View Full Version : V-Drive?

10-24-2016, 01:35 AM
It seems like V-Drives are not as popular as they once were? Why is this?
I've never had one, but it seems like the benefit of shallower draft might be worth the extra complications in the shafting. Opinions?

Peerie Maa
10-24-2016, 06:01 AM
I don't think that shallower draft is much of a driver. The propeller and rudder are the same size no matter where you put the engine.
"V" drives were about putting the engine at the back, for trim or layout issues. Now superseded by stern drives.
If you want shallow draft go to a jet drive.

10-24-2016, 06:29 AM
"Z" drives would get you to a shallower shaft angle. I have no idea if they are more or less common than say 30-40 years ago.

V drives certainly could/ would get you to a shallower angle, but as Nick said, I think the majority of motivation is to clear up space for accommodations. Back in the early 70's the typical 30ft Luhrs had V drives, and a 34ft Cruisers (~2006) that our neighbors had, also had V drives.

10-24-2016, 09:21 AM
Vee-drives add expense and the belts, water pump, impeller and alternator arms can be more difficult to access because the engine 'faces backwards'. The shaft and shaft log are also underneath the engine most likely and more troublesome to align, check and maintain.

10-24-2016, 11:26 PM
Hmmm...This is very interesting. I hadn't thought of the benefits to planing hulls.

I asked the question because i just came back from a trip to Vancouver Island and was surprised to see so many of the cruising trawlers and former gillnetters (all displacement hulls) with v-drives. It was very nice to have the engine noise outside of and behind the house, even if the box ate up some of the cockpit.

So, would you not purchase an otherwise very attractive boat (specifically a beautiful old trawler that I have fallen in love with) because it had a v drive?

I very much appreciate your input and advice. Thank you.

Peerie Maa
10-25-2016, 03:20 AM
^ It is another gear box to be maintained, but that is not much of an issue. It has worked for the life of the boat that you are looking at, so properly maintained it will continue to do so. Check out the availability of spares, just in case.

10-25-2016, 06:50 AM
For decades one of the 'benchmark' V-drive manufacturers of was the Walter Machine Company and their Walter V-drive. They are still very much in business in New Jersey.
I can't say that I ever heard of any problems with them. Even builders such as Elco used V-drives in their post WWII boats.


10-25-2016, 11:21 PM
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