Here's one case of such an accident
Last year, good friends in a Seawind
1200, at anchor
in Whangaroa harbour, New Zealand
, calm conditions, no worries... But during the night they swung over a pinnacle rock that had gone undetected, and the descending tide and a little swell contrived to bounce the boat so that it landed on one saildrive. They awoke to an odd noise
and rapidly rising water
in one hull
(no watertight bulkhead for their engine compartment). Quick investigation revealed that the whole engine had been punched up, shearing the seal and breaking the aft motor
mount. The boat was suspended on the leg of the drive, and was not easily moved with the other engine. Towels were jammed in to slow the flow, and the dinghy
used to push the boat sideways off the rock. Fortuitously, when the engine dropped back down, the towels were trapped in such a way as to form a reasonable seal, and the pumps were able to deal with the water
. Hurried communcations found that the nearest facility able to lift
them on short notice was in Whangerei, a considerable distance away. A bit daunting, but little choice, so off they went, carrying an engine-driven pump borrowed from the local VMR chaps just in case. Turns out that they made it safely and that the towels continued to serve their purpose, so a happy ending to a very scary episode.
This sort of thing may not be common, but IMO rules out saildrives for a serious crusing boat... at least it does for us!
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Cairns, Qld, Oz