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Old 11-12-2010, 17:48   #1
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New Outboard or Saildrive ?

I have a 7.5 Volva Penta that seized. I want to spend my summer sailing the San Juans. What should I do? I can afford to do only one.

Should buy a new Merc 9.9 outboard? If so, how to mount it? Is the transom my only option?

Or, should I spend the money on a used motor for the saildrive? I think I got seawater inside the motor and caused it to seize that way somehow, at least I'm told that. I don't exactly understand what the issue is other than I can't even turn it with a crow bar. It's stuck like an addiction. Can it be fixed? How much would it cost? Where can I get a decent motor? How much should I expect to pay?

I'm worried that I'll spend money on a used engine and screw it up. I, admittedly, am terrible with motors and have screwed two over without understanding how.

I'm frustrated and it seems to me that the safest way to go is to just buy a new motor with a warranty but I'm worried that it won't work for me in rough conditions due to waves.

Please, please advise.
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Old 11-12-2010, 17:55   #2
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Yamaha makes a 9.9 outboard for sailboaters it is a four stroke with extra long shaft and runs well. I had one mounted on a Irwin 10/4 that was 25ft long and it worked great. It was mounted on the transom with a lift mount. Used slick stick steering to move the motor left and right, with the motor and the rudder hard over i could turn in just over a boat length. I had the controls remote mounted on the pedistal. Might work for you.
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Old 11-12-2010, 17:59   #3
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Redmirage, thanks for your reply. What kinds of conditions did you sail in? Were waves ever too large? I'm very concerned about this. If it works in coastal sailing conditions where waves will lift the aft out of the water I'm ready to buy it. However, I'm worried that I won't be able to use an outboard in anything but near flat conditions. What was your experience with those conditions?

Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2010, 18:00   #4
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Is it diesel or gas? Did you check to see if a cylinder is full of water and has it locked up? Pull the plugs or injectors and try to turn it over.
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Old 11-12-2010, 18:04   #5
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I did most of my sailing on the ICW and in coatal waters. I never had the engine come out of the water but have heard from others that have had that problem. But I like to sail and try to motor as little as possible. My set up used very little gas about 10mpg. How big is your boat?
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Old 11-12-2010, 18:20   #6
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It's gas and I pulled the plugs and tried to disasseble the engine. I can't even turn the nut to pull the crank off. It's an 81 Penta in a US Yacht 27.

How big were the biggest waves you could sail in while the prop remained in the water?
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Old 11-12-2010, 18:26   #7
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Around 2 to 3 ft. If I had waves bigger than that I was always sailing.
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Old 11-12-2010, 20:48   #8
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I think it's a waste of money to replace the saildrive engine until you or a professional finds out exactly why this engine died. If the damage was caused by incorrect installation or improper usage a warranty does you no good. If it is hydro locked depending on engine placement relative to water level an anti siphon loop may be required on the inlet side, and muffler placement and riser loops on the output may be a problem. Excessive cranking without a start can cause the problem.
There are lots of threads with pictures on this site.

Even parties could be a problem. A friend of mine used to like to see how big a party he could throw on his 24'. After seeing the transom depressed maybe 80% down I suggested he worry about backflooding his engine. The next morning he hand cranked to make sure it wasn't hydrolocked before starting it.

John
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Old 11-12-2010, 21:16   #9
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We had a 9.9 Nissan with a long shaft in a lazarette cuddy on our Bristol 27. It worked well with two exceptions: it hobbyhorsed and was only marginally effective going to windward in seas over 3 feet and the stern would squat under power which was an issue if we had extra people in the cockpit. Since we were mostly sailing, it wasn't a big deal, but moving to an inboard diesel on our next boat was a noticeable improvement.
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Old 11-12-2010, 21:26   #10
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Could it be something simple; like a jambed starter drive??

tom
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:28   #11
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I did a few cruises to the Bahamas and keys with a 9.9 long shaft on a 26-foot Westerly Centaur. While overall I prefer an inboard, I have to say the outboard got me where I wanted to go affordably. I motor sailed in seas of up to about 8 feet. The biggest problem was not so much ocean swell as standing waves caused by wind against currents such as in inlets.

Positives I experienced: Much less expensive, can throw it on the car to take to the shop, simply throw it in my basement to winterize, easy access, common fuel for boat and dinghy motor, less weight, provided more storage space.

Negatives: Easier to damage or have stolen, less fuel efficient, prop coming out of the water or head getting plunged, more volatile fuel.

While it served me well, I have to admit that when sailing in wind & waves the potential of plunging the head or the prop coming out was a constant worry for me.
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