BoaterEd Store      - Help Support This Forum - Join Today!      Hunting/Fishing Stuff
BoaterEd
Username:
Password:
Save Password


Register

Active Topics | Active Polls | Resources | Members | Online Users | Avatar Legend | Statistics
[ Active Members: 2 | Guests: 116 ]  [ Total: 118 ]  [ Newest Member: 56Fifth ]
 All Forums
 Forums
 Ask the Captain
 Volvo Penta or Mercruiser?

Note: You must be registered in order to post a reply.
To register, click here. Registration is FREE!

 Posting Form
Screensize:
UserName:
Password:
Format Mode:
Format: BoldItalicizedUnderlineStrikethrough Align LeftCenteredAlign Right Horizontal Rule Insert HyperlinkInsert EmailInsert Image Insert CodeInsert QuoteInsert List Spell Checker Insert Smilie
   
Callouts: Insert Speech Icon: duh! Insert Speech Icon: oops! Insert Speech Icon: sigh! Insert Speech Icon: ugh! Insert Speech Icon: wow! Insert Speech Icon: yeah! Insert Speech Icon: ok! Insert Speech Icon: yes! Insert Speech Icon: no!
Message Icon:              
             



   -  HTML is OFF | Forum Code is ON
   
 
  Check here to include your profile signature.
Check here to subscribe to this topic.
    

T O P I C    R E V I E W
jbacchi Posted - Feb 02 2006 : 17:11:32
Which do you prefer?
43   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
capnjohhny Posted - Apr 16 2010 : 13:47:26
I have been working on mercs for a few years and like the product, but I have to say that customer service for Volvo- Penta products has been amazing for me.

I was on a delivery trip a few years ago. The boat was 450 Carver with Volvo diesels and a clamp broke on the exahust side of the turbo. Engine room filled with soot engines cut out Turbo overspun- you get the picture. The engines were a year out of waranty, but when I called and expalined what had happened to a "new" boat for the owner, Volvo paid for a new turbo and paid 3000 dollars to have the engine room detailed.

I was very impressed! I love my mercs though.
boating_rob Posted - Jul 21 2008 : 09:45:34
Allot of Volvo/Mercruiser engines are Chevy blocks but they are still considered Mercruiser or Volvo. If you have a Volvo Dual prop then your engine is most likely a Volvo Penta.
TIC Posted - Jul 19 2008 : 15:59:02
I dom"t know about others but my emngine is a chevy not a merc or volvo.My sterndrive is a volvo-penta DP
jbacchi Posted - May 15 2008 : 12:46:23
Rob, if that is true, I can certainly see why. Hmmm, lets see, so far I have have one OSI drive replaced, both bellows replaced (recall), one trim ram replaced, one faulty actuator and now an oil leak. The actuator and oil leak are to be repaired soon buts its costing me money out of pocket since I now fall under the extended warranty. I spoke with two different volvo techs and they both said the OSI drives are a nightmare. I will continue to support Volvo because they have, for the most part, stood behind their product and their motors are rock solid and easier to maintain.
boating_rob Posted - May 15 2008 : 09:21:12
Go Merc - There is a rumor that Volvo is discontinuing their OSI (Ocean Series composite) drives. OMC Part II.
Gregory S Posted - May 14 2008 : 21:30:23
Or else thy're in the garage stripping and re-painting those merc outdrives while the Volvo guys have time to spend on the computer.
jmcnab Posted - May 14 2008 : 21:13:12
Now this poll just goes to show that while most Mercruiser owners are out on the water more Volvo owners are here in the forum voting on their "brand". LOL.
sorry but us new guys have to reply to everything since it's all "new"!
AustinPaul Posted - Sep 17 2007 : 18:43:19
quote:
Originally posted by patvital

Hi everyone,

I can't believe Google landed me to this thread.
This is great!
Just the right discussion I was about to post.
My scenario: I'm in the market for a used boat and came across a nice ( according to pictures ) 1991 Pursuit 2650 where the current Owner seem to have repowered the boat with a Merc 454 and kept the original Volvo Outdrive ( DP-C1 ).
I was skeptical about the whole thing until I came across this link.
Now, My question is : is it something that's common, meaning hooking up a Merc Engine ( for parts availability )to a Volvo penta outdrive? ( for better maintenance and reliability)
Or should I just stay away from this combination?
I leave in NY and plan to go inspect boat soon.

