The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum

Go Back   >
Search


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-22-2009, 12:10 AM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 16
Default Why are boats such money pits and inherently unreliable?

I bought my car brand new in 2002. Other than oil changes, tires, new battery, and brakes I have not had to do anything to the car in its 102,000 mile career. It has never broken down and left me stranded and never caused me surprise expensive repair bills. Everything I have done has been your typical run-of-the-mill preventative maintenance and replacing items that get used up.

So what is it with boats? It can't be a saltwater thing because my friends with freshwater boats have problems all the time, even on newer boats that are only in the water when used. Is it a lack of engineering? Lack of customer demand for a reliable product? It can't be lack of money...when a low 20' WA boat costs anywhere from $30k-$50k, I would think that would buy you some quality and reliability.

So what's the deal?
cwb124 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 12:56 AM   #2
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canary Islands Spain
Posts: 2,533
Default

I made the same question myself several years ago and concluded it has to be the combination of strong loads applied during long time on the engines something that does not happen on land plus corrosion items which affect electrics and almost everything to certain extent .........

the deal is simple if you want to fish ...... there is no other option apart from buying the fish but then that is not fishing
CANARIANFISHER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 01:30 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 1,533
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CANARIANFISHER View Post
I made the same question myself several years ago and concluded it has to be the combination of strong loads applied during long time on the engines something that does not happen on land plus corrosion items which affect electrics and almost everything to certain extent .........

the deal is simple if you want to fish ...... there is no other option apart from buying the fish but then that is not fishing
That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Try pulling around 10 times what your car weighs for 100,000 miles and see what craps out.. A boat engine works about 10 times harder pushing a boat thru the water than a land vehicle does thru the wind..
Dunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 02:16 AM   #4
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 6,418
Default

I think you will find that anyone who fishes offshore would say their boat is very reliable. It has to be, we need to come back.

It boils down to maintenance and preventive maintenance. Not waiting for things to fail to replace them, like batteries for example.

You really need to stay on top of things and problems are kept to a minimum.

Your mission is to figure out what to change before it fails.

It helps to have a backup for everything important for floating and moving under power.

Last edited by Local Motion; 10-22-2009 at 02:16 AM. Reason: typo
Local Motion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 02:59 AM   #5
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
Posts: 1,016
Default

I bet this one creates the most pages ever! The reasons are never ending.
rcoleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 03:41 AM   #6
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location:
Posts: 103
Default

IMHO it's lack of use that's a contriubuting factor. Seals dry up, fluids settle, moisture infiltrates areas that would dry out via motor heat, etc. Most of us use our cars/trucks every day, unfortunately, most of our boats lead a rather seditary life.

There are several smaller commercial fishing boats in our port that are absolute roaches and these guys turn the key every morning and go for 8-10 hours a day, no problems, no maintenance. 10,000 to 12,000 hours on their engines is the norm. Sure things break, but not even close to a recreational user when you figure the hours run per incident.

Ya gotta run em to keep em running.
gerrynoank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 03:53 AM   #7
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Cape Cod, Mass
Posts: 4,501
Default

Figure you run an outboard at 4,000 rpm offshore, say two and a half ahours out and the same back, total of five hours.

Now imagine running your car at 4,000 rpms for 5 hours! You'd probably be doing about 120mph and be almost to Ohio! Driving around town my truck is usually operating around 1,500 rpm's, just food for thought.
Hooper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 03:57 AM   #8
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 8,067
Default

I think you will find that many of the people with high end offshore boats don't find them unreliable at all. Lots of preventative maintenance is they key. There is just a lot more maintenance on a boat as compared to a car. Salt air is brutal on electrical items and corrosion on surfaces, something cars usually don't see - but if you live right on the water, your car will show similar signs after 7-8 years, and lots of body corrosion. Lastly, ask yourself how many guys with cars that are only used 1-2x a week, 6-8 months a year don't have more issues with them, and thereby get the impression they spend as much time working on them as using them. The reality is if they used them 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, they'd have the smae number of issues, but it wouldn't be nearly as annoying.
LI32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 04:48 AM   #9
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: God's waiting room, FL
Posts: 1,306
Default

You use your car everyday. Boats, like women and sports cars don't like to be ignored.
Jeremy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 05:08 AM   #10
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South Jersey - That's below Cherry Hill
Posts: 761
Default

You tell me. This is an exhaust riser I just removed from a motor I am replacing for a customer. He, like you, has no idea why it ingested water and ruined the motor. 1996 boat, 100% saltwater use, original exhaust system.

