Hi Brad, it's true about easy docking
but it's rather strangely noisy too .
Besides it steals a rather large percentage of the diesel
motor power .
About your question :"is yours designed so that the shaft from the 'motor' exits directly through the hull
?" the answer is almost yes : the hydrau-motor's
shaft is coupled directly to the prop shaft whith a mechanic thick tube (is it 'packing'?) and "mecanindus" (strong split pins) .So if you unscrew the
'motor'flange bolts ,the sea enters the boat .
All hydrau-drive I've heard of in europe
are mounted that way .Maybee you'll check with Gord's links 'hydromarin'sketches on precedent page. That's why it's not so easy to adapt a roughly similar hydrau-motor .
Your are right :a regular stuffing box would allow any intervention on the
system without craning the boat ,but ,on the other side ,no worrying about
the usual stuffing boxes leaks
since the motor shaft seals
do the job for many years .But NOT ANY MORE in my case !