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Old 16-09-2008, 19:00   #16
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OK so what's the deal with Sail drives? I have read many remarks that did not sound to promising regarding sail drives but nothing specific, what is the problem?
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Old 17-09-2008, 11:44   #17
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Formerly PDQ Anteries 44 has shaft drives with center placed engines. People basically like shaft drives because maintanence is simpler and it's an overall simpler system with possibly fewer risks. Builders like sail drives because it makes engine placement very easy. Most cats have sail drives.
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Old 17-09-2008, 12:54   #18
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Saildrives don't have alignment issues and generate less vibration in the boat.

What it boils down to given a free choice, is whether you can get the engine far enough forward on a cat, for shaft drives. It is probably always possible if you accept the engines in the living spaces somewhere.

On my boat I have gone for saildrives to keep the engines totally seperated from the living quarters.

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Old 17-09-2008, 13:29   #19
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Another advantage of saildrives on a smaller cat, is that you can get a better angle for the prop, swing a bigger prop, and get it deeper, thus in bad weather, there is less chance of cavitation.
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Old 17-09-2008, 13:32   #20
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Saildrives are easier to install and more trouble to maintain. Manufacturers like that, owner don't. They are an aluminum appendage suspended in saltwater and connected to the biggest chunks of metal on the boat. They sit over the biggest holes in the hulls and are very unforgiving of inadvertant contact with USOs (unanticipated submerged obstructions) but other than that, they are OK.... I guess.
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Old 17-09-2008, 13:33   #21
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Another set of advantages of saildrives particularly on smaller cats:

In order to swing a decent sized prop, you dont have to use a strange angle on the shaft, or compromise hull shape.

You can get the prop deeper, and thus reduce possibility of cavitation in bad weather.

Main disadvantage is the manufacture of the saildrive in aluminium - and if you dont keep the anodes in good condition . . . . . . . .
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Old 17-09-2008, 14:59   #22
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Funny, now the response seems more positive to the sail drive. I can sure see where they would be more vunerable to submerged objects. One more thing to add to the list, when trying to decide which way to go....
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Old 17-09-2008, 19:11   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talbot View Post

Main disadvantage is the manufacture of the saildrive in aluminium - and if you dont keep the anodes in good condition . . . . . . . .
And don't forget that those aluminum sail-drives can literally rot away when noone informs the owner NOT to use copper anti-fouling on them. Seems MANY never get that memo, and end up using the same anti-fouling on their sail-drives as they do on their bottoms. Tends to be an expensive lesson.

And as noted above, get that sail drive wrapped in a line and you're likely to rip the motor right off it's mounts and rupture the seal. One VERY GOOD reason to keep your engine room squeaky clean so you can see how to cap that seal while your bilge pumps sings acapella....
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Old 17-09-2008, 23:47   #24
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I tend to agree with Sandy ...it seems to come down to ease of maintenance for an owner versus ease of installation for a manufacturer.
For me, having lived aboard boats for many years in areas with "iffy" electrical systems, the risk of electrolysis on an alumin(i)um appendage is too great.
I recognize with diligent maintenance that anodes are a great buffer but to me they are just that, a buffer.
I'm willing to take the extra noise in the cabin against the maintenance overhead of the saildrive.
I'm sure this debate wiil continue :-)
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Old 18-09-2008, 01:08   #25
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Are these comments from experience or from first hand knowledge? Or are you repeating stories you have heard?

I have a saildrive. It's been there for the 2 years i have had the boat and I have done nothing to it, except I checked it's oil once. It was installed in my boat in 1985 and has never been removed or overhauled. It has never needed alignment, has never fallen off, corroded, wrapped itself in a fishing line and been ripped from it's mount. It gets new seals every 7-10 years.

My partner periodically runs over the mooring penant and I gotta say that having an aluminum fin in front of the prop has probably saved a swim or two as in the 3 times he's run over the penant he's been able to back off each time.

I don't really have a preference one way or another but I was just curious about all the saildrive bashingthat goes on.

Does anyone know (firsthand) of a saildrive seal that sank a boat after hitting a submerged object?



Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
Saildrives are easier to install and more trouble to maintain. Manufacturers like that, owner don't. They are an aluminum appendage suspended in saltwater and connected to the biggest chunks of metal on the boat. They sit over the biggest holes in the hulls and are very unforgiving of inadvertant contact with USOs (unanticipated submerged obstructions) but other than that, they are OK.... I guess.
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Originally Posted by Aussiesuede View Post
And don't forget that those aluminum sail-drives can literally rot away when noone informs the owner NOT to use copper anti-fouling on them. Seems MANY never get that memo, and end up using the same anti-fouling on their sail-drives as they do on their bottoms. Tends to be an expensive lesson.

