• This topic is empty.
Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
  • #6314

      Evening all.
      So I am now fast approaching the question that must come to the minds of all boat owners with a volvo saildrive as the boat comes up to 7 years old.
      My Bav 36 will be 7 years old in May of next year. Do I replace the saildrive gaiter this winter or do I wait until next years lay up.
      Does anybody know what the insurance implications are if I don’t change it till next winter and if I have it replaced any idea of cost?
      Thanks in anticipation.



        Found the following extract on the Hanse forum which offers a suggestion of costings, sounds expensive.

        Posted: 09 February 2009 at 20:06
        Well. I’ve just done this job on my (just) 7 yr old 301 so it may be worth sharing my experiences.

        It says quite clearly in the Volvo Handbook that this should be replaced every 7 years, which is the only motivation for replacing it. After speaking to my insurer (Bishop Skinner), they said that if I didn’t replace it, and there was a claim that in any way involved anything related to the area of the seal, then it is highly likely the underwriter would take the opportunity to avoid paying out. Due to this likely being a large sum (i.e. total loss) I was not prepared to take the risk. Dealers quoted £1300 labour (assuming 1 day) and parts (presumably at full list price) plus additional cranage (refused to work in my marina for political reasons meaning re-assembling the now dismantled engine covers etc) at their own yard (which wouldn’t take the fin keel draft in any case). This equals circa £2000, so not an attractive or indeed economically viable option.



          I’m in exactly the same situation with ‘Another Fantasy’. I’ve had various quotes all of at least £1000 to replace the gaiter, so if anyone can come up with something cheaper let me know. I’m concerned about the insurance implications of not doing the job; I wonder why Volvo made such an obviously safety-critical maintenance requirement so difficult to carry out…..

          Ian Culley


            Before half the membership rush off to Motortech with their chequebooks at the ready, has anyone heard of a gaiter actually failing?

            I have discussed this issue with several ‘experts’ over the years and the consensus is that there is a very generous safety margin in the 7 year recommendation.

            The following thread from the PBO Forum http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=164223&highlight=gaiter provides some support for this view.



              Thanks for that. It sums up my feelings on it.
              I’d be interested to hear from any members who know that their saildrive gaiter is more than 7 years old and how comfortable they feel in the knowledge that it is past the manufacturers recommended replacement period.
              Visually the gaiter on “Sundance” looks in perfect order so my gut feeling is to leave it a year or two before replacing.
              Somebody please tell me I’m not being foolish?


                Hi Rick

                Playtime is 10 years old and the gaiter looks fine.

                In my younger (more naive?) days, I owned an old Moody 30 with a Volvo saildrive that was 15 years old when I sold it (without a thought for the gaiter!).

                There is a ‘rubber’ expert in the association (Dave Bickle) that I talked to in the summer and he reckons they should never fail!

                I keep a careful eye on the gaiter, especially when motoring (check every hour or so when down below). I seriously doubt it will fail catastrophically.

                I will probably replace it in 2 or 3 years, unless I get more nervous in the meantime!



                  Looks like the decision is made then!
                  Thanks for the input.


                    I have found another thread on the PBO Forum that might be of some interest

                    I have also started a thread here

                    and that has spawned a poll here, that might be interesting if enough people respond!



                      Just had the gaiter replaced on our 1996 Bav35H Implacable. It was done previosly in 2003. Whilst off the N Brittany Coast this summer we had a rope round the prop which jammed the gear box! The French engineers replaced the gaiter whilst doing the Euro 3,111 work on the gear box. My insurance excess seems to be a “good deal” to change the gaiter.

                      I don’t recommend this as a normal course of action however!!!



                        Hi, replaced the saildrive gaiter on Storm Dragon, a Holiday 35 in 2003/4 as was then approaching 7yrs old and sailed to Spain in 2004, so did not want failure in the Bay of Biscay, but did it myself and am not a mechanic, but just followed the instructions in the manual, took a day and have had no problems. Only thing i would add is the instructions say move the engine forward about 100mm, but is a lot easier if you slide it right out of the way.

                        Ed Holmes Storm Dragon


                          There was a very good step by step article in Sailing Today a few months back which made it sound simple. Mine is now 10 yrs old and looks fine but I shall probably replace in the spring. the engineer at Sparkes quoted me a sensible figure a few months ago but he is not Volvo specific. Is there a risk not using a Volvo agent?


                            I would suggest an alternative to replacing the gaiter after 7 years is to get a marine engineer to inspect the gaiter and give you a report. If the gaiter is carefully inspected, after releasing all the fixings, for cracks and material deterioration then an insurance company would find it difficult to refuse a payout. The only reason Volvo say 7 years is to protect themselves. This is just about the same for any item and supplier. When waas the last time you heard of a car hose failing. The rubber technology is now very good.

                            I would suggest however that if you have an engine balance problem or deteriorating engine/gearbox mounts you get these replaced pdq as this is the most likely cause of gaiter failure as is hitting something below the surface. If I hit anything that jolted the leg I would replace the gaiter anyway and possibly the mountings.

                          Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
                          • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.