Published on 01 february 2015 at 0h00

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Before the beginning of the 70s, the choice was simple – there wasn’t one! A propulsion unit consisted of an engine, and a propeller, linked by a stainless steel propshaft, passing through a more or less watertight stern gland. This unit had the advantage of being basic, which led to a certain reliability, as well as easier maintenance. When the saildrive arrived on the scene, just like any sudden technological change, it initially ran counter to the nautical common sense of numerous sailors. The disappearance of the eternal stern gland, replaced by a large hole in the hull, made watertight by a simple neoprene joint, fed the fears of the most pessimistic amongst us for a long time. Forty years later, having proved its reliability, this solution has won unanimous support amongst the most representative builders. Without at this stage unveiling the advantages it provides to us humble leisure sailors, its compactness of course appealed to architects looking for extra space, but above all it won the support of production managers, quick to save on the tedious propshaft/engine alignment phase. To sum up, the saildrive is so much easier to fit, that its success was guaranteed by the builders’ economic interests.

Bien choisir la motorisation de son bateau

Even sailing boats sometimes need engines…

The latter, prompted by the phenomenon of a fast-growing ecological conscience, however (too?) quickly took an interest in electric propulsion, or more precisely at the time ...

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