I've heard bad things about vdrives, but personally have had few problems. I sailed on a friends Cal
34 for 20 years and we never had to do anything to the vdrive. On the Cal
34 the vdrive is attached to the engine
as in the above photos. Access to the shaft seal
is poor on the 34 but can be accomplished.
Here's a remote
vdrive that is found on Cal 40s. Access to the shaft seal is good. Thrust is taken by the remote
vdrive instead of the engine. Vdrive is mounted on the boat so prop shaft alignment isn't dependent on engine movement. There is a U joint on the drive shaft and a CV joint in the input of the drive so my Yanmar
on its soft mounts can bounce around up to +/- 3 degrees. Engine isn't in the middle of the cabin
. No problems yet with my vdrive, 6 years with this boat.
As mentioned above, more mechanical stuff to fail, robs you of a little horsepower, more cooling
hoses to route/fail.
I guess I wouldn't extoll a vdrive, but obviously I didn't walk away from a boat that had a vdrive in it. A vdrive's virtue is being able to place the engine in a more favorable spot, like not having to sit on the engine in the middle of the galley
to prepare food
, that only had a narrow walkway around it to get from one end of the boat to the other as I saw on one boat I was looking at buying
that didn't have a vdrive.
This Cal 40 isn't my boat or web page.
A Brief History… » The Restoration of a Cal 40