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Old 26-06-2021, 11:53   #1
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diesel engine removal

I own a Columbia 8.7 meter that was built in 1978 with a Volvo Penta MD 7A. The inboard is tired and finally shut down. I had a conversation with the Volvo dealer about repairs and I was advised to replace it with a newer model. The engine is old and due to obsolescence other parts related to the engine may start breaking down.. Parts replacement may become a problem also due to lack of its availability.
(Besides, the price of a new engine plus the costs of labor for removable and installation do not justify the investment on my 41 yrs. old boat.)


After careful consideration, I have decided not to fix the old MD 7A Volvo Penta. Instead of inboard, I shall propel the boat with a 9.9 electric outboard motor. Now, I sense there is no merit to keep the heavy Volvo engine.

Under this development, I plan to remove the inboard Diesel engine but before I venture into that project, do you keep any drawings or blue prints that will sound off an alarm on what parts I should leave/redo/modify to keep the boat safely afloat? For example, what will happen if I remove the propeller or the stuffing box? Will the drawings provide hints on what not to touch?

I looked for suggestions/ideas at various sailing magazines, cruising forums and YouTube on removal of Volvo Marine diesel but to no avail.

I shall deeply appreciate whatever ideas you can lay out on me or anything that may be helpful.

Sincerely,

Jeezlolo
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Old 26-06-2021, 17:17   #2
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Re: diesel engine removal

Jeezlolo:

You say: " For example, what will happen if I remove the propeller or the stuffing box?"

If you remove the engine and also the propeller while leaving the shaft in the boat, i.e. if you don't disturb the stuffing box or the cutless bearing, the boat will continue to float, maybe an inch higher than she did before and be "down by the head" a little bit. The weight of the batteries required to make an electric OB useful will be about the same as the weight of the engine you remove, so the boat will then float about the same as it did before if you are proposing to put the batts where the Volvo sat.

If you remove the stuffing box as well, you'll need to plug the hole in the hull where the shaft exited from it. Else you will sink. Elementary, my dear Watson :-)!

I see that your previous posts have explored a plethora of topics about which those new to seafaring might wonder. Some of them have touched on sailing in the Salish Sea. So since the Salish Sea is MY waters, please know that I consider what you are proposing to do very, very inappropriate for these waters. If you wish to know why, we can discuss it in further posts.

Know also that the cost of batteries of sufficient capacity to render electric propulsion viable in these waters is not likely to be less than the cost of a replacement diesel. Although I'm a former Scowegian, I have no fondness for the Volvos. Your boat would become a very happy boat if you were to replace the Volvo with a Beta 20. Done professionally that would set you back about Can$15K.

Given your question about "what will happen...stuffing box..." I deduce that you would not have the skills to replace the engine as a DIY project. IF you did, then the cost of the bare engine delivered to a marina near Vancouver or on southern Vancouver Island would be about Can$9.5K. Were you to re-engine with a Beta, your boat would retain some market value. Doing what you are proposing to do would, IMO, render the boat worthless.

You also say: "Besides, the price of a new engine plus the costs of labor for removable and installation do not justify the investment on my 41 yrs. old boat."

I believe you are wrong about that! The ONLY thing that justifies ANY expenditure on a 40 year old Columbia 29 with a dodgy Volvo is replacing the Volvo with a spiffing, brand spanking new Beta. When the time comes to sell - as it will - you can then sell the Beta and throw in the boat as a bonus :-)!

Remember that the Columbia 29 was an excellent coastal cruiser in its time. Just about the cat's pajamas for the Salish Sea. And it still is, if it is kept neat and tidy and innocent of modern "improvements"!

All the best to you :-).

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Old 26-06-2021, 18:48   #3
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Re: diesel engine removal

Well, if one of my previous boats is anything to go by, you pull everything out, drive a wooden bung into the ocean side of the stern tube, trim flush then cap with a few layers of fibreglass. Proven good for at least half a circumnavigation.
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Old 26-06-2021, 20:31   #4
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Re: diesel engine removal

Rather than an a electric outboard, have you considered an electric inboard? There a number of suppliers you could use.
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Old 26-06-2021, 21:09   #5
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Re: diesel engine removal

despite what has been suggested, you don't need a lot of batteries to make this work. After all, it is a sailboat and in no way do you need additional propulsion. A good sailor can just sail on and off all of the docks, and the motor is just a convenience when the wind is extremely light because you are in a wind hole. You can also just wait for wind which generally is < 20 minutes.

I dont know what 9.9 electric outboard actually means but this size boat can easily be powered with a few hundred watts. I have built an outboard which uses 120 watts and pushes me 2 knots, and I have a 40 amp hour battery at 12 volts can go for a few hours. When the sun is out, the solar produces up to 300 watts which is a lot more than the motor uses.
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Old 27-06-2021, 00:46   #6
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Re: diesel engine removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by seandepagnier View Post
A good sailor can just sail on and off all of the docks, and the motor is just a convenience when the wind is extremely light because you are in a wind hole.
Of course you can, or may be not. Interesting that my own harbour has a rule that engines are to be running when entering or leaving. They can be in neutral and you can have the sails up, but that engine needs to be on. There is a reason for this rule.
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Old 27-06-2021, 03:15   #7
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Re: diesel engine removal

Quote:
I dont know what 9.9 electric outboard actually means
I dunno either, but perhaps he really means a 9.9 hp electric start petrol outboard.

Jim
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Old 27-06-2021, 03:20   #8
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Re: diesel engine removal

More likely a 6KW electric motor which the manufacturer rates as equivalent to a 9.9HP petrol engine
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Old 27-06-2021, 04:14   #9
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Re: diesel engine removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by seandepagnier View Post
despite what has been suggested, you don't need a lot of batteries to make this work. After all, it is a sailboat and in no way do you need additional propulsion. A good sailor can just sail on and off all of the docks, and the motor is just a convenience when the wind is extremely light because you are in a wind hole. You can also just wait for wind which generally is < 20 minutes.

I dont know what 9.9 electric outboard actually means but this size boat can easily be powered with a few hundred watts. I have built an outboard which uses 120 watts and pushes me 2 knots, and I have a 40 amp hour battery at 12 volts can go for a few hours. When the sun is out, the solar produces up to 300 watts which is a lot more than the motor uses.

My dock is on a 100 foot wide canal, a quarter mile long with houses on either side which cause light fluky turbulent winds with 180 degree shifts. If the wind is right I can sail either in or out, but not both. Short tacking up this canal? Maybe I am just not a "good sailor" but I don't think a good sailor would risk his vessel and others at docks by trying. In this day and age, at least where I am, auxiliary propulsion is essentially mandatory.
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Old 27-06-2021, 04:23   #10
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Re: diesel engine removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Although I'm a former Scowegian, I have no fondness for the Volvos. Your boat would become a very happy boat if you were to replace the Volvo with a Beta 20.
+1
I agree with Trente.
Hate Volvos and their parts price-gouging.
Repower with a Beta.
Little to do with re-sale value, though, and everything to do with your own safety. What is your life worth? Yes, a sailboat engine is auxillary, but when you need your engine, you need it. And it had better work.

Fair winds,
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