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France - Old Engines will be Refused Service

By Sue Richards last modified Jul 29, 2009 03:21 PM

Published: 2009-07-29 15:21:39
Countries: France

My boat is a Moody Eclipse 33. The engine a 20 year old Volvo Penta 2003T.

I have been cruising the Med in this boat each summer for the past 12 years and on arriving at my 70th year last year I tried to sell it from a berth in Corfu. Due no doubt to the recession it did not move, so I decided to bring it back to France where I now live and use it as a day boat.

The boat was brought back by a delivery crew and unfortunately the turbo bearings failed at Sardinia, but the crew brought it back to Saint Cyprien in southern France last October.

The Volvo Penta owners assistance team were very helpful and directed me to their local main agent DISMAR but they declined to work on the engine. Volvo Penta then referred me to Marine Service Catalan in St. Cyprien who also refused to work on the engine because is too old and badly maintained. I disagree with the "badly maintained" as parts that have failed have always been promptly replaced and six years ago I had the engine rebuilt.

It has finally transpired that the law in France is such that any mechanic working on a marine engine will be held responsible for any incident that may subsequently arise from failure of the engine. The French Volvo Penta Agent has now confirmed this and that I will be sold parts but given no assistance with repairs. It is suggested that I should buy a new engine.

At the age of 70 my sailing future is uncertain and I prefer to allow the descision of what to buy to the next owner.

If you need assitance with an engine in France you may be denied it. Volvo Penta apologise but confirm that this is the situation.

Richard Perou