Sterndrive longevity?

Discussion in 'Sterndrives' started by Red Dwarf, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Red Dwarf
    Joined: Jun 2012
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    Location: USA California

    Red Dwarf Senior Member

    I did some searching but I can't find any real answer. All the comments I find are old and I think fairly outdated.

    Can anyone comment on the reliability of a new modern sterndrive and the longevity. I would like to read your comments on the drive listed below. Assume it is used 1000hrs in salt water? It would not be immersed 24/7 as any time the boat is stopped it would be raised and hosed off with fresh water. Assume normal scheduled maintenance but I am concerned about the bellows, u-joints, corrosion etc in salt water.

    Specifically I am looking at this one.

    With this power setup.

    One cool feature is the Volvo sterndrives now offer the same joystick control as used on the big bucks IPS drives.
  2. Bglad
    Joined: May 2010
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    Location: Jacksonville, Florida

    Bglad Senior Member

    The VP drives have proved to be fairly reliable even in the duoprop version. The OceanX you linked to has a number of features that are new to the sterndrive arena. I don't think any other manufacturer is currently monitoring oil level in the drives or water in the bellows via the engine computer. Those features are a plus but should not be relied upon to set your maintenance schedule since something has already gone wrong when they go off.

    Stern-drive longevity is maintained by normal routine maintenance and that is based as much on time as hours of use as the rubber components that protect the U-joints and gimbal bearings wear out requiring changing before they fail. If you follow the manufacturers maintenance recommendations you should receive reliable service from the VP drives and get your 1000 hours of use. In general though most boats not used commercially begin to fall apart due to age rather than hours of use.
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Corrosion is usually what kills sterndrives in salt water. They can get to the point where it is impossible to service them if they are neglected for too long. Otherwise, they usually outlast the engine. An engine treated kindly lasts over 5000 hours.
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