Do any sailboats use hydraulic motors for power?
I have a decent amount of experience with hydraulic power on my diesel
farm tractor, plus I own a tracked vehicle that has hydraulic drive powered by a gas engine
It just seems to me to be a perfect solution for driving a multihull
sailboat. - A single diesel engine
centered in the boat, powering a hydraulic pump, which then leads to a pair of hydraulic motors.
- The drive motors could be placed anywhere you wanted near the back of the boat, and are relatively light. (alot lighter than having a pair of huge diesel engines stuck way back there!)
- You can go from stopped, to full speed forward, to full speed reverse, without problems
- infinitely variable speed control
- No gears to shift
- the whole system will be lighter and cheaper since there is only a single
engine instead of two (though you could have two for redundancy and safety
if you wished... for that matter, you could have two smaller diesels, and only use one for moderate power, and fire up the second for full power)
under power would be simpler and not even use the rudders, as power can easily be shifted from one prop to the other. Turning the wheel
more than 90 degrees could even put one motor
into reverse so you turn on the spot. (this is how my tracked vehicle steers via a steering wheel
and I can spin on the spot if desired) So you wouldn't even need two power levers. Just one to set your speed (with the diesel engine having a regulator
it would automatically adjust throttle as needed), and the steering wheel to vary power between the two motors.
Do any boats use this already? I have very little experience with motors on sailboats, so is there some obvious reason why this isn't done?