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Old 06-10-2016, 16:04   #1
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Boat: Midship 25, 25'
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Need sail drive recommendations for my boat.

I just acquired a Midship 25 in great shape. No motor though. The vessel had obviously been fitted with a sail drive in the past. I welcome any suggestion from experienced mariners on a replacement. I'm leaning towards diesel, 3 cylinder, but i'm open to other suggestions. I intend to take this sailboat out to sea eventually. This is a totally new area for me. Only diesels I worked on (as crew, not engineer) were 500 HP Gray Marine years ago on a decommissioned mine sweeper.
Thanks!!
Shannon
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:51   #2
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Re: Need sail drive recommendations for my boat.

Based on personal experience I would avoid saildrives if possible. They just don't seem to be built for durability. For instance, ZF will tell you that prop shaft seals should be changed every 700 hours and the shafts themselves every 1400 hours. Clutches can go every 1200-2000 hours. The shafts and related parts are very expensive and they will resist selling you them. They want to sell you the entire leg instead - think more that $4000. I suspect boat manufacturers are using them because they represent an easy and space saving way to install engines.

Having said this, beside ZF, Twin DIsc makes an SP60 for your probable engine size as does Sillette (Sonic drives). Beta and Nanni engines (both using a Kubota block) use the SP60. The Sonic drive has been used on Gemini cats for some time. They have the advantage of a traditional engine mount and optional bronze lower unit construction. Good luck.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:23   #3
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Re: Need sail drive recommendations for my boat.

Thank you Ostinato. I could just stay with outboards (the vessel's current rig). Had not thought sail drives would be so finicky. More homework.
I note you have a cat. My favorite sail boat configuration is the cat. I love the design of the Chris White Atlantics.
Shannon
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:33   #4
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Re: Need sail drive recommendations for my boat.

They tend to be high maintenance, fragile, expensive parts wise, & for a great many repairs you need to haul the boat out to work on them. Also because of the materials used in their construction, they're a lot more vulnerable to galvanic corrosion occuring between their various parts, & any stray currents in the water tend to be a much bigger issue for them than with standard prop shafts/props.

I think that they've become popular as they're an easy way to save on how much interior space an engine & drive train take up in a boat's interior. And that they're easier to install initially than are engines with prop shafts.

Also, I can't see needing a 3 cylinder engine on a boat that size. 30hp is most likely way more than overkill for her. 3-5hp/ton is the general rule of thumb for inboard engines in boats.
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Old 09-10-2016, 00:10   #5
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Re: Need sail drive recommendations for my boat.

I suggest you should try to answer the question of what you intend to do when you "go to sea". If you intend to do something like like jumping across the Gulf of Mexico or doing the Bahama's then maybe the current outboard rig would be sufficient. But if you dream of longer voyages without touching land I would be reluctant to keep it. Even some relatively sheltered areas like the Med can be a wasteland of wind at times and force you into motoring far more than than any sailor would want. In those circumstances a diesel engine would probably be a better choice - sail drive or not.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:16   #6
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Location: Western Wisconsin
Boat: O’Day Daysailer II, 17'
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Re: Need sail drive recommendations for my boat.

I would go with a 7 to 10 horsepower outboard. If you must have a diesel, consider an inboard of the above mentioned horsepower configured with ordinary propeller shaft. Sailboatdata.com shows your sailboat with this kind of engine installation. My horsepower recommendation comes from looking at 25 foot sailboats on sailboatdata and the engine installation size. You could also figure one horsepower per 500 pounds, but some consider this higher than really required. With extreme weather an outboard can also have the propeller come up out of the water. You want all the forward thrust you can get in extreme weather.
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Old 10-10-2016, 15:48   #7
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Re: Need sail drive recommendations for my boat.

As mentioned before the boat is currently rigged for outboard drive. Due to the aft cabin location operating the outboard looks to be awkward. I checked the hull and there was no evidence of a standard propeller shaft ever having been installed. No through hull holes except straight below the engine compartment teardrop shaped. No matter. Thanks all for the helpful suggestions.
Shannon
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