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Pods make you more or less likely to buy

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by olderboater, Dec 8, 2015.

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  1. amgscrap

    amgscrap Member

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    I have had IPS 600's and 900's. Only two and never triples. The cost to maintain was the same except for a little more oil. I believe double 900's would take less engine room space than triple 600's if you allow for enough space between the engines so they can be checked and services. The only advantages for a triple is it allows less draft because of the smaller props and does provide redundancy if one engine fails. You cannot steer a double if an engine fails except by way of throttles
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I just ran a 50' Prestige with twin IPS 600 and the boat steered and handled fine on 1 engine when I wanted to maneuver very slowly, like creep up to a bridge that I was ahead of schedule on. But agree the cost of maintaining twin 900's is just a touch more than the 600's, but a third engine is 50% more.
  3. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Just remember that the engines are bigger, the drives are bigger and in our boat which is designed for IPS/600 the IPS/900 (today IPS/950) will not even fit in. But in a bigger boat it could be a better option. (As we have IPS/1200 in our 80-footer).
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I think it's a matter of the boat. The buyer for AMG's boat is so very different than the buyer for a Sunseeker or Prestige. Size is an issue with moving up in IPS size. One other advantage to the triples is the way some are setup for acceleration and for issues with either of the three. You don't just have triples, you have multiple options within those triples. Now I think triples did work against some of the smaller US built boats that had them a few years ago, people like Regal and I believe Cruisers had them. However, they had them largely because that was before the larger sized engines were developed. If you designed for triple 600's before there were 900's, then to redesign for twin 900's is a pretty major task.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    A major task to a degree, but that's what happens when technology evolves. You have to stay with the current technology or your competitors will pass you by. Part of the issue currently with the pods versus conventional drives in the same hull a lot of times, let's just use Sunseeker 63' or 65' as an example, is the pods are slower than the shaft version (at cruise). I think they'd be an easier sell if they were as faster or faster with better fuel economy.

    That Lazzara 75' LSX reminds me of the old 50' Cary's with 4-gas 454's and 4 Mercruiser outdrives. You can't give those old Cary's away in that configuration, even to a mercruiser mechanic. Just way too problematic and repair costs more than the boats worth, I see the boats with 4 pods going that way as they age.

    In the Cabo 40' hardtop (or flybridge) which is no longer produced. The Zues was the fastest option, 600 HP cummins engines burning 45 gph (both) at 32.5 knots, the largest shaft version was 800HP MAN's at 63 gph (both) and 31.3 knot cruise......it was an easier sale, faster AND more fuel efficient, a win win.....

    Personally I think the PODS really shine in a twin engine/pod installation. Triples you get a little more fuel efficiency than 2 shafts, but not enough in my mind to warrant the what if's in long term costs. And with 4 pods, the only thing you gain is maneuverability, very little if any fuel efficiency over 2 engines/shafts, and a heck of a lot more headache.
  6. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Of course we did the homework before we designed the yacht for IPS/600, the IPS/900 were bigger and about two ton's more heavy. Other boat builders had already tested and we got the figures pointing to the best configuration for us, which it still is, by far.
    BTW, right now I have a 4 pod design in the pipeline... ;-)
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    How did the numbers compare on a twin IPS 900/950 installation versus 3- IPS 600's? Weight, cruise speed, fuel burn? What speed are you getting at cruise now with the boat with 2-600's and 3-600's? The IPS 600's burn right around 16-17 gph, per engine at 3100 rpms from what I've seen.

    Are the 900's not really equivalent to 900hp?

    I just finished up running a 50' Prestige with 2-IPS 600's 1300NMs. They didn't use a drop of oil the entire trip. We didn't have an issue what so ever.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  8. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Instead of recalculating I'll post the Delta 54 test figures from MotorBoat & Yachting with litres and imperial gallons. The 900(hp) is how Volvo describes it for comparison, yes, but I no longer have the estimations for our boat. With twin IPS/600 the top speed is just over 30 knots.

    MBY Dec 2012.jpg
  9. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    A big question is the intended use.
    For a boat running significantly above average % of time, pods, when well-made, well-installed and ideally designed for, sound like a good deal. E.g. chance to notice all the advantages.
    For a dock queen - which makes the abovementioned average - pods primarily mean increased maintenance costs.
    But then again
    a) Few people are realistic enough to plan for a dock queen :) even while we know it's the statistically likely outcome.
    b) And in that case, ease of docking/handling is a boon for relatively unexperienced owned (or a part-time captain).
  10. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    As a less experienced skipper and owner of three boats most of you would call my boat a "dock queen". I've got no beef with that, although the term "dock queen" always seems to have a less than acceptable tone to it.

