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How Long Do Boats Last?

A photo of a luxury boat.

Typically, boats can last for about 10 to 25 years. Moreover, your boat might even last longer through proper care and good maintenance. Other factors determining a boat’s lifespan include the construction process, materials, and boat usage.

Let’s learn more about boats!

How Long Should a Boat Sit-In Saltwater vs. Freshwater?

Salty water damages your boat quickly, hence reducing its resale value. Most boat-shoppers prefer paying more for a vessel that has been used in freshwater.

Freshwater is far less corrosive, but I would not advocate leaving your boat in a river or lake for a considerably longer time. The constant moisture might gradually damage your boat. In most cases, four to five weeks in freshwater might not cause significant harm.

Generally, leaving your boat sitting in the water for long prevents it from drying out completely. It causes condensation on the interior. This leads to mildew growth on seats and other parts. It’s difficult to dry water trapped in the bilge, too.

Also, the condensed water might get into your engine and other electrical parts.

Moreover, freshwater is full of animals and plants looking for a habitation. So, lake weeds and algae might get attached to your hull, hence bubbling up your hull’s paint.

Boats used on saltwater are more prone to pain bubbling up, too. So, allow your boat to dry throughout every week after use.

Storing your boat in a dry place increases its longevity. The best way to minimize your boat’s depreciation is by keeping it well-maintained.

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How Can I Prevent Algae Growth on a Boat Hull?

A worker applying a epoxy on a wall.

You can prevent or stop algae growth by using anti-fouling paint. It has biocides that gradually leach out and stop algae growth. Also, if you’re a regular boater, be sure to change your bottom paint yearly.

How Can I Prepare My Boat for Storage? 

Prepare your boat for storage by taking the following steps:

Clean Your Boat

A man cleaning a white boat.

Be sure to clean it thoroughly on the interior and exterior surfaces. This helps eliminate dust and stains that might damage your hull.

Empty Gas Tank

Most boaters debate on whether or not to empty the gas tank. Others might tell you to empty it almost completely. At the same time, others argue that it’s unnecessary to empty your gas tank.

But, I recommend you check out your boat manual to find out if your gas tank should get emptied.

Check Appliances

Be sure to turn off all the appliances and unplug them. Appliances that haven’t been turned off might cause fire or malfunction.

Cover It Up

Use a boat cover to help keep off damage caused by extreme wind, temperatures, sun rays, dust, debris, and more.

Finally, check your boat’s surfaces periodically for any mold growth. Any leftover moisture accelerates the growth of mold. So, catch it early to help keep your boat in a better condition for the next boating season.

How Many Hours Does a Boat Engine Last?

A dismantled engine boat.

A well-maintained inboard and outboard engine has a serviceable, typical lifespan of about 1,600 – 2,000 hours.

If you want to purchase a gas-fueled marine engine exceeding 1,000 hours, outboard or inboard, be cautious. It might be a deal or can be a money pit!

However, a diesel engine with about 1,000 hours might give you 6,500 to 8,500 hours of service before requiring a rebuild.

Related to: Parts of a Boat (Illustrated Diagram of a Boat’s Anatomy)

Why Do Outboards Need Water?

The water cools it down while flowing over the power and cylinder heads. Without the water, the engine might overheat because the impellers melt down hence not pumping the water inside the engine.

Can A Crack In The Boat Engine Block Be Repaired?

A cracked engine block is repairable. But it depends on which model it will be rebuilt. Cracks on the boat engine are caused by excess heat from coolant problems, resulting from poor cooling systems installation.

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Does Boat Policy Cover Frozen Block?

A boat covered in snow.

Generally, a frozen boat isn’t covered by your insurance. Therefore, if there is water you didn’t extract properly, get help from an expert to winterize your boat.

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Boat insurance cover varies depending on your boat. Typically, a boat insurance policy covers the following:

For You and Your Boat:

·         Wreck removal and salvage coverage

·         Medical payments

·         Fuel spill liability

·         Agreed hull value

·         Damage to your boat’s: equipment, sails, motor, trailer, and furnishings

·         Uninsured boater protection

For Others:                     

·         Bodily injury

·         Damage to other properties caused by your boat

·         Damage to another boat

Optional Insurance Coverage:

·         Ice coverage

·         Coverage for your fishing tool

·         Coverage for your items

·         Disappearing deductibles

·         Multiple towing options, off and on the water

What Is the Cost of Boat Insurance Cover?

The cost of boat insurance cover varies depending on the following factors:

·         How you store your boat

·         How you use your boat

·         The amount and type of policy you choose for your boat

·         Your boat type or model

·         The size of your boat

What Affects the Durability of a Fiberglass Boat?

A white fiber glass boat on a lake.

Some of the factors that affect the durability of a fiberglass boat include:

Small Cracks

Microscopic cracks damage your fiberglass boat. They can seem minor, like hairlines. But these cracks, when ignored, gradually get bigger. Moreover, the bigger the crack, the more pressure it applies to your fiberglass’s integrity and structure.

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Therefore, you need to monitor your boat for cracks and fill them in consistently.


Fiberglass experiences fatigue, primarily through repetitive waves and engine vibrations. Eventually, it gets worn down. So, without proper care, your fiberglass gets brittle and weak.

Water Damage

A photo of boat hit by the wave.

Overexposure to water risks the structure of your fiberglass boat. The resin might be waterproof, but when water gets in, it damages fiberglass. Absorbed water applies extra pressure, which causes cracking, blistering, and wear.

Check out the hull part below the waterline, as it is the most susceptible to this damage.

Extreme Weather 

Hailstorms, hurricanes, snowfalls, and other extreme weather conditions damage your boat. It would help if you had a hurricane guideline to understand where to dock your boat. With that, you’ll cope with challenging weather conditions.

Also, be sure to store your boat ashore, particularly if you live far from the dock. Remember to add extra jack stands, supported by plywood and chain together. Ideally, keep your fiberglass boat in strong, sheltered storage.


Collision damage is far more severe than those involving fixed objects like buoys and docks. If you veer too close to another boat, quickly adjust to an appropriate course. Acting prudently and obeying speed limits help reduce the risk of injury, collision, or damage to your boat.

Major damage to the fiberglass hull is challenging and costly to repair.

Luckily, if you own an old boat, your main issue isn’t likely to be on the fiberglass. But that doesn’t mean you should not service and maintain it. Lastly, look out for sun and heat damage. Extreme UV rays make the fiberglass in the hull become brittle and rigid.

It might cause warping, too.

In Summary

Okay, I admit, I might sound a teeny bit misleading to say a boat can last a lifetime. But, if you maintain your boat properly, it can easily last a lifetime!

And when buying a second-hand boat, consider checking; the damages, sails, the number of miles on the motor, and find out if everything is well-maintained.