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Old 07-06-2013, 12:15   #16
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

Thanks for the great comments, I am not considering a replacement, I am considering purchase of a new (to me) boat. Many of the models I have looked at are equipped with Saildrives now. In the past after having three power boats with Mercruiser headaches/problems/disasters, I was very reluctant to believe that the Saildrives were any different...especially hearing it from a dealer. The honest feedback received on this site is very heart warming. I appreciate everyone's comments, and I hope I didn't upset any Mercrusier fans, since I only have had three different drives for experience, maybe I was very unlucky. I see that I have to compare apples to apples as they say. Thanks a bunch everybody, for making the picture much clearer.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:25   #17
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

Our 1984 volvo saildrive has been problem free for us, and I see no indication that it was anything but problem free for the previous owners. The only internal work we have done is to replace the oil seals on the shaft, and simple proceedure.

Chris
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:41   #18
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

For past seven years have had a Volvo Penta saildrive matched to a 40hp Volvo Penta engine. After an initial issue with a seal on the transmission when the boat was new (leaked a little oil and Volvo fixed completely) am totally in love with saildrive. No prop walk, optimal positioning of propeller in a way not possible with a prop shaft. No issues with corrosion.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:46   #19
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

I'm also impressed with these recent real world comments, as I've read in the past that sail drives have lots of issues with maintenance and leaks -- this in some other posts on CF. It might be that the technology has improved? Your experience are positive news.

Thank-you again for everyones useful and long experiences here.
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Old 07-06-2013, 13:43   #20
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

The technology hasn't changed much in many years. The posts about how fragile, etc saildrives are, are usually made by people who have never had saildrives. Or people who have very strong opinions about what constitutes a "proper" boat and its fit-out (and the types of boats most saildrives are mounted in cause these people apoplexy).

As mentioned above, certain models have had continuing problems with their design (Yanmar cone clutches, for example). But in general, they are robust. However, they do have some disadvantages, like the older ones needing a haulout to change the oil and zincs, as well as the inability to use copper-based paint on them (or the risk one takes by epoxy coating and using it).

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Old 07-06-2013, 13:46   #21
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

Yes the older ones were the ones discussed in the threads, which were misleading to me.
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Old 07-06-2013, 13:49   #22
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

I wasn't clear about the copper-based paint issue - that is for all saildrives, old and new. Because they are aluminum. The newer ones no longer need to be hauled to change oil and zincs. The zincs could be changed on older ones without haul, but the props had to be removed, which was a bit of work for the folding ones. The new drive zincs are dead easy to do underwater.

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Old 07-06-2013, 13:53   #23
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich T View Post
Thanks for the great comments, I am not considering a replacement, I am considering purchase of a new (to me) boat.
My advice is to find a boat you like, with no attention paid to the drive or engine other than mechanical soundness. Worrying about Volvo/Yanmar, saildrive/shaft, etc isn't worth the effort in the long run and may just keep you off the perfect boat for you.

Although to be perfectly honest, I would stay away from Yanmar SD40 and SD50 drives.

BTW, you are talking about saildrives and not outdrives or I/O's - correct? I was confused on your Mercruiser comments. You are looking at sailboats?

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Old 07-06-2013, 22:25   #24
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

Yes Mark, I am looking at Sail boats with stern drive auxiliaries. I'm sorry about confusion, I have owned 3 power boats with Mercrusier Alpha stern drives in the past, and I have had many problems with all three. I have had a few other boats with traditional inboard and outboard power, with no big problems. Recently had a couple small sail boats 19' Cat & 35' Sloop, I help crew on a few other sail and motorsailors , but haven't had the opportunity to talk to anyone with more than a season or two of time with a Saildrive unit. I spent some time in& off shore on a couple different 40' &42' Catamarans and was very impressed. I am considering one for the near future. I'm learning the differences between the rigs, builders, designs, sizes.....etc. As you know most late model boats are equipped with these drives , so I am trying to get over my "stern drive panic disorder". Your advice is a big help, and your Manta 40 is a beautiful boat . thanks
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Old 08-06-2013, 20:23   #25
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

Yanmar 54hp engines, SD50 saildrives with 650 hours and no problems yet. Have a set of spare cones on hand however.
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Old 08-06-2013, 22:09   #26
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich T View Post
Yes Mark, I am looking at Sail boats with stern drive auxiliaries. I'm sorry about confusion, I have owned 3 power boats with Mercrusier Alpha stern drives in the past, and I have had many problems with all three. I have had a few other boats with traditional inboard and outboard power, with no big problems. Recently had a couple small sail boats 19' Cat & 35' Sloop, I help crew on a few other sail and motorsailors , but haven't had the opportunity to talk to anyone with more than a season or two of time with a Saildrive unit. I spent some time in& off shore on a couple different 40' &42' Catamarans and was very impressed. I am considering one for the near future. I'm learning the differences between the rigs, builders, designs, sizes.....etc. As you know most late model boats are equipped with these drives , so I am trying to get over my "stern drive panic disorder". Your advice is a big help, and your Manta 40 is a beautiful boat . thanks
I would confidently say there's a huge leap in the longevity of a saildrive compared to an Alpha leg.

We hauled our boat out this summer to find nil corrosion on the legs and anodes that were re-usable as in there was nil change to there structure.

The only negatives i've heard were the cone style clutches slipping in some units. One of the changes recently was they stopped using ATF Oils opting for mineral engine oil instead, we converted this year to mineral oil and find the gearshift more positive with less miss changes...

Cheers Frank
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Old 22-06-2013, 01:59   #27
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

yanmar 54hp with sd50 saildrive our yacht is a charter is almost 1,5 years old with 700 hours and the saildrive is perfect.the spare parts are a bit expensive but yanmar insists of not engaging the saildrive to reverse while sailing
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Old 22-06-2013, 02:09   #28
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

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Originally Posted by SAMOSAIL View Post
yanmar 54hp with sd50 saildrive our yacht is a charter is almost 1,5 years old with 700 hours and the saildrive is perfect.the spare parts are a bit expensive but yanmar insists of not engaging the saildrive to reverse while sailing
Does someone require the saildrive to be locked in a gear whilst sailing? Volvo's don't as far as i know...
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Old 22-06-2013, 02:33   #29
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

lagoon4us yanmar has published a service bulletin about this issue
search in google ''yanmar sd50 bulletin engage'' a site called moosetracks has the bulletin
in pdf
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Old 22-06-2013, 02:39   #30
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Re: Sail Drives, The Good, The Bad and Ugly

Ok we have Volvo 55's and leave in neutral, a two blade fixed prop..... Cheers
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