Outdrive Leg?


E-Pods and Docking
Less Noise & Vibration
Less Maintenance
Perfect Solution
Keep the Diesel?
Outdrive Leg?
E-Pod Range
E-Pod Weight
e-Pods Installation
e-Pods in Use
Epods Removed


The Outdrive Vs E-Pods on Pacific Dragon II

Isn’t the Outdrive a Great Option?

Judging from the posts of problems in the Gemini owner’s forum, I have to say no.  However, my personal experience has been good. Although I have very few hours on the drive leg and generally take it very easy on it by not motoring at top speed for long.  However, the outdrive unit is particularly vulnerable to damage by hitting something.  San Francisco Bay is full of floating debris and it is only a matter of time before I hit something with it; especially sailing at night which I am particularly fond of. Also, it is prone to having problems with the lock down mechanism that is supposed to protect it in the event of impact. The problem is the leg "not locking down" and making reversing impossible, typically when coming to the dock (the worse possible time.)  Many owners have detailed how the yoke breaks instead of the latch releasing from a hard impact, but I have no personal experience so I will not comment further on this issue.  However, the possibility of hitting something hard and having the engine disabled is not at all wonderful since typically the sails are down and we are close to shore when it is moving the boat.  The E-Pod solution provides two completely independent motors that should each be able to move the boat and the outboard will be there as backup in the unlikely event that they both fail.  Also the E-Pods can not pop up when you go into reverse being much more simply and stoutly attached to the hulls.

On the positive side, the drive is steerable that makes a boat manageable for docking with a single prop; something that is a great aid and certainly it is the cheapest way to drive the boat with a diesel engine (if you must.)  However to accomplish this steer-ability the rudders are connected with two lines to the engine adding considerable strain to the steering gear while docking which often requires you to turn the wheel from lock to lock to turn the outdrive to push the boat one way or the other.  I suspect this is a major contributing factor to the steering cables failure after only 5 years of service. Certainly it adds considerable friction that is really unnecessary except at slow speeds when you need to steer with the leg. 


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This site was last updated 04/02/08