Any advise highly appreciated.

Here is link to boat:

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/pl_boat_detail.jsp?&units=Feet&id=1751073&lang=en&slim=broker&&hosturl=capelookoutyachts&&ywo=capelookoutyachts&

Thanks guys!

Great site by the way!



Hey there, and welcome! As this thread was started quite a while ago. you might want to start a new one with your question. I think you will get more responses that way.

Paul
patvital Posted - Sep 17 2007 : 15:07:52
Hi everyone,

I can't believe Google landed me to this thread.
This is great!
Just the right discussion I was about to post.
My scenario: I'm in the market for a used boat and came across a nice ( according to pictures ) 1991 Pursuit 2650 where the current Owner seem to have repowered the boat with a Merc 454 and kept the original Volvo Outdrive ( DP-C1 ).
I was skeptical about the whole thing until I came across this link.
Now, My question is : is it something that's common, meaning hooking up a Merc Engine ( for parts availability )to a Volvo penta outdrive? ( for better maintenance and reliability)
Or should I just stay away from this combination?
I leave in NY and plan to go inspect boat soon.

Any advise highly appreciated.

Here is link to boat:

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/pl_boat_detail.jsp?&units=Feet&id=1751073&lang=en&slim=broker&&hosturl=capelookoutyachts&&ywo=capelookoutyachts&

Thanks guys!

Great site by the way!

Cobalt 25 Posted - Sep 15 2007 : 21:53:15
Wait, let's get back to the Volvo guy on the ramp who ran it for ten minutes out of the water. I wouldn't want to run any water-cooled engine without coolant for ten minutes. Can Volvos really do that or was the guy wacky?

And by the way, after 29 years of Mercury products, I will avoid them at all costs in the future. There have been too many issues to get into.

Peter
Craig Posted - Sep 15 2007 : 08:24:51
Sounds like a Volvo commercial rather than a unbiased comparison. Makes no mention of the Sea Core drive which is a competing product of the ocean series. My marina charges an hour labor to replace my B3 impeller. $375 sounds kinda high. I have had my merc for 8 seasons and never one issue with the motor. The drive I did have some corrosion before I added extra anodes. Since then no issues. I would own either if I liked the boat.
jbacchi Posted - Sep 14 2007 : 15:51:09
Mercruiser or Volvo?

This position paper is authored by Hoffmaster's Marina as a result of input from potential customers. It is NOT designed to be the final word but rather, an attempt at a conscientious and honest response to the most common issues in hopes of better-informing the consumer thus making him or her less vulnerable to misinformation.

Sterndrive Units
There are two brands of stern drives: Mercruiser and Volvo Penta. Cobalt and Chaparral use both. Boat builders that are divisions of Brunswick Corporation use Mercruiser sterndrives exclusively. Those builders include Sea Ray, Maxum, and Bayliner. Pretty much every other boat builder uses both brands. Volvo has a slight majority share of the market in the builders that use both makes of motor.

Back in the 1980's, Volvo produced its' drives in Sweden and parts were hard to get and expensive. Volvo changed that policy when it developed the SX and new duoprop drives in 1994 and 1997 respectively. The drives are now built in Tennessee. Parts are easily obtainable and competitive with Mercruiser, although still less available in after market brands. Volvo has a 72 hour parts guarantee in place and fills orders at over 95% of those requested. To counter the claim that Volvo has less dealers—it instituted a 24-hour service hot line for people to call in repair requests.

