OUCH. New engine advice? Anyone? Anyone?

:eek::eek: Greetings. Our 1975 E27 is on the hard to have some much needed maintenance done. We just purchased her in May 2020 and there were a few things we knew we'd need to do; replacing the engine was not one of them. Our mechanic (very trusted Marine company) just called and said they no longer make a shaft coupling for this engine along with a lot of other parts. (2000 Volvo MB10A 15hp gasoline engine). To me it sounds like at the end of things we may be rebuilding this engine piece by piece, gasket by gasket from here to eternity. Can anyone suggest some alternatives? We would love to go with a small diesel like a Yanmar or something but would also go with another gasoline engine if there is a decent one out there. We are relatively new to boating and so I don't really know where to start looking. Can anyone give advice? I thought BOAT was "Break Out Another Thousand".... not "Break Out Another Tenthousand!" lol crying through the pain does seem to help. Thank you in advance!!
Denise
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Hi Denise, Welcome to the EY site!
:egrin:
Most larger sailing sites (and this one!) will have multiple message threads about the anguish of choosing between a rebuild and a replacement, and the costs for either decision. (Worthless Trivia: I have always treasured the thought that I was the only sailor in my (small) circle that had even crewed on a boat with a Volvo gas engine, and that was a Ranger 29, from about he same era as your boat. In 1980, it ran perfectly, FWIW. ) :rolleyes:

I can give some perspective, and maybe a little advice... but it's only from my limited perspective.
Totally depending on the cost of parts, the old engine may be cheaper to repair, and get you out on the water sooner. And part of that financial calculus is that as long as the present fuel system is in good working order, you *only* have to work on the engine.

If you choose to replace it, the only other engine that will "bolt in" will be a rebuilt one, same Volvo model. Finding one may be like seeking a hen's tooth, from a Swedish hen. (!)

IF you change to a diesel, there are excellent brand choices, and along with the larger $$ outlay to make the change your boat will have both a larger 'someday' resell market and will return some of the investment $ required to change to the diesel.
Just do not use the financial word "investment" for these types of expenditures. (sigh...)

I like to think in terms of "Ten Years" -- if making a major upgrade to our boat the update needs a decade of use (and fun) to amortize out. Every sailor looks at this differently.
Full disclosure: I replaced our original 1988 diesel engine two years ago, with a new Betamarine25. We enjoyed our boat with that engine since purchasing it in 1994. I figured that the old OEM Universal diesel engine owed me nothing.

I suspect that everyone sailing a boat from the 70's has to decide, sooner or later, whether a big repair or upgrade is worth doing when the bill is higher than the value of their boat. This is true whether it's a new drive train, or suite of sails, or a new mast and rig. Sometimes people just sigh loudly and part out the boat or sell it for a little cash on CraigsList.
Boats,, cars, airplanes..... all will collide with this financial decision barrier at some point.

Enough Philosophical Drivel. Unless the tank and fuel system has also been rebuilt in the last decade, just replace it all.
Betamarine is great, and so is Yanmar. BTW, in these pandemic times you may find some good discounts for both labor and parts by tactfully asking around.

Please keep us informed, and if you have some pix of the old engine (and your boat!) please post them.

Edit: do read my blog entries here on our repower, and check out this excellent writeup: https://ericsonyachts.org/ie/threads/re-powering-the-ericson-34.15757/

Further Edit: the Betamarine 16 looks like a great engine for that model Ericson. (IMHO)
Fair winds,
Loren
 
Last edited:
Hi Denise, Welcome to the EY site!
:egrin:
Most larger sailing sites (and this one!) will have multiple message threads about the anguish of choosing between a rebuild and a replacement, and the costs for either decision. (Worthless Trivia: I have always treasured the thought that I was the only sailor in my (small) circle that had even crewed on a boat with a Volvo gas engine, and that was a Ranger 29, from about he same era as your boat. In 1980, it ran perfectly, FWIW. ) :rolleyes:

I can give some perspective, and maybe a little advice... but it's only from my limited perspective.
Totally depending on the cost of parts, the old engine may be cheaper to repair, and get you out on the water sooner. And part of that financial calculus is that as long as the present fuel system is in good working order, you *only* have to work on the engine.

If you choose to replace it, the only other engine that will "bolt in" will be a rebuilt one, same Volvo model. Finding one may be like seeking a hen's tooth, from a Swedish hen. (!)

