Notices
The Boating Forum

life expectancy of outboard motors

Old 12-23-2008, 03:16 PM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Hampton VA
Posts: 83
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default life expectancy of outboard motors

I am looking at used boats with outboards of diff years and makes. What life expectancy should one expect from a 2 stroke and 4 stroke from a reputable brand like yamaha?
Old 12-23-2008, 03:19 PM
  #2  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Out west
Posts: 3,300
Likes: 0
Received 576 Likes on 282 Posts
Default RE: life expectancy of outboard motors

Lots of guys running small outboards from the 70's and 80's. That ought to tell you something about the smaller ones.

Once you get over 100hp, you don't see many outboards from the 70's and few from the 80's. Depending on the make/model/salt/fresh etc, you might get 2000hrs or more from an outboard.
Old 12-23-2008, 03:23 PM
  #3  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: St. Augustine, Fl
Posts: 21,953
Received 4,303 Likes on 1,708 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

Commercial guys, USCG and others get 5000 to 10000 hours with some regularity on the 4 strokes...
Old 12-23-2008, 03:42 PM
  #4  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Diego
Posts: 4,683
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

I'm with Cracker. Ive seen Yammaha 225's with 6500 hours purring like kittens, Ive owned the same motor up to 2600 hours, sold them to a commercial guy who still is running them. I have a Johnson 200 Carby on a 20' Hydrasport CC, I think the hour meter broke at 1300 hours, in 2002. They can live a long time. Outboards are tougher than even I give them credit for. Even the 2-strokes.
Old 12-23-2008, 03:55 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Charleston, SC
Posts: 272
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: life expectancy of outboard motors

This thread looks familiar... seems like this has gone back and forth for a while now...

The average use you can expect from an outboard without any major repairs rebuilds is between 2k-3k hours. That is AVERAGE. There will always be exceptions to this rule caused by a host of different factors like keeping up with maintenance, salt or freshwater use, how the previous owner drove the boat, etc etc.


dssmith - 12/23/2008 5:19 PM

Lots of guys running small outboards from the 70's and 80's. That ought to tell you something about the smaller ones.

Once you get over 100hp, you don't see many outboards from the 70's and few from the 80's. Depending on the make/model/salt/fresh etc, you might get 2000hrs or more from an outboard.
I think there is some truth in that statement. Some of the most reliable 2-stroke outboards I've had the pleasure of operating fell into that category.

But, if you're going for something newer/more powerful, the idea of a four stroke with an oil sump seems better to me IMHO versus an engine whose main source of lubrication is mixed with gasoline, which has little to no lubricating properties whatsoever. That, on top of the $$ savings you'll get in oil usage (no mixing).

Brand of the outboard should be considered too... Yamaha seems to make a very reliable 4-stroke, as well as Suzuki. Heard more issues out of other MFG's...

Before buying the boat, look at how many hours are on the engine. May not be a clear indicator as to what shape the engine is in, but it's a lot like buying a used car, sometimes that's all you have to go on...
Old 12-23-2008, 04:09 PM
  #6  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
ScarabChris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Dania Beach, FL
Posts: 28,414
Likes: 0
Received 27 Likes on 26 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

It all depends on how its used and cared for. A well used and well maintained engine will last longer than an engine that sits and doesn't get used or maintained.

This is why the commercial guys get so many hours out of them.

