Why Are Saildrives Even A Thing?

OK, I admit it, that's a bit of a clickbait title.

And, yes, I do understand that saildrives are:

  • Much easier to install than a conventional driveline.
  • Give the designer more flexibility in siting the engine.
  • Reduce vibration and noise, at least potentially.
  • Are more efficient than most drivelines since the prop shaft is horizontal.

But...you just knew there was going to be a but, didn't you? Actually, there are two buts, and they are doozies...when we buy a boat with a saildrive:

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Meet the Author

John Harries

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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