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Old 11 May 2016, 13:10   #1
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New Engines How Often?

For you heavy commercial operators (or tour operators), do you have a planned engine replacement time?

ie. do you run them for 1000 hours or a season, then purchase new ones and sell the used ones, or do you run them till they give out then purchase new ones?

Also, do you ever consider purchasing a lightly used set to go on the boat versus a brand new set?

Thanks for any input!
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Old 11 May 2016, 20:12   #2
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I was recently on a crocodile tour boat which had twin Yamaha f70's which happens to be the same engine as I currently own.

Now these engines run all day at low speeds up and down an extremely silty river in the Daintree (far North Queensland ). I asked our skipper his thoughts on the engines, which by the way they had on three boats they run on tours.

The engines looked in very good condition even though they had done over 6000 hrs, at 7000hrs they are put onto one of their boats that does less tours (out of season) and then completely replaced at 10000hrs.

What's quite remarkable about doing such hours is that these engines don't get fresh water flushed and apart from 100 her services need very little maintenance.

I also have a mate who has a small punt as a service boat on the Hawkesbury river to service house boats. His yam f70 did 3000hrs in its first year and he loves the fact that they need very little maintenance in the way of servicing. Many of the house boats used to have Honda outboards which he claimed were often good up to 10000 hrs also, though most boats have moved over to Yam or Suzuki as Hondas initial purchase price and parts cost more.

And I thought I'd done a lot of hours doing 250hrs last year!!!!...but then I turn mine off once I get to my fishing or diving spots.

Jon
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Old 13 May 2016, 02:17   #3
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Another way of seeing it on here
http://www.quinquarimarine.co.uk/wp-...B_business.pdf
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Old 13 May 2016, 02:24   #4
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Based on the examples that they give then £11,349 of retained profits is not going to pay the mortgage

Perhaps you could live on the boat
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Old 13 May 2016, 02:25   #5
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No lol, but the section on outboard replacement is a pretty pragmatic view👍
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Old 13 May 2016, 03:56   #6
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Many of the government department boats (fisheries, maritime, water police etc) replace their engines at 2 yrs with 1500- 3000 hrs, these still seem to fetch a high price.

Some of my recreational fishing buddies also replace their outboards every 2-3 years, these lose very little money and often still carry some of the 5 year warranty we get on almost all outboards. This means you always have the latest outboard which is always in warranty, which is like cheap insurance against any problems if you ask me.

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Old 14 May 2016, 15:25   #7
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One big operator I used to work for used to run their engines into the ground. Some of them (etecs) had thousands of hours on and were like triggers broom. Just about the only thing that was original was the cowling. But then they had a good supply of cheap parts from a company in the states and a very good engineer that worked for them who used to keep them running. Only when the engine was totally knackered would they put a new one on. In practise this meant regular problems whilst in service. Having said all of that they're now running brand new boats and have just as many problems with new engines from a different manufacturer. Another operator I can think of replaces them when they get to a certain number of hours (couple of thousand). It's swings and roundabouts, largely dependant on how deep your pockets are. Most small operators can't afford £30k every couple of years for a new set of engines!
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Old 14 May 2016, 17:55   #8
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Replacing outboards every couple of years shouldn't cost £30000, an engine isn't worthless after a couple of years (just check out the secondhand market anywhere in the world). Modern 4 strokes especially from Yamaha and Suzuki hold their value extremely well.

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Old 14 May 2016, 18:55   #9
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Replacing outboards every couple of years shouldn't cost £30000, an engine isn't worthless after a couple of years (just check out the secondhand market anywhere in the world). Modern 4 strokes especially from Yamaha and Suzuki hold their value extremely well.

Jon
Especially well maintained commercial engines!

Even if they were reduced by 20k after 2000 hrs use, something is wrong with your business model if you haven't built the £10/hr depreciation in...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim M
Only when the engine was totally knackered would they put a new one on. In practise this meant regular problems whilst in service.
Quote:
It's swings and roundabouts, largely dependant on how deep your pockets are.
I'd say its more about your ability to manage your business and its risks. There's lots of small operators "playing" at running marine businesses - but if you can't afford to replace an engine pre-emptively what will you do if it fails and as well as having to shell our for a big fix (or replacement) you have downtime losing income.
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Old 15 May 2016, 03:09   #10
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Especially well maintained commercial engines!

Even if they were reduced by 20k after 2000 hrs use, something is wrong with your business model if you haven't built the £10/hr depreciation in...

I'd say its more about your ability to manage your business and its risks. There's lots of small operators "playing" at running marine businesses - but if you can't afford to replace an engine pre-emptively what will you do if it fails and as well as having to shell our for a big fix (or replacement) you have downtime losing income.
Business models and business plans are all very well, but for the small operator/one man band it is often a very hand to mouth existence especially when starting out. I've been there. If your engine goes bang and needs replacing finding £15-£20k for a replacement often isn't an option.
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Old 15 May 2016, 04:53   #11
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If your engine goes bang and needs replacing finding £15-£20k for a replacement often isn't an option.
As you presumably discovered - you don't have a choice - people won't pay to sit on a boat with no engine!