Volvo has an engine-mounted water pump on it's drives which the manual tells you to replace every year. A mechanic can do this for roughly $150. Mercruiser uses engine mounted water pumps on their Bravo series; the Alphas use a drive mounted pump. According to their service manual, pumps need to be replaced every two years. However, you can expect to pay a yard $375-$400 to replace the impeller on a Bravo drive and $500-$550 on the Alpha. The SX and duoprop drive impellers are user-serviceable. The water pump on the Bravo is not easy to service and on the Alpha you definitely don't do it yourself. This is not a laughing matter! Read this article for more info: http://www.cgauxinternational.org/news/news5.html.

Volvo SX has Cone Clutch shifting which is much more positive than the Alpha One's clutch dog shifting. Mercruiser uses the cone clutch shifting on it's BRAVO series drives. Volvo has a drive saver coupler which decreases the cost of repair in case of striking a submerged object. In many cases, damage to an Alpha One prop shaft will damage both the lower and upper gear sets. Many insurance companies won't pay to replace a gear set that visually is OK. The old set goes back in, only to fail later and strand the boater. On the other hand, you can strike an object hard enough to pop Volvo's coupler and have to get towed home where you might limp home with the Merc.

Mercruiser offers a BRAVO 1 Drive for standard prop sizes and higher top speed, and a BRAVO 2 drive with a very large diameter prop for really heavy boats. I would personally rather have the BRAVO 3 or Volvo Duoprop drive because the prop sets deliver so much thrust pushing the boat onto plane.

The duoprop has patented specially tuned props that deliver more thrust than BRAVO III and with much less cavitation.

Volvo now produces a drive with an external composite case. Although there is still metal inside the drive the composite takes 90% of the metallic surface away from the water. That makes the new drive very resistant to corrosion. So far we've had excellent results with the new drive, called an Ocean Drive, and recommend it for any application where the additional protection is worth the $1500-$2000 premium over a standard Duoprop. Mercruiser does not yet offer an equivalent drive.

For these reasons we tend to stock Volvo Penta drives on our boats although we order Merc powered boats for our customers who prefer it. The V drive boats we sell run about 50/50 Volvo to Merc.

Power Plants
Engine-wise the 2 brands are comparable. Some areas where one brand shines:
• 3.0L 135 PHP motor—Volvo has a much updated motor with a serpentine belt but Mercruiser still seems to have less cooling problems.
• 5.0L EFI—Volvo is rated at 270 HP rather than Merc's 260 HP but both are good motors.
• 5.7L EFI—Merc has a low output 260 HP motor that is very competitively priced. The Volvo has a 280. You can get a 350 Magnum Merc rb2rb2@gr5tgr5t300 HP but you pay a lot more for it. You can also get Volvo's 320 HP 5.7 or Merc's 6.2L motors. In my opinion, the best motor of all of these is the Volvo 280 HP duoprop or Ocean drive—low or no corrosion, great torque, great fuel economy trading for a slightly lower top speed. If you want more than that, go for either the Merc or Volvo 8.1L motors.

Although there have been changes in fuel consumption figures since the introduction of fuel injection, the following guidelines should be true for engines relative to each other. We have used these figures for many years and they seem to bear out:

Engine size
3.0 L 4 Cyl
4.3L V6
5.0L V8
5.7L V8
8.1L V8
Gallons per hour (Cruise)
3.5
5.5
8.5
10
14.3 Gallons per hour (Avg.)
2.3
3.6
5.6
6.6
9.4


Gallons per hour figures never change. Miles per gallon varies by the speed the boat goes at its' gallon per hour rating. For example, two boats have a 3.0. At cruise, one boat goes 30 MPH/3.5 GPH=8.57 miles per gallon. The other goes 25 MPH/3.5 GPH=7.14 miles per gallon. These gallon per hour figures are at roughly 3500 RPM. Average consumption is 2/3 of cruise consumption. It tells you how many gallons a boat if it runs so many hours over the course of a season. For example, the 3.0L powered will burn 2.3 x 100=230 gallons per 100 hours of use. Most people will use the boat 75-100 hours per year. We feel a person can run a gas motor at 75%-80% of wide open throttle all day long without hurting the motor.