Yes, that's actually the tip of the exhaust elbow, rotted off and lodged in the "Y" pipe.

I can't speak for your woes, but in general does this answer any questions for you?
Attached Images
 
linesix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 05:55 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Fla / Curacao / WA
Posts: 3,884
Default

Take your car and fill the cooling system with salt water, acid and sand. Then build a box around the engine and put 1" of water in the bottom and spray all the electrics and air intake with water once and a while. Now let this sit for 6 weeks with rotten fuel. Next go to the Indy 500 and run a flat out while towing an RV, shut off and let sit. Oh one other thing, Get really drunk first so when you think what happened? it will be just a nice quite drive in your memory.

See how long your car lasts. Crazy? That is what 99% of all boaters do every day.
v12mac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 07:35 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location:
Posts: 324
Default

Toyota builds a 400k Camrys a year, using very automated processes. Boats are built in tiny numbers, mostly by hand. Not only is boat building a far less repeatable process, but the small quantity reduces the quality lessons learned by the manufacturer. The small quantity also reduces the amount of engineering that can be done economically.

Toyota can spend $1 Billion to develop the next Camry because it can amortize that cost across 400,000 units per year, and during development they will drive 1,000,000 miles in the development prototypes. A boat builder expecting to sell 200 units per year of their new SuperDuper 28' can't afford to do 100,000 hours of on-the-water testing of prototypes -- they don't have the capital in the first place, and even if they did, the development cost amortized across 200 units per year would make their boats prohibitively expensive.
M1911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 07:48 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Mobile, AL
Posts: 668
Default

This is really a no brainer, Huge loads on engines for extended periods of time in a highly corrosive and heightened electrical environment. I trust my boat, do your maintenance and know your boat from port to starboard and forward to aft. You should now every system in and around your boat from top to bottom. Most boneheads rely on someone else to fix and maintain their machines. Learn your boat and more than likely if a problem arises you can fix it yourself. Most times problems are electrically related. Simple, and easy to fix if you know your boat.
BigPumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 07:56 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,245
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwb124 View Post

So what is it with boats? It can't be a saltwater thing because my friends with freshwater boats have problems all the time, even on newer boats that are only in the water when used. Is it a lack of engineering? Lack of customer demand for a reliable product? It can't be lack of money...when a low 20' WA boat costs anywhere from $30k-$50k, I would think that would buy you some quality and reliability.

So what's the deal?

Boats take maintance, even sail boats. Hell even my kayaks need maintance. This is true for any and all boats ever made, and ever boat made in the future. It is just part of boating. Has nothing to do with customer demand, engineering,etc..


take your car offroad for a few hours @ 30-40mph. See how well it holds up. Boats take a beating, NO vehical made can take the beating a boat does and stay together. I know this for a fact, I offroad jeeps and we tear them up ever time we go out.

To me boats are far beyond reliable. You can strap large amounts of horse power on the back, run 30mph through choppy waves, boat taking a beating. Clean and park the boat, then expect the boat to do the same exact thing the next weekend. NO CAR can do this.
Jeepman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 07:58 AM   #15
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Hampton, VA
Posts: 2,133
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by v12mac View Post
Take your car and fill the cooling system with salt water, acid and sand. Then build a box around the engine and put 1" of water in the bottom and spray all the electrics and air intake with water once and a while. Now let this sit for 6 weeks with rotten fuel. Next go to the Indy 500 and run a flat out while towing an RV, shut off and let sit. Oh one other thing, Get really drunk first so when you think what happened? it will be just a nice quite drive in your memory.

