Anyone heard of hydrostatic drive? - SailNet Community

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Old 10-11-2007
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Anyone heard of hydrostatic drive?

I made an offer on a west sail boat and it has hydrostatic drive. I am told there is a hydraulic pump off the engine with no propellor shaft and the hoses connect to a hydraulic motor at the propellor. It sounds interesting and I wonder if it was retro fitted if it really needs to have a full size engine to power a hydraulic pump.
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Old 10-11-2007
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The power requirements don't change, the hydraulic system is just a way to move the power to where you want it without having to put the engine there. Hydraulic drives are almost vibration free, They can be mounted very low thereby creating a more efficient angle of attack and shaft alignment is simple. Downside is they tend to leak, and the pumps wear out. I looked at a boat that had one once, engine was in the usual place but drive motor was above the keel.
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Old 10-11-2007
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I had a Cascade 29 that had hydraulic drive. There is a loss of about 10-15% of power due to the losses in the hyd. and we had a LOT of high pitched noise at cruise speed. I would be concerned about the hyd. motor being external to the hull if I understand you correctly;leaks, service, maintenance, etc. It would take care of cooling the hyd. oil though. Overall, it adds complications to your drive system. It was nice being able to go from full forward to full reverse in about 2 seconds though. Good luck, John
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Old 10-11-2007
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not to mention the oil slick if it were to leak!!
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