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Old 20-10-2004, 12:13   #1
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Sillette leg outdrive problems?

I have always thought that the sillette leg outdrive (e.g. as fitted to prouts with a single engine) is an obvious fit to someone who likes to sail their cat, however I was talking to a marina owner today who reckons that there are a lot of problems with them. Personally I have not heard this before, but wondered if others have had any problems with them?
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Old 21-10-2004, 08:17   #2
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The drive leg is more complicated than just a straight shaft. It is somewhat more complicated than a saildrive due to it's ability to retract. But, it's really a pretty simple device and I think if it is well maintained it should give a couple of decades of good service.

Preventive maintenance I am sure is the key. There are a few grease fittings that should be regularly serviced, and there is a rubber boot around the universal joint that should be checked regularly. Like any gear box, you need to keep the oil level topped off. On the prout the leg is a little hard to get to when in the water, as it's under the aft deck. You need to work from a dinghy to check things properly.

There are several advantages to the drive leg to offset some of the complications. It's steerable, which is important with only a single screw. It can be retracted for less drag and marine growth. You could probably pull it off for service while beached on a low tide. It doesn't require a large hole in the hull like a saildrive does.
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Old 21-10-2004, 10:17   #3
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My first reaction to hearing about this gy who has had a real bucketful of problems with his leg, is that it may well have had poor/zero serviceing, and he was reaping the "benefit". For myself, I dont like shafts exiting through the hull or saildrives cause these are a high risk item. i.e. if they fail, you are in a lot of grief. They are not exactly the sort of item you can solve by jamming in a soft wood bung! Besides, propellors in the water cause drag!
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