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Old 08-09-2015, 12:53 AM   #61
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Quote-"The same could be said for bow thrusters, stern thrusters, twin engines, engines on a sailboat or oars over a paddle for that matter".

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Old 08-09-2015, 08:16 AM   #62
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White boat pod drives are great for the boat assembler , low skilled labor can cut a big hole, and shmeer goop..

Anyone that gas seen an outboard left down in sea water will realize what awaits them with pods after 4-5 years of immersion.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:09 AM   #63
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As the OP, I did not title this thread correctly. I should have posted "The Drive Parted." I learned that the "pod" is in the boat, the drive is outside the boat. Anyway, here's the status; new drive, $14,000, 2 new props, $2,500 plus labor and taxes. My guess is a total around $20K.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:33 AM   #64
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As the OP, I did not title this thread correctly. I should have posted "The Drive Parted." I learned that the "pod" is in the boat, the drive is outside the boat. Anyway, here's the status; new drive, $14,000, 2 new props, $2,500 plus labor and taxes. My guess is a total around $20K.
My guess would be 25 to 30 thousand as something had to shear, and be replaced to connect with the pod. It's hard to get out of a boat yard for less than 5 grand labor. lift, and storage fees.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:34 AM   #65
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White boat pod drives are great for the boat assembler , low skilled labor can cut a big hole, and shmeer goop..

Anyone that gas seen an outboard left down in sea water will realize what awaits them with pods after 4-5 years of immersion.
Seems I read somewhere from some pod-drive mfgr that metal components, seals etc are high enough quality to withstand constant emersion. That is easier said than done. Hope they have a really good anode plan of attack in salt water!

IMO... pods are a nice try to make better propulsion units and they will surely have some limited areas of marine market applications. But... I believe their usefulness is not applicable to pleasure boating in general. Too costly in most respects, too easily ruined/lost, too much of a big $$ and big effort pia as they eventually age with hours of use behind them.

Nice try marine propulsion engineers!
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:42 AM   #66
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Nice try marine propulsion engineers!
In the application under discussion I blame the marketers ... I think those drives are a version of I/O for people who think they are cool because tugs and cruise ships use them but think that normal I/O drives are ugly and low class or belong on trailer boats in trailer parks.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:00 AM   #67
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In the application under discussion I blame the marketers ... I think those drives are a version of I/O for people who think they are cool because tugs and cruise ships use them but think that normal I/O drives are ugly and low class or belong on trailer boats in trailer parks.
I am adverse to I/O's and Pods. Why, you may ask?? Because they cost way too much to in many ways and they are a big pia too often. People I know that have I/O's experience problems in one way or another... too many items to list here. Pods simply do not fit my criteria of "OK" reasons for being on/in pleasure boating, and, I'm consistently reading/hearing horror stories about them.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:10 AM   #68
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. I should have posted "The Drive Parted." I learned that the "pod" is in the boat, the drive is outside the boat..
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:18 AM   #69
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As the OP, I did not title this thread correctly. I should have posted "The Drive Parted." I learned that the "pod" is in the boat, the drive is outside the boat.
Them words are the truth!!!
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:19 AM   #70
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Although, the pod has parted with the drive.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:21 AM   #71
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In the application under discussion I blame the marketers ... I think those drives are a version of I/O for people who think they are cool because tugs and cruise ships use them but think that normal I/O drives are ugly and low class or belong on trailer boats in trailer parks.
I think pods are a decent application in pleasure boats for the right boat and the right consumer. I just feel that is a very limited range of consumers, far more limited than the manufacturers hoped. I really think Brunswick's development and use of Zeus was largely defensive and not something they would have pushed had they not seen success Volvo was having with IPS.

In addition to their efficiency and economy hype for which the timing was good, pods also played to the number one fear of new boaters and those moving into larger boats for the first time-docking. This group is more concerned with docking than navigating, than rules of the water, than running aground, than service. They falsely are convinced that pods are so easy anyone could do it and that without them docking is the most difficult task known to man.

In their early days, pods would get more attention in small boat shows than everything else there. I went to a show years ago where all the attention was going to a Marquis with IPS and a Regal with IPS.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:26 AM   #72
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Once upon a time (how's that for a start?) there was a unit called "Sail-Drive" (sp?)
I think it had a Volvo engine.
Too many problems?
The sidewinder boomboats use a Hydra-drive with 360 degree rotation. One of them
"dropped" the drive out. the operator barely had time to step onto the log he was
along-side as the boat sank under him.
Pods may be nice, I'm still leery.

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Old 08-09-2015, 11:28 AM   #73
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I think pods are a decent application in pleasure boats for the right boat and the right consumer. I just feel that is a very limited range of consumers, far more limited than the manufacturers hoped.
Although I really like the Zeus pod drives, I completely agree with the above quote. They definitely are not for everyone.
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:16 AM   #74
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A colleague owns a 92 foot motor yacht with 4 of the Volvo IPS 900 (700 HP) pod packages. The yacht is impressively maneuverable considering it's length. The power package provides for an optimal cruise speed in the 20 kt range. Fuel burn at cruise is around 70 GPH. For having 4 engines, the engine installation is very compact and the overall layout is very efficient. Overall, the pod systems allow for very efficient operation in a very compact package. Impressive.
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:27 AM   #75
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A colleague owns a 92 foot motor yacht with 4 of the Volvo IPS 900 (700 HP) pod packages. The yacht is impressively maneuverable considering it's length. The power package provides for an optimal cruise speed in the 20 kt range. Fuel burn at cruise is around 70 GPH. For having 4 engines, the engine installation is very compact and the overall layout is very efficient. Overall, the pod systems allow for very efficient operation in a very compact package. Impressive.
Sure - If I had a 92 foot multi, multi million dollar boat with four 700 hp engines I too might well have pod drives. However, for the standard pleasure boater (let's say 98% of boaters)... pods will have a hard time capturing big market share. RMV!
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:51 AM   #76
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I think the pod drives are a great idea. So far as I can see they aren't any more vulnerable than the V-struts, shafts, props and rudders hanging down from our own twin engine boat. If they're engineered properly they should shear away from the underside of the boat without leaving a big hole. We can do it with the turbofan engines on our airplanes, so no reason why it can't be done reliably with a drive hanging down from the bottom of a boat.

