From The Forums: Don't Flip Out!

August 2015 Industry Web Exclusive

Recently on our forum page, the question of what to do with a misbehaving outdrive came up. Gibson421c ran into troubles with his Volvo Penta outdrive flipping up on his 42-foot Gibson Lazy Cruz when he tried putting his houseboat into reverse. Check out what everyone had to say below:

Gibson421c: I have noticed that the outdrive has begun to flip up in reverse. I know the marina will have to pull the boat out of the water, etc. My question is, does it hurt to use it like it is? I had the boat out late last summer and everything went fine. When docking, it was probably the smoothest docking I had ever done. After seeing video and pictures from the outing, I noticed the foot was flipping up anytime I would reverse. My wife and I are planning a weekend away from the dock for our anniversary this weekend and want opinions from you pros on any damage it may cause to use the boat as is. Thanks in advance!

GoVols: I've heard that older VP setups are infamous for this issue. Not sure if it'll harm anything, but it can't be good either. My neighbor is waiting to pull his houseboat out for this very same issue. The boat had this issue when he bought it late last season and he's planning on fixing it soon. To transport it, he actually chained the outdrives down so they wouldn't flip up when put into reverse. He said it's a b**** to maneuver with this issue.

boatlover: This is somewhat common on older VP outdrives. I had this problem on a previous boat. Look up Volvo Penta reverse pawl for info and pics. The pawl rises up and hooks on a rod to stop reverse kick-up. I got in the water and used a zip tie to hold the pawl up in contact with the rod. This worked fine for many seasons. I have seen where some have bolted or chained down the drives. With the zip tie, if I needed to raise the drive the trim motor would break the zip tie and the drive would rise. I would then just replace the zip tie. Worked for me.

Jeepster04: Our houseboat had a chain wrapped around one of the outdrives when my parents bought it. The pawl was completely missing on the chained outdrive while the other worked sometimes (dual DP's). We had the boat pulled and the outdrives permanently locked down. It works wonderfully and handles much, much better. When the outdrives kick up, your reverse is practically useless. 

Once the chain broke off, we wrapped a steel cable around the OD with a rubber hose around the cable. It’s very scary to think what would've happened if the chain would've gotten wrapped up in the props. It’s a horrible idea to use a chain IMHO. The cable worked until we could get the boat out of the water. It did make the steering tight since the OD rubbed on the hose, more so when in R. 

You must drill a hole through the sides then insert an SS bolt, then make some aluminum straps to go around the OD.

Of course, your tilt will never work again, so you will need to unhook that. Not sure why you need it on a houseboat anyway? It’s not like you’re going to get on plane and need to bring the nose of the boat up.

Special thanks goes to Jeepster04 for sharing pictures!Has this happened to you before? What did you try, and what would you caution against trying? Hop on our Houseboat forum page and drop a line, we'd love to hear from you!

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