Volvo Engines

m14marine

New Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Posts
1
Likes
1
Age
56
I am a life-long sailor who's time has come to switch to power. Like most sailors my inclination is for a Downeast. I am considering a Fortier 33 with twin Volvo Diesels. A friend who's opinions I respect has told me that the only thing worse than a Volvo engine is two Volvo engines. I am curious how the knowledgeable folks on this forum feel about that.
 

jim

Captain
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Posts
1,072
Likes
1,182
Location
Rockaway, NY
Boat Make
48ft Dixon
I think most will start by telling you twins in a downeast is a no no! As far as volvos go I happen to be a fan of the D series in a medium heavy config.....they are slow turning(1900 RPM), quiet and fuel efficient. I had a d12 which had over 15k hours in my last boat and a d16 with 12k hours in my present vessel.
 

BSEA

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Posts
15
Likes
2
Age
57
I have a TAMD63P 370 HP Volvo in a 36' Northern Bay. The engine has been reliable and essentially trouble free.
 

Kailua Kid

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Posts
270
Likes
147
Location
Bainbridge Island
Website
www.gibbonslawgroup.com
Boat Make
General Marine 26; Klamath 19; Sparkman & Stephens Yankee 38 sloop
I am a life-long sailor who's time has come to switch to power. Like most sailors my inclination is for a Downeast. I am considering a Fortier 33 with twin Volvo Diesels. A friend who's opinions I respect has told me that the only thing worse than a Volvo engine is two Volvo engines. I am curious how the knowledgeable folks on this forum feel about that.
It seems like the repair parts are frightfully expensive, more than most other marine diesels. If those engines are not short stroke, high RPM engines, and have been treated well since new, maybe the cost of replacement parts is worth the reliability. It really depends on the specific engine model and how well the engines have been cared for. You will want a trained Volvo tech to be part of your survey team to evaluate and test both engines, since the replacement cost will be high in relation to the overall value of the vessel. (But I do not pretend to be an expert about engines, much less Volvo engines, so a few grains of salt are in order.)
 

snowstorm

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Posts
166
Likes
24
Location
maine
Boat Make
28 ellis
saying a volvo is bad is like saying every gm truck is bad. its just someones opinion. if you need a volvo part it comes from the same parts center as there truck parts. just like cat you can have it the next day. i have some volvo trucks. there parts prices are no higher than ih or freightliner. so could it be that marine dealers have a higher markup?in 2016 volvo was the 2th largest manufacturer of heavy duty trucks world wide
 

tunaorlater

Captain
Joined
Sep 9, 2011
Posts
4,306
Likes
2,339
Boat Make
40' Northern bay
I’ve had several Volvo’s and yes the parts are expensive but they are generally quality engines and the parts are quality so things don’t wear out like cheaper made engines. I’m not speaking for every Volvo motor just Volvo in general.
 

BillD

Captain
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Posts
6,444
Likes
1,987
Location
Portsmouth NH, boating out of the mighty Merrimack
Boat Make
25 Terry Jason with Cummins 370 power
I owned a pr of 1999 41Ps.
expensive parts/components
otherwise Volvo diesels are very reliable.

example: I had to replace the external oil cooler on one of the 41Ps.
No aftermarket replacement available .
Cost me $2600 for a new OEM part. Ouch.
 

Kailua Kid

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Posts
270
Likes
147
Location
Bainbridge Island
Website
www.gibbonslawgroup.com
Boat Make
General Marine 26; Klamath 19; Sparkman & Stephens Yankee 38 sloop
It seems like the repair parts are frightfully expensive, more than most other marine diesels. If those engines are not short stroke, high RPM engines, and have been treated well since new, maybe the cost of replacement parts is worth the reliability. It really depends on the specific engine model and how well the engines have been cared for. You will want a trained Volvo tech to be part of your survey team to evaluate and test both engines, since the replacement cost will be high in relation to the overall value of the vessel. (But I do not pretend to be an expert about engines, much less Volvo engines, so a few grains of salt are in order.)
Adding to my comment above, in addition to how well the engines were maintained (and you want documentation of that maintenance of course, not just a recitation from seller), whether the engines were prop’d correctly during their service in that vessel is also very important, maybe especially so if they are a model of Volvo that is shorter stroke and higher RPM. Again, a complete survey including evaluation by a Volvo technician on that issue would be money well spent.
 

