Boating Tips: Engine Hourly Service

Welcome to Boating Tips with MarineMax! Outboard engine maintenance is a critical part of owning a boat. In this week's episode, Captain Nick and our Yamaha Master Tech, Mark, explain everything you need to know about your engine's hourly service. Ask your questions, make comments, and learn a thing or two about engine maintenance.

When to get my motor serviced?

Service is determined by boat engine hours, here are the three most common scenarios.

  • 20 hour: This is very important, it’s the most basic level, but tackles key pieces of care. In the 20 hour service your oil and gear lube will be changed, as well as the oil filter and fuel/water separator.
  • 100 hour: The 100 hour boat engine service is typically the one that most people think of when considering getting their outboard serviced. In this case, everything that is done in the 20 hour service will be done, but will also have sparkplugs, thermostat and battery connections checked and replaced if need be.
  • 200 hour: This is the most involved service process, as it encompasses everything previously listed as well as dropping the lower unit, replacing the water pump and an overall inspection of the motor as a whole. 

How many hours does a boat engine last?

The answer to that question is a bit complicated; simply, it depends. An older motor that has been through a lot of hours already and may not be fully up-to-date on maintenance may need more TLC than a new motor that has been maintained well. 

With that said, and all things considered, the average “weekend warrior” just trying to keep their outboard running well can “set their watch” to about 100 hours per year. In other words, the 100 hour service is typically once a year. 

There are of course exceptions, for example, a professional fishing guide may put 1,000 hours on the motor in a year. 

Outboard Service

The important thing is to watch your boat engine hours and stay on top of having it serviced. This will keep your vessel running smoothly and prevent hiccups that could keep you and your family off the water.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an outboard expert, we have them right here for you! Our service department is full of specialists to give your outboard engine the care that it needs to stay in working order and ensure that you can get out on the water when you want to. See you out there!




You can see or hear more episodes of Boating Tips and our sister podcast, From the Helm Boating Broadcast, on The MarineMax Blog, accessible on the website or via mobile phone through the MarineMax App. You can also access more episodes on Amazon, Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcast news. See you out on the water! 

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