View Full Version : Note from Indmar - CHANGE YOUR OIL!

03-22-2012, 06:15 PM
The great folks at Indmar have done some fantastic work to debunk some of the "myths" around oil usage & consumption for our boats that get loaded with ballast for wakeboarding and surfing. We've had some good debates on this forum, so I hope this helps you out.

Bottom line is that if you load up with ballast to wakeboard or wakesurf, stay on the safe side by checking your oil level often and changing your oil & filter every 30 hours.

In the past few years we have noticed an increase in discussion related to oil consumption in engines that are used in high load activities, namely wakeboarding and surfing. Indmar has always believed engines used in low speed, high load activities can have a tendency to burn more oil than unloaded engines. Indmar now has the data to support it and a solution for our customers. We are supplying this information to you as a tool so you can inform and educate your customers on how they can better protect and properly service their engine especially if it is being used primarily under load.

The chart below depicts engine loads for a car, normal boat operation (no ballast), surf and wakeboard (full ballast). All of this data was derived from an LSA engine in a 24’ boat. The Wakeboard testing was performed using a highly ballasted boat with 5700 lbs. of ballast, a common configuration for events. Surf mode was tested using 2800 lbs. of ballast. The normal load curve was developed from boat testing with no ballast in the boat. The car data was taken from prior testing within the industry.


As you can see the horsepower required for wakeboarding and surfing is infinitely higher in comparison to a car or even in normal boating operation. With our LSA test engine loaded we see that wakeboarding requires nearly 450 horsepower at 23 mph and surfing requires nearly 380 horsepower to push out 11 mph while the car requires a mere 75 horsepower to achieve 80+ mph.

During our *480 hour durability test we noticed that when engines under normal load (no ballast) reached 30-35 hours between oil changes they experienced greater oil consumption due to the breakdown of oil viscosity. Oil was changed every 50 hours per the owner’s manual and this was the findings and our collective takeaway:

*Engine also had appropriate break-in hours

After 30 hours – qt. loss
35-38 hours -1 qt. loss
40-45 hours – 1.5 qt. loss

*Note With ballast added, the oil consumption could increase from the values listed above.

Oil viscosity breaks down much quicker in engines operating under greater loads, the most extreme during wakeboarding loads and speeds. With this information we are recommending that your service techs inform your customers that if they are operating their boats under these typical loads for wake sports they should change their oil every 30-35 hours. This will help reduce oil viscosity breakdown, increase engine life and minimize their concerns and experiences related to oil consumption. Boats that are predominantly used in normal boating or skiing conditions can maintain their 50 hour oil change regimen per the owner’s manual.

We hope that you found this research helpful and you continue to feel confident that Indmar will go the extra mile in maintaining that unique customer care and distinct customer service advantage. As always, we encourage any feedback to make us all stronger.

Team Indmar

Greg C.
03-22-2012, 06:39 PM
Have there been comparisons done between conventional oils and synthetics? What is Indmar's stance on synthetic motor oil?

03-22-2012, 07:19 PM
Don't know that we have seen anything "official" in regards to a comparison. I do think we have had Larry from Indmar post that synthetic is OK after 100 hours.

03-22-2012, 08:08 PM
Good info. These results are almost exactly what I have found on a regular basis with my boat. I end up putting nearly 1 1/2 quarts in by the time I get to 50hrs. I will certainly be changing my oil more frequently from this point on.

Thanks for the post Wolfeman!

03-22-2012, 11:55 PM
I only run full synthetic and i personaly wont be changing my oil any more often then i do but i will check it each week now instead of once a month. All Gas engines burn a certain amount of oil and its not uncommon to see your car engine burn 1/2 qt to 1qt between oil changes. This is one reason they say always check your oil to maintain its level.

I will make sure to top off my oil, since i average about 50 hr per season i dont plan on changing the oil twice unless i see a problem with my oil, just top it off.

Good scale and good info, lets also remember that the scale is also a little off on the HP due to none of our boats make 400 hp and we all can go wake board speed, the props you run do help this factor and this is also a good reason to run the right prop for your application.

03-23-2012, 12:12 AM
Mike, did you wait until 100 hrs to switch over to the synthetic?

03-23-2012, 12:52 AM
I didnt switch until 100 hrs in the boat. Interesting on the usage. I notice a bit of oil gone between changes, but my last evo had a 400 hp 4 cyl i drove hard and had no usage... Full synth from day one as per mitsu specs.

03-23-2012, 01:39 AM
I changed my oil after about 100 hours and only was low about 1 qrt running Ams oil full syn

03-23-2012, 08:40 AM
I think we will all see variances based on the activities we do and the weight we run. This test was done at extreme, competitive ballast weights. I don't know many that run, or need to run, that kind of weight for wakeboarding.