See how long your car lasts. Crazy? That is what 99% of all boaters do every day.
That was awesome.
theolog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 08:06 AM   #16
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location:
Posts: 353
Default

Your 150 hp motor pushes somewhere around 4,000 pounds of fiberglass and load through the resistance of water compounded by bouncing in wave chop It runs at near idling speed trolling for hours, then it runs near wot coming home back through the chop. There really is no automotive comparison. When we choose boating as a hobby, we choose the expenses. I would trade money in the bank for the experiences on the water any day.
SnoweyTiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 08:07 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Denver, NC
Posts: 126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by M1911 View Post
Toyota builds a 400k Camrys a year, using very automated processes. Boats are built in tiny numbers, mostly by hand. Not only is boat building a far less repeatable process, but the small quantity reduces the quality lessons learned by the manufacturer. The small quantity also reduces the amount of engineering that can be done economically.

Toyota can spend $1 Billion to develop the next Camry because it can amortize that cost across 400,000 units per year, and during development they will drive 1,000,000 miles in the development prototypes. A boat builder expecting to sell 200 units per year of their new SuperDuper 28' can't afford to do 100,000 hours of on-the-water testing of prototypes -- they don't have the capital in the first place, and even if they did, the development cost amortized across 200 units per year would make their boats prohibitively expensive.

I'm with you on this....but, but,... boat builders are always striving to build a cheaper boat! (for them) They cut corners, using as little resin as possible, make the hull as thin as will hold it's form, use the cheapest gel coat available, use plastic thru hulls, and hardware they can find, use questionable construction methods, hire cheap as possible labor, ect, ect.
Current trend seems to be to offer as many options as possible so to drive up the price.
How about a simple well built boat, plain jane, put the dollars into hardy construction, and ease of maintenance, and let the sales price reflect it. Cut out the frills and hype. I'd bet there is a bigger market out there than is realized. What happened to quality? There are old boats out there, still running from the 60's and 70's. Hatteras, bertram, etc, etc. They can build them, but "people" accept the new crap as normal. If everyone would expect more from the builders, they will/ would build it, and I would pay the price for one! I'm just saying!
islandhopper00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 08:11 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,245
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by islandhopper00 View Post
I'm with you on this....but, but,... boat builders are always striving to build a cheaper boat! (for them) They cut corners, using as little resin as possible, make the hull as thin as will hold it's form, use the cheapest gel coat available, use plastic thru hulls, and hardware they can find, use questionable construction methods, hire cheap as possible labor, ect, ect.
Current trend seems to be to offer as many options as possible so to drive up the price.
How about a simple well built boat, plain jane, put the dollars into hardy construction, and ease of maintenance, and let the sales price reflect it. Cut out the frills and hype. I'd bet there is a bigger market out there than is realized. What happened to quality? There are old boats out there, still running from the 60's and 70's. Hatteras, bertram, etc, etc. They can build them, but "people" accept the new crap as normal. If everyone would expect more from the builders, they will/ would build it, and I would pay the price for one! I'm just saying!

Do you have any clue as to the maintance that is needed to keep a 60's to 70's hatteras on the water?

It is very clear you do not.
Jeepman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 08:15 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Denver, NC
Posts: 126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepman View Post
Do you have any clue as to the maintance that is needed to keep a 60's to 70's hatteras on the water?

It is very clear you do not.
You must work for the boat industry.
islandhopper00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2009, 08:39 AM   #20
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 10,849
Default

Dip your vehicle in eighty degree saltwater a few times, then when running down the hwy, turn off and proceed thru a plowed field at speed.
Perhaps then your automobile will then do a comparison to your boat.

Todays boats and outboard motors I find to be very reliable and well backed by the manufacturers.

I find a modern boat and outboard motor to be very trouble free and customer service people that jump thru flaming hoops to win your satisfaction.
mike carrigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:29 PM.


©2009 TheHullTruth.com

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.9.3.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.