Third time lucky?
We hope so! We are now on the third saildrive gearbox in 2 years after replacing the original 20 year old engine prior to our trip to Spitsbergen in 2009.
Although the physical consequences were not quite as challenging as when the first gearbox failed - we were at 80 degrees north at the time of the first failure - the financial implications were far more painful. As we were to subsequently discover to our cost, a gearbox that has been replaced under warranty only attracts whatever warranty period was remaining on the original. So despite the fact that the second gearbox was less than 11 months old when it failed, it was actually out of warranty by a few days.
For a period of a few months it looked like we were going to have to bear the whole cost ourselves. However, we were not ready to give up the fight. After becoming the voice the operator on the Volvo HQ telephone switchboard probably least looked forward to hearing from, and with the support of some incredibly helpful local agents, we eventually gained a concession!
None the less our confidence in the reliability of our new engine has been badly shaken. We are hoping that it will be a case of third time lucky - but for the time being at least we won't be entering any harbours without having a sail instantly ready to hoist in the event that it fails a 4th time.