What Power is Right For A Boat?
Generally we recommend the 3.0L for all around boating in a 2300 pound boat—bearing in mind that our customers have complained about the rough idle and weak torque. Use the 4.3L for 2500-2900 pound boats, and the 5.0 or 5.7 for 3000-5200 lb boats and the 8.1 for heavier ones. The 4.3 and V8 motors have better torque for ski take offs. The duoprop and BRAVO3 model drive are excellent also for this purpose. Fuel Injection provides easier starts and smoother acceleration but also costs a lot more so it ends up being a value choice for the consumer. Mercruiser has a fast start system to try and make the carb motors start faster but we recommend fuel injection over 21'. You should consider fuel injection in any range.




C_Spray Posted - Sep 14 2007 : 15:33:01
If the product really spoke for itself, they wouldn't need the brochure....
Nauset Posted - Sep 14 2007 : 13:56:31
I purchased a fresh water 2000 Four Winns w/5.7 Volvo I/O last summer. When we hauled it for the winter we discovered the drive anode completly missing. It was not disintegrated, but was not installed at some point. Aside from some pealing paint there was no damage or corrosion. A mechanic I spoke with said I was lucky it was not a Merc as it would be toast.
pokey354 Posted - Aug 29 2007 : 21:00:57
VP outdrives...bulletproof...have mine 9 years in salt water...no corrosion or any other issues
kalcris Posted - Aug 29 2007 : 17:12:41
Mercury has a brochure that lists about 20 points as to why they are better than Volvo, I saw it at a Searay dealer the other day. FYI
jbacchi Posted - Aug 29 2007 : 16:47:20
It still burns my ass that Merc would never admit to the notorious Bravo III corrosion issue. For that reason alone, I will never buy merc again. I recently had an issue with my Volvo outdrive leaking oil. Volvo stood by their product and sent me a brand new replacement.
gcirillo Posted - Aug 29 2007 : 16:26:34
I bought a used boat with a pair of 5.0MPI Bravo IIIs and have had NO problems, but I would prefer Volvos simply as a result of the feedback I have seen here and elsewhere. I think Merc knows that it has an inferior reputation, and they're obviously doing what they can; but it's an economic decision. They can probably do just fine selling the inferior product since they have the captive audience and big market share. Volvo, as the underdog, needs to innovate.

Thank goodness we have the competition. Can you imagine what Merc would be like if there were no Volvo?

PS: Merc's come a long way in recent years with engine "packaging" and simplicity.
RamSport47 Posted - Aug 27 2007 : 20:02:47
Seeing all 3 brands at our dealership (OMC included) I would steer as far away from OMC as I could, and buy a Volvo. My current boat has Mercs, but not by choice...I'd prefer a coujple of V6 DuoProps over Alpha hogs any day!
Thudpucker Posted - Aug 25 2007 : 10:18:54
I've only had older Merc's.
I would buy the one that can be dis-assembled when its older and has been in Salt water all its life.
That is NOT the Merc.
LouC Posted - Aug 25 2007 : 10:04:53
Don't know about the older Volvos (270/280) as far as bellow issues, but the newer "American" Volvo drives{SX/DP} built here, in OMC's old factory, based partly on the OMC Cobra, have a bellows just like a Cobra, which is like a Merc and will let water in the boat if it leaks.

