusing on the op's opener about outboards but just to stress the maintenance issue, a guy I used to deckhand for had twin volvo 200 hp diesels w/dp drives that had just over 10k hrs on the motors when he sold the boat; not too unusual to rack up hrs here in hawaii due to the yearlong ability to fish. He was religious about maintaining the motors/drives.
    Jim
    One more thing; back before 4stroke ob's made an appearance, the guys I fish with here ran twin 2strokes; mostly 50-75 hp range on 19-22' boats and routinely got 3,000 hrs out of them which was pretty good for the "old" technology. My primary fishing buddy is now on his 3rd set of motors on a boat built in '92; Yamaha HT60's that are a couple years old with 1200 hrs, loves them compared to the Honda 50's he had previously.
    Last edited by Big Jim; 01-05-2011 at 09:20. Reason: added info; spellnng

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FISHFACE View Post
    Couldn't agree more. While it seems like you are partial to honda, the warranty is only as good as the service you get from your dealer. Anchorage Yamaha services our zuke 300's and I can't say enough good thing about those guys. I have six year warranty on our 300's and know that Anchorage Yamaha will always take me and the motors. The problems I have with Honda is the dealer in Anchorage and lack of higher H.P. options.
    Yup, best o/b service shop in town. I haven't put enough hours on my suzuki 140 to comment on durability, but a friend runs twin 250's on a charter and he says they have been bullet proof. He did say the 300's had problems with the electric shifters in the lowerend, so something to consider.

    As far as how long an o/b will last, it depends on how it is used (or abused) and how it is serviced. I'd say even if you don't put enough hours on the engine to change the oil each year, it's worth having fresh oil over the winter.

    Assuming a fuel burn of 10gph at cruise, 2000 hrs on an engine equates to $70,000 at current fuel prices.

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