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What is the Average Lifespan of an Outboard Engine in Ireland?

Outboard engines are essential for many Irish boaters, powering everything from fishing vessels to leisure RIBs. However, like any mechanical device, outboard engines have a limited lifespan. If you’re thinking of purchasing one, you may wonder how long you can expect your outboard motor to last before it needs to be replaced. 

With that in mind, let’s explore the average lifespan of the outboard engine in Ireland and discuss the factors that can impact your motor’s lifespan. 

What’s the Average Lifespan of An Outboard Engine? 

The average lifespan of an outboard engine can vary depending on several factors, such as the brand, model, maintenance, and usage. However, generally speaking, an outboard engine can last anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 hours of use or between 7 to 15 years, depending on how well it is maintained and used. 

With proper maintenance, some outboard engines can comfortably exceed these estimates and continue to perform well for several additional years. 

What Factors Affect the Lifespan of an Outboard Engine? 

While the manufacturer and general quality of the outboard motor can play a role in the lifespan of an engine, other factors can also impact the lifespan, so let’s take a quick look at some of the more common ones.

outboard engine maintenance ireland

Operating Environment 

It’s essential to keep in mind that the lifespan of an outboard engine can also depend on the environment in which it is used. For example, harsh marine environments and saltwater can cause accelerated wear and tear on the engine, potentially shortening its lifespan. 

Let’s say you will primarily operate your RIB in the Atlantic off the West Coast of Ireland. In that case, the saltwater and potential for corrosion would shorten the overall lifespan of the engine. By contrast, if you mainly operated your boat on one or several of Ireland’s 12,000 loughs and lakes, the engine would likely last longer in freshwater operating conditions. 

Frequency and Quality of Maintenance

The level and frequency of maintenance can have a significant impact on the lifespan of an outboard engine. A well-maintained engine can last significantly longer than one that is neglected or improperly maintained.

Regular maintenance, including changing the oil and filter, inspecting and replacing spark plugs, checking the fuel system, and performing other routine maintenance tasks, helps ensure that the engine runs efficiently and reliably. Neglecting maintenance can cause problems to go unnoticed and eventually result in more significant issues that can cause permanent damage to the engine.

Furthermore, following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and using high-quality replacement parts can also help to ensure the engine lasts longer. Servicing from manufacturer-approved dealers can help ensure that the engine is serviced consistently, leading to a longer lifespan for the engine.

Engine Usage

Usage is an important factor that can have a significant impact on the lifespan of an outboard engine. Engines that are frequently operated at high speeds or under heavy loads may experience more wear and tear than those used more moderately. Higher speeds and heavier loads stress the engine’s components, such as the pistons, connecting rods, bearings, and gears, causing them to wear out faster.

In contrast, engines used more moderately, such as those used for leisurely cruising or fishing, may experience less wear and tear and may last longer. 

However, it’s worth noting that an outboard engine used very infrequently may also experience issues. Lack of use can cause certain parts to deteriorate and may increase the likelihood of corrosion and other types of damage.

Engine Storage

Proper storage is essential for maintaining the health and lifespan of an outboard engine.

One of the main risks of improper storage is corrosion. When an engine is not in use, moisture, and condensation can build up inside the engine and cause corrosion to occur. Over time, this corrosion can damage the engine’s components and cause them to wear out faster.

To mitigate these risks, it’s essential to store the engine in a dry, well-protected environment whenever possible. This can help to prevent the buildup of moisture and reduce the risk of corrosion. Additionally, covering the engine with a protective cover helps to protect it from exposure to the elements and other types of potential damage.

Get the Most Out of Your Outboard Engine with Atlantic Boating Services

Here at Atlantic Boating Services, we help our clients keep their outboard engines running like new for years to come. From manufacturer-accredited services to proper boat storage, we’re here to help. So no matter how you use your boat or RIB, let us help you keep it running at its best.

To discuss our extensive range of outboard engine services in more detail, don’t hesitate to call us on +353 (87) 235-1485 or email us at

We look forward to helping you keep your boat running smoothly for years to come.