A 5 year old engine with 400-500 hours on it will probably be more reliable than a 5 year old engine with 20 hours.
Likes:
Old 12-23-2008, 04:52 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NSW Australia
Posts: 5,293
Received 1,264 Likes on 696 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

this sort of thing comes up all the time, in actual fact, you will almost never wear out an Outbaord, something will kill it long before it wears, like a dud Water Pump, rust, failed Oil system or a dozen other things will claim it's life before it wears out, look at cars, taxis and stuff have half a million miles on them sometimes, but at other times, a new Motor is needed at a quarter of that life span!
Old 12-23-2008, 11:15 PM
  #8  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGERPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Maui and SoCal
Posts: 7,103
Likes: 0
Received 10 Likes on 10 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

I agree that a motor that runs every day lasts a lot longer than one that runs once every few months.
Old 12-24-2008, 06:00 AM
  #9  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central, New Jersey
Posts: 2,559
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

This is the same for any engine. If you run and use an engine it will last a lot longer than if you let it sit in a marine environment and let it rust away. There are engines out there with 5 to 10k hours on them and have heard of some diesel's going into the 30k hours before a rebuild.
Old 12-24-2008, 06:21 AM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Long Island
Posts: 2,701
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

Well maintained do last a long time.

When looking at used you should avoid certain models like the Yahmi HD 300 & 250.

The Yahmi 225 is known to really be a 200, not a bad engine but the HP is overrated.
The Honda 225 is known to have more HP and would be a better choose on a head to head comparison.

If you look back about two weeks ago a member/vendor post a go list of outboards to avoid.
Old 12-24-2008, 07:05 AM
  #11  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bermuda
Posts: 5,193
Likes: 0
Received 79 Likes on 57 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

I believe the fastest killer of a recreational engine is lack of regular use. Our CG guys had a pair of 115hp Yamahas on their Whalers for the longest time. Tried to beat them to death every day but they just kept on running.

I have a 9 year old Evinrude 50 that was used every day for the first 5 years of its life. I have not used it much in the last 2 years & am now looking at major work to get it back in shape or buying a new one. I also have a 12 year 2hp Yamaha, run in a bucket of soapy fresh water after every use. It starts first time every time & still has original impeller.

There are good model years of engines. There are bad. Much depends on how it is used & maintained.
Old 12-24-2008, 07:12 AM
  #12  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Newport, RI & Key West, FL
Posts: 4,184
Received 429 Likes on 197 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

ScarabChris - 12/23/2008 6:09 PM

It all depends on how its used and cared for. A well used and well maintained engine will last longer than an engine that sits and doesn't get used or maintained.

This is why the commercial guys get so many hours out of them.

A 5 year old engine with 400-500 hours on it will probably be more reliable than a 5 year old engine with 20 hours.
agree 110% all about maintenance and usage.
Old 12-24-2008, 07:19 AM
  #13  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: MA/NC
Posts: 185
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

do a search on "The worst of the worst outboards"; goes back to 12/2/08.
Old 12-24-2008, 10:01 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 378
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

Even thou there are some bad motor designs it really all comes down to the maintaince and usage of the previous owner. The guys who get a zillion hours all have a few things in common they start with a solid maintaince schedule, they tend to run the motor all day every day, they are also aware of any minor change in noise and locate its cause faster. When you spend a few hundred hours a year trolling you get to know every sound the motor makes and zero in on problems faster.
Old 12-24-2008, 11:21 AM
  #15  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Onset, MA
Posts: 4,549
Received 309 Likes on 212 Posts
Default RE: life expectancy of outboard motors

101numlock - 12/23/2008 11:16 AM

I am looking at used boats with outboards of diff years and makes. What life expectancy should one expect from a 2 stroke and 4 stroke from a reputable brand like yamaha?
It's not that simple . . . There are differences in outboards in the same brand. Just b/c they have a yamaha sticker doesn't mean squwat!! Just like with Automobiles, there are certain issues unique to a particular model. For example "oil injection" on 2.0L, 2.4L, and 2.5L Merc's . . . Or shift shafts rotting through on Pre-saltwater series 1993 Yamaha's. Once you know a particular motor and it's weak points . . . you can watch those areas closely and avoid premature (or engineered) failure. Carbon buildup is a common issue with all two strokes outboards . . . if you don't keep up with it (decarb the motor) . . . It will surely end the life of the engine in less than 1000hours. This is obvious stuff . . . Water Pumps/Thermostats/Popit Valves need to be done regularly too. If you don't replace these parts on a regular maintainence schedule you be lucky to see 500 hours. My point is good looking shiny stickers (backed by expensive marketing and service programs) are NOT indicators of a higher quality longer lasting product. Just like everyone says above . . . Your engines will last a LONG time if you maintain them properly and run them regularly. Personally I try to stick to the KISS moto when buying anything. The fewer moving parts and the simpler the systems . . . the longer the product will last. It's not an absolute rule, but generally speaking that theory holds true.
Old 12-24-2008, 06:34 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Spartanburg, SC
Posts: 2,330
Likes: 0
Received 237 Likes on 126 Posts
Default RE: life expectancy of outboard motors

