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Seafury Surface Drives

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by HTMO9, Apr 17, 2015.

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  1. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    My other son and I are looking into a new (very fast) planing boat in the 80 ft region for him with surface drives. Having looked at and tested the Arnesson type surface drives, I found an very old post about Seafury Surface Drives from Down under. They look much simpler as far as maintenance and operations are concerned.

    Seafury 01.jpg
    Seafury 02.jpg
    Seafury 03.jpg
    I would like to hear the opinion of our fast boat specialists about this system, especially in a multi engine enviroment (i.e. 3 engines). Would be very nice to hear from somebody with personal experience (Reliability, performance, Noise level). We have no other knowledge than some pictures, videos and their website.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've never even heard of sea fury. One thing to consider with Arneson is they have been in business for decades, and probably will be for decades and parts would be much easier to come by if needed.
  3. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    This is for sure a a valid point. I have have never seen one of those Sea Fury systems personally or talked to somebody who operated a boat equipped with these systems.

    Also my whole family are blow boaters by heart, both of my sons and my two sons in law are fast boaters, when it comes to power boats. I would would never be able to talk one of them into a nice and comfortable, easy handling full displacement boat.

    Thats why we have tested boats with twin Arneson ASD 15 (manually trimmed) and MTU maritune surface drives (automatic trim). Both with MTU 16V2000 M94 engines. Great performance, very nice rooster tail but low speed handling and backing into a narrow "parking lot" for med mooring needs some practice.

    I remember, when I saw one of those bigger surface drive boats med mooring in Porto Portals or Palma (Mallorca), crews from neighbour boats were starting to watch and making bets for the amount of attempts needed and the number of exploding fenders :).

    Determined by the system, the performance and handling of a surface drive in reverse does not seem to be that sparkling at all, especially when not operated by a professional, full time skipper.

    These Sea Fury drives seem to be easier to operate, should have some lower maintenance and their exhaust gas ducting looks very effective.

    Would be very interesting to here from somebody with personal experience on Sea Fury drives.
  4. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    I'm not familiar with Sea Fury either, but at a glance they've taken an interesting approach by ventilating the prop with the exhaust. Some thoughts...

    1. The direct drive shaft should prove reliable and low maintenance, but the thrust angle appears severe in the drawing.
    2. The drive is a fixed X-dimension, so you will not be able to induce trim, an important element with surface drives to achieve plane.
    3. Arnesons steer with vectored thrust, which provides a limited range. Not the most maneuverable, especially when backing down a slip. It appears the Fury drive will operate in a more conventional prop and rudder form, however I question the maneuverability based on the X-dimension of the prop. It looks like a good portion of reverse thrust will be met by the transom?

    I haven't looked at their website, so maybe I'm missing something. Correct me if my initial thoughts are off-base.
  5. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    The Sea Fury drive is asking for a specific stern angle of 45 degrees. By means of the angled stern, the reversed thrust is supposed to be deflected downwards by the stern and not against the stern. They advertise the astern performance as one of their biggest advantages. But the trimming issue is not really adressed on their website.
  6. lobo

    lobo Senior Member

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  7. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Completely forgot about Don Smith's Powervent! Don also builds the Smith 42' center console. He's a good guy and an industry innovator.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I'm not sure Don Smith has been building any boats in the last few years. Where his factory was in Pompano Beach looks like there hasn't been any activity in a long time. He did enjoy a good heyday in the 90's and 2000's but it seems like outboards came a long way since then and a diesel 42' center console with a cuddy foward that cruises at 32-34 knots isn't any advantage over a boat with 4 stroke outboards.

    On another note, I've only run a few Arneson boats, but I've found that maneuverability compared to straight inboards is never as good, but they can handle pretty good in docking situations when you find what angle to leave the drives at so they bite enough, but don't flower the transom with prop wash. Most boats I've found the trim to be best for reversing with the drives somewhere around the middle in regards to trim.
  9. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    We did test trial two different Arneson boats with twin drives and we were shown one with tripple Arneson drives with the opportunity to take the helm, while in the open sea. The tripple 108 ft AD boat was a beast and for sure nothing for a weekend skipper. The two other twin AD boats would have been something for my sons to get used to, as long as some able crew would be around for most of the time.

    One of the official sea trail skippers took the easy way, when backing into the slip. Prior backing in, he had his crew handing the transom lines to other crews on both sides of the slip and had them walk the lines to shore. Finally his crew pulled the boat into the slip with the aft mooring winches. What a milksop.

    Son Nr. 1 decided, to much bother and opted for the quad IPS boat. Never had any trouble with it (technically) until now (two seasons) and docking with the joystick is a no brainer. With all systems operating, my grandson could dock that boat (joking).

    But son Nr. 2 wants more speed, thats why we are back to either surface drives or KAMEWAS.

    I personally like the maritune (MTU) drives with the automatic trim system a bit more than the Arneson drives. The sea trail boat felt less noisy and more comfortable because of the always optimum trim of the drives. But I am sure, a professional AD driver could do almost the same with a manual trim setup.

    The Powervent Drives look like needing a pretty complex hull design. And a drive for an 80 ft boat needs first to be developed. Is the company still alive?

    By looking at the videos of the Seafury drives, backing seems to be much easier than with Arneson drives. It looks like a very quick acceleration to plane and some pretty good maneuvering capability. But I have no idea about their serviceability and the support by the company, halfway around the world. But most important (and most expensive) this would require one more one off by a custom builder.

    May be I can talk my son into one of those options

    The Voith Linear Drive

    Voith linearjet.jpg

    The Reintje Fortjes Drive

    FORTJES-POD-DRIVE.jpg

    Or this totally unknown Tripple IPS 1200 boat :). No joke, this boat would be a great idea. I could live very well with its marginal 37 Kts.

