What do you consider low hours on a boat?

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by jabs, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. jabs

    jabs New Member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Saint Croix river/Stillwater MN
    2000 Searay 270
    Twin 4.3 Alpha 1 - 240 hours
    While shopping for a new used boat people talk about low hours on the engines, what do you consider low hours?

    We are looking at a 1999 Sea Ray and they are saying the engines have about 240 hours on them. It sounds low but I have no idea what is consider average hours or high hours per year to base it on...

    They also said merc says the engine life is around 1800 hours before a rebuild

    Thanks again

  2. skolbe

    skolbe Active Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    320 Sundancer, Mercury 310 Sport Inflatable Tohatsu 6HP
    350 Mag V-Drive - Kohler 5ecd
    To me anything less than 50 hours a season is low hours. Low hours is not always good, my 07 - has 225 hours - the engines are used pretty much weekly during the season and they have been maintained better than Mercury specifications. Lack of use can create many problems, 240 hours on a 11 year old boat is only 22 hours a year. I would think anything under 500 hours would be considered low hours for a 1999. The biggest issue from lack of use is the condensation that can build up and start corroding items and/or causing things to rust. If someone doesn't use their boat much - you have to ask - did they maintain it or did it sit and was it neglected. If it was maintained then you have a great boat, I just see people in my marina that don't use their boats also don't maintain them. There are exceptions. A 330 in our marina was cleaned all the time but, the generator was barely used 30 hours in 12 years, the generator had to be completely rebuilt and now they are having new problems with the wiring on it.
  3. dbric36

    dbric36 New Member

    May 3, 2007
    180 BR
    Merc 4.3
    240 hours on an 11 year old boat is very low. 22 hours a year.
  4. Loneranger

    Loneranger Active Member

    May 2, 2008
    Knoxville TN
    2000 SeaRay Sundancer 270
    7.4l Mercruiser w/ Bravo III
    Those are low hours on the engines. I have also heard to expect 1500 hours out of a gas engine before major problems (but that is all rumor).

    For instance I only put about 40 hours or so on each of my boats per yeat but I use all of them about equally so about 150 hours per year total. Mine are all well maintained and have low hours so you cannot just assume low hours means neglected.

  5. jabs

    jabs New Member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Saint Croix river/Stillwater MN
    2000 Searay 270
    Twin 4.3 Alpha 1 - 240 hours
    Thanks for the replies its very informative, I'm always learning something new on this forum:thumbsup:

    The guy seems to have taken very good care of the boat from the service records and talking to the mechanic but I l will earn more after this weekend when I do a visual check of her...
  6. JV II

    JV II Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 17, 2007
    Newport, RI
    2016 50 Fly
    Volvo Penta D11
    less than 50 hours per year or less than 200 hours total = low hours.
  7. Westie

    Westie Active Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    2001 260 Sundancer towed with the power of an IFORCE V8
    7.4 L Bravo III
    When I bought my 1994 230DA last fall it had only 230 hours on it. Now thats low hours.
  8. Nehalennia

    Nehalennia Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Marysville, WA
    2001 310DA twin 350 MAGs, Westerbeke 4.5KW
    Twin 350 MAG V-drives
    I bought this boat (a 2000) in Dec '07 with 94 hours on it. I now have over 340 and she runs like a sewing machine. The PO used it very little obviously.
  9. Uplate

    Uplate New Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    Nashville, TN. Percy Priest Lake
    1998 Sea Ray Sundancer 310
    Westebeke 4KW Generator
    Twin 5.7 Mercruiser Carbuerated.
    Alpha 1 Drives
    My 98 just turned over 500 hours on both engines last weekend. they still run strong and have great maintainence records. I have talked to one owner at my dock who have logged as much as 3000 hours on a Mercrusier long block. Probably rare, but it can happen. There are several mid 80's 390's here that have over 1500hrs and still going strong.

    One of these has over 2500 hours on his Westerbeke.

    I probably put 5-6 hours per year on mine just firing it up during the winter and exercising the engines and genny without ever leaving the slip.
  10. chuck1

    chuck1 Super Moderator TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    North GA Mountains
    Looking For Next One
    Looking For Next One
    IMHO - The low hour boat may not be the best deal out there. The maintenance is more importance. A good maintained boat with 50 to 75 hours a year could be your best deal.
  11. jabs

