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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Designing the Driveline

Been talking with the Drivelines NW people about Aquadrives. The advantages of such a system are spelled out on their website. The primary advantage we see is the flexibility of the engine install and repower. Any future repower should be much easer without having to deal with a long propshaft (not that we are PLANNING to repower, we hope not, but when you use and own boats for as long as we have, you may be in for a repower some years down the road, we are not your typical two weekend a year fairweather boater). The fact that the engine doesnt need to be perfectly aligned is also a bonus (but, after doing the design, it still helps if you can get it close, too much misalignment can reduce the lifetime of the CV joints). The picture in upper right shows the details. I have added a PDF to the right hand column under "Links" called "Driveline Plan". The PDF shows things in better detail. We will likely place an order for the unit in the next week or two. Some may say dealing with the driveline before an engine choice is too early. But I contend that one advantage of the Aquadrive is that you CAN deal with it before the engine choice. The thrust plate for the Aquadrive (also one of the floor supports) is already in place. Before the rest of the boat gets built up over this area, it is a good time do dryfit this system. This is the easiest time we will have to cut all the holes needed for the system. But, what about sizing for power and torque when you dont know what engine you will use? Good question. We sized the system to the largest engine will would/could use. That was the Volvo D3-110. About 100 hp and just fits into the engine room. Any other engine we may choose will likely be smaller in HP and torque. In which case the Aquadrive would be "oversized" of which, save for spending a few extra $$$, there is no harm done.