OMC Saildrive possible replacement - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-23-2013 Thread Starter
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OMC Saildrive possible replacement

I looked at a San Juan 26 that had one of these today. Currently, the motor is not running and the seller seems to believe the starter needs to be replaced. Apparently it was running at the end of last year.

All things considered, the boat is in relatively good shape with no major issues or items that need to be replaced and he is only asking $1,750. My plan would be to replace the starter and see if the engine will go. If it does, I'll be good to go. If not, I figured the easiest route to go would be to put an O/B on the back instead of dealing with the inboard.

Would anyone say this is an okay (not perfect) option? If an outboard was put on, would it be okay to leave the inboard/saildrive unit in the boat? Optimally I was thinking pull out the motor to reduce the weight and leave the unit on the boat so I don't have to glass in the hull.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-23-2013
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Re: OMC Saildrive possible replacement

It would be nice to know if the saildrive will run before you buy the boat. An outboard and mount is going to cost you as much as the current price of the boat. As to leaving the saildrive in the boat if you go the outboard route - not the worst option at least on a temporary basis. Removing the saildrive prop would reduce the drag significantly.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-23-2013
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Re: OMC Saildrive possible replacement

Ultimately, it would be great if you could leave the inboard. It's not impossible to get parts once you find a source (a good parts person who is willing to spend a few minutes looking and cross referencing).

If the engine has the external alternator option then it besides the obvious performance advantages over an outboard, you also get good charging for your house bank.

If you must go the outboard route you won't notice if the sail drive is there. You might consider removing the prop. If you are going to race, the sail drive would be there anyway and the outboard will be up so the only disadvantage would be the weight.

However, if the inboard is done, at some point you will want to remove it for more space and you won't have that inboard smell

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Last edited by RobGallagher; 07-23-2013 at 05:52 PM.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-23-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: OMC Saildrive possible replacement

Thanks to both of you. I kind of figured it would not do much. I'm only going to be on inland lakes and will not be racing (this boat is SLOW regardless) so having the most optimal performing boat is not my highest concern.

The potential cost of putting the outboard on also isn't a huge factor for me. My original budge was $5,000 so with as little work as the boat needs (exception being the motor), I should still fit the budget issue. Just wanted to ensure that functionally, this would still be an option.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-23-2013
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Re: OMC Saildrive possible replacement

I have a Volvo sail drive. I believe that Volvo invented the sail drive. Sail drives got a really, really bad rap when OMC copied them. Apparently, OMC used really cheap Aluminum and the OMC drives just rotted out from electrolisis. I'd be careful of an OMC saildrive. You also want to check the rubber doughnut that is around the drive for cracks. They should be replaced every few years. Volvo recommends replacement every 7 years. The boat could sink if the doughnut fails. I have to have mine serviced next year and I doubt it will be inexpensive.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-23-2013
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Re: OMC Saildrive possible replacement

I guess I was not aware of a difference between Volvo & OMC sail drive units.
Perhaps the Volvo sail drive is engineered better than the OMC version.
As pointed out, a major point of vulnerability with all sail drives is the rubber doughnut which could allow lots of water into your boat if/when it fails.
Of course there are happy owners of sail drive powered boats but...
in my mind (knowing what I think I know) my preference would be for:
1 - inboard engine (gas or diesel)
2 - outboard engine
3 - sail drive
which essentially means I will likely never own a sail drive boat when there are plenty of other options available.

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-23-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: OMC Saildrive possible replacement

So for the doughnut, can I visually inspect that without dis-assembling the motor/saildrive unit? To replace, do you have to also take out the engine to get to it?

Having a non-functioning engine wouldn't be the end of the world, but having a sunken boat probably would.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-23-2013
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Re: OMC Saildrive possible replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincy020 View Post
Thanks to both of you. I kind of figured it would not do much. I'm only going to be on inland lakes and will not be racing (this boat is SLOW regardless) so having the most optimal performing boat is not my highest concern.

The potential cost of putting the outboard on also isn't a huge factor for me. My original budge was $5,000 so with as little work as the boat needs (exception being the motor), I should still fit the budget issue. Just wanted to ensure that functionally, this would still be an option.
If you are on an inland lake without much chop then it's even more of a non-issue. The boat would motor MUCH better in heavy seas with the inboard. Outboards tend to cavitate and come right up out of the water as the stern comes up in waves.

You should be able to sell that saildrive for parts even if it's DOA.

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'88 C&C 30 MKII
NOANK, CT
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: OMC Saildrive possible replacement

And if you think you are going to only be doing small lakes, you could put an electric trolling motor on the back. That way you don't have too much invested in the outboard and you can work slowly on getting the inboard working. What lakes? Around Cincinnati? (assuming that is what the Cincy is for. I started sailing sun fish on Lake Cowin and a few lakes in Indiana.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: OMC Saildrive possible replacement

that rubber donut around the saildrive has always scared me. Just to not like that big a hole in a boat

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