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Old 05-20-2010
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Yanmar Found Guilty

Ed Sherman, a long-time boating engine guru, has posted an article about an MSA from YANMAR regarding their saildrives. What Ed writes is this:

Several months ago I posted a multi-part series here entitled "Keep Your Drive Alive". Why? Because there have been quite a few issues with saildrives corroding away. We know why, and I discussed all of the issues during that series. Apparently the issue has become prevalent enough that Yanmar America is responding with a very detailed service bulletin that not only describes the problem, but offers up the same information I had provided here. If you have a Yanmar saildrive, I strongly suggest you take heed and look this over carefully. Since the bulletin is also intended for end users, I'm placing it here in it's entirety.
Here is a link to the actual PDF of the bulletin.

However, what isn't pointed out in Ed's article are the facts of the matter, which are:
  1. The MSA was only published 9 days after Yanmar was found liable for fraud and DTPA violations by a TX jury after nearly 4 years of litigation in NJ and TX.
  2. That Yanmar knew all this stuff in 2005/2006.
  3. Their own expert, Wards Electric Marine, told them this stuff in 2006.

The evidence admitted at trial just concluded shows they 'chose' not to release any advisories to protect boaters!

If you've had corrosion problems with your 2006-2010 Yanmar Saildrive, it would be very wise to make sure you have all your receipts and contact your local Yanmar dealer. This may also apply to older saildrives, but you'd have to check.

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Telstar 28
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 05-20-2010 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 05-21-2010
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Thumbs down An Observation

Personal Rant Alert:
Aluminum alloy castings are a huge risk underwater. I have personally seen an older Volvo S Drive that looked like swiss cheese (boat was on the hard and the remnants of the drive were being removed in pieces).

Only advantages for Sail Drives are that the new boats are much cheaper to assemble and more profitable. The builder can save some additional $ because they can use slightly less hp for a given disp.

For the owners, the prop is more efficient, being level and deeper under water than most down-slant shaft setups. Having said that, the disadvantages really start to pile up. You have to read the Volvo manual on diaphram replacement to fine that, for the ones from the 80's, it's seven years and the motor may need to be lifted some. New zinc's, applied with religious fervor.
Replacement of that diaphram seal becomes a huge recurring boat yard expense.

For generations of boat owners used to ignoring their shaft-drive systems for decades at a time, these S-drives are a significant liability, IMHO.
If you love their advantages and can afford the maintenance $, they are fine, of course.

"YMMV" as we often say...


Last edited by olson34; 05-21-2010 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 06-13-2011
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I installed a SD20 in 2008, Lake Ontario, on haul out 6 months, found corrosion. Am now seeking costs from Yanmar Dealer and Distrubutor. Any advice/updates would be wecome.
Colin Davey.
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