Maintenance costs?

SkaterRace

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
609
Hey all, I am likely getting a Wellcraft 262 fisherman with the twin Mercury 250's. I am wondering if anyone could give me an idea of maintenance costs. I will be leaving it in a freshwater slip for the summer with me hauling it in/out as needed. I will not be doing any maintenance myself because of the warranty as well as I suck at mechanical stuff. I live in Ontario Canada so I am thinking for the first 3-5 years all I have to do is winterization and summer prep. Would that be a safe assumption? Anything else would be covered by warranty.

If you give a dollar amount please specify if CAD or USD - know a lot of this forum is US based so just want to not give myself false hope lol
 

JimS123

Admiral
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
7,405
Winterizing the new 4-stroke outboards is nothing more than changing oils. Open a plug, let it drain, and then pour new stuff in the port on top. Gear oil is done in reverse.

I just completed the work on my 2 newest boats. Four Merc outboards. Two bigguns and 2 kickers. I did both in my garage on a rainy day. It took me 2 hours.

Parts, including oil filters cost me $80.00 US. Two hours labor (if a shop would have done it) would have been another $270.00.

But wait, there's more. Naturally a dealer will upcharge for the parts. And no dealer is going to let it slide for ONLY 2 hours labor.

I would expect you would pay a dealer $600 per engine, based on what I hear some dealers are ripping people off.

The "winterizing" would only be for a couple of years, depending how many hours you put on. Fuel filters and some other parts are needed after XX number of hours, which will add more $.

Call one of your local dealers and ask for a quote.
 
Last edited:

SkaterRace

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
609
Winterizing the new 4-stroke outboards is nothing more than changing oils. Open a plug, let it drain, and then pour new stuff in the port on top. Gear oil is done in reverse.

I just completed the work on my 2 newest boats. Four Merc outboards. Two bigguns and 2 kickers. I did both in my garage on a rainy day. It took me 2 hours.

Parts, including oil filters cost me $80.00 US. Two hours labor (if a shop would have done it) would have been another $270.00.

But wait, there's more. Naturally a dealer will upcharge for the parts. And no dealer is going to let it slide for ONLY 2 hours labor.

I would expect you would pay a dealer $600 per engine, based on what I hear some dealers are ripping people off.

The "winterizing" would only be for a couple of years, depending how many hours you put on. Fuel filters and some other parts are needed after XX number of hours, which will add more $.

Call one of your local dealers and ask for a quote.
Thanks, Jim, didn't realize it was that simple, I might actually be able to do that on my own then should it now void the warranty. As for dealers up charging, my neighbor has a good friend who is a marina mechanic and would be doing the work as long as the boat is at my house when he comes for my neighbor's boat. The shrink wrap is another story though would have to pay him to do it since I have no hope at getting it.

The only a couple years I'm good with, I mainly want to ensure I can afford the boat and keep my investments going forward. My truck is paid off in 2 years I think so that would be around when I expect actual repairs needed so would be safe there
 

Chris1956

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
25,912
The full list of winterization is a bit longer, but not much more complicated.

Stabilize fuel by adding correct amount of stabilizer for fuel in tank, run motor on flusher to get stabilized fuel into engine.

Fog engine with fogging oil. Some motors have a setting for this, older motors need your finger on the trigger of the fogging oil. Turn engine off when smoking. Remove flusher and let engine drain in operating position (vertical).

Change the oil and filter on 4 cycle engines. Use FC-W oil as recommended by owners manual

Change the gear oil. use new gaskets on plugs. I would recommend full synthetic marine gear oil for your newer motors.

Change the fuel filter, or at least inspect it for water by dumping into a clear container and then refilling with fresh fuel. Watch for rust on the shell of the fuel filter.

Grease the motor's zerc fittings with a marine grease. Usually 3 or 4 fittings X 3 or 4 pumps each, on tilt and swivel components.

Grease the steering rod, if cable steering. Use marine grease or special lube 101 from Quicksilver.

Relax, then clean and cover boat.
 

JimS123

Admiral
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
7,405
The full list of winterization is a bit longer, but not much more complicated.

Stabilize fuel by adding correct amount of stabilizer for fuel in tank, run motor on flusher to get stabilized fuel into engine.

Fog engine with fogging oil. Some motors have a setting for this, older motors need your finger on the trigger of the fogging oil. Turn engine off when smoking. Remove flusher and let engine drain in operating position (vertical).

Change the oil and filter on 4 cycle engines. Use FC-W oil as recommended by owners manual

Change the gear oil. use new gaskets on plugs. I would recommend full synthetic marine gear oil for your newer motors.

The OTHER bottom line is simply read the manual for what is required.
Change the fuel filter, or at least inspect it for water by dumping into a clear container and then refilling with fresh fuel. Watch for rust on the shell of the fuel filter.

Grease the motor's zerc fittings with a marine grease. Usually 3 or 4 fittings X 3 or 4 pumps each, on tilt and swivel components.

Grease the steering rod, if cable steering. Use marine grease or special lube 101 from Quicksilver.

Relax, then clean and cover boat.
Yeah, I left out the stabilizer, but that doesn't require a mechanic.

Fogging is not in the manual for newer 4-stroke outboards.

I DID leave out the greasing, but that's really simple.

I DID also mention the fuel filter, but that's not an annual thing depending on hours run.

Bottom line is that most people can do it, even with minimal mechanical abilities, and the dealers screw those that don't.
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
41,980
I live in Ontario Canada so I am thinking for the first 3-5 years all I have to do is winterization and summer prep. Would that be a safe assumption?
Doesn't matter if you use your boat or not. You have maintenance items described in the factory manual as 50 hours or annually (which ever occurs first)

You have annual oil changes, gear lube changes, etc
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
14,244
As my dad told me.. if you have to ask how much you can’t probably afford it.

Warranty claims requires documentation. Make sure “shade tree” provides required/suitable warranty documentation.

Stuff happens…damage not covered under warranty. Repair or replace a lower unit or prop should you hit something or wrap a line and eat a LU seal = $$$

Fuel? ~ 3 km per gallon at cruise

Water pump, at a minimum every other year x 2
Timing belt check and adjustments.
Bottom paint and annual maintenance of such.
 

JimS123

Admiral
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
7,405
Warranty claims requires documentation. Make sure “shade tree” provides required/suitable warranty documentation.
I never thought about that. I currently have 4 late model Mercury 4-strokes and so far none have been in the shop. I have done all the maintenance myself, and by the book. But I never saved any receipts for any of the parts.
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
14,244
I never thought about that. I currently have 4 late model Mercury 4-strokes and so far none have been in the shop. I have done all the maintenance myself, and by the book. But I never saved any receipts for any of the parts.

PURCHASER’S RESPONSIBILITY
Perform all regular maintenance in compliance with the schedule in the
applicable Operation and Maintenance manual. Maintain records of service and maintenance performed on Mercury Marine Products. Mercury Marine reserves the right to make warranty coverage contingent upon proof of proper maintenance.
 

JimS123

Admiral
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Jul 27, 2007
Messages
7,405
I bought my first brand new outboard in 1968 from a young salesman. He now owns the marina. Over 50 years as a loyal customer. My guess is that he would't give me a problem on a warranty repair.

Remember the old days when you had to take her back for the "10 hour checkup?" THAT was a big out for the companies.

I also guess that the key phrase is "reserves the right". If its quite obvious that the engine has not been maintained, it gives them an out.

Regardless, all a moot point. My newest one just ran out of warranty this year.

Now, back to that '68 Lark. What a freaking disaster that motor was! It was covered under the warranty period, and they even covered it AFTER the warranty because of recurrent problems.
 
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