Should I Repower My Boat?
To Repower, or Not To Repower - That is the Question!
Published: 8/23/2018

For most boaters, the decision to re-power is not taken lightly. The expense and time away from the water needs to be worth it! A boat owner needs to answer the following questions as a minimum:

  • How do I use my boat?
  • Are my existing engines causing problems?
  • Do I trust my engines to get me where I want to go?
  • Will I recover my investment if I decide to sell?

The way you use your boat is a major factor in deciding to repower. Many boaters would like their boats to go faster, or get better fuel economy. If you need to speed away from weather, or get to that secret fishing spot more quickly, a higher horsepower set of engines may be right for you. If you wish to save fuel or increase cruising range, perhaps upgrading from gasoline to diesel, or from two-stroke to four-stroke, is the way to go. Keep in mind that your boat has a rating for total horsepower capacity, and exceeding this rating will probably cause structural problems. Also, significantly changing the total weight of your marine engines will affect how the boat rides and handles.

If your existing engines are problematic, or embarrassing in front of friends and guests. if your engines are hard to start due to low compression or internal corrosion, you may want to repower. Noisy and smoky two-stroke outboard engines are mostly a thing of the past, but some still remain on the water. It is not uncommon to step off an older two-stroke powered boat and smell like you just walked through a grease fire.

Trusting your boat's engines to get to your destination is critical to enjoying your time on the water. If your engines have high hours, or quit unexpectedly at random times, re-powering may be essential to your peace of mind, and the safety of your family.

What most boaters considering a re-power want to know is whether the investment can be recovered if the boat is sold. The answer to this can be complicated. Yachts on the market with fresh engines and low hours command more money, and sell more quickly than comparable boats with older engines or higher hours. If your engines are in poor condition or have very high hours, many potential buyers will not give it a second glance. A boat with tired old engines might remain on the market for years - think storage cost - or have to drop the price dramatically to attract the right buyer.

Before deciding whether to buy those new engines, spend some time reflecting on these questions. If you would like a market analysis for your boat to help with the decision, please contact us.

Happy cruising,

Tim Allen