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jbanta 01-23-2004 10:07 AM

I have been asked on here several times as to what a saildrive is.. For those who still don''t know what I an talking about there is an article in SAIL this month that does a good job of explaining the equipment. Still looks to me like the best way to go especially when a boat has limited space for a motor..

WHOOSH 01-25-2004 02:41 PM

Jim, I just sent off an email to the Sail folks pointing out that Aussie''s articel omitted the single biggest liability of a saildrive for active year-round sailors and for all cruising sailors. Manufacturers of these units typically recommend the hypoid gear oil in the leg be changed every 100 hours, yet in the smaller sizes (1-2-3 cylinder models) they provide no way to do that unless you haul the boat and use the leg drain.

Volvo recently re-engineered their gear leg to permit ''sucking'' out the gear oil like we normally remove engine oil from the crankcase. (In the past, the gears prevented snaking a small tube down into the leg). However, Volvo considers this an upgraded feature and never provides it to a builder of a new boat unless this type of leg is spec''d by the builder/buyer and a price point paid.

Not an unimportant point for the buyer of a new boat...but disappointing news for many current saildrive owners.


jbanta 01-26-2004 11:09 AM

100 hours.. That sounds like a season of sailing. At least for me.. I spend alot more hours under sail than under power.. My old aux was an OMC saildrive. It must have been a bit of ok I just took it out this last season and the boat is a 78.... That sounds like fair proformance since I sail inland on the Great Salt Lake

WHOOSH 01-28-2004 03:01 AM

Jim, 100 hours is indeed a fair season of motoring for sailors in a number of seasonal areas, including your own. E.g. Northern Europe, where saildrives were introduced in sailboats with commercial success, provides a challenging environment for recreational sailors to get in even 100 hours.

OTOH think about Gulf Coast sailors who often see light winds and long seasons. Or Southern California''s bazillion sailboats which sail all year long. Or any poor Snowbird who hopes to go down the ICW in the Fall with plans to tour the islands and head home in the Spring or Summer. And we should probably count any Chesapeake sailor who enjoys sailing, suffers thru the hot/humid light winds of summer, and who isn''t punching a timeclock. These and other sailing venues (you''ll notice I haven''t even mentioned south and west Florida) don''t IMO fit the 100 hour time clock ''built into'' many saildrive installations...but don''t look for the boat builder or broker to call this to anyone''s attention, as it simply isn''t their concern.


hamiam 01-28-2004 06:52 PM

I guess its a few hundred bucks but you can always do a "short haul" of the boat leaving her in the slings while you maintain the saildrive, change the zincs, paint the bottom, etc / I guess one would need to consider this additional maintenance cost when buying a sail drive.

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