"JIMinFL" wrote in message
> Would rather have seen a 7.4 liter engine with that package. Bravo 3 is a
> great stern drive. Props go for $1000 a set, so make sure they are not
> damaged. Also look for corrosion on the stern drive. If you see any, walk
> away from the deal.
It's been an eventful year since BoatUS first asked MerCruiser to explain
why its twin-propeller Bravo III outdrives seem prone to corrosion damages.
For one thing, 328 owners have reported to BoatUS that their outdrives are
pitting, crumbling and deteriorating to the point of needing repairs. For
another, while steadfastly denying there's a problem with its outdrives,
MerCruiser has issued a service bulletin describing an elaborate protocol of
tests to determine why Bravo IIIs corrode.
BoatUS has received few reports about corrosion damage on single-prop
MerCruiser outdrive models and none involving Volvo outdrives. Volvo Penta
is the only other manufacturer producing outdrives with two propellers. Most
of the Bravo III complaints in our files involve 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001
If there is a formula for success in dealing with MerCruiser it is to follow
their instructions to first have an authorized mechanic inspect the boat at
its normal mooring place. This will help the mechanic to determine if stray
current from the dock wiring system or from neighboring boats is the source
According to MerCruiser's definition, "Stray current corrosion is caused by
leakage of current into and through the metal drive components, exiting for
a water path to ground. Stray current corrosion is commonly a result of
connecting a boat to shore power."
On the other hand, galvanic corrosion, which is a reaction between two
dissimilar metals, seems to be at the crux of the MerCruiser Bravo III
problem. Bravo III's design features two large stainless steel props, an
aluminum housing and aluminum drive components.
MerCruiser's bulletin explains, "the simplest example of galvanic corrosion,
and the most applicable, is an aluminum lower unit with a stainless steel
propeller." Just like with the Bravo IIIs.
Owners just discovering crumbling skegs and drive housings are keeping their
fingers crossed that damages will be covered by MerCruiser's three-year
corrosion warranty. They have good reason. Others who are not so lucky
report spending well over $5,000 for replacement outdrives. MerCruiser will
not help if damages are caused by outside sources and only on rare occasions
will they help if damages occur after the warranty expires.
<a rel="nofollow" style='text-decoration: none;' href="http://www.boatus.com/consumer/BravoIII.asp" target="_blank">http://www.boatus.com/consumer/BravoIII.asp</a>
---------------------------------- >> Stay informed about: Advice Requested- Engine surveys