IF you change to a diesel, there are excellent brand choices, and along with the larger $$ outlay to make the change your boat will have both a larger 'someday' resell market and will return some of the investment $ required to change to the diesel.
Just do not use the financial word "investment" for these types of expenditures. (sigh...)

I like to think in terms of "Ten Years" -- if making a major upgrade to our boat the update needs a decade of use (and fun) to amortize out. Every sailor looks at this differently.
Full disclosure: I replaced our original 1988 diesel engine two years ago, with a new Betamarine25. We enjoyed our boat with that engine since purchasing it in 1994. I figured that the old OEM Universal diesel engine owed me nothing.

I suspect that everyone sailing a boat from the 70's has to decide, sooner or later, whether a big repair or upgrade is worth doing when the bill is higher than the value of their boat. This is true whether it's a new drive train, or suite of sails, or a new mast and rig. Sometimes people just sigh loudly and part out the boat or sell it for a little cash on CraigsList.
Boats,, cars, airplanes..... all will collide with this financial decision barrier at some point.

Enough Philosophical Drivel. Unless the tank and fuel system has also been rebuilt in the last decade, just replace it all.
Betamarine is great, and so is Yanmar. BTW, in these pandemic times you may find some good discounts for both labor and parts by tactfully asking around.

Please keep us informed, and if you have some pix of the old engine (and your boat!) please post them.
Fair winds,
Loren
Thank you so much. The original owner of the boat actually traveled to Sweden and brought the engine home with him. That was back in 2000. It hadn’t given us any trouble and had it not been for the massively rusted coupler and an exhaust leak we probably wouldn’t have even thought about taking it in to have any work done to it. It actually ran OK. But then the starter started to give us concerns and well it was a slippery slope down from there. Currently the engine is out sitting on a work bench at the repair shop. We are just trying to decide if we want to put the money into repairing these parts now, shaft, coupler, transmission coupler, starter, etc And then also have to deal with this searching for parts or having parts custom-made the next time something goes wrong. Decisions decisions. Thank you so much for your input.

Kind regards,

Denise
 

1911tex

Member III
What Loren says:
"If you change to a diesel, there are excellent brand choices, and along with the larger $$ outlay to make the change your boat will have both a larger 'someday' resell market and will return some of the investment $ required to change to the diesel.
Just do not use the financial word "investment" for these types of expenditures. (sigh...)

Keep your car an extra 2-3 years and put 1/4 the cost of a new car into funds for a Diesel engine. Safer (much), greater investment (much), uses less fuel (much), and greater resale value (much)! Shop around...better deals are EVERYWHERE!
 

sailing42

Pls Contact Admin
Check out the for sale section of the forums, pretty nice small Volvo diesel for sale. You would have to change your fuel tank and install a pre-filter but the engine looks like a steal.
 

wynkoop

Member III
Over the winter I replaced my Palmer P-60 original gas engine with a Yanmar 1GM10 I got on the cheap with only 5 hours on it....all of that "bench time". I made one big mistake when I did the replacement. I did not swap props when I was on the hard. After dropping the boat in the water I discovered I was only getting about 3-3.5 knots at 80%power and 100% yielded only 4 knots.

When you swap engines plan to speak to a good prop shop about a prop matched to your engine before you splash the boat. My trying to see if the old factory prop would work has just cost me the price of a short haul to replace the prop.

If I had it to do over again and I did not have a very limited budget I would go for something bigger than the 1gm10. I am pretty sure the 2 cylinder yanmar would fit in the engine space. But I got the 1gm10 REAL CHEAP with the transmission, so I will make due.

I had to do a little engine bed buildup for the 1GM10 to allow it to align with the shaft and to have the oil filter clear the pan in the engine compartment. If you have to do an engine bed rebuild I strongly suggest only one wood Black Locust. You can google it. Supper hard and pretty much rot proof. You will see things about it being hard to work with.....those are written by folks with no patience and IMHO little woodworking skills. Yes it is very hard, that just means you run your circular saw forward SLOW and you use LESS PRESSURE when drilling.

Black Locust is one of the hardest woods around and native to North America.

I am very happy to have no more gasoline on my boat, especially after a power boater blew his boat up in my marina the other day! Not sure whet the source of spark was, but he obviously had gasoline fumes in the bilge.
 

wynkoop

Member III
One more thing....I spoke to Bruce King in the early 1990's about engine replacement for the E27 and he said pretty much the boat only needed 5 HP to move it, that is why I was thrilled with getting the 1GM10 in. He said the atomic 4 or Palmer p60 were put in because they were the smallest engines available at that time.

