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Arneson Surface Drives

Discussion in 'Props, Shafts & Seals' started by 993RSR, Oct 6, 2020.

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  1. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    Ummmmm ... wut? I have to agree with Capt J, it would have to be a spectacular sea in order to do so with arnesons.
  2. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Fair enough, but why are you saying that in a reply to a post where I said that I'd rather have shafts?
  3. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    I don't know how familiar you are with the Kvarner Gulf in Croatia. It's a small stretch of sea notorious for NE wind blowing out of nowhere, and building up short and very steep waves, anywhere from 5 to 8 feet, in no time.
    I was caught in those conditions more than once, with my old 53' trawler.
    No big deal for her, I could keep my usual 8 kts cruise speed with no sweat, and her Naiad fins did a fine job.
    In one of these occasions, about half way on the crossing, a couple of boats which were obviously cruising together overtook me.
    They were a Pershing 52 and an Itama 54. Not going fast, probably in the low 20s.
    My guess is that both boats could have withstood a faster speed, but the crew not so much.
    Anyway, after they overtook me (much closer than I would have, but hey-ho!), I steered into the Pershing wake, which was the boat closer to ourselves.
    And I had an interesting opportunity to see the behaviour of both boats, for a while.
    Believe it or not, even in those not so awful conditions, I could distinctly hear the Pershing engines revving up now and then, throwing white foam not only behind her, but just about everywhere. And her snake-like wake pattern was all over the place.
    In sharp contrast, the traditional shafts powered Itama kept going straight as an arrow.

    Now, I suppose the Pershing owner was happy of his choice, which surely allows him to go a bit faster than his mate in a flatter sea.
    And that's well and good - I'm not dismissing surface drives in general.
    I just wouldn't want them for cruising "only" in the mid 20s, and even less so in rough conditions, because that's not where they belong.
    This is all I was saying.
  4. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Just to add a comment on waterjets (which, just to reiterate, were NOT the subject of my previous posts).
    For jets, yet again, size matters. The comparison you are making makes very good sense if you compare say 60 footers.
    You surely weren't helming an AB 116 - let alone a 140 - when you were "sliding all over the place", or were you?
    Jets definitely have their place, for several good reasons, depending on the boat size/type and the owner's needs.
    They mated 3 huge KaMeWa waterjets to the turbines of the record breaking 220 feet Destriero, already 30 odd years ago.
    You can rest assured that they did their homework, before going that route.
    It's pretty much the same as for surface drives, or anything else: compromises, as always.
  5. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    I am just curious here, have you ever driven a vessel with Arneson Drive yourself personally? Much less in conditions like you describe?
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    When you look at the manufacturers of these boats, they tend to favor arneson under 90’ and jets over. I have not run either in the over size range. Shafts are better than both jets and arnesons go as far as everyday use and ease, but as you’ve said, you’re not going to get the same speed out of them. Going fast takes some compromises. Quite honestly I run a 62’ predator a lot, it cruises at 28 knots with shafts and no compromises and I like that situation, 35 knots like OB,s Riva with shafts would be plenty for me
  7. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    My point exactly, thumbs-up to all that!
  8. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Yes, but never a P52. That's not the point, anyway.

    The occasion I previously mentioned was pretty unique, and I'm positive that neither the Pershing nor the Itama helmsman could appreciate, in those conditions, how much better the latter performed, compared to the former.
    Each of them could feel how his own boat behaved of course, but neither were in a position to make a like-for-like comparison as myself.
    And they really were like chalk and cheese, trust me.

    Anyhow, just in case you are suggesting that the helmsman was part of the reason, well, that's a possibility, of course.
    But around here, neither of those boats are normally chosen by folks who can't handle them properly.
    They are both a connoisseur choice, so to speak - each in its own way.
    So, I think it's very unlikely that the Pershing chap was unable to trim/steer the boat correctly.
    But I wasn't onboard, of course.
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Thanks for pointing out that surface drive experiences are not all the same nor are jet experiences. Your take the helm of an AB 116 and all the things you've heard or experienced in other jets are out the window. This is a jet boat designed and refined by the most experienced and expert jet builder. The handling and performance are great. Same thing on surface drives as you can't compare an 80' Pershing to a 50' one off.