    jabs New Member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Saint Croix river/Stillwater MN
    2000 Searay 270
    Twin 4.3 Alpha 1 - 240 hours
    Just got back from Superior. The boat indeed has very low hours about 220 on both engines. It had two previous owners the first was in a wheel chair but seemed to keep up with the maintenance the other guy is an older guy who has a rep in the small town. I guess the guy travels the world hunting big game, right now he is in Egypt shooting something.
    The boat looked brand new and was worth the five hour drive, and crossing the ice for a couple of miles to an island that is pretty much shutdown in the winter except for one bar. The marina that owns the boat also had to travel about four hours to show it to us.
    It was a late season trade and they winterized it there and they will get it off the island in April. We were the first people to see it since it was winterized.
    Overall we are very impressed with the condition and the marina will warranty the engine and equipment for 30 days. I asked them what is the lowest price they are willing to go and they said they could take a 1,000 off the price which would bring it down to 40,900. Our max price is 38,000 but our comfort price is 36,500. We would also have to pay sales tax which is roughly 3,000. I hate bargaining so you think the marina has enough wiggle room to get it down to 36,500?
  12. Scottzzzy

    Scottzzzy New Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Lake Lanier Cumming, GA
    2002 Sundancer 340
    Twin V 8.1's CWC
    Westerbeke Genset
    You did not mention I think what size boat this was, only it was a 1999. What is it?

    Also as far as hours, that is very low and in the bigger Cruisers the hours are not nearly the same as in smaller run abouts like mine. I have seen 11 year old 340's with less than 300 hours on each engine pretty regularly around me. My 220 is 5 years old with 282 and looks better than some 3-5 year old boats around here with less than 100 hrs.
  13. jabs

    jabs New Member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Saint Croix river/Stillwater MN
    2000 Searay 270
    Twin 4.3 Alpha 1 - 240 hours
    It's a Sea Ray 290 Sundancer.
  14. rcknecht

    rcknecht Active Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    toms river,nj
    340 Sundancer 2001
    T 454 MPI
    I would offer a price that you feel that could get you to your comfort price... As clean as it is, it is an older boat, and you have to be able to put gas in the boat... The salesman only came off $1,000 off the price because he thinks he has a sure sale...
  15. jabs

    jabs New Member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Saint Croix river/Stillwater MN
    2000 Searay 270
    Twin 4.3 Alpha 1 - 240 hours
    What would be a reasonable first offer?

    I was thinking in $35,000-$36,000 just wondering if that is a good starting point. To be honest I hate the negotiating phase but we want to save what we can.

    I was also told the sales tax can be written off, do you know if that's dollar for dollar as a top line deduction or a percentage?

    I'm not sure if this a saving grace but the weather is warming up in the area and it would be very difficult for anybody to see it since the ice road that leads to the island will be too hazardous for anybody to go on so I'm thinking they won't have any offers until spring when they get it off the island.

    KHARRIMAN New Member

    Dec 15, 2008
    2005- 280 DA
    5K GEN, 2007 DODGE 3500
    I just wanted to add my .02 that I figured when I was boat shopping.

    You run your car at 50-70 mph on the freeway. Convert mph to "boating".

    -1 hour in a car would equal about 50 miles- I take that and double it for boats, due to the harsh environment and probable lack of or spotty/ inconsistent maintenance that MOST boats experience.

    -What you get is that how ever many hours are on the boat
    x 100 is how many "miles" are on the boat.

    -100 hours= 10,000 miles and just like a car the rest of the boat has experienced this amount of wear/tear as well.

    I felt like this was a useful guide for determining relative age. I feel it's a reasonable explanation of the wear and tear that ALL the boat is going through.

    Like some have said though.... lack of running can be just as bad as running high hours.
  17. tbirdvet

    tbirdvet Active Member

    Sep 24, 2009
    Previous boat: 2008 330 Sundancer
    Vetus Bow Thruster
    Kohler Gen.
    Twin 496 MAG, 375HP Bravo III,
    You can write off the sales tax on Fed. return if you itemize. This is ilo the state income tax if you have it (whichever is greater).
  18. Ashlexadd

    Ashlexadd New Member

    Aug 15, 2009
    Bradenton, FL
    210 Sundeck 2000
    5.0 EFI 240hp
    I bought my first boat last September from original owner who told me he used it about once every other month for the first few years and then even less in the last 3 years Had only 90 hrs in first 8 1/2 years. It was dry stored and motor flushed after each use. Maintainance records show fluids changed about every other year and new bellows and manifold/riser in 2005.

    I took it to local Mercruiser mech as soon as I got it home who changed all fluids and impeller. I put 50hrs on it in last 6 months and it seems to run great.

    My question is being new to boating especially in salt water, what maintainance items should I be concerned with other than fluids/filters (going to check risers in the next few months)?

    Should I be concerned with the extreme low hrs or check other items due to lack of a lot of use for so many years?
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010

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