    I imagine that if there were no dock queens there would be precious little new in the marine/yachting industry.

    Here Here for dock queen owners and operators. I do keep up on maintenance, fluids and I run the engines with a good load on them up river.

    I have christmas lights on two of the boats now too. None of which hinder when under way.

    "Don't they ever use that boat"
    "It just sits there"
    "I don't know why they even have a boat"
    "what a waste"
    "If i had that boat I would do this and that and so forth and so on..."

    I hear it all, and I just smile because I love my boats.

    Imagine the slip fees, boat availability, new innovation and fewer jobs for deck hands, captains, mechanics, detailers, and chandlerers if there were no dock queens. That would be sad now wouldn't it?
  11. Geobsum

    Geobsum Member

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    I was considering buying a boat with 4 pods but noticed that the two or three boats I looked at stated that the pods were replaced prior to sale. Upon further investigation it looked like they lasted three or four years and then were replaced. Not a good sign.
  12. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    What were you looking at with 4 pods?
  13. Geobsum

    Geobsum Member

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    Lazarra
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I have a customer that loved the same boat (type anyways) the lsx 75' and after finding out it had 4 engines and 4 pods, the thought of just maintaining the 4 engines turned him off, let alone the 4 pods.
  15. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    That was my first thought when I read 4 pods
  16. Cruz

    Cruz Member

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    One of the most frequent questions I was asked about my Zeus equipped boat by people who were contemplating purchasing a boat with pods was, "how much more annual maintenance is there than traditional drives and how much more expensive is it?"

    I thought it might be helpful to some to post the details of the annual/250 hour & 500 hour service particular to my former vessel's package. The items marked with ** are performed when the boat is hauled. This is for the twin Zeus Pod package paired with Cummins QSB 5.9 480hp engines. The numbers are from 2013 from a well-respected, authorized service center based in Long Isalnd, NY which is probably at the higher end of pricing. This is for the pod service only...

    Yearly or 250 hr. & 500 hr.

    -Torque Drive Shaft connecting Bolts & Nuts (Shaft
    cover must be removed)
    -Inspect & lubricate the drive shaft slip-joint
    **Change gear case lube oil
    -Change transmission oil and filter (Including drop box if
    installed)
    -Change hydraulic steering actuator fluid and filter.
    (Filter assembly must be removed)
    **Lubricate prop shaft splines & torque prop nuts
    -Inspect Hydraulic system fittings & hoses
    -Check bonding circuit--Test Mercathode output
    -Inspect electrical connections
    -Inspect cooling system & hoses & clamps
    -Inspect Exhaust system hoses, clamps, and piping
    -Inspect for corrosion and treat as necessary
    -Clean pod mounting area
    -Lubricate & Inspect seacock (Check Operation)
    -Treat power package with corrosion guard
    **Inspect gearcase shear bolts
    **Inspect Skeg and shear pins
    -Check clamp ring and hardware torque

    For this service, the factory authorized company I used charged a flat rate of $520 per drive for a total, before parts, of $1040.00.

    Here are the parts used and their costs (T=Total):

    Zinc Kit x 2 385.16T
    Transmission oil x 12 214.08T
    Hydraulic oil x 12 210.00T
    Transmission filter x 2 147.32T
    Gearcase oil x 11 146.52T

    Also...

    Mandatory hydraulic oil filter replacement (After first change, not due for 500 hrs. or 5 years)
    x 2 400.00T
    Hydraulic Oil Filter x 2 166.32T

    So the total cost in this case was $2833.57 before tax.

    In terms of regular maintenance throughout the season, you are adding the on-board components to your daily visual checks and three fluid checks per pod, two that are checked with dipsticks. It is all very straight-forward and under normal circumstances you are not adding fluids.

    I hope this was helpful.
  17. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Thanks for that information. It is good to see a real-world report with verifiable data.
  18. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Thanks Cruz,
    I am coming up on my 250 hour/annual maintenance on the QSB 5.9 380hp/Zeus Pod and this list along with Cummins specs and maintenance schedule is quite helpful. Thank you.
    -Greg
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    So about $2800 per year to service the pods. Shafts you generally don't have to service anything except cutlass bearings and dripless shaft seals every 5-10 years. But then on the pods you have the 30-40% better fuel economy.
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Cruz

    Would you mind sharing why you purchased pods and why you would or wouldn't do it again, based on your experience. I suspect from what you're written that you're more of a fan now.