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Old 09-01-2012, 05:33   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Boat: Newport 28 MKII
Posts: 359
Hunter e33 Saildrive

What are the maintenance and related maintenance cost differences between a traditional shaft drive and Yanmar 27 hp saildrive used on the the Hunter e33? Several of us were discussing this boat at the marina and no one in the group had any experience with saildrives, except the general impression that they required more preventive maintenance and haulouts to replace zincs, seals, etc., and were prone to damage from water intrusion and very expensive to repair. One guy who is semi-interested in buying an e33 said there was a quote in a press release from Hunter saying that "all the maintenance issues of a saildrive have been resolved with this boat". Thanks in advance for the replies.

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Old 14-01-2012, 05:31   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SW Florida
Boat: FP Belize, 43' - Dot Dun
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Re: Hunter e33 Saildrive

I have (2) Yanmar SD20 saildrives, 9 years old, 1700 hours. As you surmised, there is normal maintenance, mine get diver cleaned monthly, I change zincs in the water every 6 months (per Yanmar recommendations) and change oil and lower seals every haul out for bottom paint (2-3 year intervals). We check oil regularly when checking engine oil. Any sign of water in the oil (milky color) could cause an unanticipated haul out to replace seals (not happened yet!).

Saildrives are 'scary' from the fact that your transmission is hanging in the water, hence requires preventative maintenance to insure it stays working.

There is obvious trade-off, but you gain the flexibility on where to put the engine and space. The prop is more efficient as it's parallel with the waterline vs. pointing down.

No system is perfect, but if you maintain them as designed, they'll last a long time.
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hunter, saildrive

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