03-23-2012, 12:31 PM
Mike, did you wait until 100 hrs to switch over to the synthetic?

No i waited till 75hrs i did the normal 20hr change the first time, then ran her to 75hrs and that was the end of the first season. Sencond season i switched to Synthetic. I perfer to let the engine break in a bit before switching to Synthetics. I think i read somplace in cars you want to wait like 20K to allow it to fully break in.

Some start from day 1 and i havnt herd anything wrong with that, i just recall back in the 90s when synthetic was new to the market it said let your engine break in, and even then i think it used to say 50K but no way im waiting 50 lol. Generaly an engine breaks in around 5K sometimes up to 10K. I know on Claudia's Equinox <last new car i bought> at 5K her milage went up to 20 on the highway and at 10K it went up to 26 and stayed there. I waited another 10K just in case lol.

03-23-2012, 05:00 PM
There are so many problems with the data provided that it would have been better for Indmar to give the specific data of oil lost and recommend more frequent oil changes.

Showing HP required and giving inaccurate reasons for oil breakdown make the point of oil lost less believable. So many people have questions about oil and oil issues that this isn't helpful.

Check your oil level prior to each ride, like the owner's manual says.

Cigars n scotch
03-23-2012, 08:49 PM
Am I the only one that picked up on "5700 lbs of ballast, a normal load for events"?

With 5700 lbs of ballast your boat would sink.

03-23-2012, 09:33 PM
That is normal for the professional riders at the World Championship events

Cigars n scotch
03-24-2012, 04:30 PM
Wow, I've never heard of 5700 lbs of ballast. I am def. going to ask my buddy about this since he mc's a lot of the tour events. I just thought that was a typo or something.

03-24-2012, 10:26 PM
After talking to Mike Brendella from Mb boats last year at our local boatshow he mentioned one of there team riders,often riding/surfing behind his boat loaded with 6k ponds of ballast. Combo of water and leadshot to achieve this.
Not recomended,but definetely the way some of the PRO's do it.

03-25-2012, 12:51 AM
I've heard harley clifford runs 7000-8000 pounds in his boat. One competition I did was pulled by an x-star running 6k pounds. We ran half the summer with 1800 pounds and the second half we were running 2500 pounds and never had any oil consumption when we traded the boat in with 540 hours on it using rotella 15w-40. Has anyone read PCM's break in procedure? It is quite a bit different than indmar's and they are both chevy 350 blocks, wonder which one is better?
Break in procedure is on p.25 I would copy and paste it if I could but it's in a weird format that wont let me

Cigars n scotch
03-25-2012, 09:43 AM
7-8k is just insane! Where the hell do they put it all! Well come to think of it, for 7-8k lbs of ballast they are probably riding behind 24 ft boats so there's more room. I'd just like to see a quick video clip of where it's all stored.

Engine Nut
03-25-2012, 03:35 PM
That article was based on data from an LSA engine which is our supercharged small block engine. That engine uses Mobil 1 fully synthetic 5W30 oil as specified by General Motors. The data is consistent with what we see on conventional 5.7L and 6.0L engines that use conventional 15W40 oil.

03-25-2012, 09:40 PM
7-8k is just insane! Where the hell do they put it all! Well come to think of it, for 7-8k lbs of ballast they are probably riding behind 24 ft boats so there's more room. I'd just like to see a quick video clip of where it's all stored.

Check out this thread

06-17-2012, 01:48 PM
It would be interesting to see the results from a used oil analysis as well. I know some oils are very good (rotella t6) and used oil analysis over and over again have shown it provides protection even over Reccomend change intervals in cars, but it would be neat to see the comparison in boats. It would be a good factor to consider.

06-21-2012, 12:24 PM
I'm trying to change my oil in my 05 moomba mobius lsv. It has the 5.7l carb motor I believe. How many quarts Does it call for???? I check my Manuel must have overlooked it.

06-21-2012, 12:30 PM
I believe it's 5 qts.

06-21-2012, 12:38 PM
Thanks. I'll start with 5 then check.

06-21-2012, 12:42 PM
5 qts including filter.

06-12-2013, 11:03 AM
If you go with synthetic, what weight would you use?


06-12-2013, 09:39 PM
Same weight at non synthetic 15w40

Sent from my iPhone

06-08-2015, 12:26 PM
i have a 98 moomba outback. which oil and filter do you recommend?

09-15-2015, 11:31 PM
Wow, I've never heard of 5700 lbs of ballast. I am def. going to ask my buddy about this since he mc's a lot of the tour events. I just thought that was a typo or something.

not to change the subject but isn't this well over the weight limit for the boat??