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I am looking at a Pearson 323 with a Volvo MD-11C (25hp) - raw water cooled - have not see the boat in person yet but have had a long conversation with owner and seen pics - claims the engine was rebuilt by previous owner and has about 400hrs since rebuild.

I have had Yanmar's and a Westerbeke with very few issues, but have read horror stories on Volvo's - specifically the cost to repair them ( parts)

The boat is a very good price but I don't want to repower something right away ( if ever)

From the diagram of the boat it looks like it would have a v-drive - owner claims no, not sure if he knows - questioned him on the head sails ( no RF) and he admitted he has only sailed it with the main up never the headsail - so not sure if he is right on the transmission.

Would one just walk away from a purchase if you knew it had a volvo?
 

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The marine specific parts for all diesels are expensive. You may be able to get deals on some of the parts for engines that are based on industrial engines but when it comes to marine specific stuff you are largely at the Marine mfg mercy no matter what. The MD Series, unlike many other raw water cooled diesels, were designed to be raw water cooled. Anything that comes in contact with salt water is replaceable. Those tractor/industrial engines marinized with salt water cooling will be toast if salt damage occurs. I wouldn't be overly concerned about the Volvo diesel other than I would with any engine of that age and hours. If the engine dies, it will be a debate between replace or rebuild. Wouldn't expect any other engine of that era to be more reliable and maybe less so because of it's non salt water design.
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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Our 1988 MD 31A (62hp)has 5200 hrs on it and runs great. That being said, some parts for the older Volvos are just not available any longer (new) and if they are they are prohibitively expensive. This is probably true of most older marine diesels. Have a good engine survey done on anything you buy.
 

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The old Volvo's are well built and designed to take salt water cooling. If it is running good now, I bet taking care of it with regular maintenance will keep it going for quite a while. My main concern would be if it actually is a V-Drive then replacing the motor in the future would be more problematic.:ship-captain:
 

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"The MD Series, ... Anything that comes in contact with salt water is replaceable."
First time I've heard that. I remember being cautioned to check how much salt water corrosion might have eaten away part of an MD6 or MD7 I'd helped overhaul, and along the years frequent comments that Volvo had a particular problem that way. Either from the block itself being consumed, or the parts being expensive to replace. (A block is after all just one more replaceable part, I suppose.)

Rover, are you sure that replacement bit applies to ALL the MD-series??

As to the OP's question...an old very much used boat, passing through multiple owners of unknown competency? No way to tell if you should run away, until you've seen it in person and have a price tag for the whole thing.
 
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