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Old 04-14-2001
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Volvo Sail Drive

Early Saildrives got a bad reputation for corrosion problems because ''knowledgeable'' mechanics insisted upon grounding them improperly, and electrolysis ate them up. (What would you expect when you create a battery with an ocean of electrolyte?) Otherwise, saildrives solve a lot of problems. They make the propeller horizontal, so it pushes the boat more efficiently. (Unlike the standard shaft, which on some boats has to be at such an angle that it seems like the prop is trying to push the boat more out of the water than forward.) Saildrives also reduce wetted surface compared to many shaft/strut installations. They also avoid alignment problems that can cause vibration and failure of engine mounts and other parts. No stuffing box means not worrying about whether it is leaking too much or not leaking enough. All in all, saildrives seem to make a lot of sense, though others may have other opinions, and may know more about this particular brand.
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