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Old 08-04-2015, 11:25 PM   #1
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The Pod Parted

A friend has a boat with pod drives. Methinks Volvo. Last evening he hit a rock and one of the drives sheared completely off (as it should). Tomorrow a diver is going to look for it. I was just convinced to stick with conventional shafts and props. I'd rather rework a prop and perhaps straighten a shaft than be looking for or replacing one of those bad boys.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:23 AM   #2
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HM-I have always had that concern about pods. Other than maneuverability, which I have never thought large, twin engine, thruster equipped boats needed anyway, I have never seen the advantage of them. I realize there may some advantages in that the total length of the drive train is a bit shorter, but is it worth it? We have twins with twin keels, fully protected shafts. props and rudders. Much prefer that over pods. I have also been curious about the energy transfer of the prop thrust from the props, through two right angles to the hull. Seems like it could be stressful on the hull to me as opposed to stringer mounted engines, or Aquadrive systems.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:38 AM   #3
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I understand they are common on ships for maneuverability.
Do they have the same issues as sterndrives/outdrives? I`ve wondered about the "lightbulb moment" when the designer says "Hey, got an idea, lets mount the gearbox permanently under water. Sure it will need a few seals to keep the salt water out, but the marine growth will keep yards in work. Good idea huh?
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:54 AM   #4
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Sterndrives were invented by a committee who then left the country in a Ford Pinto.
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:19 AM   #5
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I think the costs of replacing a pod are inline with the same catastrophic damage if done to regular inboard drive boat.

And there is little chance of water entering the hull after the loss of a pod. Unlike what could happen if you took out your shaft strut/s and rudder/s.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:10 AM   #6
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My understanding the one thing pods have over all other set-ups is the ability, with cunning computer control interfaces between the joysticks, they can move in any direction without the need of thrusters, just by synchronised movements of the pods in forward and reverse, including when linked to GPS to be able to maintain station at a specific position.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:36 AM   #7
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Pods: For recreational boaters are a material solution to an inept operator problem.

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Old 08-05-2015, 07:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Pods: For recreational boaters are a material solution to an inept operator problem.

Ted
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 08-05-2015, 08:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Pods: For recreational boaters are a material solution to an inept operator problem.

Ted
Does not always solve that either the big July 4th smashing Dock part was a new Belize with them and I mean SMASHING
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:39 AM   #10
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pods like outdrives provide options for boat design in addition to their goods and bads..


seems that as outboards have evolved in four stroke and power...there is a swing back towards them but not fast as their pricing is staggering....thus I/Os are still hanging tough.


I believe PODs also claim better fuel efficiency which was a strong selling point for some? many?
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:48 AM   #11
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Great concept for vessels requiring high degree maneuverability, but around here, they're Manatee killers.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:42 AM   #12
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I believe PODs also claim better fuel efficiency which was a strong selling point for some? many?
Efficiency is one of the leading features, shown to be anywhere from 10-25%. Also space utilization. On a small boat it my mean a lot in that regard.

Replacing a pod unit is in line with prop, shaft, etc. repair and replacement assuming the pod did it's job and detached cleanly.

The limitation with pods to this point has been hp, requiring extra pods. Some boats with twin inboards would require 3 pods to reach the same performance. While many boats have been built with 3, that's a turnoff to most buyers. Then for more hp, you require 4 and while there have been boats built with 4 pods, that's not marketable when you can get by with twin inboards.

Zeus has hp limitations greater than Volvo because of Cummins limitations. That means a limitation of Pods on Brunswick models such as Sea Ray. At the other end, below a certain size boat it's hard to market the additional cost of pods over inboard/outboard.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:46 AM   #13
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I guess some large boats might need three pods vs two inboards. Volvo now produces IPS III pods/motors at 1200hp each. Two of these should be large enough for a pretty big boat.

I wonder what the maintenance requirement on pods is vs traditional shafts. I was told by a mechanic working on an IPS equipped boat on my dock that the boat would have to be hauled to change the transmission oil.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:13 PM   #14
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I guess some large boats might need three pods vs two inboards. Volvo now produces IPS III pods/motors at 1200hp each. Two of these should be large enough for a pretty big boat.

I wonder what the maintenance requirement on pods is vs traditional shafts. I was told by a mechanic working on an IPS equipped boat on my dock that the boat would have to be hauled to change the transmission oil.
Understand the IPS 1200 isn't 1200 hp. It's an equivalent system Volvo uses. It is 900 hp.

Twin IPS reach their limits at around 50-55' and builders start considering triples. At around 75-80' triples start to reach their limits. The typical IPS installation is a performance oriented boat. This differs from some other pod systems. Zeus/Cummins has been limited to around 600 hp although 715 looks possible now. This is why Sea Ray required triple on their L590 and went conventional on the L650.

For trawler type boats, pods really haven't been in play. At displacement speed their advantages disappear.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:16 PM   #15
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GBs in the mid 40 foot range (44?) is available with pods.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:28 PM   #16
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GBs in the mid 40 foot range (44?) is available with pods.
Yes, the Heritage 43 now is available with Zeus. (I believe the only configuration now). 480-600 hp options. Makes no sense to me as just another turn away from all their tradition.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:00 PM   #17
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A better GB improvement would be to use a composite instead of teak like the Fleming is using. That might sell more boats than pods! If they ever do that, I hope they offer a retrofit package.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:14 PM   #18
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One diver cannot lift a pod off the bottom. An A frame boom is needed for the lift. It can turn a simple grounding into a salvage operation. For manufacturers pods are a win win win. They install quicker with less engine alignment problems. They are installed near the stern thus freeing up the space where the former engine compartment was. Then the big marketing drive that shows new boaters that they can wow the crowds like the old pros in boat handling. Whey would not manufacturers go for this. Plus the consumer sees it as a value added package that they are willing to pay for.

There are joy stick products for stern drives, straight drives and even single screws. I see no need for them.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:42 PM   #19
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There are joy stick products for stern drives, straight drives and even single screws. I see no need for them.
So true. The joystick attraction of pods is a total illusion now. It did hit a hot point for people, but soon everyone found a way to offer it. On other boats it can incorporate your drives and your thrusters.
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:10 PM   #20
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The fuel efficiency is the primary attraction as pods are typically found on boats with a capability closer to 30+ knots than 8ish. Twin 700 hp diesels saving 10-20% on fuel at 80-90% throttle can be game changing.

I was under the impression most pod retrieval/replacement operations where insurance jobs.
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