My choice, as long as I can get parts, is OMC ;)
jbacchi Posted - Aug 25 2007 : 09:07:47
JeffR, you are correct about water intrusion for both merc and volvo. Case in point, my buddy with twin volvo's had a tear in one of his bellows and the boat was taking on serious water. He had to have the boat hauled out immediatley for fear of sinking.
JeffR Posted - Aug 24 2007 : 20:52:55
okay...can someone PLEASE explain the Merc bellows sinking the boat to me? I asked the same question in one of my posts in response to Pascal, and Pascal was humble enough to tell me that he thought that was still the case, but not sure. I have a Volvo currently, and I got a hole in my bellows which led to constant water in the bilge, and it ruined my gimbal bearing. I've asked "certified" mechanics this exact question and they tell me that a hole in the bellows can sink a Volvo or a Merc. Can someone please share the FACTS of what is different in this regard.

Also, Marathon, I always thought the consensus was that Volvo's were actually a little louder (one of their only downfalls) because of the addtional exhaust porting above the props. (?)
marathon man Posted - Aug 24 2007 : 18:09:47
Volvo, starts great, runs great, no corrosion issues, won't sink with a hole in bellows, shifts smooth, much quieter than most Merc's.
No complaints.
Nautically Challenged Posted - Aug 24 2007 : 16:36:31
I met an interesting character last week while waiting for my wife at the marina. The guy came to launch his 23’ runabout at the ramp and I noticed that he started his engine way before he backed up on the ramp. The engine ran for at least a good 10 minutes while he was maneuvering his truck trying to get the boat straight in the water. He had a whole extended family sitting there watching the operation. After he finally got the boat in the water, without offending the guy, I approached him and politely started a small conversation and I said: “By the way, do you always start your engine out of the water?”. He looked at me arrogantly and said: “It’s a Volvo”.

I could not argue with that. "Way to go Volvo!”.


BobV1 Posted - Aug 23 2007 : 19:00:22
Have to agree with the vast majority of responses. Volvo all the way.
snazzy Posted - Aug 23 2007 : 17:56:51
VP is the way to go. Had a merc and vowed to never get one again.
KnottyBuoyz Posted - Aug 23 2007 : 09:22:54
I'm currently looking at a $1500 repair bill for two bearings and a seal in a VP Duoprop that has kept the boat on the trailer for 5 weeks and ruined our holidays this year. I'll settle for a single straight shaft inboard from now on thanks very much!
RadioguyJ Posted - Aug 23 2007 : 08:05:28
quote:
Originally posted by The Other Gary

Strange to see a post by Art up here.
Rest in Peace Art,



Yeah I was thinking the same thing Gary. I noticed Art's old Doral is still for sale, still sad to see it on Yachtworld.

When exactly was it that Art passed?
jbacchi Posted - Aug 03 2007 : 16:33:27
I always go out of my way to ask boat mechanics which one they prefer. Their answers seem pretty consistant. Most common is how Volvo's break less often and are much easier to work on. Something as simple as changing the impeller on a merc can be difficult whereas volvo's are a snap. My first 2 boats had merc and although I never had any serious problems, I dont think I would go back. My volvos are rock solid and allow me to perform most yearly maintenance.
folieadeux Posted - Aug 03 2007 : 16:27:34
Volvo all the way over Merc. But when I move to a larger cruiser there are some other power plants that may gain a vote.
something new Posted - Aug 03 2007 : 15:54:17
I constantly and consistently hear about how its not even close, VP over Merc. While I have to believe it (based on the number of votes by experienced boaters on this board), I must say that I have a 1985 5.0 Merc 230 and it runs very well. Even being as old as it is, it has been completely reliable and very easy to maintain with the number of stores that sell parts. It starts very nice, runs nice, and is very smooth. I have had a number of people compliment my boat on how well she runs for how old she is. Maybe the older Mercs were built better? I don't know, but I couldn't be happier with the performance and reliability of my Merc.
PRKID787 Posted - Aug 03 2007 : 15:26:21
Their diesel engines in sailboats are pretty bullet proof too. I've had the 3 cylinder and 4 cylinder versions in different boats, one, with the 4 cylinder diesel, semi-sunk by ahurricane where the motor and transmission was under sea water for a few days. After washing down with fresh water, Changing oil/filters and new fuel, no further repair was needed. it ran the 4 remaining years I had it with zero issue, and is still running, according to the new owner. As close to bulletproof as I've come to see. My previous experience with Volvo Penta's was a deciding factor in me purchasing my used Regal vs. a Sea Ray I was lusting after. The motor and outdrive experiences and ease of repair for me closely mirror those comments above.
pdecat Posted - Aug 03 2007 : 04:44:05
merc willnot get another nickle from me for any product.
blouderback Posted - Aug 02 2007 : 22:39:04
Wow, I was very surprised to see how much Volvo is ahead of Mercruiser in this poll. Very surprising, given the marketshare that Mercruiser has - at least 70% based on a quick google search.
cwms Posted - Aug 02 2007 : 22:30:24
It's a shame that Volvo will never get the market share they deserve. With 3 of the largest boat builders using outdrives all owned by Brunswick (SeaRay, Bayliner, Maxum), Merc has a very large captive market.
NAWTICAL1 Posted - Aug 02 2007 : 21:45:30
Volvo is way ahead. I would feel really disappointed if I had just purchased a merc.