Marsh Mallowe - 12/23/2008 2:55 PM

But, if you're going for something newer/more powerful, the idea of a four stroke with an oil sump seems better to me IMHO versus an engine whose main source of lubrication is mixed with gasoline, which has little to no lubricating properties whatsoever. That, on top of the $$ savings you'll get in oil usage (no mixing).
An oil sump recirculates engine oil...an E-Tec runs the oil through the motor only once...then it is burned; never mixed with the gas. I kind of like the idea of only fresh/new/clean oil running thru my motor -- and of course never having to change it.
Old 12-25-2008, 09:10 AM
  #17  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location:
Posts: 13,054
Likes: 0
Received 25 Likes on 21 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

v70cat - 12/24/2008 5:21 AM

The Yahmi 225 is known to really be a 200,
Don't you mean that is is "believed to be" a 208? No one knows for sure, or if they do they are not talking.

Test data submitted to the EPA does not mean squat when it comes to thousands and thousands of a particular model of motor that is available. It relates to one engine of that model. If you were a manufacturer wouldn't you want to select a particular motor that is rated at the low end of an acceptable scale, thinking that less HP might mean less emissions?

Having said that, maybe Yamaha is providing somewhat derated motors in the interest of having greater reliability???? That is their mantra, Turn Key Reliability. On the other hand, how is the perception that the F150 puts out on average more than 150 HP to be explained? Is the F150 putting out more than 150 HP less reliable than an F225 that puts out less than 225 HP?

Damn, I sure wish the Mythbusters would do some tests on a number of F225's to determine its average HP output so that this myth can either be confirmed or denied? Where are Jamie and Adam when we need them?
Old 12-25-2008, 11:44 AM
  #18  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: MD/DC & IRI - 05 Southport 26 Honda 225s
Posts: 3,914
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

IMO, it depends on whether you are buying or selling. On the buy side, I assume a 2 stroke has a 1000 hour lifespan and a 4 stroke a 1500 hour lifespan. On the sell side, I would add 500 hours to each number. Well maintained and treated engines should go longer, but I can't see sinking money in on higher assumptions.

If I owned the engine and planned on continuing to use it, I would expect an additional 500 hours (say 2000 hours from a 2 stroke and 2500 or perhaps a bit more from a 4 stroke). At this point, you are faced with deciding how much you want to depend on something that is used to this extent, which will be affected to some extent by where you use the boat (the farther from port, the less you want to risk relying on an older engine).

To me, hours on commercial engines aren't a good indicator of what the average recreational fisherman will see as the engines are run more frequently, treated better, and likely maintained better.
Old 12-25-2008, 12:34 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sweden
Posts: 265
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

Hi,

My Yamaha service book where I get the signature and stamp when serviced goes to 1700 hours. Maybe Yamaha is trying to tell me something there. Anyway, if my Yamaha F115 4-stroke will make it to 1700 hours I will not be the owner by then.

/Bo
Old 12-25-2008, 04:33 PM
  #20  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Norfolk, Va
Posts: 9,260
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default Re: life expectancy of outboard motors

I had a '88 Yami with ~800 hours on it, it went ka-boom (oil pump) a few weeks ago. In its defence it was obviously rarely used, new powerhead ~ $2500.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.