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  1. #1
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    Default why are boat motors so expensive?

    both used and new. is there some secret i dont know about?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    good question....I have no idea other than alot of R&D goes into them.
    Love the life you live, live the life you love-Bob Marley


  3. #3
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    but couldnt that be said for all motors? i just picked up a used motor for my bike last summer for 600 shipped. it only had 8,000 miles on it.

    ive bought motors for cars (tranny included) for 800...

    yet a 30 year old boat motor goes for over 1500....lol.
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  4. #4
    Lieutenant mphy98's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    To put it bluntly, because they can!!! I watched a show called how its made on discovery channel and it doesn't look that labor intensive.
    The reason I do what I do is in the avatar above.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    It is amazing how expensive these boat motors are, especially the parts. Mine as an aq125a in it. Spark plugs are 30$ wires are over 100$. A new carb if needed is about $900. 180$ for a rebuilt. The raw water impeler is about 30 bucks. But i will admit it is a great engine, been told its a very good quality setup, with very little hours around 500 or so, give or take if i leave the key on. The boat is 24 years old. Still looks good.
    "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he will spend all day in his boat fishing and drinking beer."

    1985 Bayliner Capri (the floor is still solid) Volvo Penta AQ125a Aq270 Drive

  6. #6
    Moderator Bondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    Ayuh,.. We're Capitalists,... Anything is worth the amount the market will bear.....
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  7. #7
    Chief Petty Officer kandil's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    Quote Originally Posted by mphy98 View Post
    To put it bluntly, because they can!!! I watched a show called how its made on discovery channel and it doesn't look that labor intensive.
    If it is the same show I seen I think it was the Evinrude E-TEC man they are not careful installing the pistons in it looked like he scratch the Cly walls before it even started and yet they charge this much $ for it

  8. #8
    Commander 45Auto's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    From rtpassini:

    i just picked up a used motor for my bike last summer for 600 shipped.
    Why didn't you just go to the dealer and buy a new one? Maybe cause it would have been real expensive?? Why not have your old one rebuilt? Again, very expensive. Or just buy a rebuilt one?? Probably might as well buy a new one!

    Think about it. How many wrecked bikes do you think there are where the cost of repairing the plastic and bodywork and instruments, not to mention a bent frame or forks, exceeds the value of the bike? A WHOLE LOT of them out there like that. That's why you can get a used engine cheap. Same situation with used car engines.

    How many wrecked boats have you seen where the engine is still usable??? Hmmm, they usually SINK!!!

    The price for a rebuilt engine (basic longblock or powerhead - outboard, inboard, motorcycle, boat or car) is about the same. A basic motor will cost you a couple of thousand dollars. If you're into the hot-rod stuff then the sky's the limit.
    Any opinions expressed above are worth exactly what you paid for them!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    Your average car or truck motor doesn't spend its day @ 5,000RPM , going uphill the whole trip .

    Your car manufacturer offers 2 , maybe 3 engine options , that are common to many other vehicles in the same fleet .

    Marine engine manufacturers build complete engine/transmission packages , for use on a wide range of boat sizes , hull designs , and , transom heights .
    They also sell far fewer of each particular model than any major car manufacturer , so this also puts them at a disadvantage when you factor in the scale of economy .

    They are pricy , but , you get what you pay for .
    Usually you can save quite a bit buying used .
    Most folks don't use them more than 50 hours a season .

    Properly maintained most will live longer than you will .
    Ignore the maintenance , or , abuse them , and they will die a horrible death , and cost a fortune to resurrect .

  10. #10
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    ok. onto the "new" topic

    a brand new 2008 Yamaha 115 hp 25" shaft is $8,889.

    You can get a brand new 1000cc Sportbike for that price. NOT just a motor.

    thats why i said new and used. both prices are sky high.
    Although, you didnt pose a good argument which makes since.

    p.s. my bike motor spends its days anywhere from 5-10k constantly. lol
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  11. #11
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus tashasdaddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    it is a specialty item, that people want and are willing to pay the price.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    yeah but the word "marine" itself adds 30% cost to everything, call it a "marine" motorcycle and see what it costs.
    Love the life you live, live the life you love-Bob Marley


  13. #13
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    Those folks building the Evinrudes are right here where I live, 1 million sq. ft. building.
    use to have like 700 folks and 2 powerhead lines, now down to like 300 folks and 1 line thats been shut down 75% of this year.
    OMC/BRP and Mercury are really hurting, Mercury Marine in Fond Du Lac WI does a ton of aluminum casting for Harley Davidson in Milwaukee, both those companies are also hurting bigtime.

    Buy some new outboards and stern drives folks, stimulate that economy.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    i love going pass the mercury factories in Fond Du Lac and seeing their crazy boats outside. WITH THE GATES OPEN! i wanted to steal one of their cigarette boats....hahaha
    CrankyBaits Custom Painted Lures

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  15. #15
    Senior Chief Petty Officer Navy Jr.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    Not sure, but I think a lot of it has to do with "economies of scale."

    They make and sell enough car engines to cover the costs of development and manufacturing over the life of the model at the price they charge. They don't sell nearly as many marine motors, so the price is higher for each one.
    2008 Lund 1750 Fisherman
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  16. #16
    Captain mthieme's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    Everything is expensive.
    One might think that the service or product you provide for a living is overpriced.
    How come an inner tube for my grandson's 80cc motorbike is $12 and I can buy two car sized tubes for that?
    How come a little box of Lego's is $80?
    How come the electric company charges me separately for fuel and a line delivery charge? Shouldn't this be included as a cost of doing business to deliver the product?
    To compare your bike against boats seem ludicrous to me. It's apples and oranges, like my picks.
    If you pay $1500 for a 30 y.o for a marine motor - you deserve what you get. It ain't like you have to go far to find a 30 y.o. bike for $1500.
    The last 30 y.o. marine motor I bought was $100.

