Yachting Art Magazine

Volvo Penta marine engine shortage - the Mercruiser MD3.0, a good alternative to the Volvo D4

While the production of leisure motorboats is particularly high at the moment, some boaters who have ordered inboard units are faced with a shortage of Volvo Penta engines, which do not arrive in time at the boat builders, with the consequence of either a delay of several months in the delivery, or a cancellation of the sale. Eco Yachting by Yachting Art Magazine reports on the misadventure of a French yachtsman for whom the shipyard and the dealer found a really interesting alternative to a Volvo D4...

Volvo Penta marine engine shortage - the Mercruiser MD3.0, a good alternative to the Volvo D4

Jean-Pierre (the first name has been changed) placed an order for a 40-foot-long, 5-ton motorboat, equipped with two Volvo Penta D4 Z-Drive blocks, for delivery in June, at the beginning of the boating season.

Unfortunately, due to industrial problems at its foundry in Skövde, Sweden, Volvo Penta announced in February that it would not be able to fulfill the order, which would ultimately cancel the sale.

The shipyard's technical teams and the dealer concerned found an alternative, which Jean-Pierre quickly accepted, which consisted of replacing the two Volvo Penta D4 DPI diesel blocks (4 cylinders in line, 3.7 liters of displacement for 270 hp), with two Mercury Mercruiser MD3.0 blocks (6 cylinders, 3.0 liters for 270 hp with Bravo 3X propellers).

A very judicious choice for the yachtsman, for 6 main reasons, as the dealer explained to Yachting Art Magazine:

  • A gain of nearly 400kg in total, the Volvo D4 block weighing 670kgs, while the Mercruiser weighs 470kgs
  • A more compact engine in length, which means a 10 cm gain (but a little higher), which is always appreciable in an engine hold
  • A V6 architecture more balanced in its operation than a 4-cylinder, generating less vibrations and quieter
  • An anticipated gain in fuel consumption and driving pleasure, due to the weight saving
  • Mercruiser joystick controls are smoother than Volvo's, where there is traditionally more jerkiness
  • The availability of the virtual anchor supplied with Mercruiser, which is a major advantage when maneuvering

Advantages that make the dealer say that, as a general rule, shipyards should offer at least two engine choices on their units, for more flexibility...

Share this post

Comment on this post