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Surface Drives on Cats, Why Not???

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Old 09-02-2010, 08:54 AM
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Default Surface Drives on Cats, Why Not???

Just wondering why we dont see a lot more surface drives (such as Arnesons) on cats these days. I ask because from my very limited knowledge of them, them seem like they would be superior in almost every way... From what I've read engines can be dropped down, they appear to be faster, cheaper, more reliable, and more efficient, not to mention the gas saving associated with this improvements in efficiency. Plus they throw a kick-azz roaster tail!!!!

With Bravos being junk (and very expensive to keep replacing/rebuilding) and 6's costing a small fortune, why aren't folks opting for surface drives on new boats? On used boats, what does it cost to convert over?

What am I missing, why aren't a lot more folks going this direction?
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:12 AM
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MTI uses BPM surface drives and they kick azz. Some people are kinda leary about a rudder boat but once you run one, there is no question it is a great setup. But there are not a lot of people that work on them, so if something happens you are shipping them.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:28 AM
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A surface drive in my opinion is the way to go.. for many reasons. Bottom line.. People are scared, and I meen everyone down to the manufactures. The big picture is Mercury has such a stranglehold on the market place..basically a monopoly. Don't get me wrong, Mercury makes great products, my point is there are better less expensive alternatives out there. The other thing is service, and service centers. Lack of sales means less units out there, which means less service centers with fewer educated techs. If you break down a surface drive, less moving parts, really easy concept to work on, better reliabilty, can handle loads of torque..and most importantly if set up correctly there is not that lil hop at certain speeds. Every cat has it, I dont care which manufacturer says they don't, but they do. I have been on a couple of V's with them.. Hustler.. and was extremely impressed vs the bravo drive that I drove back to back. On a cat and V they do need to be set up properly and prop selections can be a big learning curve.. I had a NT diesel with ASD-8's.....I just wish there was more people that had them.

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Old 09-02-2010, 09:49 AM
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My friends with rudder boats tell me they are very difficult to steer at slow speed and docking is tough. I do not think Arensons are cheaper than a six. And a rudder boat can be very pricey.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:58 AM
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What about insurance? Is there a difference between a rudder and a 6 boat? Rudders just look badass, never driven one but it would seem to be a PITA to dock..
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:06 AM
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I have a 32B Skater with Arnesons. They work extremely well. No disadvantage. Rik stands behind Arneson, and its quality. Arneson and BPM both use a stainless prop shaft. The number 6 is a monel steel shaft with a chrome plated coating. You see the coating cracking off and taking out the seal is the norm on the 6. You need to replace the prop shafts or splay weld a stainless collar.

The only disadvantage with the surface drive is getting the motor low enough in the boat.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Zastrow View Post
My friends with rudder boats tell me they are very difficult to steer at slow speed and docking is tough. I do not think Arensons are cheaper than a six. And a rudder boat can be very pricey.
I dont know about a rudder boat, but the 4 Arneson boats I drove docked just as well as the bravo boats...Actually my semi stagged 6 boat was more of a PITA to dock vs the asd-8 diesel boat. Once figured out, I could do it in my sleep, I guess pro's and con's to every application..
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:31 AM
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Prior to getting my Arnesons I was also told that it was impossible to steer at slow speeds on one engine; however, I've had to make my way back on one motor numerous times with no steering issues. It's probably a function of boat length, depth of rudder, current and wind direction as to whether or not you could actually steer the boat on one motor.....the only time I actually had any difficulty steering was when I lost a belt on my starboard motor and I had to idle back with a heavy wind and current hitting my port side which helped push the boat to right.

There are tradeoffs in both applications.....in a pure pleasure application there is no substitute for being able to direct the thrust which makes low speed handling and docking easier. On the other hand the shaft drives handle more abuse without breaking and are more efficient. I haven't tried the ASD-7s, which are steerable, but I would assume that should be the best of both worlds.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro1 View Post
I have a 32B Skater with Arnesons. They work extremely well. No disadvantage. Rik stands behind Arneson, and its quality. Arneson and BPM both use a stainless prop shaft. The number 6 is a monel steel shaft with a chrome plated coating. You see the coating cracking off and taking out the seal is the norm on the 6. You need to replace the prop shafts or splay weld a stainless collar.

The only disadvantage with the surface drive is getting the motor low enough in the boat.
Obviously the lower the motor is in the boat, the better it will handle; however, does the ASD standoff box, allow for higher engine mounting?

The next boat I build, will be given serious consideration for non MR power and drive systems.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:05 AM
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Default Surface Drives

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Originally Posted by waterboy222 View Post
What about insurance? Is there a difference between a rudder and a 6 boat? Rudders just look badass, never driven one but it would seem to be a PITA to dock..
Docking is actually pretty easy , as long as they idle well. But I agree at slow speeds they tend to wander, remember the steering wheel has no use docking or a slow speeds , you turn them with the shifters. Let me quilify that my experience is with BPM drives and a rudder

Last edited by Mac; 09-02-2010 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Needed to
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