I have volvos. The main issue is availability of parts and service.
The Other Gary Posted - Aug 02 2007 : 14:25:31
Strange to see a post by Art up here.
Rest in Peace Art,




TomKat Posted - Aug 02 2007 : 13:28:18
I've had merc IO's for over 30 years. This winter I purchased a used boat with volvo drives. I love them, they shift better and smoother, have the water pumps where I can easily get at them, and seem to be just better built. I can't believe I'm saying these things but they are true and if I had to choose a new boat tomorrow it would have volvo drives. Tom
KiDa Posted - Aug 02 2007 : 13:03:04
18+ month resurrection. That has to be close to a record.

VP all the way. If they ever get the quirks worked out of how to high power a composite drive w/o problems, I'm there too.
Flutterby Posted - Aug 02 2007 : 11:39:27
quote:
Originally posted by Art

Now of course I do have a dock mate who had a trim ram start leaking on his 3 year old Volvo. No repair kit from Volvo, you must replace the whole ram. How often do trim rams go bad?


I had one go out when my Merc was 3 yrs old due to corrosion. No zincs placed on the ram housing. Now those zincs are replaced as necessary and I've never had another failure.

BTW---the dealer was not going to install the zinc from the kit. I just happened to stop by while my boat was being worked on and insisted he install it. Then I had my SO install one on the other ram.

When I purchased my boat, I would have ordered Volvo if I'd had the choice.......
Msibley Posted - Aug 02 2007 : 11:25:47
quote:
Originally posted by Twin Buoys

The Bravo III has been the biggest culprit in damaging Mercruiser's reputation/reliability (I should know, I use to own a boat with a BIII unit).



This is a myth! The B3 drive is not the culprit...it's the company Mercruiser, themselves, in the way that they handled the complaints.

There was inadequate anode protection on the 1999-2003 drives, they knew it, and then exacerbated the problem by denying it and blaming the consumer for not taking proper care of the equipment.

That was a bad call on MerC's part.

DogDaze Posted - Aug 02 2007 : 11:11:48
I'm a Merc Kid at heart.. on account of that is all I've ever had, and my brother's into the Fast Go scene..

I'd be open to Volvo's, but would need to do a sea trial first naturally. As for problems, I've seen what appears to be just as many Volvo issues if not more than Merc on the forums.. maybe that's cause there are more Volvos out there?? When it does come time to repair, I think the Merc repairs would be less costly than the Volvo repairs... (IMO)

BoaterEd © BoaterEd Go To Top Of Page
This page took 0.45 seconds to load
Forum Guidelines and Privacy Notice

    

Boatered.com