As to the drive staying in the water year round, well, so do our V-struts and shafts and props and rudders. What's the difference? You haul out anyway every few years so you scrape the crap off the drives, paint them, and you're good to go for another few years.

The only downside I see to pod drives is the price. Lot of money to move a little cabin cruiser like most people here have forward and backward.

But you never know--- like a lot of high-tech stuff that starts out way expensive, and then catches on and becomes more popular and the cost comes down, pod drives could go the same way. Or not.

I've talked to people who've driven a GB41EU, the pod drive boat, and according to them it's terrific. (GB also has a GB43EU, same boat but with a longer cockpit).

So outside of the current cost, I don't see a downside to them. They make a vessel way more maneuverable even to the point of holding a position desipite current or wind, they can move any direction you like, they allow more user space inside the boat..... sounds like the smart way to go to me if one has the money.

If not there's always the old caveman drive: shafts, cutless bearings, struts, props, rudders, steering wheel, rudder linkages, bow thruster, stern thruster, etc., etc., etc.
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:49 AM   #77
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A bit surprised no one has come up with a hybrid pod drive system yet. One large generator placed anywhere you want it, in a sound shield, any number of pod drives with electric motors. You would pick even more space from a smaller engine room. I realize Volvo is not going to go this route as they are selling the engine/pod package, but Zeus is just selling the drive coupled to any engine. Not sure I see what the advantage would really be, but then I don't really see the advantage of the pod in any event. I mean how many times do I really need to hold my boat completely still?
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:02 AM   #78
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... I mean how many times do I really need to hold my boat completely still?
I`ve been on a cruise ship where they did exactly that all day in the tight natural harbor of a relatively undeveloped Pacific island. Quite uncanny at first, boat staying still, the occasional squirt of wash.
If pods provide anything like the haven for sea life of stern/out drives, it will be expensive keeping them clean.
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:21 AM   #79
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I think the pod drives are a great idea. So far as I can see they aren't any more vulnerable than the V-struts, shafts, props and rudders hanging down from our own twin engine boat. If they're engineered properly they should shear away from the underside of the boat without leaving a big hole. We can do it with the turbofan engines on our airplanes, so no reason why it can't be done reliably with a drive hanging down from the bottom of a boat.

As to the drive staying in the water year round, well, so do our V-struts and shafts and props and rudders. What's the difference? You haul out anyway every few years so you scrape the crap off the drives, paint them, and you're good to go for another few years.

The only downside I see to pod drives is the price. Lot of money to move a little cabin cruiser like most people here have forward and backward.

But you never know--- like a lot of high-tech stuff that starts out way expensive, and then catches on and becomes more popular and the cost comes down, pod drives could go the same way. Or not.

I've talked to people who've driven a GB41EU, the pod drive boat, and according to them it's terrific. (GB also has a GB43EU, same boat but with a longer cockpit).

So outside of the current cost, I don't see a downside to them. They make a vessel way more maneuverable even to the point of holding a position desipite current or wind, they can move any direction you like, they allow more user space inside the boat..... sounds like the smart way to go to me if one has the money.

If not there's always the old caveman drive: shafts, cutless bearings, struts, props, rudders, steering wheel, rudder linkages, bow thruster, stern thruster, etc., etc., etc.
One thing that gets tied up and lost in the picture is that the upcharge for the pod does include a lot of other amenities such as the joystick, the dynamic positioning, etc. Joystick systems don't come free when you add them to non-pods. DPS costs considerably on other systems.

I think pods are a reasonable choice in an area of high popularity and lots of dealer and service knowledge. That's no different than Volvo I/O's. On the lake we lived on there were plenty of knowledgeable Volvo service people. However, there are areas there are not. Pods in areas on the Great Lakes have good service available and on most US coasts. South America you're in trouble getting them serviced.

I do think the greater draft and the exposure is a negative in many situations. On the other hand I remember growing up hearing older people say they wouldn't dare have an inboard as all the ski boats were, not being able to raise the drive.

Now, having four pod drives vs. the same performance with two straight drives doesn't appeal to me.

Some of it's just personal preference. I love the performance of surface drives but don't want to own them. I saw an episode tonight of Selling Yachts which featured Delta Powerboats and had the head of their US operations. He was showing the couple a 54' and on that boat they really just fit. They're a state of the art, forward thinking company. Their 88' is Carbon Fibre and has triple IPS 1200's and runs 37 knots. I wouldn't expect their designer, Lars, to settle for anything ordinary.
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:35 AM   #80
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Twins with pods would seem to likely be more easily serviceable than a triple our quad arrangement. Thinking about the engines themselves here, and potential for 360į access.


We had a near-sinking in our marina, yesterday. We think -- but don't know for sure yet -- that his dripless shaft seals went south. Reasonably happy ending, so far, but probably only because they made it to the marina and the travel lift sorted it... after some hours of bailing (bucket brigade) and pumping.


Suggests straight shaft systems aren't invulnerable either, though. I think if a pod leg were to shear off and leave a hull intact... that'd likely have a better outcome (without regard to expense) than yanking a shaft out of the hull. Especially in cases where one doesn't make it back to a marina, no travel lift, etc.


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