Boat Engines

Dahlia45

Cadet
Joined
Mar 17, 2024
Messages
11
I didnt know where to post this. Correct me if need be.
I have been looking at some boats. The engines all need something. I dont know much about engines.
I know about a few parts. Some are cheap and hard as heck to swap out. Some are expensive and easy to swap out. A majority just seem to be a plain ol pain the rear! What makes you walk away when you see the engine needs repairs? I dont have a lot of money. I dont want to be cheap, but I do need to stay with in budget.
 

alldodge

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
41,018
A boat is never cheap, and the most expensive boat normally is the free ones. Just maintaining one cost even when nothing needs repaired.
 

briangcc

Commander
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
2,153
Anything currently not in production. So Evinrude/Johnson (OMC), and Force...among many, many others. You can't give me a free Force engine. Toyota and Yamaha had I/O's for a while - parts are non-existent.

Beyond that....

B...reak
O...ut
A...nother
T...housand

There's a reason some have this in their sigs as its true. This is not a cheap hobby in the least.

My uncle and cousins have Yamaha and Evinrude engines on their boats. I've personally had a Force which was replaced after break-in with a Honda 4 stroke...man I miss that engine.

My family has not had good luck with Mercury. Some swear by them as tanks, I swear at them as they don't run worth a darn. The Merc in my current boat sounds like a blender when shifting. No reason for this along with that stupid shift interrupter.

Volvo is smooth as silk but parts cost $$$$ and finding a marina around me to service it is difficult at best - most are Merc only now.

Best advice....any motor that you're looking at, test run to make sure you are comfortable with it and how its presently running. Then make sure there are marinas around that will service it.
 

Scott06

Vice Admiral
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
5,837
I didnt know where to post this. Correct me if need be.
I have been looking at some boats. The engines all need something. I dont know much about engines.
I know about a few parts. Some are cheap and hard as heck to swap out. Some are expensive and easy to swap out. A majority just seem to be a plain ol pain the rear! What makes you walk away when you see the engine needs repairs? I dont have a lot of money. I dont want to be cheap, but I do need to stay with in budget.
I would save your money and buy the boat that has been best maintained by the PO. I think it is a good sign if they are stepping up to a newer, bigger boat than getting out of boating. While you may get what looks like a good deal on a boat but if there is a back log of work they haven't done. it can be costly, especially if you are new to boating mechanicals.

Can you do the work your self? if you have a decent set of tools and some mechanical repair experience from working on your vehicles that will help
 

cyclops222

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 21, 2024
Messages
411
You will NOT be doing much repairs on any ELECTRONIC / computer controlled engine / transmission. Most boat engines are VERY difficult to service due to no space around them
Boats are NEVER close to being like a carto trouble shoot and repair. Save up more money. And take out a a line of credit loan on the house for a new boat.

There are so many things to include in a contract with buying or storing a boat every year.
If you get a good inboard or sterndrive or outboard motor ?
Only fun and happiness.. My 70 years with Evinrude's and Mercury V 8 engines.
 

ScottinAZ

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
757
where to draw the line depends on your skill level and willingness to learn new things. In my case, not much scares me.... I have done hull repairs and rebuilds, and I have built and installed engines.... its a tooling issue with me... if I need to get a bunch of new (read expensive) tooling, or the engine requires machine work, I may pass.... if it just needs some basic work done.... thats easy... Your mileage will vary... according to skill level and willingness to learn.

if you lack both of these, and need to rely on a shop, best find out what they work on before looking.
 

Bondo

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
70,652
I didnt know where to post this. Correct me if need be.
I have been looking at some boats. The engines all need something. I dont know much about engines.
I know about a few parts. Some are cheap and hard as heck to swap out. Some are expensive and easy to swap out. A majority just seem to be a plain ol pain the rear! What makes you walk away when you see the engine needs repairs? I dont have a lot of money. I dont want to be cheap, but I do need to stay with in budget.
Ayuh,.... Welcome Aboard,...... Yer question is much to vague,......

If you pick a few boats, 'n give the details of what their drivetrains are,.....
Then, 'n only then, can we offer actual answers to yer question,.....

For a very general answer,.... Don't even think of buyin' an I/O Merc, with a 470 for power in it,....
'n don't even look at a boat with a pre-1986 OMC I/O power package,....
 

ScottinAZ

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
757
Ayuh,.... Welcome Aboard,...... Yer question is much to vague,......

If you pick a few boats, 'n give the details of what their drivetrains are,.....
Then, 'n only then, can we offer actual answers to yer question,.....

For a very general answer,.... Don't even think of buyin' an I/O Merc, with a 470 for power in it,....
'n don't even look at a boat with a pre-1986 OMC I/O power package,....

I would amend that to a Pre-1995 OMC, when the Cobra became a Volvo in drag..... not that the Cobra cant last before that, but its more of a crapshoot, and parts is gettin rarer by the year..... and ya better know how to either swap a drive, or work on it yourself otherwise.
 

Chris1956

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
27,348
Simple boats (carb outboard, fuel gauge and speedo/tach, fiberglass hull) are pretty cheap to own. You charge the battery, put fuel in them and go.

When you add electronics, sterndrive or fuel injection, things get an order of magnitude more complex and expensive.
 
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