We've had the same problem a couple of times (D2-55 with 130S), brought on by catching a fishing
line round the prop shaft, which then worked its way through both seals
and allowed salt water
into the leg. If you suspect this may have happened, watch out - the only thing between you and a swift in-rush of sea water
is that dip-stick and a layer of oil!
Back to the immediate problem: you are in a remote area with a stuffed Saildrive. We managed to nurse our way a few hundred nm down the Queensland
coast to Mooloolaba where we had the clutch
plates replaced by the pro's. Not a small job, as you have to move the engine about 5" forwards to release the Saildrive top bearing, but then it can be lifted out and removed to the shop for re-assembly with fresh plates & shims. Quite a bit of balancing involved to get it right, so not really a DIY project
. Can be done in the water, as long as you don't suspect the seal rupture/contamination problem I described above.
As for 'nursing' the boat back to civilisation, we found that selecting a gear at idle, then waiting a while before applying revs often allowed the engine to get some 'grip' through the clutch
, then ops normal. Just don't assume you're going to find reverse ever again, until you have this fixed!
I wonder if you can take her back to the Volvo specialist who did the work
10 months ago and get it looked at on warranty?
PS. We've had our Saildrive apart many times now, even replaced one completely due to a top bearing failure (needle-bearing seized, on departure from NZ for Fiji
- an expensive exercise) so if you need any help with the procedure for lifting out the top bearing just PM me your email address and we'll be happy to assist. Perhaps that way you could take the top bearing itself to a service
location and have it fixed that way...