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Old 13-10-2016, 17:33   #1
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Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

I am close to ordering a Balance 451, and I've got most of the specs set on the boat, but I'm having difficulty deciding on the engines.

Basically: Yanmar vs Volvo; 30 HP vs 40 HP.

Cruising the web... a lot of people say the Volvo has corrosion problems and parts are very expensive, but the Yanmar's sail drives are problematic. Info is not necessarily current, either.

30 HP should generally be fine, but there are times you want extra speed under motor. Seems to be about 200 Lbs difference in weight to upgrade the motors. I've already got about 400 Lbs for generator and aircon... want to keep the boat reasonably light and 200 Lbs is pretty significant, given the specification of 18,500 Lbs light ship.

Thoughts?

As a note: I'm pretty firm in my choice for Balance 451. It has enough space, it has dagger boards, it is light &should be fast. Catana: I don't like the exposed helm stations. Outremer: Too spartan. Seawind: the 40' is too small and the 50' is too big. Balance seems about right for my needs.
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Old 13-10-2016, 17:44   #2
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

My vote would be for the VP 40 hp with folding props.
The only difference with these engines are Yanmars are grey and Volvo Penta's are green.
Parts for both engines are the same price.
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Old 13-10-2016, 17:45   #3
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

Yanmars for me
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Old 13-10-2016, 19:01   #4
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

I'm not a fan of sail drives so that would be the deciding factor for me. Either way I'm sure you'll do alright, they are both good engines.
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Old 13-10-2016, 19:11   #5
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

In America, more power is better and faster is better. Get the biggest engines that will fit.
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Old 13-10-2016, 19:13   #6
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

hoorah!
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Old 14-10-2016, 05:43   #7
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

If you need service you'll find Volvo Penta dealers near most coastal, resort areas (i.e. Med, N. Atlantic, Caribbean).

I've had great experience with Yanmar. You'll pay more for their branded parts. Or you can do the legwork and walk down to the tractor supply store. Yanmar had a very big presence in agriculture so you can get parts almost anywhere. This is important if you are boondocking.

For example I could have paid $250 for the Yanmar water pump rebuild kit. Instead, I paid $30 for all the bearings and seals. Because Yanmar uses a normal Johnson water pump.

Volvo, all parts are custom and all parts come through Volvo and you will pay because there is no alternative.


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Old 14-10-2016, 06:01   #8
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

I will admit to having been burned by VP too many times and would NEVER buy a boat with or order a VP EVER again.

Go with the Yanmars, you will get support and longevity VP refuses to provide unless you like buying a new engine once they discontinue parts in a few years.

Also if they can do Beta or Nanni you will be in good shape too.

After a hundred hours of research and then many more at the US boat show, I placed a deposit on a Beta to rid myself of the evil green witch in my engine room.
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Old 14-10-2016, 09:54   #9
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

The Yanmar engines I have had have been great, but the saildrives tend to have problems in my experience. However changing seals on a regular basis (2-4 years?) and anodes annually would appear to prevent the legs self-destructing. Changed the engine oil early this season on both my 10 year old 3YM30's and after 500 hours it is still clean, unlike that in my diesel Mercedes.

I was unconvinced by the VP I had in an earlier boat....
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Old 14-10-2016, 10:15   #10
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

Quote:
Originally Posted by yardie View Post
If you need service you'll find Volvo Penta dealers near most coastal, resort areas (i.e. Med, N. Atlantic, Caribbean).


Volvo, all parts are custom and all parts come through Volvo and you will pay because there is no alternative.
Wrong! Found glow plugs for my VP D1 20B at Kubota for 1/30 of Volvo-price.

Have found piston rings at Perkins for under 1/3 of Volvo-price. Made all gaskets myself except top gasket, that can be made locally (Malaysia) for 1/4 of Volvo-price!
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Old 14-10-2016, 10:15   #11
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

Craig, here's the thing...Volvos and Yanmars are great engines. The problem many people have had with Volvos in the United States is service. It is just hard to get parts here on the west coast. If you are European or S. African you might have better luck than here.

If it were my new boat I would put a Kubota ( Beta Marine) engine in it. The reputation is excellent and service leagues ahead of Volvos. I think all three engines...in themselves...are all quality engines. Getting parts and technical help seems to be the rub. You are crazy if you don't talk to the Beta Marine guys.

By the way one of the skippers here in San Francisco who runs a charter boat for weddings and sight seeing replaced his sail drives and it cost almost 18-20K. I was blown away. I would never have that setup on a boat...Never...
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Old 14-10-2016, 10:22   #12
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

Sail drive for me is a deal killer. My yanmar ran like a singer sewing machine ( that's good)
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Old 14-10-2016, 10:30   #13
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

inboard over sail-drive any day of the week. The ultimate would be Yanmar inboard.
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Old 14-10-2016, 11:21   #14
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramblingman View Post
I will admit to having been burned by VP too many times and would NEVER buy a boat with or order a VP EVER again.

Go with the Yanmars, you will get support and longevity VP refuses to provide unless you like buying a new engine once they discontinue parts in a few years.

Also if they can do Beta or Nanni you will be in good shape too.

After a hundred hours of research and then many more at the US boat show, I placed a deposit on a Beta to rid myself of the evil green witch in my engine room.
Can you tell us who you're getting this from? I've heard that prices have come down due to the more favorable exchange rate with the pound but the local dealer is not passing that on.
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Old 14-10-2016, 14:11   #15
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Re: Balance 451 - Yanmar vs Volvo

I agree with all the bad mouthing of Volvo here. Highly overrated as are their cars. Both expensive to maintain.

I wouldn't have any kind of sail-drive on a cruising boat. A heavy side impact (that is one a few degrees off center from dead ahead and therefore not protected by the keel) with any substantial under water object will destroy your sail-drive and maybe rip it out of the bottom of the boat and open a big hole to the sea that your pumps can't handle. Sail-drives should be rejected by the survey profession as being inherently unsafe for long-distance, off-shore cruising. Sail-drives should be installed in racing boats only but then if every racer had one it would be a level playing field so what's the point?

If you must go cruising with a sail-drive or have a power boat with those ridiculous forward facing Volvos please, please construct a water-tight bulk head isolating your engine compartment from the rest of the boat and carry big enough pumps to evacuate this area of water.
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