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So, you’re looking to buy a used boat, but you’re not sure about the hours it has. Or, you’re taking care of your new boat and you have no idea what hours mean in terms of intervals for diesel engine maintenance and repairs. Marine engine hours are the hours your engine has been running since it was new. Many newer engines have a gauge for hours, much like one that shows you miles sailed. For older boats, you will need a computer to pull the marine engine hours.

What Do Hours Mean for My Boat?

For marine engines, hours are important in terms of maintenance and resell. If you are considering a used boat, the hours are just as important as the miles, if not more so. This is because the hours will tell you how long the boat has been running, including idling time and slower speeds in no-wake zones. The marine engine hours are a good metric of how long the boat has been used in any capacity, which can be valuable information for resell, maintenance, and upkeep.

In terms of maintenance, our diesel specialists consider both miles and hours. We base our marine diesel maintenance schedules off both hours and calendar time between visits. For maintenance, your marine engine hours are important to understand when to stop by for your next upkeep appointment.

Can You Convert Boat Hours to Miles or Vice Versa?

Converting boat hours to miles is a difficult equation that usually does not even out properly. The same goes for converting boat miles to hours – the math just does not add up. There is a reason that boat hours and miles are two different measurements, because they measure different aspects of your engine’s use.

While boat hours measure how long the engine has been running, boat miles only show how far the engine has traveled. Miles are still a useful metric, but they are not going to illustrate situations in which the engine is running in stressful conditions, such as idling slowly.

If you are considering buying a used boat but you are unsure of its miles, contact our marine engine experts. Calculating boat hours off miles will give you an unrealistic and often incorrect number, which is why it’s best to consult with professionals to obtain the proper number of hours. Whether in need of maintenance, repairs, or an analysis of a potential purchase, contact our diesel specialists.


Related Reading:

MAN Maintenance Tips

General Service & Maintenance  

Common Engine Repairs