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Old 22-08-2016, 16:59   #1
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Location: Satellite Beach, Fl
Boat: Maxim, Voyage 380
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water in SD20 sail drive

Just noticed I have water in my SD20 saildrive. I think it was caused by barnacles on prop because I felt a vibration and poor performance. (I was out of commission for a few months and new to area so I didn't realize how fast and bad it could get).

It's a cat and I have 35+ mile to haul out and limited in sections of the river to sail unless I'm very luck with the winds. I do still have a good engine and sail drive on the other side.

Question is: I will have to use the sail drive at spots to get to haul out. Has anyone tried to suck the oil out so I can add oil back to help keep it from any or anymore damage?
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Old 22-08-2016, 22:39   #2
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Re: water in SD20 sail drive

There are several threads on this. Our boat had this problem in charter even though the seals were replaced each year and was managed as you suggest by pumping out as much oil as possible and refilling and carry on operating as normal. After some time Yanmar advised the operators to ensure that the oil should not be filled any higher than the bottom of the dipstick to allow it to vent. After that no more problems
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Old 23-08-2016, 04:40   #3
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Re: water in SD20 sail drive

Yes, been doing my research. looking at the diagram of the lower unit, it doesn't look like it will allow a tube to get very far down to get much fluid or water out. Sucks because water will stay in the bottom. Plan on get as much as I can out, refill it run it a little and repeat it a few times till I get it hauled out.

To bad I live in a area that has no tide to beach it.
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Old 23-08-2016, 14:06   #4
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Re: water in SD20 sail drive

Yes, its difficult to get much more than 1 litre of the 2+ litres out from the top. However, the water is usually present as an milky white emulsion, so repeated partial evacuation / top ups running a while in between to emulsify should reduce the water content significantly. I am told that the Quicksilver extreme gear oil is the stuff to use as it will cope with water better than standard gear oil.
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Old 24-08-2016, 04:13   #5
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Re: water in SD20 sail drive

I've just had the same situation with one of my SD20's. I pumped out 1 liter every second day till I could get to a yard to have it hauled out & have the seals replaced. They checked everything on disassembly & pronounced it all good.

After every pump out the milky colour was getting better. I'm not saying you can rely on this in your case. But it work for me.

They were able to move the position of the new seals a bit so that they weren't in the exact same position on the shaft. They also pressure tested the new assembly before the boat went back in the water to ensure that the leak had been repaired.

Dave



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Old 24-08-2016, 04:37   #6
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Re: water in SD20 sail drive

Unless you have a 1GM engine, you have 80w gear oil. It provides pretty good protection even with a little water in it, and just a little water will make the oil milky. As others have said, you can suck out about 1/2 the oil, refill with new until you can get hauled out.
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Old 27-08-2016, 07:38   #7
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Re: water in SD20 sail drive

SD20 most common cause of water intrusion is the oil drain screw. After that you have to evaluate shaft seals and bearing carrier o-rings etc.

With the boat out of the water, do a pressure and vacuum test on the drive leg to check for integrity.
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