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post #20 of Old 12-15-2013
Capt Len
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Re: direct drive

Back in the day, the working schooners had direct reversing engines coupled " straight" to the prop shaft. When unloading dockside, engineer would keep an eye on the pilings and stop/restart and idle the other way until the vessel began moving again. Usually make and break before semidiesel and full diesels became popular and affordable. Usually air start but with good timing you can bounce on compassion to go backup. Pro- mechanically simple ,con -really hard on generator brushes .So the larger vessels had designated gen sets. As engines began operating at higher RPM ,reducing transmissions became necessary with the bonus of a neutral/ reverse, usually using a planetary (bands and disks)
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