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post #2 of Old 01-25-2004
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Jim, I just sent off an email to the Sail folks pointing out that Aussie''s articel omitted the single biggest liability of a saildrive for active year-round sailors and for all cruising sailors. Manufacturers of these units typically recommend the hypoid gear oil in the leg be changed every 100 hours, yet in the smaller sizes (1-2-3 cylinder models) they provide no way to do that unless you haul the boat and use the leg drain.

Volvo recently re-engineered their gear leg to permit ''sucking'' out the gear oil like we normally remove engine oil from the crankcase. (In the past, the gears prevented snaking a small tube down into the leg). However, Volvo considers this an upgraded feature and never provides it to a builder of a new boat unless this type of leg is spec''d by the builder/buyer and a price point paid.

Not an unimportant point for the buyer of a new boat...but disappointing news for many current saildrive owners.

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