Quote:
Business models and business plans are all very well, but for the small operator/one man band it is often a very hand to mouth existence especially when starting out. I've been there.
The link Iankristy provided is helpful advice for anyone setting out. I'd say that anyone who ignores that advice because they are too small - isn't running a business. Fortunately Islandflyer seems to have his head switched on and be trying to manage that risk. I know some operators will have a spare engine in the "garage" because it can be swapped over in an evening and the boat is back on the water the following day allowing the other one to be repaired. Given Islandflyer's location I imagine getting parts, and new engines might not be quick...
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Old 15 May 2016, 05:03   #12
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I know some operators will have a spare engine in the "garage" because it can be swapped over in an evening and the boat is back on the water the following day allowing the other one to be repaired.
Good advice and gives you the opportunity to stretch the hours more on the basis you have a contingency. There are a couple of seafaris in Cornwall that are running engines with almost 3k hours on. Clearly it helps to be able to do your own engine work if you adopt this approach getting a dealer to support you mid season at short notice is not going to be easy.
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Old 15 May 2016, 06:20   #13
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As you presumably discovered - you don't have a choice - people won't pay to sit on a boat with no engine!


The link Iankristy provided is helpful advice for anyone setting out. I'd say that anyone who ignores that advice because they are too small - isn't running a business. Fortunately Islandflyer seems to have his head switched on and be trying to manage that risk. I know some operators will have a spare engine in the "garage" because it can be swapped over in an evening and the boat is back on the water the following day allowing the other one to be repaired. Given Islandflyer's location I imagine getting parts, and new engines might not be quick...
In that case, according to the above there are lots of operators out there who aren't running businesses
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Old 15 May 2016, 06:42   #14
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In that case, according to the above there are lots of operators out there who aren't running businesses
Yip - and if they have a major engine failure with no contingency they quite literally will be out of business. Ironically, I suspect a lot of those guys are undercutting each other and the more serious operators.

As Chris commented, even following the suggested approach isn't going to make anyone rich:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
Based on the examples that they give then £11,349 of retained profits is not going to pay the mortgage
[Although Retained Profit is what the business keeps, presumably for exactly this type of scenario, or eventually replacing the boat etc - the "Owners Drawings" was £20k in that example, and he is paying crew.]
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Old 15 May 2016, 18:11   #15
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Thanks guys for the lively discussion!

Hopefully I have my head screwed on right!

I happened to be using the boat when the starboard engine passed 3000 hours, and the next trip out we had to replace the powerhead with a used one the dealer had to get the boat up and running (still waiting to see what happened to the other powerhead).

Few days later I am running the boat (yesterday) and something happened that put us out for today and probably through Tuesday with the port engine, which I also watched just past the 3000 hrs. They just came out of 300hr service, but did one trip before I used the boat. It's also a long holiday weekend so the dealers are closed.

We have in the business plan the hourly reserve, but I was expecting another 500-1000 hours out of these.

I guess the question is whether to keep repairing and getting hit with costs, downtime and cancellations vs shelling out for new engines now. I will have to take out a loan to finance the engines.

I would also go to 300hp from the 250hp. I've been told this would be better for the boat performance, fuel usage, and longevity of the motors (assuming same cruising speed of 32-34 knots).

It's not all bad:
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Old 16 August 2016, 17:46   #16
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Purchase a warranty plan. Simple solution. Your engine goes pop and for the sake of £1500 warranty you get a replacement part. Eg we blew a piston at 1500hrs. The warranty company covered a new powerhead and we were able to keep the old powerhead = loads of parts!!
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Old 30 August 2016, 21:37   #17
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Unfortunately no warranty plans here.
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Old 31 August 2016, 05:56   #18
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Unfortunately no warranty plans here.
Id love to see a warranty plan that covered 3000 hour engines for commercial use !! I doubt it would give you much peace of mind
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Old 31 August 2016, 06:03   #19
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I would have thought for any commercial operator having some training to be able to do some quick fixes such as swapping over a gear box or plugging in the software to trouble shoot any problems would be a worthwhile investment of time. It took me an hour to remove and re-attach the gearbox off a G2 that had a damaged leg spacer the other day. These modern engines are actually quite easy to work on !
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Old 11 November 2016, 17:39   #20
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Id love to see a warranty plan that covered 3000 hour engines for commercial use !! I doubt it would give you much peace of mind

I can assure you Chris this company does. It's a brilliant policy.
https://m.boatsandyachtswarranty.com/
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