Volvo penta – engine failure




July 22nd 2011
RE: Insured: Mr. xxxxx
Claim #: Removed for Privacy
Date of loss: July 14th 2011
Vessel: Removed for Privacy
Our file #: 11 – 12137

Dear Mr. xxxxx:

Thank you for the above captioned assignment, received on July 19th 2011.

Initial Contact

We attempted to speak with the insured upon receipt of the assignment and left him several messages. We spoke with him on July 20, 2011, after inspecting the boat and engine. He stated that he purchased the vessel new in the summer of 2002. He said the engine was replaced in the fall of 2007. He said the old engine was swamped with water and due to a deployment, he was unable to attend to it properly.

Event Details

Mr. xxxxx said the event occurred on July 14, 2011. He was pulling up a skier in Lake San Antonio, north of Los Angeles, when the engine failed suddenly. He said the temperature and oil pressure gauges indicated normal. He said a few weeks ago his wife had accidentally ran the vessel through a sand bar, damaging an aluminum propeller. He said following that event, he operated the vessel slowly back to the launch ramp, with significant vibration. He felt this incident may have contributed in some way to the failure. After this incident, he used the vessel on the Fourth of July (very little) and for two days at Lake San Antonio, prior to the failure.

Vessel Inspection

We inspected the vessel at Removed for Privacy Marine Service on July 20th 2011. The vessel is a 2002 Removed for Privacy 185 with HIN Removed for Privacy and Washington registration #Removed for Privacy. The vessel is equipped with a Volvo Penta inboard/outdrive engine. The engine model is a 4.3GL – A, other numbers were recorded on the engine tag and they are in our file.

At the time of our inspection, the engine had been removed from the vessel and the oil pan had been removed from the engine. No other disassembly of the engine has been accomplished. The number six connecting rod and piston are damaged. The rod is visibly distorted and pieces of the piston are broken off. Metal fragments were found in the oil pan. The crankshaft is broken between the number five and number six connecting rods. There are striated submersion lines visible on the flywheel. There is a rust line visible on another angle on the flywheel.

Cause of Loss

The engine has suffered a catastrophic failure. Based on the components currently visible we feel that failure occurred in the number six cylinder. This created a seized condition and the combustion forces caused the crankshaft to fail. The mechanic stated that they found no evidence of water on any of the spark plugs. A complete disassembly of the engine may provide greater detail as to the specific nature of the mechanical failure.

Repair Estimate Review

The repair estimate includes a Volvo Penta long block and associated labor for removal of the damaged engine, transfer of components and installation of the new engine. The labor portion of the estimate is on the high end of the range of prices we encounter for this job.

Actual Cash Value

Per the request on the assignment sheet, the actual cash value of the vessel is $Removed for Privacy, including the trailer.


1. Repair estimate
2. Photographs

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service. Please contact the undersigned with any
questions or if there is anything further we can do to assist with this claim.


Kells Christian
Christian and Company Marine Surveyors, Inc.