I have read that there were several cats built with hydraulic drives going back to the mid 70's. There were complaints about messy leaks, and inadequate metering, but no major show stoppers. I priced out a system for a 40' catamaran
a few months ago but was put off by the much higher cost compared to alternatives. I'm still intrigued by the idea, but its not in the running.
Prices were $8000 for outboards including tanks
, retracting mechanisms,c controls and instruments. $26,000 for diesel saildrives with all the bells and whistles, and folding props, $36,000 for single-rail diesel AC gen, electric drive motor/generators, props, controllers, batts and bits, and $40,000+ for hydraulics.
Now if somebody put together something using off-the-shelf skid loader components, it might be done for a more reasonable cost. It would be close enough to try.
Question 1: If a drive motor
is driven, would it drive another motor, so as to generate electricity? Be mindfull of the rpm
needed to get something out of most engine-driven generators!!
question 2: Is there a hydraulic motor small enough to to replace the electric motor
in a pod drive? [the secret agenda here is to have a steerable, retractable prop-on-a-stick!]