The busy boat-sales market and the ongoing border closures are leading more Kiwi boat owners to upgrade and up-spec their existing craft — something marine power specialist Ovlov is well positioned to help with.

Matt Jackson, Ovlov Marine’s head of special projects and customer service, says increasing numbers of customers are repowering boats, upgrading older engines and adding new features such as modern trim tabs or steering systems, as a way of extending the lifespan of their boats.

“Seeing the difficulties in obtaining new boats at the moment, lots of people are taking this opportunity to give their existing boat a bit of a do-up,” Jackson says. “It’s a bit like what’s going on in the housing market, with people renovating their homes rather than buying a new one — taking the aspects they really like and maximising them, so they can enjoy the boat for longer and get the value out of the improvements.”

Whangaparaoa couple Ray and Bridget Gorinski recently went down this path with their well-built and immaculately-presented 1980s-era Salthouse Corsair Mark II, Kaimana. Ray says while they were happy with the boat overall, they knew the boat’s original pair of Volvo 165hp diesels were getting on in years and could start becoming expensive to maintain.

“We’ve had the boat for 12 years, and while the engines hadn’t caused us any problems, being 30-odd years old, parts were getting harder to get,” Ray says. “Also, we still want to have another 10 or 12 years in that boat, and the motors aren’t going to last that long.”


The Gorinskis went through the exercise of looking at selling Kaimana and buying another boat, but even with spending extra money to buy a slightly newer launch, they’d eventually be confronted with the same problem.

Instead, they talked to Ovlov about repowering Kaimana with new engines, reducing ongoing maintenance costs and avoiding the chance of a complete breakdown, while enjoying the benefits of the new, trouble-free motors for at least another decade of boating.

Ovlov Marine fitted Kaimana with a pair of new Volvo Penta D3-200s — in-line 5-cylinder, 2.4-litre, common-rail diesel engines, with an aluminium cylinder block and cylinder head. “The alloy blocks save about 300 kilograms overall, so the engines are both more powerful and lighter, which will result in increased fuel efficiency and range, as well as raising the cruising speed from 16 to 19 knots, and the top speed from 26 to 30 knots,” Jackson says.

The smaller size of the new motors also meant there was room for a new lead-carbon battery system to be installed in the engine bay. Ovlov worked with the owners’ electrician and boatbuilder and commissioned painters to help with the project.

The new Volvos were paired with DPS-D (silent shift) sterndrives, for ease of manoeuvring, especially when docking. Also as part of the upgrade, Humphree H600 interceptor trim tabs with standard auto-trim software and additional auto-list were fitted to replace the old blade-type tabs. Ovlov then ran a sea trial to commission them and make sure they were set up at their most efficient.


“All these ways we have modernised and upgraded the boat are going to result in improved fuel efficiency and make her a much easier boat to handle, with a more comfortable ride,” Jackson says.

Now the Gorinskis are looking forward to lockdown restrictions being lifted and for the weather to improve, so they can get out on the Hauraki Gulf and start enjoying the revitalised Kaimana this summer.