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Old 18-11-2010, 03:21   #1
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Volvo Penta with Sail Drive - Forward, Neutral or Reverse when Under Sail ?

Hi all
My question the other day to three sales reps while I was test sailing my next boat. Should I leave the gear box in neutral or in gear whilst under sail. They debated and came up with I don't know. Its a Volvo penta MD2030 C fixed two blade propeller. Under sail, with the stick in neutral, I could hear a vibration noise which I was not happy with hence my question. With many other things on my mind under a sea trail ,before purchase, I never got an answer that I was comfortable with.

So what do you people think Neutral R or F? Or should I just buy a feathering prop.

cheers

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Old 18-11-2010, 04:14   #2
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Old and outdated dispute this one.
If you have got a fixed blade propeller by leaving it in neutral you will reduce somehow the drag but by the same token you re unreasobably wearing the saildrive gears since the propeller will be spinning.

I'd definitely say in reverse when you are under sail and if I may suggest, write down in your agenda to save for a folding or a feathering prop.

Scud
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Old 18-11-2010, 05:24   #3
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The manual for the MD2040 states:

"If the boat has a fixed propeller, the control lever must be in the neutral position when sailing. If the boat has a folding propeller, the control lever must be in the astern position. IMPORTANT! If you are sailing far, run the engine every ten hours if the boat has a fixed propeller. This is to ensure the drive/reverse gear is lubricated and cooled. If this is not possible, then a shaft brake must be installed."

I have the fixed two blade on the saildrive and leave the system in neutral under sail.
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Old 18-11-2010, 05:58   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kijit View Post
The manual for the MD2040 states:

"If the boat has a fixed propeller, the control lever must be in the neutral position when sailing. If the boat has a folding propeller, the control lever must be in the astern position. IMPORTANT! If you are sailing far, run the engine every ten hours if the boat has a fixed propeller. This is to ensure the drive/reverse gear is lubricated and cooled. If this is not possible, then a shaft brake must be installed."

I have the fixed two blade on the saildrive and leave the system in neutral under sail.
Doesn´t that apply to a shaft installation, rather than a sail drive?
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Old 18-11-2010, 06:31   #5
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Don't think so. The manual refers to both the saildrive and reverse gear models and they refer to the saildrive as "drive". So, when they say "drive/reverse gear" they appear to be referring to both. Obviously the shaft break is only applicable to a shaft system.
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Old 18-11-2010, 07:20   #6
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Talking

I knew that this post was going to fuel up once more the old chore once again and stirr up the water.

Look, the VOLVO manual (clearly written for a shaft drive) outlines also the implicit danger, i.e., the propeller will spin and so will the inner gears in the bowels of the saildrive and of the engine, but with the engine off there will be no proper cisrculation of (warm) oil and so they recommend to crank in the engine every so many hours.

Their concern is not obviously the wear that you are imposing on the gears but that something locks or seize unexpectedly and so they shall either replace it under warranty or at least explain why it may have failed.

Of course a progressive and gradual (but senseless) wear like the one caused by a free spinning propeller can only play in their hands since they'll sell more spares as a consequence of it.

i can't imagine a ocean passage with a whirling and vibrating prop under the belly of the boat for a leg of 5,000. Nm. Of course if you are just motoring out of the marina, sailing for a few hours and motoring back in, then is none of your concern. You can easly do whatever you want and be happy with the outcomes anyway.

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