Cool Boat

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Posts
132
Likes
56
Age
63
When I found out that 4 intake valves and a set of valve seals for our newly purchased boat would cost me 700$ we readily sold our Volvo TMD40 (120HP) for parts. I did like getting the $1,000 for the disassembled motor and permitted some other folks to get some use out of it. We went back with old school Detroit Diesel 453. Parts for these are getting harder to find but they made millions of them so we will always be able to find something, I hope. If we hit the lottery though, there are a lot of lighter, nicer 4 strokes out there!
 

captjohn

Captain
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Posts
700
Likes
300
Age
62
Location
Seaford, NY
Boat Make
Henriques
I am a life-long sailor who's time has come to switch to power. Like most sailors my inclination is for a Downeast. I am considering a Fortier 33 with twin Volvo Diesels. A friend who's opinions I respect has told me that the only thing worse than a Volvo engine is two Volvo engines. I am curious how the knowledgeable folks on this forum feel about that.
Your friend is entitled to his opinion, everyone's got one, has he ever actually owned a Volvo Diesel? You would be surprised at how many people have strong opinions about products they have never owned. I think most that have owned diesels from various manufacturers won't agree with him. All engines ever built from every manufacturer have their "issues". I have a pair of older TAMD41P's. Their reliable, very good on fuel, parts are readily available from Volvo dealers, and most parts are no more expensive than from other manufacturers, their all expensive, but they last a very long time.
 

Genius

Captain
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Posts
3,514
Likes
1,956
Location
Rhode Island
I had a Volvo KAD44. Good engine I suppose, expensive to maintain. I'll do everything in my power to never own one again. Cummins and Yanmar have been good to me.
 

PatriciaLynn

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2017
Posts
479
Likes
270
Location
Cape E
Boat Make
Repco
I have owned/fished on a few boats with Volvos and have one in my current work rig with over 12k hours, still going strong. Like any engine, maintenance history and total fuel usage is what you want to think about. If you run them hard without meticulous maintenance, they will let you down. If you don't push them and keep up on the maintenance, they will run and run and run.
 

Kailua Kid

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Posts
270
Likes
147
Location
Bainbridge Island
Website
www.gibbonslawgroup.com
Boat Make
General Marine 26; Klamath 19; Sparkman & Stephens Yankee 38 sloop
I have owned/fished on a few boats with Volvos and have one in my current work rig with over 12k hours, still going strong. Like any engine, maintenance history and total fuel usage is what you want to think about. If you run them hard without meticulous maintenance, they will let you down. If you don't push them and keep up on the maintenance, they will run and run and run.
And, there are good Volvos, better Volvos and not so good Volvos — as with nearly every manufacturer’s line of engines.

How many gallons (or barrels or tons) of fuel have been through the engine seems much more significant than how many hours are shown on the hour meter. And as noted well above, good maintenance — especially on the “newer” higher-reving motors and all turbocharged motors — is critical to longevity.

Oil samples with lab results, at regular intervals, are a good practice, also, rather than just as part of a pre-purchase survey, seems to me.
 

Bill_N

Captain
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Posts
1,554
Likes
458
Location
Eastern Ct
Boat Make
31' JC Rowdy Girl
I have a TAMD 63P in my JC and think it's a fine engine. I'd be more concerned about service and dealer support in your area for whatever engine you end up with rather than ruling one out based on someone else's opinion. Do yourself a favor and research that upfront before buying any diesel boat.
 

ArchHibb

Captain
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Posts
1,012
Likes
743
Location
Marblehead
Boat Make
Five Islands 35 w/Cat 3116
m14Marine hasn’t been back since March, but if he/she does visit, I’m going to take a different assessment, regardless of engine color...

Most sailors I know pride themselves on self-sufficiency, and that extends to doing their own maintenance.

A twin engined Fortier maintained in top-notch condition is a beautiful & fast boat. But in my experience, twin engine access in this hull size is usually inferior to a single engine.
 
Top Bottom