    D80.jpg
  10. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Sonny Levi has been doing ti for a long time and his drives have set trans Atlantic speed records

    http://www.levidrives.com/

    I have been on a boat with a set of these for 3 yrs, the drives gave no trouble themselves.
  11. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Great advice as usual KIWI. This company is in fact located and produces in Germany!!!! We will for sure talk to them.

    They seem to use the same prinicipal in venting the prop by exhaust gases plus use an very interesting steering. Do you remember their performance when reversing and during slow speed maneuvering?

    Especially the Sidewinder variant looks very interesting.
  12. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    The performance was good although it could be a bit lumpy when giving it some juice when going astern as one would expect with Cleaver Type Props. We did try some Rolla Hi Speed ones but did not really get much of a chance to see how they were overall as one shed a blade at an approx shaft speed of 1600 rpm, the resulting vibration caused quite a bit of damage including leaking pipes , transom buckling and wine glasses where the stem and base was in place but the top part was shattered from banging into other ones.

    We were driving 3520 Hp into each one
  13. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    What a boat! I know, she was the chase tender of something larger but did you really handle and maintain that biest with just a crew of 3?

    g-whiz-yacht.jpg
  14. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    It was not built as a chase tender. It ran with 3 crew and a semi permanent day worker

    I saw her anchored off the Monaco Show in 2012, I couldn't believe just how small she looked.
  15. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I think the Seafury looks good, with few moving parts and low draft. But I guess they are like all surface drives, pretty useless in the 7-17 knots range.

    Unfortunately there are no IPS configurations for cruising above 40 knots yet, but on the other hand, how often can you maintain a cruising speed over 40 knots with an 80-footer?

    My priority is the combination of high speed and long range/mileage. Have a look at these figures for the Delta 80, copied from Motor Boat & Yachting March 2014;

    D80 figures.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
  16. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    AMG, you are running against open doors with me (old German Saying :)). I do love the perfect design of the D 80 and how it looks on plane. Her performance is more than anybody could want from an 80 footer. My oldest son would have bought her without hesitation, if we would have known about her, when inking the contract for his one off. Btw., he (or was it me ?) paid almost twice as much for his custom made quad IPS carbon monster.

    None of the Italian plastic fantastic with surface drives, we tested, was capable of sustained 40 Kts+. At MCP all remained in the upper 30 and the fluel flow was ridiculous. And 40 Kts+ in anything other than dead calm glassy sea was really painfull, both for the POB and the material.

    But as we say: "His will is humans heaven".

    If I personally would want to build a fast boat with surface drives, I would go bigger with tripple or even quad drives and some serious MTU engines. The Levi Side Winder Surface Drives look perfect for this type of boat.

    G.Whiz Levi-Drives.jpg

    I was wondering about this stainless steel arches above the props. Dont they vibrate to death with this high power output?

    But I do agree with AMG 100 %. For any planning boat (except may be a sportfisher) up to 100 ft in length, multiple IPS would be my favorite. Above that length, one of the above or KAMEWA.

    Or may be one system, we have not talked about jet, the

    Servogear Ecoflow Propulsorâ„¢

    Servogear_ecoflow_propulsor_0.jpg
  17. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Fabio had a famous SeaTech drive also. Won world records with it.
    If I remember correctly, some 25+ year old boat of his is back racing again.
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Personally I don't like jet propulsion because they're highly in-efficient at speeds slower than the cruise speed they're designed for. Manuerverability in docking situations isn't good either. I'd rather have surface drive over jet. Also don't have to worry about sucking sand up in the jets in shallow water maneuvering.
  19. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    We did actually demo a Pershing but ultimately we decided to sacrifice some speed for the Riva ride and drives. A 35 knot cruise and 40 knot WOT is enough for us. As we were use to a 55 knot WOT and 40 knot cruise on the lake, this was slowing down for us. If talking Pershing we agree that 40+ knots in even moderately rough water just had too much pounding for us.

    If we were going for real speed, we'd go the traditional route of high performance boats like Fountain. Guess we're getting old that we're sacrificing speed...lol
  20. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    I agree with Capt J on the Jet drives. They are deigned for a certain speed and below that, their efficiency is pretty lousy. Especially on displacement type speeds on ferry trips when range counts, they are very inefficient.

    The biggest problem on JD with a lot of sand in the water, i.e. shallow waters, is the wear and tear on the pump wheel. The abrasive characteristics of sand (minerals are harder than metal, thats why we do sand blasting) causes the gap between the blade tips and the tube to increase, which subsequently means loss of thrust. The same as with aircraft jet engines during desert operations. Growth in the tube, corrosion. etc., all together a lot of maintenance and repair. I just have to remember, how much care (and money) is given to the jet drives of our Williams and Zodiac Tenders. And they live most of the time out of the water and well preserved in their dark garages.

    But as we all know, the "I can do anything ship does not exist". It would be impossible for any kind of propulsion system to cover the complete speed range from 8 to 10 Kts up to 40 Kts and even above, highly efficient.

    Having made a matrix with all the pros and cons of all the above mentioned planing speed propulsion systems, my personal conclusion would be as follows:

    The best way would be, to forget about the upper 3 to 5 Kts, be happy with 35 to 37 Kts top speed and a cruise speed of 30 Kts+. Either go back to multi IPS or variable pitch props like the Servo Gear Propulsor.

    What is it good for, to sit on the flybridge of your boat at 40 Kts+ with your family wearing a gumshield and being strapped in like a race driver, while sunbathing :).

    That is what I call comfortable and fast (and fast enough!):



    Well done AMG, well done indeed.

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