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Author Topic:   Purpose of Sea Drive
mojack posted 07-16-2003 09:47 AM ET (US)   Profile for mojack   Send Email to mojack  
I see a lot of boats in Florida with these transom mounted brackets that I believe they call "sea drives." I was just curious why these motors were mounted to these brackets versus being mounted directly to the transom.
Peter posted 07-16-2003 11:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
The idea behind it was to allow a given boat to have a full transom as opposed to a notched transom. Transom brackets and regular outboards quickly replaced the more complicated and trouble prone SeaDrive to provide the same full transom solution.
mojack posted 07-16-2003 11:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for mojack  Send Email to mojack     
bsmotril posted 07-16-2003 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
I always thought of it as a marketing effort for OMC to sell a Power Package to boat builders whose boats were designed for inboard or I/O power. That would open up a new market for them and help increase sales. Too bad for OMC that the builders figured out they could add an OEM or aftermarket bracket and let the dealer add their own outboard.
Peter posted 07-16-2003 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
That too!
jimh posted 07-16-2003 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The Sea Drive was an invention of OMC. It preserved the full transom of a boat, no need to have a splash well and notch about a third of the transom to provide a mount.

There are pictures in the Reference section's article on transom brackets and setback brackets.

Whaler built full transom outboard boats and mounted OMC Sea Drives on them.

You are probably not seeing any Sea Drive in Florida these days. Most are no longer working. You are probably seeing a variety of boats with 26-30 inch setback brackets.

Read the Reference article to gain more familiarity with the nomenclature.

lhg posted 07-16-2003 11:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I remember very well when the Sea Drive first hit the boating press. The original idea was, as mentioned above, to be able to use outboards to power and re-power I/O's and inboards. They showed them on a 28' Bertram. Remember, at this time, Mercury owned the stern drive business, and this was to be it's competition by OMC. Then, slightly later, they discovered that smaller outboard boats could be built with a full transom to accomodate them. Because Whaler had a close relationship with OMC, BW's which were designed for I/O's quickly became useable for Sea Drives, one of the first applications. But the bracketmakers were also getting started at this time, and were quickly recognized as less complicated, less expensive, better performing because of greater setback, and allowed the use of a stock outboard. By 1986, BW also recognized this rush to brackets, so brought out the Whaler drive which nicely converted it's 25" transom 22 & 25' models, unable to accomodate the new CR 25" twins, to bracketed WD models and 25" twins. By this time, the Sea Drives were finished.
Dick posted 07-16-2003 11:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
The SeaDrive was the second strike against OMC, the first was the stringer drive I/Os and then along came Ficht.


OutrageMan posted 07-17-2003 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
There is one of those 28 Bertrams with Sea Drive for sale up here in Door County. Still has the OMC units on it.


mojack posted 07-17-2003 08:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for mojack  Send Email to mojack     
I have seen boats for sale that mention that their "sea-drives" have been converted to manual. Was the steering problem the main issue with the sea drives?
captbone posted 07-17-2003 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
Main problems were steering and trim system. The motors were just Evinrude or Johnsons. If you dont need trim and convert them to teleflex then you are set.
andygere posted 07-17-2003 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
There are a few of these still around in my Harbor, including a pair on the back of a nice 27 Full Cabin Whaler. I spoke with the owner one time about them, and he said they work very nicely, however he was having to get hydraulic hoses and fittings custom made to keep them working. I actually think the Sea Drive is an elegant idea that was just poorly executed. Perhaps if they were more popular (I understand they were expensive), OMC would have kept them around long enough to work out all the bugs. Sea Drive equipped boats, including Whalers, seem to languish on the market and command lower prices. At one time I looked at a Sea Drive equipped Outrage 22 Cuddy, but concluded (with help from the forum) that a conversion to a conventional bracket would have been a very expensive undertaking. Most of the asking prices I have seen are a bit lower than similar vintage/condition outboard powered boats, but not low enough when factoring in the extra expense of buying and installing a bracket when it comes time to repower.
Morocco posted 07-22-2003 03:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Morocco  Send Email to Morocco     

Ahhh, but Sea Drives ARE still around in Florida -- over the last year, I've driven TWO different boats with old, but still functioning twin Sea Drives (were there single SDs?)

And just last month I looked at a 27 Full Cabin that was for sale at a broker here in Marina Del Rey, CA with underpowered (I think they were 110s?) Sea Drives, 'refurbished' (whatever that means)for only $49K!

When I was looking for my Revenge, I saw or cooresponded about three boats with Sea Drives -- in each case the owners had nearly given up on finding replacement steering and trim parts and I believe this led to the reason they were selling -- the best quotes that I could find for removing the old Sea Drives, patching and repairing the transom and installing a bracket was 4 to 6 thousand dollars, in addition to the cost of whatever new engines we to be installed.

Maybe when my 87 150s give up the ghost I'll have the transom closed up like a Whaler Drive, but I don't think I'll install a 'classic' Sea Drive when I do!

Robob2003 posted 07-23-2003 05:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Robob2003  Send Email to Robob2003     
Before I got lucky and found my little classic Sakonnet I looked at a few 19-22 foot boats with OMC Sea Drive outboards. I have not found one mechanic who had a kind word for them. Plenty said thay liked old Johnsons, which is part of the package I wound up owning after the previous owner had put 4 grand into it. It's a 1981 with a year left on the warranty:-)

Bob in Florida

P.S. When it's at WOT it chine walks like a bandit. I have gone 50+ in lots of boats. Have not put a GPS on this one but I'll eat it if it isn't doing 50. It's a 100 HP Johnson Javelin with a factory aluminum prop.

jimh posted 11-12-2005 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This old thread was recently revived to append a WANT-AD.

Please use the MARKETPLACE for placement of want-ads.

[Thread closed for further comments.]

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