And as noted above, get that sail drive wrapped in a line and you're likely to rip the motor right off it's mounts and rupture the seal. One VERY GOOD reason to keep your engine room squeaky clean so you can see how to cap that seal while your bilge pumps sings acapella....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catalysis View Post
I tend to agree with Sandy ...it seems to come down to ease of maintenance for an owner versus ease of installation for a manufacturer.
For me, having lived aboard boats for many years in areas with "iffy" electrical systems, the risk of electrolysis on an alumin(i)um appendage is too great.
I recognize with diligent maintenance that anodes are a great buffer but to me they are just that, a buffer.
I'm willing to take the extra noise in the cabin against the maintenance overhead of the saildrive.
I'm sure this debate wiil continue :-)
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Old 18-09-2008, 13:30   #26
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Ditto on the older Lagoons. My 42 was a great boat and carried the weight as well as my 47 monohull. Actually...better. Vacuum molded by TPI in the US = no blisters too! Superb engine access thru the rear step/platform (they use Hurth V drives). Things to watch for: the Marelon Sea cocks are tough as nails.... except the handles which break off if you dont exercise the seacocks monthly. The vynil headliner is backed by about an eighth inch of foam, the foam deteriorates in t he heat and the liner starts to come loose. All else was great on mine.
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Old 18-09-2008, 16:02   #27
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The Leopard 4300 is also a shaft drive. Its a nice boat that is available at a reasonable price point.
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Old 18-09-2008, 18:12   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Are these comments from experience or from first hand knowledge? Or are you repeating stories you have heard?

Does anyone know (firsthand) of a saildrive seal that sank a boat after hitting a submerged object?

I've only had personal maintainance experience with Leopard shaft drives. I've never owned a boat with sail drive. I've two personal experiences with helping change the seals on a sail drive, and one of doing an oil change on a sail drive. I only have a single personally account of an owner of a sail drive who is unhappy with it (one of those I helped change seals on) to color my own personal perception. The remainder of my perceptions stem from what I've read, and hearsay. By no means am I trying to belittle sail drives. I'm simply in the camp of - "if given the choice" - give me the "shaft". I'm just not a fan of bends and gears. (Don't like to work on front wheel drive transaxles either! lol I prefer the independant transmission with shaft to differential(s) )

Here is a blog account of damage caused by getting a prop "wrapped" on a sail drive.

Quote:
The rope got caught in the starboard propeller, doing significant damage. All we heard was an almighty bang from the engine as the rope parted, followed by the ominous sound of the engine-room bilge-pump
Quote:
Feeling around in the water he found that the main seal between the saildrive and the hull was leaking badly. Luckily, there is a secondary seal as well, and that had just popped lose. Since he couldn't see into the oily water, he felt around until he found the hose-clamp, opened it a bit, pushed the seal back over its lip, seated the hose-clamp firmly over the seal, and tightened it gently.
Quote:
Further examination revealed that the rope had ripped the entire engine and saildrive right off its mounts. All 3 engine-mounts were completely shredded and the engine was no longer sitting square.
On The Hard



And, No, I've no personal accounts of a cat sinking due to losing a sail drive when hitting an underwater obstruction, nor for a shaft drive being lost. I actually have no personal accounts of a cat sinking at all!
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Old 18-09-2008, 19:00   #29
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Quote:
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Here is a blog account of damage caused by getting a prop "wrapped" on a sail drive.

On The Hard
Thanks for that. It is certainly a harrowing account and would be quite scary. It seems that they were lucky. Perhaps having the engine and saildrive in a sealed room would be a good emergency fallback postion. Isolate the electrics and fuel and seal the bulkhead.

I always wonder a bit about that 2 foot hole in the bottom of my boat.

Saildrives have to handle very low horsepower on the order of 20-30hp and RPM of only 2-3,000. These things should last forever.

They are a lot more expensive than shafts to install and of course in 20 years they are gonna need maintenance and that could be pricey. I think the flexibility and ease of install are teh reasons builders give them the nod in most cases.
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Old 13-10-2008, 18:40   #30
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Boat Selection and test sails

Thank you for the videos. Great for the ons who are in the selection stage. You had mentioned about test sailing 4 SA cats and a privilige. Knowing that you had already ordered the SF50, would you please share the results of your test sails? What was your selection criteria, how did each compare to your criteria and to one another.

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We wanted a boat that was easy to sail for just the two of us.
A boat that could be comfortable with about 200 miles a day in trade winds without working too hard. - so on the fast side.
Must have volume so that it can take all the weight of the luxuries we like and still stay on the fast side.
Must offer a flexible design - the forthcoming video will show how we have changed just about every part of the boat to suit our needs.
Must be above all safe with a pedigree from an established boat builder and be backed by all the owners - I contacted many owners for critical as well as praising comments.
Must be able to dry out with safety.
Must offer the space we wanted for extended live aboard.
Must offer reasonable value for money and have some wow factor.

Basically we accepted compromise from the outset but with the St Francis for example, we could shape the stern beds so that they an element of island beds if we wanted to, we could wow up the appearance- we are doing that. The video will explain a lot detailing what we are doing right throughout the boat and why.
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