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Old 12-20-2018, 02:44 PM   #1
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Concerns about Walter V-Drives?

I am considering purchasing a boat with Walter v-drives. This is a 55í trawler built in the early 60ís. They are remote drives, and the engines were upgraded from 140 HP to 210 HP, though I would not intend to use all of that. The new engines achieve 8kts at around 1400 RPM. I havenít found much information one way or another on these units, but recently had an experienced captain express serious concern. The overall condition of the boat is very fine, and it is apparent great care has been taken to all systems over the years. Anyone have thoughts about older V-drives? Any information you can point me to about these? Thanks!
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:50 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. I know nothing about V drives other than in some cases, servicing the shaft stuffing box is difficult.
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:52 PM   #3
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Hi Jnuak,

I'm sure you are aware that Walter Gear is still in operation, 80+ years after founding. In my mind, a great testimonial to the company, and their vee drives in particular.

I owned a 1984-vintage boat about five years ago. It was equipped with two Walter vee drives (I forget the model). Each vee drive was mounted behind a Detroit 6-71, and absorbed 410 hp each. The vee drives were flawless over a 13-year lifespan, needing only routine oil and filter changes. I was diligent to make sure the heat exchangers remained intact and functional as well. Again, never a single problem with the drives.

A call to the company might allay your concerns (The Walter Machine Machine Co., Inc.), and perhaps an oil analysis as well.

Regards,

Pete
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:55 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. I know nothing about V drives other than in some cases, servicing the shaft stuffing box is difficult.
Thanks, I had heard about that as a potential issue, and that is fortunately not a concern in this case.
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:58 PM   #5
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Hi Jnuak,

I'm sure you are aware that Walter Gear is still in operation, 80+ years after founding. In my mind, a great testimonial to the company, and their vee drives in particular.

I owned a 1984-vintage boat about five years ago. It was equipped with two Walter vee drives (I forget the model). Each vee drive was mounted behind a Detroit 6-71, and absorbed 410 hp each. The vee drives were flawless over a 13-year lifespan, needing only routine oil and filter changes. I was diligent to make sure the heat exchangers remained intact and functional as well. Again, never a single problem with the drives.

A call to the company might allay your concerns (The Walter Machine Machine Co., Inc.), and perhaps an oil analysis as well.

Regards,

Pete
I tried to give a call today, but awfully close to closing time. I’ll try again tomorrow. Everything I’ve found is similar to what you’ve said, so I’m optimistic what I’m hearing from this one guy is either a miscommunication or another anecdote that doesn’t stand up across the board.
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:12 PM   #6
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Give Walter the numbers off of the gearboxes and see if they have the torque capacity to handle the uprated powerplants. 140hp to 210hp is a significant jump and could be too much for long term reliability. It’s probably okay but worth asking about.
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:36 PM   #7
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Give Walter the numbers off of the gearboxes and see if they have the torque capacity to handle the uprated powerplants. 140hp to 210hp is a significant jump and could be too much for long term reliability. It’s probably okay but worth asking about.
Planning to check into that. I did look into the performance curves of the current and prior engines, and if the drives were sized for the rating of the prior engines, I shouldn’t be putting more strain on the drives until I pass 2200 RPM, which is faster than I intend to operate.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:07 PM   #8
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We had them in a 1976 Trojan tri-cabin, hooked to Merc 255 HP inboards. Worked flawlessly for 20 yrs. After 20 yrs, one had a bad bearing that got replaced for less than $1,000, but that was in the 90's. Not sure model #.
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Old 12-21-2018, 06:19 AM   #9
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Had a slip neighbor with a pair of them attached to Cummins B 210 HP in a 35' sport fish. He was quite happy with them. One ended up being rebuilt by the factory. Stuff only lasts so long when you run it on the pin without preventative maintenance.

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