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Thread: Sterndrive opinions

  1. #1
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    Default Sterndrive opinions

    Does anyone here run an inboard/ outboard. How does it hold up in the alaska environment. Could I expect a lot longer life if it is a trailer able boat and not kept in the salt water.

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    Take it from someone who ran a volvo duoprop for 20 years they are all junk. The new outboards are way more reliable. By the way i used to commercial fish out of shark and manasquan rivers for a LOT of years.

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    Ok, I'll give the other side of the coin from potbuilder. I have an outdrive, and I think it is great. It is hooked to a diesel, and it gives great great fuel economy. I think it will last better if the boat is trailered. When Potbuilder says they are junk, he is comparing it with a straight shaft and a rudder. I think he got 3500 hours out of his last outdrive, which is not bad, and that was in a commercial application hauling fish.

    The downside to outdrives is that they can be fragile when paired with high torque diesels in a heavy boat. Outdrives are outdrives. I would not say they are any worse or better in Alaska than anywhere else in the country. It would be worth looking at what brand outdrive you are considering, and then seeing what the reputation is, and the level of support that you can get locally.

    I had a raw water pump shaft fail the other day going into Cordova. There is a good Volvo Penta dealer there, and they had the part in stock, met me at the dock, and I was on my way in 45 minutes. I couldn't have gotten the same level of service in Anchorage on my truck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Ok, I'll give the other side of the coin from potbuilder. I have an outdrive, and I think it is great. It is hooked to a diesel, and it gives great great fuel economy. I think it will last better if the boat is trailered. When Potbuilder says they are junk, he is comparing it with a straight shaft and a rudder. I think he got 3500 hours out of his last outdrive, which is not bad, and that was in a commercial application hauling fish.

    The downside to outdrives is that they can be fragile when paired with high torque diesels in a heavy boat. Outdrives are outdrives. I would not say they are any worse or better in Alaska than anywhere else in the country. It would be worth looking at what brand outdrive you are considering, and then seeing what the reputation is, and the level of support that you can get locally.

    I had a raw water pump shaft fail the other day going into Cordova. There is a good Volvo Penta dealer there, and they had the part in stock, met me at the dock, and I was on my way in 45 minutes. I couldn't have gotten the same level of service in Anchorage on my truck!
    I had 11,000 hours on one of my drives and they are still junk in my eyes !! You must of dealth with cordova outboard ? did you break down on sunday?

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    I will have to agree with Pot Builder stern drives are junk. The best setup that I had was a Yamaha Stern drive had over 3500 hours no break downs. Yamaha lost a law suite to OMC/Volvo and had to stop selling them in the US. I have one boat that is gas powered and has Bravo lll on it with 1200 hours no break downs on the stern drive but the salt water pumps on the Mer Cruiser are junk. My current boat is Powered By Volvo D6 with DPHC drives and the whole setup is junk. I put the DPH C drives on last year both of them show signs of over heating. If you are buying a new boat keep it under 30ft and go with outboards.

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    So how many hours can a guy expect out of an outboard yamaha? How many of them get 3500 + hours? I sure hope my current and next boat get that much out them - - I'll be retired and buried by then by the time that I spend that much time on the water!

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    I love this type of discussion. Next up will be discussions about how ****ty metal boats are and how crappy glass boats are. Folks have different experiences with I/O and OB and your opinions depend on what you had, how you maintained it and how many hours you put on it. There have been lots of OB over the years that would fall under the heading of "junk". For most recreational boaters we will never see 11,000 hours on a boat unless we give up our day jobs and start commercial fishing. I've had both OB and I/O and there are pros can cons with both. I found OB to be less maintenance than I/O but I just love power (and sweet sound) of that 350 and the bonus of heat while underway is great. I know folks who have used I/O for thier charters and have been happy with the results and they do put on thousands of hours a year. Glass vs Metal, I/O vs OB, Chevy Vs Ford, Longhorns Vs Tigers.......
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    I had 11,000 hours on one of my drives and they are still junk in my eyes !! You must of dealth with cordova outboard ? did you break down on sunday?

