I repowered my 34' sailboat with a new Volvo D1-30 w/saildrive and couldn't be happier. Took a trip from NYC
, through New England
, then around Nova Scotia
and Prince Edward Island. It was a very light winded summer and we did a lot of motoring, about 1200NM. The motor
and saildrive preformed flawlessly.
When contemplating the repower
, I initially wanted to install a Yanmar, but the Volvo fit better and was a little less expensive. I'm glad I made the choice. There is a local shop here that specializes in wooden sailboat refits (high-end stuff like Concordias and Buzzard Bays) and they only use the new Volvos - they claim they are far less smokey than the Yanmars, and less likely to foul up the transom with exhaust
Volvo bashers are justified - the stuff from the 80's and 90's (the "2000" series) was terribly problematic. But the new "D" series are Perkins
based, and seem to be developing a good following.
As far as the latest Volvo saildrives are concerned, there were some initial problems with the new clutches, but that had something to do with Hurth
and Volvo disagreeing on the proper lubricant. The latest service
bulletin for my saildrive states that single-weight engine oil
be used instead of ATF. That might be something you would want to research
and make sure the issue is sorted out.
Also, at the risk of sounding like a Volvo fan-boy, I really like their three bladed, geared folding prop - lots of power, even in reverse.
Beta undoubtedly has better customer service
, and I really like the engines, but Beta is a bit cagey when asked who makes their saildrive units. A few years ago a buddy of mine claimed that Stanley from Beta told him the saildrive units are "Italian built". I have no idea what that means, maybe some else has the inside info.