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Worth repairing? Or new motor?

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  • Worth repairing? Or new motor?

    My 2016 30 hp electric start tiller steering is running fine, but the unpredictable bottom basalt of the Columbia River apparently reached up and tapped my motor some time in the past year or two. The scary thing is that I think I know when, but it was over a year, and a lot of use, ago.

    Last time out I noticed that the motor did not want to shift into R, caught only if I pushed back on the handle. When I got home I found the lower unit had a crack on both sides that ran through the anti-cavitation plate on both sides and up into the middle section part. The whole lower unit was modestly loose and wiggly. And I was running back at full throttle!! I can post pictures if anyone wants.

    Two different repair shops looked at it and whistled. "That is going to be expensive!". The parts start at $1500 for a new lower unit alone. Add the middle section and the labor and rough estimate is $3000. I can get a whole new motor for $3100.

    My neighbor thinks I should find someone who can weld the outer casing and call it good. The price of that sounds great, comparatively, with not a lot to lose if it doesn't work.......if I don't get stranded downriver somewhere.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Try welding it? A cheaper source of lower unit parts and r and epair it? Or....a whole new engine and keep this one for part?

    What would you do?


  • #2
    Do you have comprehensive insurance on your boat? That covers damage from striking things?

    I hit a rock last year and bent the prop shaft and dinged the prop. the estimated cost of repair around $1300. The prop shaft alone costs over $600.

    My comprehensive insurance paid for the repair, less my deductable.


    • #3

      Thanks for the question

      Sad story. Yes I got insurance on the boat when I bought the engine new. I have several other boats (in various places around the country) and have had fabulous service as a long-time USAA member-insuree using Progressive. Progressive has always alerted me annually when the policies needed renewing on so I went passive and was not paying attention. No renewal notice came on this policy so it lapsed. insurance. Yes, it would have been covered.

      Do they sell insurance against accidentally lapsed insurance policies??
      Last edited by Peter Patricelli; 06-28-2020, 09:30 AM.


      • #4
        $3000 for repairs vs $3100 for new is a no-brainer. But, if it were mine I'd get an estimate for welding it, and see what's available in the way of used/parts motors. If you have cracks that run through machined surfaces the situation gets more complicated. You might find a motor with a blown power head.


        • #5

          "You might find a motor with a blown power head."

          There are major databases for cars for finding parts, engines, etc.. Do you know of any similar for outboard motors?