    Yes, I had the please of meeting Bill at Cordova Outboard, and he did a good job. Fortunately it was a Friday when it happened, so I got in under normal business hours. I also have to give some credit to the Seward Volvo dealer, Matt at SHIP. He waked me through the problem on the phone and confirmed what it was while we were making our way into Cordova on the kicker and autopilot. I brought up your past comments about how they had a great outdrive mechanic in Cordova, and the locals had a couple of guesses as to who you were talking about, but I cannot recall them. I think the conclusion was that he was retired now.
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    The new OB can get 5000 hours or more on them then you rebuild them like every thing else. The diesel setups are hard on outdrives. You do all the schedule serving like changing out drive, engine oil, filters, etc and you still end up with major problems. The newer Volvo systems are less reliable than the older style. In 3200 hours I now own 8 outdrives, replaced 1 engine computer, 1 injection pump, 2 steering rams, 4 steering hoses,1 trim pump, 2 trim pump cylinders, 3 shift actuators, 4 alternators, 4 water pumps, 1 air filter housing, 1 engine oil cooler, x number of water pump impellors, and x number of engine belts. Every 100 hours change out oil filters, air filters, engine oil, and outdrive oil. At 150 hours change out crank case filter. My boat is heavy at 20000 pounds fully loaded but this out drives and engines are suppose to hold up better than they do. Another boat in Valdez has the same setup as I do and he has gone thru 4 outdrives but has replaced 2 engines. So I guess I should not complain.

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    OB better,Chevy better,aluminum better,don't know about the longhorns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TS View Post
    OB better,Chevy better,aluminum better,don't know about the longhorns.
    With the expception of the availalbity of a good bowl of seafood gumbo within walking distance of campus it's Longhorns all the way. There is a reason God made the sunset burnt orange...
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Yes, I had the please of meeting Bill at Cordova Outboard, and he did a good job. Fortunately it was a Friday when it happened, so I got in under normal business hours. I also have to give some credit to the Seward Volvo dealer, Matt at SHIP. He waked me through the problem on the phone and confirmed what it was while we were making our way into Cordova on the kicker and autopilot. I brought up your past comments about how they had a great outdrive mechanic in Cordova, and the locals had a couple of guesses as to who you were talking about, but I cannot recall them. I think the conclusion was that he was retired now.
    good thing it wasn't sunday when you broke down or you would of waited till monday for any help, unless things have changed at C-O they are closed up tight on sundays. The business that i talked about was Cordova Power Services owner by Ed Maxwell he would open anytime to get you parts and had all kinds of loaner parts to keep us fishing, shame he closed up and cordova outboard ended up by his property, they were almost next door to each other.

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    I have had a boat with outdrive, shaft and rudder, and outboard. If I had a big heavy boat I prefer the shaft and rudder, for a smaller boat I prefer outboards. I can't think of any kind of boat where I prefer a sterndrive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    I have had a boat with outdrive, shaft and rudder, and outboard. If I had a big heavy boat I prefer the shaft and rudder, for a smaller boat I prefer outboards. I can't think of any kind of boat where I prefer a sterndrive.
    I was faced with this decision when I was building my boat. There are pros and cons to any of the options. The advantages of a sterndrive in the 30ft class of boat is one of efficiency. When I was having my boat built, the price was the same if I went with twin big outboards or a diesel and IO. One difference was the diesel burns slightly more than half the fuel of the gas outboard option. This is due to a combination of factors; the fact that it is a common rail diesel, as well as the efficiency of duoprop IO. At $4 per gallon, this adds up into a lot of dollars that can be put into maintenance or repairs of the IO before the cost is the same. There is also the big advantage of almost double the range. The downside is that you are then relying on a kicker for backup instead of your second big outboard in a twin outboard configuration. I think the straight shaft and rudder is kind of the middle choice between the diesel with IO and the twin outboards. It has simplicity and better reliability, but less efficiency than the IO and less redundancy than the twin outboards.