    Similarly, the owner or operator's experience becomes very important. We purchased our Riva's in 2012 when we had just moved to the coast and not yet even licensed. We did go on a trial in a comparably sized Pershing to our 63' Riva at the time. We were not as comfortable handling it at that time. Our captains who we had just hired had no experience with surface drives. 8 years later if we were making the same comparison and faced the same decision, we might well go the other way with the Pershing for the extra speed. We have well over 100,000 nm intervening and licenses and many upgrades and experience in all types of situations. We're better equipped to adjust. Still for the quick run we're on right now to Miami and beyond and then back home we're quite happy in the choppy seas with the tracking and comfort of the Riva with it's traditional drives and we're accompanied on our afternoon play time by two 52' Rivas.
  10. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    Avoid 63 Azzurra with 1100hp Man and Flash 48 with Cats 3208 435hp or 3116 660hp. Azzurra runs good with 1200 and 1300hp, and I know a couple of captains which told me it give a run for the money even to a Magnum with the 1300.
    Flash is okay/good Volvo 480hp very good Volvo D9 575 or Cats C9 550hp, possibly one of the best boats in size and weight. 44 knots speed and if they have latest gen SD they also plane at 13/15 knots.
    Some early Flash had average build quality but some of the boats I have seen I have to disagree.
    The problem with Baia was around mid to end 90s where they went from a more cottage style build to order system to a more production style approach.
  11. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Unless it's the 660hp that is wrong, you must mean 3196 rather than 3116, surely?
    If so, you are making me curious: why should that boat be very good with the C9 and a lemon with the more powerful 3196?
    Just because the former is lighter?
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Baia under diameters their props, or it’s a hull design issue. But even the 63’ with 1300 takes a hope and a dream and a mile to get on plane, as does their entire lineup. A friend of mine even ran an 80 same issue........ I ran a 59’ and it was horrible too.
  13. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    12 litre versus 9 liter. To much weight at the back I would think. Yes I mean 3196 a typo.
    I think they made only two with that engine package.
    48 Flash with Volvo D9 is near perfection and at 28 knots cruise drinks just about 4 litre per nm. In following sea she is near unbeatable, in head sea with a long oceanic style wave also. With short steep wave due to a not very sharp entry forward not the best boat to have.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
  14. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    You are comparing apples to oranges. Up until 2002/4 all Arnesons had a bit a problem and needed 20 plus knots to plane. Then they added there trim angle (thanks to competition from Italian surface drive maker Top System) and thinks started to change. I think but I am off my mind (I might be wrong) the new versions have an L added to them which allow them to have a lower trim angle from 5 to about 8/10 degrees. Hence why modern surface drive boats plane at about 15 knots.
    To be fair and showing that may be here the experience of Surface drives is very limited, Baia actually due to them being on the lighter side of things (compared to a Magnum but also a Pershing which has more creature comforts) to a Baia used to have the lowest planning speed of all boats.
    A Baia 48 Flash with 3208 435hp from 99 keeps plane at 18/20 knots, and that is not the best engine package. Same boat with Volvo's Tamd 75 480hp which is a lighter more powerful engine keeps plane at 16 knots.

    Be sure that you had clean propellers on these boats, you stop a week with any SD boat and you cry. I know people who are in love with the system and because of propeller cleaning they give up, as the maintenance is not that much more from a shaft boat. A 63 Azzurra 1300hp and clean props is near to perfection, if it is not so is because it is wrong propped, even if you have old type Arnie's which by the way you can modify to the new system.
    Last week I was speaking to hull #1 captain of the 63 Azzzurra in Sicily which I meet in its maiden cruise in Malta and in Genova boat show 1999, powered by MTU 1150hp, and he said how happy they have been with the boat in 21 plus years and two engine rebuilds. This boat did 400 hours after delivery in late June of that year, Naples to Amalfi coast and Pontine islands, round trip of Sardinia, and then Malta and back.
  15. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Aha, I see.
    You know, interestingly that's another thing I never liked of Baia:
    they always seemed willing to fit any kind of engine their clients fancied.
    Take the Flash that you mentioned, for instance: 3208, 3196, TAMD 75, D9, C9...?!?
    We are talking of completely different blocks, with power and weight all over the place, forcrissake!
    It's not even imaginable that they could try and test each of them, fine tuning the CoG, weight distribution, and so on.

    'Fiuaskme, I like the KISS principle with boats: let buyers pick the fabric and leather colour, NOT the technical bits.
    As you possibly remember, my current boat was only available with the very same engine, from the original 52 design all the way to the 55 and the 56 that followed.
    Even with the very last hull development (59), they still kept the same block, just upgraded to the CRM version which became available in the meantime.
    And the same was true for all their other models.

    Boatbuilding is a cottage industry, and builders already make enough mistakes also when they are dealing with a consistent production process.
    There's no need to invent new complications every other hull... ;)
  16. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    Not entirely correct since the 48 Flash was a boat which lasted from 99 and is still in production and if I remember well over 100 have been made so far.
    Baia 48 Flash was launched in 1999 based on the platform of the B43 (launced in 90), and 46 Bimini. The last two are the same boat with exception that the last had an aft looking radar arch (prod 96 to 98) and a bit different interior and exterior layout.
    48 Flash extended the hull by a couple feet and had a sloop stern and the line was also lowered at the back, new interior layout and new cockpit layout.
    When introduced the boat came out with 3208 and 3196. The first was an engine always available on the B43 which apart that engine had a Seateak 610hp option.
    Volvo introduced the Tamd74 in 98/99 and Baia looked at this engine, which was the best engine for the model before the CR introduction of the D9 and C9 was the best engine for the Flash.
    The D9 introduced in 2005 ended up being the best engine and package for the boat just because of its weight just a bit more to a Tamd74/75 480hp and nearly 100 ponnies more.
    Model had a redesigned hard-top in 2004 which became fixed, as the 99 to 2004 model had a removable variant, which you could remove all.
  17. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Do you mean NOW? I would have thought that Baia as such doesn't exist anymore, since several years.
    R U possibly talking of someone else who purchased the moulds/tooling/whatever from the bankrupcy procedure?
  18. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    They do exist with the boat yard currently more doing refits. The moulds are still at the yard, with the management currently renting it out from the Tribunal I was told.

    Although as far as I was told they have not build anything since quite some time. But many where re-opening before Covid.

    https://www.cantieridibaia.it/
  19. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    I see. Well, all the very best to them, regardless of my personal preference for other boats/yards.