As someone who just got done removing and reinstalling an engine
with a V drive (yanmar), well lets just say I've been cussing the vdrive up a storm. First I had to remove a structural member
, so I could slide the v-drive and engine
forward enough so the vdrive clears the shaft. Of course I had to pull the prop flange first too.
I can't pull the prop shaft while the boat is in the water
as you can't get a puller on my aperture prop. It takes a torch heating
the prop and a guy with a big hammer to tap the shaft off the prop. Then the whole shaft comes out to the inside.
In reinstalling the engine, I had to pull the engine/transmission further back so I could tap the prop flange back on. Then pull the engine forward to its final resting spot. You get to avoid all that with a conventional drive
As mentioned access to the packing gland
is at best real tight. I use really good graphite teflon packing which is about drip free. I replaced the 4 year old packing which was still fine mainly because it was so easy to do without the transmission over it.
With a conventional in line drive it would have been easy peasy to pull the engine/transmission without all the drama a V drive adds.
So avoid vdrives if possible. But yes they are better then a sail drive, which is an true abomination.