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The future of outdrives...

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Old 02-27-2004, 06:02 PM
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Default The future of outdrives...

The diesel thread got me thinking..well I have been for a while. When is a real innovation going to be made in the outdrive and what is it's future?

As far as drives go I can't believe that a number 6 cost the same to produce as my ford 2004 f-250, I mean come on...

What the marine industry needs is some real healthy competition. Competition breads innovation. Look at the gap between the bravo and #6 drives. Consumers are screaming for something but because of a monopoly created by their dealer network and lack of competition we suffer with drives that explode. The price of a brand new standard bravo drive should be about $1000 as old as the technology is.

I mean what could Ford sell 1994 style f-250 pickups for today if they never made any advances with them and never retooled the line? Hell they would still be about $18,000 maybe less because the development cost was recovered a million times over.

Maybe congress needs some anti trust legislation against mercruiser. I mean are they really any different than Bill Gates and Microsoft? Look at the stink made over having to spin off the internet explorer or having to include Netscape on PC's.

We need a Linux version of outdrives. We need someone to go back to the drawing board and design a new drive. Something that has a transmission. Maybe something that doesn't have all 90 degree angles for the drive trane. What about shift-able transmissions similar to an automatic transmission on a car, or something akin to a variable pitch (constant speed) propeller on an airplane. Heck only your very basic planes use a fixed pitch, why isn't the same technology done with boats? I could see it as a real innovation coupled with diesel power and a variable (constant speed) prop.

Maybe I am just a layman and don't know what I am talking about but it just seems that our technology is stalled in the area of marine propulsion
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Old 02-27-2004, 07:19 PM
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I agree, it is sick how much a #6 cost. Please someone explain how it can cost as much as a new f350?

I understand there is a limited market for them. They don't sell a substantial amount so the price has to be higher, basic economics I understand. However, it seems that it is way overboard.

Your right Bongo, someone has to step up and design something as/almost as good for a lot less cash
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:11 PM
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The trouble is when the do devople somethign close, Like a Wiesman, The charge just a little less than a #6 because they sell even few than Merc does. And they can get it.
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:17 PM
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I would think the future would have a hydraulic system with all the technology available today.Look around and you see hyd. powered everything.
How about a crank mounted pump,hyd. lines and external transom hyd. prop motor on rails for an adj. x-dimension ?
Just thinking out loud again.
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: The future of outdrives...

Quote:
Originally posted by Von Bongo
Maybe congress needs some anti trust legislation against mercruiser. I mean are they really any different than Bill Gates and Microsoft? Look at the stink made over having to spin off the internet explorer or having to include Netscape on PC's.
Maybe arneson can force Merc to offer a Merc 496HO/ASD-6 package...
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:25 PM
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The future of outdrives is somewhat here. Merc's new system DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift). No more control cables. Its wiring from the controls to the engine. Someday the wiring will be replaced w/ fiber optics.
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by marinetrans
The future of outdrives is somewhat here. Merc's new system DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift). No more control cables. Its wiring from the controls to the engine. Someday the wiring will be replaced w/ fiber optics.
A Bravo controlled by wires will be grenaded just as easily as Bravo run by cables, if you put 700 hp in front of it.

The problem is that there is no mass-market, readily available outdrive that will live behind 600-700 hp, unless you go to a #6, with all that entails. Unfortunately, it's a tune that has been played over and over again, and Merc has zero incentive to change. What are you going to do when you lunch that Bravo, buy a competitor? Oh, that's right, there isn't one.
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:44 PM
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The Arneson conversions are the way to go but are expensive. It has less moving parts. Also puts back about 15hp in the motor. Lots of guys are converting from Bravo to Arneson. By the way, wasn't impressed w/ Merc's DTS after I saw it in Merc school. Too much crap to go wrong.
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:47 PM
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As a small manufacturer I understand the cost of a #6. We build precision turning machines, among other products, that cost more than an average house in Cal. These things cost millions to develop. I would imagine they have millions in development costs in #6 drives too. Then the cost of manufacturing small production runs is staggering. I can't say that I would pay it but I don't think they are priced out of line, in fact, they are probably a steel at the price.

Never the less, I do wish someone would produce a cheaper system. If they where priced right the production numbers would go up thereby driving the costs even lower.

Bravos are just overpriced period. They build them by the truck load.
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:55 PM
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There are so many other engine options out there I can't believe that nobody has any competition for drives.
Another thing is the price of their engines. What's a 500efi go for 25k. That is insane when I could have an engine built for 10k buy a very reputable engine builder I know. I understand that they are all computerized and supposed to be bullet proof, but come on 15k more!

The entire marine industry is insane. Again, I understand the economics behind it and if you want to play you have to pay. However, Sometimes the prices of marine products as a whole are insane. Unfortunately, I don't think this will ever change. Why? Because of the simple economic theory of supply and demand. Why should they change? In their mind , there is no reason too change.
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