    There is no wrong or right choice, just options, any of which will be just fine. There is a reason that all three options exist in the market today, since each one suits some users the best.
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    Ok I have a volvo I/O dps and its about 950 hrs on it what do I need to know about it. I keep the oil changed is the anything else I can do or should be doing. Does anyone pull the drive and greese the ujoints every yr?
    thanks for any info

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    Our Volvo 44 diesel's 290 DP sterndrive has 5100 hours on it in 15 summers, 4300 of these since a cratered leg with shafts and gears that were out of spec was replaced on VP's nickel. Full disclosure - we have been cruising slow 80-90% of the time the last ~3000 hours.

    I've thoroughly cleaned off barnacles, cleaned and greased propshafts, and checked/changed drive lube every fall. Changed bellows about every three years. Repaired/replaced props as necessary. Replaced a worn cone clutch once, and had seals redone once. Last fall replaced a worn steering bushing that was leaking a bit of salt water into the bilge. Just replaced a failed trim position sender.

    Not bulletproof, but for us a good tradeoff, especially for a cruiser that's traveled 32,000 NM on the water (and 65,000 miles on the road).

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    Quote Originally Posted by skipper View Post
    Ok I have a volvo I/O dps and its about 950 hrs on it what do I need to know about it. I keep the oil changed is the anything else I can do or should be doing. Does anyone pull the drive and greese the ujoints every yr?
    thanks for any info
    If you are like me and you can do basic wrenching but you are relatively new to the I/O then I would suggest that you take it to a good I/O mechanic and have them do a once over with you. There is a LOT more to it than just greesing the ujoints... While it cost me a bit of money the things that my mechnic found and the things that he pointed out to me were worth a lot. And frankly I'd rather pay the expert to do the wrenching and I'll spend my limited free time boating, fishing and hunting. While things can always go wrong and you should have enough knowlege to get yourself home when something does goes wrong, having someone who does this type of work for a living and has a good reputation work on my boat gives me a lot more peace of mind when I take out family and friends. Same reason I'm paying someone to reroof my house this summer. I have done it in the past but I these guys are pros and better for me to pay them to do it and have my summer free for enjoying Alaska. I have a great mechanic who has a shop in ANC. PM me if you want the details.

    Good luck.
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    I used to change u joints on the 290 and DPE every 1000 hours. On the DPH A/B/C drives it is 1500 hours. The u joints do not have any grease fitting. You change oil in the outdrives at every 100 hours. Check it for water contamination. Also should pull props and grease shaft and make sure no fishing line is between props this will also check up bellows for oil leaks as this will show if upper seal is leaking.

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    Ok so when an outdrive reaches its limit do you just rebuild it or do you have to get a new out drive.
    I am just kind of planning just for when my motor outdrive are done what I will install after that. another I/O unit or an outboard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriIron View Post
    If you are like me and you can do basic wrenching but you are relatively new to the I/O then I would suggest that you take it to a good I/O mechanic and have them do a once over with you. There is a LOT more to it than just greesing the ujoints... While it cost me a bit of money the things that my mechnic found and the things that he pointed out to me were worth a lot. And frankly I'd rather pay the expert to do the wrenching and I'll spend my limited free time boating, fishing and hunting. While things can always go wrong and you should have enough knowlege to get yourself home when something does goes wrong, having someone who does this type of work for a living and has a good reputation work on my boat gives me a lot more peace of mind when I take out family and friends. Same reason I'm paying someone to reroof my house this summer. I have done it in the past but I these guys are pros and better for me to pay them to do it and have my summer free for enjoying Alaska. I have a great mechanic who has a shop in ANC. PM me if you want the details.

    Good luck.
    There is only one good guy to work on volvo drives and he doesn't live or work in anchorage. He gets to see all the screwed up work the experts in town do. Only guy that will tell you the drive is junk and don't waste your money fixing it. Believe me after 20 years of seeing and hearing about all the expert mechanics that fixed drives that blew up after a short time i would only trust my guy to touch a drive. The cordova drift net fleet is the acid test for any outdrive and to this day none have held up very well, the only ones that have held up somewhat are a few of the Konrad drives.

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