Replacing your engine or repowering your boat is a tall order. The engine is the most vital piece of equipment on your boat. Making sure it’s working properly is a must if you want to enjoy boating to the fullest. 

If you want to improve your boat’s performance, the engine is the first place to look. Here are some tips to keep in mind when replacing your boat engine: 

Signs it’s time to replace the engine 

The condition of your engine changes over time and frequency of use. Here are some signs that your boat needs to be repowered: 

The engine has become costly to maintain 

If your boat’s engine is breaking down regularly or not starting properly, it’s time to consider replacement. Frequent repairs, even small ones, can rack up and become incredibly expensive in the long run. Often, repairing an old engine could cost more than simply replacing it. 

The engine isn’t as powerful as it used to be 

Noticeable declines in performance like reduced speed, slow acceleration, and the like make boating less enjoyable. Whether you have an outboard motor or an inboard engine, it’s time to make the switch if your boat isn't performing as you need it. 

The engine is stuttering or makes unusual noises 

When your boat’s engine starts making strange noises with excessive vibrations, it could indicate a deeper issue. Your safest bet is to have it checked or replace it completely. Wear and tear will do a number on your engine especially if it hasn’t been maintained properly.  

The engine keeps overheating 

An engine’s cooler could fail due to an array of things like a broken drive belt or impeller. This causes the engine to overheat which can be quite dangerous especially when you’re out on the water. If you see signs of overheating, replacing the engine may be the right way to go. 

Things to consider when replacing your boat engine 

When you replace your engine, it’s not as simple as swapping one for the other. There are some important aspects you need to think about such as: 

Cost of the new engine 

Boat engine replacement can cost around $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the type of engine. Sailboats with outboard motors, for example, cost less than high-powered speed boats because each requires a different level of performance.  

Also, the engine price excludes the varying labour costs of boat motor installation. Some motors are more complicated than others and would require more time and expertise. When replacing your boat engine, review your budget and see what kind of motor you can afford. Finance your purchase with a boat engine loan from Aussie Boat Loans

Manufacturer guidelines 

To find the most suitable engine for your boat, check the manufacturer’s guidelines or consult with a mechanic. Check the recommended engine size and horsepower before buying an engine. A 12-foot light aluminium boat, for example, won’t be able to carry the same horsepower as a heavy fibreglass boat of the same length. 

It may be tempting to repower with a bigger, better engine, but you need to make sure your boat can handle it. Don’t exceed the maximum power guidelines for a good boating experience. 

Choosing the right accessories 

If you’re going to replace the engine, might as well improve all other aspects of the boat while you’re at it. Consider other accessories that can enhance your boat’s performance. Look at the hydraulic tilt, cable steering and electric start. A lot of these accessories are compatible with certain types of motors. Finding the right accessories to match your engine is a must. 

Consider the size and dimensions 

With outboard motors, the transom height and power shaft need to fit correctly. If the power shaft is too short or long it may either not draw water or drag on the bottom in shallow water. 

With inboard motors, engine access can add some significant costs. Most boats are built with the engines already installed before the deck is fastened. Although there is a hatch to access the engine, it may not be large enough to remove the engine or put a new one in (especially if you’re upgrading to a more powerful boat engine). 

Want to replace your boat engine? 

Get in touch with Aussie Boat Loans today to see our range of boat engine loans. Call 1300 889 669 for more information on our boat engine finance with competitive rates. Or you can get a quick quote today! 


How much does it cost to replace a boat engine? 

Depending on the engine, a boat engine costs between $5,000 to $15,000. Buyers must also include installation costs which vary depending on the mechanic and type of engine being installed. 

How much does it cost to remove a boat engine? 

Boat engine removal could cost around $150 to $250. The price varies depending on the mechanic and the kind of engine. 

When should you replace your boat engine? 

You should replace your boat engine when it shows signs of damage or no longer performs at the level you need it to. The motor is a vital part of the boat and a faulty one can severely impact your boating experience.  

Are inboard boat engines more expensive to replace? 

Yes, compared to other types of engines, an inboard boat engine is more expensive to replace. Inboard boat engine replacements could go for as much as $15,000. It could be more or less based on the boat. 

What type of boat engine is best? 

It depends on your boat and what you want out of your boating experience. If you want high speeds and power, you’ll need a boat engine with a lot of horsepower. Conversely, a sailboat won’t require anything nearly as powerful. 

Are outboard motor engines cheaper? 

Yes, outboard motor engines are cheaper compared to an inboard engine. This is because outboard engines usually offer less horsepower. 

Is it worth putting a new motor on an old boat? 

If your boat is still in good condition, replacing the engine could be a cost-effective way to revitalise your vessel. However, if your boat has reached its maximum life expectancy, it may be better to buy a new boat. 

What is the life expectancy of a boat engine? 

The average lifespan of a boat engine is 1,500 hours; however, it also depends on how well you maintain it.