Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Thanked 303 Times in 235 Posts
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Re: Westerbeke versus Volvo
Having owned Volvo's and having worked on many hundreds of boats with Volvo's has lead me to my own mantra.
If a boat i am looking at has a Volvo it is removed from the list unless the owner reduces price enough to repower.
Pretty simple for me...
I currently have a customer with a 2004 MD2030 that has slightly over 600 hours on it. The engine has been meticulously maintained. In May it spit a "casting plug" in an oil journal. According to multiple Volvo dealers, and Volvo themselves, this is never supposed to happen and has never happened.
Long and short it took them 6 weeks just to get the part and when it was finally installed the engine was found to be totaled having completely run out of oil. The owner shut it down immediately upon hearing the alarm but the screeching started at the same time.
No big deal, it's just money, we'll just order a long block...
Wrong!!! Volvo never made an MD2030 long block. Who makes an engine but does not offer a long block, even when the engine was in production..? The engine is now out of production and the parts necessary to "rebuild" the motor come to a whopping total of over $14,000.00 before we do any labor. The block alone (they don't even offer a short block), just the cast iron block and nothing else, is 4K but he needs everything oil touches.
Long and short apparently Volvo chose to use the cheapest Japanese diesel they could to maintain their lowest bidder OEM pricing, a Shibaura. The Shibaura uses an aluminum casting plug in a cast iron block. Volvo specifies them as SS but even the replacement was soft aluminum.
Getting in touch with an engineer or human being at Volvo, who knows anything, is nearly impossible. Getting parts quickly? Ha, ha ha, yeah right.... On our last Volvo we lost an entire season due to a "back ordered part". Yep an entire season wiped out of the memory books thanks to the green grief....
On my customers engine I have well in excess of 3.5 hours on hold and making phone calls on behalf of this customer and still got essentially nowhere, including some super secret back door numbers from industry contacts. When I finally did get in touch with a human being, who even seemed to know something about the MD2030, he basically told me, "Never even heard of that" & "You're $hit out of luck." & "We never offered that engine in a long block.".
On the other hand I can pick up the phone and have either of two Westerbeke engineers, Joe or Bob, on the phone in seconds. If it came down to Westerbeke over The Green Grief its Westerbeke all the way for me.
That said if I was re-powering today it would be Beta hands down, then Yanmar then Westerbeke. Sadly Volvo never makes the list for me.
Sorry to be so blunt but when you have a customer with a 600 hour engine that is now needing a full repower, for something that "never happens" and Volvo says sorry pound sand and refuses to even try to come up with a long block, that we are fully willing to pay for, well..................
-Maine Sail / CS-36T
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 06-30-2016 at 12:28 PM.