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Old 30-08-2009, 12:15   #1
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Engine Hours

Window shopping on yachtworld and comparing specs of different cats, I came across one which had just over 2,000 hours on each engine. With boat engines I've always done a quick and dirty calculation/analogy along the lines of:

Average speed of typical car, say 50mph x boat engine hours = equivalent 'mileage' of boat engine.

So, in the above example, 50 x 2,000 = 100,000 miles.

Now, for a diesel car engine I'd say 100,000 miles is approx 50% of the engine life (I know some go way past that) but in a boat where lack of use and corrosion are the biggest killers of engines I'm wondering if 2,000 engine hours is very near the end of life on a 1992 boat.

How do you view these figures? Would you be budgeting for two new engines in the near future, or am I being pessimistic?
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Old 30-08-2009, 12:20   #2
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My twin 18 hp yanmar diesels had just over 2000 hours on them and run great. I have worked with three different marine surveyors and each felt that if the yanmars are well maintained 10000 hours was well within the life span.
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Old 30-08-2009, 13:32   #3
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Cars don't average 50mph unless they are driven almost exclusively on the freeway. Check your computer sometime -- my car averages no more than 20mph even though I do drive on the highway besides in heavy city traffic.

So your numbers would look very different -- 2000 hours would be only 40,000 miles at that rate.

I've always heard that a good yacht engine can do 10,000 hours with good maintenance and no overheating; maybe some of them will need a valve job or injectors or such at 5,000.

2,000 is not a lot of hours.
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Old 30-08-2009, 14:18   #4
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The little computer in my car that averages mpg and estimate till empty says that my average mph is 24. I drive down the highway to work at 60mph and speed limit in town is 45 and i usually go the speed limit....unless im on my so the average 50mph might be a little high. Then comes the difference between a gas engine and a diesiel. A well maintained diesel engine is just getting broke in good at 100,000 miles....
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Old 30-08-2009, 14:59   #5
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Regardless of how you figure it, 2000 hours is a meaningless determinant of engine life. Of far greater importance is HOW it was used (log idle time vs. under load) and how it was maintained (the obvious maintenance tasks).
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Old 30-08-2009, 15:18   #6
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I had a diesel car which did 285000 miles and was still going strong when sold. Truck engines do a lot more than that as do tractor engines but 2000 hours doesnt mean a lot but how well maintained and how its been used/abused is more relevent
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Old 30-08-2009, 16:01   #7
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I'm quite encouraged by the responses and somewhat relived that two new engines *probably* won't be required anytime soon.

Thanks for all the replies
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Old 30-08-2009, 17:36   #8
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Hours do not count that much as how the engines were used and maintained. If they were used OK and kept nothing then 2000 hours is nothing.

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Old 30-08-2009, 17:56   #9
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A friend of mine bought a 2gm20 yanmar as a running takeout from a cat that had had one engine fail and then motored back to Florida on the otherand wisely decided to replace both engines as they had about 8500 hrs on them.My friend then put it in a 37ft wood ketch as is and brought the boat from North Carolina to Minnesota thru the intracoastal,hudson erie canal and the great lakes, a great trip and mostly motoring,ran great.I think the 10000 hrs is realistic.
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