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Old 01-30-2013
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Re: I think I have found what I want

Skipper of the Minnow,

Sure. Inboards are fairly unusual in a 25' boats.

Direct drive simply means that the engine connects directly to a straight shaft which exits through the stern of the boat - usually with a stuffing box 'gland'. Direct drive engines are almost always angled back at the stern so the shaft comes out of the hull at a slightly downward angle.

A sail drive unit would be more like the very bottom end of an outboard that is set into the hull such that the spinning force of the engine is geared first down and then back (astern). A sail drive unit will look something like the last 10" of an outboard lower unit and propeller sticking out of the bottom of the hull.

I suppose there are benefits to either set up. The sail drive takes up a little less interior space as it does not require a straight run back from the engine along the shaft. A direct drive set up is just simpler to maintain as there are extra gears in the sail drive unit that will need lubing.

I'll say that sail drive units are not considered that great as they stick down below the hull and can hit the bottom if you run aground. Direct drives are not immune to this sort of thing either but since they usually are tucked under the stern of the boat the worst that often happens is you chip a prop blade, bend the shaft, or worse, ruin the stern tube/cutless/stuffing box gland. None of these kinds of accident can't be fixed with the application of several more boat bucks!

I see that Faster beat me to it. The pictures make it much easier to understand.
Thanks Fastman.
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