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Old 06-03-2012, 08:12 AM   #1
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Aquadrive System

Greetings Guys

As my boat is being built from scratch, I was recently recommended to install an Aquadrive Transmission System. They claim to generate zero vibration and a reduction of a substantial amount of sound when properly installed.
The problem is that I havenít seen one system installed yet. (Aquadrive)

Have any of you guys seen this thing in action?

Regards

Fernando
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:59 AM   #2
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Been on board a 55 Fleming with Aquadrive and it really works.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:54 PM   #3
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I know Fernando that every which way you turn there is another $5K gadget that one would like to add to your list of wants and/or must-haves but on this one I believe you will reap an unseen reward if you do. If I were building my boat from scratch I would install anything that would make my boating experience a pleasure.

I wish I had one in my boat to give you a 'without' and a 'with' first hand comparison but I can't..

Elwin
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:03 PM   #4
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Been on board a 55 Fleming with Aquadrive and it really works.
so does a well mounted egine, good isolation mounts and good alignment....
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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I installed an AD in my last boat and it Didn't eliminate all the vibration but I highly recomend it and if money was no object they should be in all boats. The best way to do it and the only responsible way to do it if you have really soft mounts ................ And that's the usual way to low vibration. The whole drive system should last much longer w AD or Python Drive.

Oh ..... Check out Evolution Drive too.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:46 PM   #6
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Don't have them but have talked to boat owners who do in boats ranging from 36' to 50-something. All have said that they work as advertised. The big advantage is that an Aquadrive (or one of the other similar units) allows you to switch to much softer engine mounts which is what reduces the vibration. If you install an Aquadrve but retain the stock hard mounts-- necessary to maintain alignment with a rigid shaft coupling-- there is apparently little to no reduction in vibration. The key is to install an Aquadive and softer engine mounts.

And of course you can't install the softer mounts without installing an Aquadrive, too, since the soft mounts won't maintain proper shaft alignment with a rigid coupler.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:27 AM   #7
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OK Guys

Based on your opinions and in the fact that a retired couple and precious expensive equipment can appreciate a quite ride, I went crazy and bought a fit for purpose Aquadrive Transmission system.
I am well aware that quality is never expensive but can eventually be priceless. Depends on where resides the concept of value. For me, one of the measures of value can be a quite boat, with low levels of noise and vibration.
Having now a transmission system of this nature, I need to install a softer set of engine mounts to disperse vibration which will die in my Transmission system, I hope!!!
Be certain that I will be reporting the results when time comes.
Regards
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:55 PM   #8
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Fernando-we have the AD in a twin JD installation and one big point not previously mentioned is shaft alignment. The alignment is shaft to AD, not to engine and is way, way easier and is virtually a "do it once" operation. No need for checking or adjustment on shaft alignment.

Good luck with it!
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:09 PM   #9
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OK Guys

Based on your opinions and in the fact that a retired couple and precious expensive equipment can appreciate a quite ride, I went crazy and bought a fit for purpose Aquadrive Transmission system.
I am well aware that quality is never expensive but can eventually be priceless. Depends on where resides the concept of value. For me, one of the measures of value can be a quite boat, with low levels of noise and vibration.
Having now a transmission system of this nature, I need to install a softer set of engine mounts to disperse vibration which will die in my Transmission system, I hope!!!
Be certain that I will be reporting the results when time comes.
Regards
Did you se this thread on the system you are talking about?

Clunk ... Aaahh! ... Crunch
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:08 PM   #10
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Aquadrive systems use a CV type of u-joint, not the type of open u-joint in Mark Pierce's boat.

See Aquadrive
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:40 AM   #11
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Aquadrive systems use a CV type of u-joint, not the type of open u-joint in Mark Pierce's boat.

See Aquadrive
good to know...on cars if the boot tears the cv joint is soon doomed...is the same true with the Aquadrive system? How well are the cv joints mainized/protected?
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:57 AM   #12
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Aquadrive is one of those things that stay on my wish-list, but I can't quite get down the list that far yet. I have a relatively quiet boat. The Yanmar refit, cored hull and two decks of separation make sound and vibration almost undetectable from the pilothouse. Still, the vibes down below could be less, and I've never met anyone with an Aquadrive that wasn't happy with it. I'll probably install one before we go full time cruising in 2014. The Admiral supports anything that makes the boat quieter, but along with the Aquadrive, I will also want to have the engine-room video monitors installed. I want a quiet boat, but I'm a bit fearful that I'll become too insulated from the driveline.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:13 PM   #13
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Many unnecessary moving parts , many more potential problems , shalt must be aligned to thrust bearing and kept within tight tolerance just like with engine or more so because thrust bearing has little or no give, temperature must be monitors or check regularly, not enough benefit for potential problems ,I will not make that mistake again after expensive problems and much lost cruising time. That is my experience with Aquadrive. Good luck,
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:46 PM   #14
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Many unnecessary moving parts , many more potential problems , shalt must be aligned to thrust bearing and kept within tight tolerance just like with engine or more so because thrust bearing has little or no give, temperature must be monitors or check regularly, not enough benefit for potential problems ,I will not make that mistake again after expensive problems and much lost cruising time. That is my experience with Aquadrive. Good luck,
Old thread I know, but what problems did you have. I'm seriously considering putting this system on my twins.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:06 AM   #15
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Quiet alone would be worth the added expense ,

BUT in the future you will NEVER have to align the shaft !

