How do You Check Boat Engine Hours?

Does it ever cross your mind that boat engines can work for a specific time? Whether the boat is yours or not, do you know of a way you can know the hours it has left before its death?

Relax, for you are about to know the life of your boat engine. We’ll answer the question that troubles many people, how do you check boat engine hours?

How you’ll check it on every type of boat is the same and easy. Checking the hours will help keep your boat great for many years.

Also, some things can affect the engine’s hours. So, are you ready? Let’s first look at what are the boat engine hours.

What is the Boat Engine Hours?

What is the Boat Engine Hours

Before you know how to check for these hours, it’s nice to understand what engine hours are on your boat. Well, it’s simple.

These are the number of hours your boat’s engine has been operating since birth. Every boat with any type of motor has an hour meter.

This meter is over your engine or near the boat’s steering. Remember, the old model boats may lack this hour meter. So, you’ll need a computer to get the hour readings.

But what’s the essence of getting these boat engine hours? Keep reading to find out.

Benefits of Checking Boat Engine Hours

Benefits of Checking Boat Engine Hours

Every hour of a boat’s engine is important. Here are how the hours will help you when it comes to boats.

Proper Boat Servicing

The key reason for recording these hours is to help you maintain your boat. Sometimes, maintaining your watercraft’s motor can be cheap or costly, depending on the level of damage.

Also, from the readings, your mechanic will know where and how to make the machine better. It’s the same way when a doctor handles a child and an adult, the treatment won’t be the same.

Remember, these hours will help you know when next to service your boat. This span will be longer when the engine hours are long.

Valuing of the Boat

These hours help when you want to resell or buy a second-hand boat. It’s because the data will help you know how long the craft has run on the waters.

You also know the waking and idling hours of the boat. So, it will be easy to estimate the boat’s value.

The Regular Way of Checking Boat Engine Hours

Once you start your boat, the meter gauge records the number of hours the boat will use the motor. It’s easy for most boat specialists to check the boat’s hours from this point.

You can also know the hours by some easy calculation. Take the data of the engine hours and divide by 60.

After that, multiply the miles the boat would have covered. It will give you the correct boat engine hours.

Remember, some boats don’t come with the hour meter. Mostly, it’s when you buy a second-hand boat. Also, some of the older boat models may lack the meter.

Ensure you reach out to a mechanic to help you install it. Also, contact the previous to know the previous hours used on the boat.

If the reader isn’t present, the readings can fail to be correct. Once again, the mechanic will help you greatly at this point. These professionals have the tools and skills to check the hours your boat has logged.

Besides understanding how to get the readings, is it possible to change hours to miles and vice versa? There is no best manner to handle this issue.

Sometimes, you can get some mechanics who say that an hour equals 100 miles. But consider it as something impossible.

It’s because miles and hours are different measurement units. Miles shows how far the boat has covered. The hours will only show how long the engine has run.

The Hours that a Boat Engine Can Last

You’ve now understood how you can get the readings of your boat hours. The next concern will be if your boat is on the safe side or not. How long does any boat engine last?

A boat can last for at least 1500 hours. It will only happen when you give your boat a nice overhaul. Also, when you maintain your engine’s gasoline, the boat will last for long.

The engine model and type will also affect the engine hours. When you service a new machine well, it can last for 8000 hours. These numbers come if you don’t use the boat so much.

If your boat’s engine, especially the outboards, is for daily recreational uses, it can only last for a max of 3000 hours. It means you’ll be using the boat for 12 to 16 hours a day.

Remember, numbers like 700 hours can be a lot or not. When you always service your boat, and the engine is in great shape, you worry less.

Things that affect the Engine’s Life Hours

After you’ve checked the engine hours, you’ll know if your boat’s motor is safe or dying. Here are the things that affect the hours your boat’s machine can last.

1. How old is the Engine?

How old is the Engine

Your boat’s engine age will depend on how much you ride it. Expect the fresh and new engines to have longer life hours than the oldies.

Some people only use their boats during weekends and holidays. Others use watercrafts every day.

Still, no one takes their boats out every day. Even the boat rental companies have seasons when they hire their boats.

The ones living close to the waters tend to use boats more. So, their boats are always older than those who don’t live close to the lakes, rivers, or beaches.

Remember, this issue won’t matter if you service your boat every week or month. The age won’t be a big problem even when you live in places like Florida.

2. Type of Engine

Type of Engine

The engine your boat uses can affect the number of hours it can sustain your craft. A boat can have a gas or diesel engine. Also, it can have a two or four-stroke engine.

The gasoline engines can last for at least 1500 hours if you service the boat regularly. It’s also if you always use your many times.

Diesel engines with good maintenance can last for more than 3000 hours. These hours come in when you use the boat for long trips. If your boat is for recreational uses and has a diesel engine, it will last for at least 1500 hours.

Using a two-stroke motor has some pros that you won’t get on a four-stroke machine. But mainly, a well-serviced four-stroke engine will have more life hours than a two-stroke one.

3. Boat and Engine Model

Boat and Engine ModelYou can’t avoid the fact that some engine brands are way better than others. The top three engine firms are Yamaha, Suzuki, and Evinrude. Remember, it’s no order.

If your boat has a Yamaha or Suzuki engine model, be sure that the life hours will be great. It’s because they focus more on the four-stroke engines.

Your craft can also have more hours if it uses the Evinrude motors. As for this firm, they mostly have two-stroke motors.

Remember, there are many other brands. Choose the ones with an excellent reputation.

4. Uses of the Boat

Uses of the Boat

What you use the boat for every time determines the engine hours and life. Well, many people use boats to have fun on different waters.

Mostly, people would want to relax and have more playtime. So, as for these activities, you’ll need to stop the boat, start it again, and let it idle.

These events are swimming, skiing, fishing, exploring, among others. Expect your boat’s engine life hours to reduce. It’s because of the wear and tear that comes from the treks.

Also, the loads you carry on your boat affect the life hours. Carrying heavy loads on a boat engine that can sustain light weight reduces the life span.

When you keep using your boat in salty water, the motor won’t last for many hours. Salt kills  it and the metals. It means the engine will last for lesser hours.

5. Servicing


The level and style that you maintain your boat can affect the life hours of your boat. When you service your boat and engine well, be sure it can last for many hours.

Poor and irregular servicing means that the boat will die earlier than its age. So, you’ll need to replace it, which is costly.

Ensure you take the craft to a great mechanic to service it for you. Depending on the engine type, the maintenance can be cheap or expensive.

You’ll correct issues that make the engine do better. In the end, the boat will have many more hours.


It’s ever safe and good to check the hours your boat’s engine has. Checking will help you know how long you have left before replacing the engine.

Also, the hours help you know much you need to service the boat. Remember, checking the engine hours is simple. Look at the meter gauge records.

Some boats may lack the gauge. Call a mechanic to fix a gauge for you if it’s an old model boat. One can also use some tech tools to get the data for you.

So, have you recently checked your boat’s engine hours? How many hours has it been on the waters? Feel free to tell us.

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