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Old 18-02-2015, 17:46   #16
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Re: Volvo engine with saildrive vs Yanmar engine with saildrive

What Bob Perry has been telling me is that saildrives have less drag and better performance. Since I will [probably] just be sailing the boat around Puget Sound in my retirement years, having to haul and maintain the saildrive is not really an issue.
But I am curious as to how good the new Yanmar SD 60 Sail Drive works out. It might be better than the Volvo since it is newly engineered.
I hope anyone who leans anything will let me know. I hope to start building my new boat this Sept.
I think I will tell Bob to make sure and design for the larger engine/sail drive unit, so I can decide at the last minute which is best.
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Old 18-02-2015, 18:06   #17
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Re: Volvo engine with saildrive vs Yanmar engine with saildrive

My dad's Pretorian 35 has a 31 year old saildrive that is holding up just fine. On his last haul out, he replaced the bellow and redid the seals in the unit at a cost of about $1000 dollars. It was a preventative measure. I am not a huge fan of either the sail drive or the shaft. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

I often wonder if most saildrive corrosion issues have to do with improper antifouling coatings. I had 5 coats of epoxy primer applied and then used a non metallic paint both on the saildrive and around it. I also use an isolation transformer.
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Old 19-02-2015, 06:39   #18
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Re: Volvo engine with saildrive vs Yanmar engine with saildrive

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Originally Posted by dave cooper View Post
What Bob Perry has been telling me is that saildrives have less drag and better performance. Since I will [probably] just be sailing the boat around Puget Sound in my retirement years, having to haul and maintain the saildrive is not really an issue.
But I am curious as to how good the new Yanmar SD 60 Sail Drive works out. It might be better than the Volvo since it is newly engineered.
I hope anyone who leans anything will let me know. I hope to start building my new boat this Sept.
I think I will tell Bob to make sure and design for the larger engine/sail drive unit, so I can decide at the last minute which is best.
He is correct on both fronts. But get a folding/feathering prop too.

There isn't any more maintenance on a saildrive than on a shaft drive - people telling you this have no saildrive experience. You will need to change the oil (just like on a shaft transmission), and this is done while still in the water (just like on a shaft drive). You will need to change the zinc (just like on a shaft drive), and you will need to either haul or do it underwater (just like on a shaft drive). Every 5 years or so, you should replace the shaft seal, which is similar to replacing packing in a shaft drive. This does require a haulout - where it is possible, although not always practical, do change shaft packing in the water.

That's it.

The change in the new Yanmar SD60 is the move to disc clutches instead of their problematic cone clutches. Volvo moved to disc clutches years ago (~2005), so have a long track record with them. I would not suspect that Yanmar will be better just because it is new. I would actually be worried in the opposite direction.

Particularly given Yanmar's history with cone clutches. Volvo used cone clutches for decades and these have had almost zero issues. Yanmar moved to cone clutches and immediately had issues with them. Over many years, they continued to issue new designs which were intended to solve their problems - only it seemed like they always got worse. Now, they have tossed cone clutches altogether and moved to disc clutches.

Mark (two saildrives, 16yrs old each, zero problems)
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Old 19-02-2015, 08:23   #19
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Re: Volvo engine with saildrive vs Yanmar engine with saildrive

I repowered my 34' sailboat with a new Volvo D1-30 w/saildrive and couldn't be happier. Took a trip from NYC, through New England, then around Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. It was a very light winded summer and we did a lot of motoring, about 1200NM. The motor and saildrive preformed flawlessly.

When contemplating the repower, I initially wanted to install a Yanmar, but the Volvo fit better and was a little less expensive. I'm glad I made the choice. There is a local shop here that specializes in wooden sailboat refits (high-end stuff like Concordias and Buzzard Bays) and they only use the new Volvos - they claim they are far less smokey than the Yanmars, and less likely to foul up the transom with exhaust smudge.

Volvo bashers are justified - the stuff from the 80's and 90's (the "2000" series) was terribly problematic. But the new "D" series are Perkins based, and seem to be developing a good following.

As far as the latest Volvo saildrives are concerned, there were some initial problems with the new clutches, but that had something to do with Hurth and Volvo disagreeing on the proper lubricant. The latest service bulletin for my saildrive states that single-weight engine oil be used instead of ATF. That might be something you would want to research and make sure the issue is sorted out.

