Buying a used boat motor

Do you need or want to change the engine of your boat? Used boats are plentiful and finding the right engine for your boat is not necessarily easy. It must be reliable, robust, and efficient in all circumstances. If your engine no longer meets your needs, it is in your best interest to replace it rather than buying a new boat or buying a used boat. While browsing the listings of boats and boat engines, you should take certain precautions. Certain checks are essential, and it may be useful to be accompanied by an expert. You need a maximum of attention not to have unpleasant surprises. It is essential to ask the seller the right questions, to carefully inspect the boat and engine, to check the maintenance.

Why buy a used boat engine?

Buying a second-hand engine is, above all, a way of paying less for a good propulsion. It is also a good idea if you are good at mechanics. Second-hand two-stroke engines are less expensive than four-stroke engines, but there are many more of them on the market. You can address an individual with announcements or turn to professionals.

To buy a used marine engine, you will need to consult the boat listings. Whether it is a motor for a semi-rigid boat, a used inboard motor, an electric auxiliary motor, the choice is very wide.

You will be able to choose the engine that best suits the use you want to make of your boat.

Engine check: what you need to know

The new engine chosen on used boats must be perfectly suited for its weight and dimensions. The water and fuel supplies must be compatible. If the used engine is more powerful, it will be necessary to check the engine mounts, transmission and propeller shaft or propulsion system. If it is an electric motor, the checks are different but just as essential.

Check the maintenance of the boat

If you can buy your used engine while it is still in place, that is a good thing. This allows you to check the general condition of the motorboat. If the whole thing seems to you, at first glance, poorly maintained, go your way. The engine will probably be in the same condition. If, on the contrary, everything is perfectly clean, and the general condition of the boat makes you really want to get on board, then it is probably worth bringing the engine up close.

Check the motor

It is important to be able to test in a chair and in the water. It is recommended to run the engine for about ten minutes and check for fumes. Cooling water should flow evenly and not exceed 30-40 ° C. Black smoke is a sign of poor nutrition. If it is blue, there may be excess oil consumption and if it is white, you may suspect overheating. In all cases, check the tightness of the seals, the hydraulic circuit, the stuffing box… During your sea test, check the revving and, after returning to port, inspect the oil dipstick to verify that it is there are projections of droplets or a possible leak.

The new engine chosen on used boats must be perfectly suited for its weight and dimensions.

Attention to reconditioning

The color of the block is specific to each manufacturer. If the wiring harness or hoses are coated with paint, this may be a sign of a major overhaul. Rough metal parts have probably been replaced. Screw impressions should be examined: pronounced wear is a sign of frequent disassembly. Also, look for traces of rust. A used engine must not show any leaks, either in the upper part or along the cooling system. The valves should operate smoothly.

Perfectly reliable circuits

The electrical system must be properly sized with reliable connections. The air supply must be clean as well as the fuel supply. The dimensions of the exhaust should also match the used engine perfectly.

It is strongly recommended to have an oil analysis carried out. The operation costs less than 100 euros and gives a good idea of ​​the condition of the engine.

Check that the coolant has been constantly changed (blue or yellow color). If it is rusty in color, it is a sign of neglect.

The electrical harness must be perfectly clean without oxidation of the contacts.

Inspect the hoses (which should be soft). The linkage must function properly. Look for any corrosion or overheating.

Also check the fuel filter, the condition of the base, the anode, the propeller. Remember to check the fuel filter, the condition of the base, the anode, the propeller. When the engine is started, check the exhaust.

Get help from an expert

Even if you have a good knowledge of mechanics, it is strongly recommended to have a boat appraisal or to be assisted by an expert. This professional will be able to give you the essential information on the condition of the engine. He is perfectly familiar with the different types of propulsion. He will be able to help you assess the condition of the engine and check the essential points. He will check the tightness, the stuffing box, the exhaust, the water pump(s), the smoke, the fixings, the ventilation and the ventilation of the engine compartment, the gas and reverse gear controls. He will also be able to tell you if this used nautical equipment is suitable for your own boat.

Questions to ask before buying a used boat engine.

It is always good to have access to maintenance and overhaul invoices. Ask what items have been changed (filters, oil, belts, turbines…) and what repairs have been made.

When buying a boat, the number of engine hours can be an important criterion if it exceeds 100 hours per year. But the main thing remains the way the engine has been maintained and overhauled. Better an engine which has a lot of hours but which has been overhauled on a regular basis rather than an engine which has few hours but whose wintering has left something to be desired.

To make an effective inspection, get help from an expert.

Our expert advice to find the boat engine of your dreams

The right engine for your boat

To choose the perfect second-hand engine, you must take into account the characteristics of your boat: the type of hull, its length and its weight. The place of navigation, the maximum speed, the cruising speed, the type of recharging desired (for an electric motor) are also part of the selection criteria. The engine power will determine the maximum speed of the boat. It is not recommended to buy an engine with a maximum power higher than that recommended for the boat. It is a security risk.

Which brand to choose?

Instead, look to reputable brands like Yamaha , Suzuki , Honda , Volvo Penta, Mercury or Evinrude. Minn Kota, Torqeedo or Haswing are sure values ​​for electric motors. Whatever your choice, check that there is a maintenance service near the mooring of the boat. A good engine, whether it is an inboard motor, outboard motor, or electric motor, should be able to improve your boating experience. You will choose an engine whose power will be greater, equal, or less than that of the replaced engine. It all depends on the use and what you want.

If you feel that the engine was too powerful for the use you were making of your boat, opt for a weaker model which will be less expensive to purchase and to maintain. Do not mistake a big engine for a small boat. Some famous manufacturers like Yamaha, Mercury, Evinrude, offer models of several hundred horses. The price is high, and horsepower isn’t everything. Do not hesitate to compare the prices of boat engines.

How to find your second-hand engine?

There are many specialized or general websites that sell used boat engines. List the characteristics of the engine you are looking for. Do not hesitate to call the seller rather than sending an email. Beware of advertisements that lack specifics or are very attractively priced. There are many portals for the sale of used boats or nautical equipment. They bring together advertisements of boats for sale but also of boat engines.

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