If you keep the boat long enough replacing the engine is a snap if about the same HP.

WE love ours , although learned the hard way some shaft mis alignment is REQUIRED!
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:17 AM   #16
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My biggest problem was getting the thrust bearing aligned and positioned. I had the "baby AD" w only two ears and thus mounting bolts. Got my epoxied in plywood thrust bearing mount slightly off pitch wise. I had to use big washers ground so they were thinner on one side. To finally arrive at the perfect angle pitch wise was a lot of extra work.

Most all (or all) the other thrust bearings had 4 ears and could be easily adjusted for pitch. Avoid the two eared models if there is any now.

The other "problem" is that I did it to solve a harmonic vibration problem and the vibration was still there when I sold the boat ... to a wonderful and interesting engineer (female) for Washington State ferries. I don't think it bothered her.

The vibration went like this .. rum ..... rum .... rum like a twin engine boat w engines very slightly out of sync. I had Norm Dibble (well known and very experienced boat engine mechanic (some of you may remember him)) and he was basically baffled. He finally concluded it was the hull bottom vibrating but why and how that was happening he, I and we never did resolve.

The above is the source of my experience that promps me to say the AD may not solve your vibration problems. About once a year I still wonder what it was.

The AD never gave any trouble as we went to Alaska an back without a hitch but listening to the light drumming vibration all the way.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:28 AM   #17
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My biggest problem was getting the thrust bearing aligned and positioned. I had the "baby AD" w only two ears and thus mounting bolts. Got my epoxied in plywood thrust bearing mount slightly off pitch wise. I had to use big washers ground so they were thinner on one side. To finally arrive at the perfect angle pitch wise was a lot of extra work.

Most all (or all) the other thrust bearings had 4 ears and could be easily adjusted for pitch. Avoid the two eared models if there is any now.

The other "problem" is that I did it to solve a harmonic vibration problem and the vibration was still there when I sold the boat ... to a wonderful and interesting engineer (female) for Washington State ferries. I don't think it bothered her.

The vibration went like this .. rum ..... rum .... rum like a twin engine boat w engines very slightly out of sync. I had Norm Dibble (well known and very experienced boat engine mechanic (some of you may remember him)) and he was basically baffled. He finally concluded it was the hull bottom vibrating but why and how that was happening he, I and we never did resolve.

The above is the source of my experience that promps me to say the AD may not solve your vibration problems. About once a year I still wonder what it was.

The AD never gave any trouble as we went to Alaska an back without a hitch but listening to the light drumming vibration all the way.
I think you might be right Eric - some vibrations will forever be a mystery. I had one of the original design engineers for the CAT 3306 on Delfin, as I have a thrumming when I rev up over around 1500 rpm. Not much of a problem since I only do so to blow her out after cruising at 1350 for a day but I wanted his advice on what I could do. He told me that the engine was designed for the North Slope and they needed an engine that would not goo up when idled during freezing weather for long periods of time. He said they made the oil channels oversized and that created an echo chamber inside the engine that was going to resonate as certain rpms whatever you did. Kind of like trying to quiet the orchestra by putting the stage on soft mounts.

Still, the AD is intriguing and I wonder if bigger prop sizes would make it more effective?
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:48 PM   #18
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I have owned two boats with aquadrive SX. My present custom boat does not have it and does not really miss it. The early pilgrim 40 I owned came without and had a lot of vibration and noise we retrofitted AD and it was a big improvement. All future pilgrims had AD as standard rig. The True North 38 came with AD and at low speed it vibrated but was fine above 1200 rpm. So it all depends on boat and how motor is mounted. Why not build boat without but allow for easy retrofit if needed. This means a place to have the thrust bearing plate and enough room for the AD along the shaft then the a retrofit would be easy cut shaft bolt to thrust bearing plates and off you go.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:10 PM   #19
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What is different about the Aguadrive, compared to regular transmissions?
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:37 PM   #20
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Aquadrive is a constant velocity joint combined with a thrust bearing. It is installed after a regular transmission. Regular in-board setups have the transmission output flange connected directly to the shaft flange. Alignment issues are transmitted to the rest of the boat. In other words with AD the shaft is held stationary and the engine and transmission are allowed to move (via the CV joint) without affecting the rest of the drive train.

On my boat the CV joint is a VW part.
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