Also, at the risk of sounding like a Volvo fan-boy, I really like their three bladed, geared folding prop - lots of power, even in reverse.

Beta undoubtedly has better customer service, and I really like the engines, but Beta is a bit cagey when asked who makes their saildrive units. A few years ago a buddy of mine claimed that Stanley from Beta told him the saildrive units are "Italian built". I have no idea what that means, maybe some else has the inside info.
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Old 19-02-2015, 08:52   #20
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Re: Volvo engine with saildrive vs Yanmar engine with saildrive

A friend with SD60s, 1 year old no problems to date.

My SD20's, 12.5 years old, 2500 hours, regular oil & shaft seal changes coincided with bottom paint, contemplating new bellows in the next year. No problems.
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Old 21-02-2015, 19:28   #21
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Re: Volvo engine with saildrive vs Yanmar engine with saildrive

Just bought a new Jeanneau 409 and the Yanmar SD-60 Sail drive is a ZF drive as shown by the embossed ZF on the down leg along with the number 3321 401 010.
Also, I have in my research seen that the Volvo sail drives also made by ZF.
So draw your own conclusions from that as to who "makes" the best drives.
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Old 22-02-2015, 06:10   #22
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Re: Volvo engine with saildrive vs Yanmar engine with saildrive

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Just bought a new Jeanneau 409 and the Yanmar SD-60 Sail drive is a ZF drive as shown by the embossed ZF on the down leg along with the number 3321 401 010.
Also, I have in my research seen that the Volvo sail drives also made by ZF.
So draw your own conclusions from that as to who "makes" the best drives.
Yes, ZF manufactures the drives for both companies (as well as for others), and have done so for years. However, they are not the same drives. The designs of each are different with different engineering and even different materials. ZF simply builds them.

This is born out by a visual inspection, along with a simple google search for saildrive problems - where Yanmar drives completely dominate the results. Not to mention that none of the parts are interchangeable between the two.

Mark
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Old 30-04-2015, 10:54   #23
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Re: Volvo engine with saildrive vs Yanmar engine with saildrive

Have SD60 sail drive on a Jeanneau 50DS, no issues so far and easy to change the oil with no haulout. Only minor point is I have a flexfold prop fitted but you cannot install a rope cutter as well without some metal removal from the saildrive.

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Old 30-04-2015, 13:40   #24
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Re: Volvo engine with saildrive vs Yanmar engine with saildrive

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Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
A few years ago a buddy of mine claimed that Stanley from Beta told him the saildrive units are "Italian built". I have no idea what that means, maybe some else has the inside info.
Beta uses Technodrive saildrives from Twin Disc Power Transmission Equipment in Italy. They can also supply engines to bolt up to some Volvo or Yanmar drive legs but only in the smaller sizes I believe. I looked into it a couple of years ago when I was thinking of buying a boat that needed a new engine but I ended up buying a different boat, so didn't pursue it any further.
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Old 30-04-2015, 14:30   #25
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Re: Volvo engine with saildrive vs Yanmar engine with saildrive

Great project

This is an older thread, but hopefully not too late for any changes. Boats take a long time to design and build.

I am not a great fan of sail drives on long distance cruising boats if it can be avoided.

The advantage of custom designed boat is that you can specify just what you want.

Have you considered a shaft drive option? It is initially slightly more expensive, but the long term maintenance is easier and durability is better. These are the sort of important specifications that you get to pick and choose with a custom boat.

If its any help I agree with your assessment that Yanmar is the better engine, but Volvo has the better sail drive.

I see people cruising and having a great time in all sort of boats, but with a custom boat you have the option to get the ideal specifications. My ideal may not fit in with your aims, but you should at least question Bob about the extra cost and possible compromises associated with shaft drive. The cost of design changes are usually small in the overall project.
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Old 30-04-2015, 18:27   #26
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Re: Volvo engine with saildrive vs Yanmar engine with saildrive

Mark,
you make a blanket statement that there are many problems with the Yanmar sail drives But with the cone clutch models. I have Not seen any complaints Yet with the clutch pack SD-60s yet. I am not stating that they are the perfect solution but all the complaints involved prior to that model i.e. SD-40, 50 so far. I can not question your statement that they are entirely different metals used since I do not have access to the metallurgical reports from the source vendors as you seem to have.
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