Bruce was right it does not take much horsepower to move his fine design if you are only looking to go in and out of the marina or for short runs in calm conditions, but when he told me that I do not think he was considering extended cruising or fighting nasty headwinds or weather.

I have since learned that 14-15HP is a good minimum for the E-27 to reach hull speed. That is what makes the 2 cylinder Yanmar a good choice.
 

wynkoop

Member III
One more thing....I spoke to Bruce King in the early 1990's about engine replacement for the E27 and he said pretty much the boat only needed 5 HP to move it, that is why I was thrilled with getting the 1GM10 in. He said the atomic 4 or Palmer p60 were put in because they were the smallest engines available at that time.

Bruce was right it does not take much horsepower to move his fine design if you are only looking to go in and out of the marina or for short runs in calm conditions, but when he told me that I do not think he was considering extended cruising or fighting nasty headwinds or weather.

I have since learned that 14-15HP is a good minimum for the E-27 to reach hull speed. That is what makes the 2 cylinder Yanmar a good choice.
 

Kenneth K

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Denise, if you're not against parting out your old diesel on EBay, your recent engine problems show that there is market for hard-to-get parts. The hard part is marketing/getting buyer and seller to meet.
Ebay is a pretty good platform for that.

If you have patience, and a few spare cubic feet in the garage, you might be able to fund some future sailboat projects with the profits.
 
Denise, if you're not against parting out your old diesel on EBay, your recent engine problems show that there is market for hard-to-get parts. The hard part is marketing/getting buyer and seller to meet.
Ebay is a pretty good platform for that.

If you have patience, and a few spare cubic feet in the garage, you might be able to fund some future sailboat projects with the profits.
Hello! Well....therein lies the problem, it's not a diesel engine that doo-doo'd the bunk, it's a 2000 Volvo MB10A gasoline engine..... that they no longer make parts for. But yes, we plan on trying to sell it for parts locally. It's been such a nightmare, but I'm so grateful to have found a diesel engine to replace it with!
 
Thank you so much. The original owner of the boat actually traveled to Sweden and brought the engine home with him. That was back in 2000. It hadn’t given us any trouble and had it not been for the massively rusted coupler and an exhaust leak we probably wouldn’t have even thought about taking it in to have any work done to it. It actually ran OK. But then the starter started to give us concerns and well it was a slippery slope down from there. Currently the engine is out sitting on a work bench at the repair shop. We are just trying to decide if we want to put the money into repairing these parts now, shaft, coupler, transmission coupler, starter, etc And then also have to deal with this searching for parts or having parts custom-made the next time something goes wrong. Decisions decisions. Thank you so much for your input.

Kind regards,

Denise
 
Thank you so much. The original owner of the boat actually traveled to Sweden and brought the engine home with him. That was back in 2000. It hadn’t given us any trouble and had it not been for the massively rusted coupler and an exhaust leak we probably wouldn’t have even thought about taking it in to have any work done to it. It actually ran OK. But then the starter started to give us concerns and well it was a slippery slope down from there. Currently the engine is out sitting on a work bench at the repair shop. We are just trying to decide if we want to put the money into repairing these parts now, shaft, coupler, transmission coupler, starter, etc And then also have to deal with this searching for parts or having parts custom-made the next time something goes wrong. Decisions decisions. Thank you so much for your input.

Kind regards,

Denise
Hi Loren, here are the pictures you suggested; our girl... Luna Sea with her new decals and a picture of the Volvo MB10A gasoline engine that will soon be available for parts!!
 

Attachments

Last edited:

steven

Member III
On the E27 consider converting to an outboard. The 27 was offered optionally in an O/B version. Way back, I converted my Hunter27 (replacing an Renault Diesel which finally earned it's keep as a mooring anchor) and is was a very good move. A 10hp Four Stroke is probably plenty for most conditions. Remote the shift/throttle and start/kill to the cockpit.


--Steve
 
On the E27 consider converting to an outboard. The 27 was offered optionally in an O/B version. Way back, I converted my Hunter27 (replacing an Renault Diesel which finally earned it's keep as a mooring anchor) and is was a very good move. A 10hp Four Stroke is probably plenty for most conditions. Remote the shift/throttle and start/kill to the cockpit.


--Steve
Thank you for the idea! We actually bought a nearly new (in diesel years) D1-13
 
Top