    Nothing is so broken that Government can't make it worse.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    Supply and demand baby, supply and demand.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    Ohh man. Not going to quote so much here just reply.

    The best reply so far is "because we are capitalist"

    As for 'your car doesnt spend the day at 5000rpm up hill.....umm I/O boats have automotive style engines that do just that.

    As for 'an outboard is just like the engine and transmission' No its not. There are no multiple speed gear box in an outboard. Its more like an engine and rear axle gear combo.

    Specialty item? not really, motor powered boats are older than motor powered cars. Like one said, a 30 friggin year old outboard for thousands?

    I ran a proshop for GM in S.C. I installed a 572 Crate from GM in a 67. That crate motor is VERY limited and produced around 730HP (the one he chose) is hand built and was a complete package including intake, Carb, driveset. He paid 13K. That gets you what, a 125 hp outboard?


    So why are outboards so expensive? Easy, if you want to play, you gotta pay. Because people PAY for them. Right now, because people are broke (for the most part) and the rest of the general public that has money are afraid to part with it, you can buy an entire boat for the price of the motor.

    My dad just got back into boating. He has a 22' center console. It came with a 75hp and he wanted to up it to a 150. He was shocked at how expensive the outboards were. We found a well weathered boat for sale with a 125 on the back, switched the motors and sold the well weather boat for only 1K less than he paid for it.. So he went from a 70 to a 125 for a thousand bucks....

    So if you are looking for the *trick* to outboards ^^^ there it is.

    One more.. my dad as a 6hp Johnson that he bought new for a few hundred bucks about 35 years ago. The motor has hardly been used but works AWESOME. Its worth more now twice as much as he paid for it then. I told him to sale it but instead he uses it as a kicker on his 22'er.

  19. #19
    Vice Admiral jay_merrill's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    One word. "Loans."

    Up until the current credit crunch, banks were throwing boat loans around like confetti. Many outboards, particularly the larger ones, are sold in package deals along with a boat. When the amount loaned gets to a certain point, 20 year loans are not uncommon.

    If people had to pay cash for outboard motors, you can be sure that prices would not be what they are now. Simply put, the manufacturers would sell very few of them at today's prices.

  20. #20
    Moderator QC's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    It's horsepower, technology, capitalism, warranty cost, development cost, risk, liability insurance, marketing, all of that over a relatively small number of units. If it was easy to break that combo at a lower cost then someone would . . .

  21. #21
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    I know very little about boat motor values. But I know a little about business. And I'm not sure that "because they can" is a good explanation for high motor values. Long term the vast majority of profits get beat down to 15% to 20%. (Yes, I know this will prompt many to add comments about their businesses generating much more than this, but the "vast majority" of businesses see profits in the 15% to 20% range). So, assuming most major motor manufacturers are in this range and STILL charging "high" prices, then I don't think one can chalk it up to "because they can". Then you'd have to look at what they're paying for parts, labor, R&D costs, facilities, cost of capital, marketing, etc., etc. If they were simply scr*wing the customer at will as it relates to prices, viable competitors would certainly come into the market space and get a piece of that pie (leaving aside the last 18 months when few companies have the funds to venture into new market spaces).
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  22. #22
    Vice Admiral jay_merrill's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    I don't disagree that the economics of building and selling an outboard reflect all of the above, but I still think there are external factors. To me, this situation is much the same as when Harley Davidson was going broke many years ago. AT the time, HD managed to lobby the U.S, government to get tariffs put in place on Japanese bikes above a certain engine size.

    This resulted in the Japanese bikes, which had been dominating the market, becoming a great deal more expensive. The end result was that all bikes became more expensive and the pricing structure of motorcycles was forever changed. As might be expected, all those contributing to the manufacturing of motorcycles raised their prices too.

    In the end, margins were pretty much what would be expected, but the fact of the matter remains, that it was an artificial and external factor that resulted in the dramatically higher prices.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    i think as far as new outboard pricing certainly EPA standards have had something to do with the prices. i think we can all agree that a basic 2 stroke (with or without some sort of oil injection) is easier and cheaper to build than a 4 stroke or an ETEC. as manufacturers shifted to new the new EPA standard engines prices had to go up. it's certainly not the entire reason for the prices we see today but like most things there is no silver bullet answer. when you start to add all the factors like new EPA standards, fuel cost to heat and run the factory, delivery costs for the finished product and the parts to build it, taxes, higher advertising costs, ect. they all affect the price. the 90's were glory years as far as profits but even if manufacturers bring their profits back to a reasonable percentage a similar hp outboard today will have to cost more than it did in 1999.

  24. #24
    Petty Officer 1st Class Jack Daniels's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    I could be wrong but I would bet money on the outboard manufacturers are all union. High labor costs mean high sales prices.
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  25. #25
    Lieutenant Commander bowman316's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are boat motors so expensive?

    We'll if these companies can lower their prices any more, and still make a profit, then there is no better time to do so than now.

    The market can not bear these high prices any longer with the economy. So if they lower prices, they will get more sales, and not be hurting so much.
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