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How many hours are too many?

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  • How many hours are too many?

    Hi all,

    I'd appreciate your advice. I'm seriously considering a 99 1850 Bayliner Capri, with a 4.3 Mercruiser. The boat is in excellent condition, but the engine has 424 hours on it. This seems rather high to me from my limited knowledge / research. It has a full 6 monthly service history, and just had a fairly major service, involving replacing cylinder head. I'm confident it has been well looked after, but the seller is not offering any concession on the price in light of what I think are high hours. Should I be wary of an engine with this much use? Thanks in advance. Chris


  • #2
    Re: How many hours are too many?

    That would work out to 35 hours per year so that is not extreme usage.
    I would be more concerned as to how well it was taken care of and why the head was replaced.
    Was it from a major over heat problem?

    Also,most hour meters click the time away when the key is on without the engine running.
    My opinion is the hour meter on a boat is about useless.
    Service records are more important.
    sigpic

    1981 ChrisCraft 210 Scorpion K,175 Johnson SeaHorse

    Comment



    • #3
      Re: How many hours are too many?

      25 to 50 hours per year is average useage in my area. 424 hours in 12 years seems fine

      1500 hours would mean rebuild time if the engine is well looked after.

      not exactly a rare boat with rare features, so if the price doesn't beat others with lower hours, move on.. there's no shortage of low hour boats

      of course, not many 18 footers have hour meters.
      Baba-buoy.

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: How many hours are too many?

        Originally posted by Howard Sterndrive View Post
        25 to 50 hours per year is average useage in my area. 424 hours in 12 years seems fine

        1500 hours would mean rebuild time if the engine is well looked after.

        not exactly a rare boat with rare features, so if the price doesn't beat others with lower hours, move on.. there's no shortage of low hour boats

        of course, not many 18 footers have hour meters.
        Thanks for the feedback so far. I did mean to say that the trade off is that for the same price, the hull, seating, and interior is in pretty much A1 condition, hence if the hours aren't a showstopper then was planning on getting it.

        On a side note, does anybody have any experience in the difference towing a 185 and a 205? and the fuel consumption on a 4.3 vs a 5.7. Being that the 5.7 is 20% would fuel economy be 20% worse?

        Comment



        • #5
          Re: How many hours are too many?

          I had a boat that had the hr meter break at 1500 hrs back in the 80's.... It ran fine. I sold it in 2005.

          Just make sure the engine runs ok under load. That means you'll have to "water-test" it at WOT (wide-open-throttle)

          If it makes rated RPM(whatever that is) then 425 odd hrs is ok.
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          I use xxx oil and have never had a problem........
          This post was created with OpenSuSE x64 Linux!

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          • #6
            Re: How many hours are too many?

            I would think the difference in towing would be minimal if your using a truck. Bigger is normaly better. A 5.7 would cruise at a lower rpm than a 4.3 with the speed being the same.So the fuel consumption would be close ,but the 4.3 a smidgen better.I doubt 20% unless you run WOT all the time.Also in theory the 5.7 would have less wear and tear if the hours are the same.If it was me I would go with the larger displacement engine for that reason along with..heavier payload,pulling skiers,tubers etc.Give me the 5.7 all day long over a smaller engine.
            Cool Runnings,,, Mr.88

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            • #7
              Re: How many hours are too many?

              1500 hours would mean rebuild time if the engine is well looked after.
              Ayuh,... More like Twice that number,.... If maintained....
              Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

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              • #8
                Re: How many hours are too many?

                908hrs 1996 7.4merc/bravoIII--HITS 4600RPM NO PROBLEM knock on my head (mine head is wooden).
                it has required replacing dist cap, water & fuel pumps,alt. but nothing internal.
                sigpic 1981 Glastron SX-190 300hp 350 SBC
                Living the Dream

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                • #9
                  Re: How many hours are too many?

                  A friend who ran a shop and has since sold it and retired, suggested to me that an I/O should be good for at least 1000 hours.

                  So, at less than 500, you should be less than half life if it has had any care at all.

                  Randy

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                  • #10
                    Re: How many hours are too many?

                    thanks that - I forgot to mention, am towing with a Range Rover - 4.6

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: How many hours are too many?

                      I would say thats not many hours as others have noted. My only experience with buying a used boat was that I would be more concerned with the mechanicals, leaks, bellows, motor, outdrive, soft floor/rot than the interior (i.e. seat material/carpet), although a clean, A1 interior is at least a clue they may have maintained the boat. I have a 5.7 merc, and I know gas prices are going up, but honestly if you are planning moderate usage, then don't worry about it. They'll both use gas, and the difference will not be that much. Just my 0.02, good luck.
                      1985 Chris Craft Scorpion 210BR
                      Merc 260 A367223
                      Alpha I-MR A350934

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                      • #12
                        Re: How many hours are too many?

                        We have run inboards for 7000 hrs and still not needed replacement. Forklifts with 15000 hrs and still strong. Keep serviced and tuned and dont beat them to death and they will last as long as the boat.

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                        • #13
                          Re: How many hours are too many?

                          890 hours on my '90 5.7l 260hp. Still has factory compression.
                          90 Carver Montego 21.5 (23') "Lady Minna" (yes a name change in honor of our fallen Labrador. Poseidon understands.)

                          In the immortal words of Hunter S. Thompson:
                          "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of
                          arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid
                          in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out,
                          and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: How many hours are too many?

                            Gosh knows how many hours are on my 1964 Glassmaster 17 footer with 153 CID 4 cylinder Mercruiser. My guess is at least 2000 hours. This Mercruiser is so old that it painted factory white, not black. It runs great, uses no oil, and is all original. We still use it a lot to water ski and just cruise at the lake house.

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: How many hours are too many?

                              2200 hrs on my 92 305 merc when I swapped it for a 350 last year, still had good even compression and didnt use a drop of oil, still going strong in another boat
                              motorsport is the most efficient method known to man of turning money into noise

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