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  1. #1
    Seaman Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Indianapolis
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    45

    Default V-drive vs. direct drive.

    hello everyone.Can you guys help me understand the differences between V-drive vs. Direct drive for a wakeboard/skiboat? I would like the positives and negatives. I plan on using the boat for both Sking and Wakeboarding.Thanks

  2. #2
    Seaman
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    sw Ohio
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    63

    Default Re: V-drive vs. direct drive.

    There is a very good article on this topic in this months Go Boating magazine. As I understand it V drive boats are better for Wakeboarding as the engine is placed in the back creating a better wake without ballasting. They also have more cockpit space. Direct drive boats are better for skiing as they produce a flatter wake due to the central position of the motor. There are also considerable differences in wakes based on the stern deadrise angle. Less angle makes a flatter wake which is better for skiing. More angle makes a larger wake which would be better for wakeboarding. Some designers combine these factors to make their boats lean more toward one or the other or to strike a compromise. If I were going to ski and wakeboard equally I would go with a v drive with a mid level deadrise as a good compromise. I like the increased cockpit space of a v drive layout. Just my .02.

  3. #3
    Admiral LubeDude's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
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    ORYGUN
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    Default Re: V-drive vs. direct drive.

    The way I understand this is that the V drives are gear reduction drives and generally have a reverse. They give a good holeshot and would be better for what you want the boat for. Direct drives generally have no reverse and are mostly used in drag boats. I also understand that the boats used for wakeboarding want a large wake, so an inboard outboard or just an outboard works better. V drives tend not to have much of a wake.

  4. #4
    DJ
    Guest

    Default Re: V-drive vs. direct drive.

    Direct drive refers to an engine placement amidships (center) of the boat. Typically, these systems do not run the power through any gearing, just straight through, with a reverse. Very similar to a front engine/rear wheel drive car.V-drive places the engine at the stern of the boat. In essesence, the engine is facing backwards and the power goes through a gear box that is in the shape of a "V". The driveshaft then exits the bottom of the boat similar to a direct drive, yet farther back. This system would somewhat resemble a rear engine/rear wheel drive car, sort of like an old VW Beetle.

  5. #5
    Seaman Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Indianapolis
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    45

    Default Re: V-drive vs. direct drive.

    Thanks DJ. you seem to know quite a bit about them. For my scenerio, which one would be a better fit? Also, is one easier to drive than the other? My wife would be driving the boat sometimes.Thanks

  6. #6
    Senior Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    746

    Default Re: V-drive vs. direct drive.

    Depends on what you want, with direct drive there is little hp loss, used mostly on race boats, engines are amid ships, the v-drive losses hp in the transmission, basicly how do you want your boat set up, engine in the rear like a i/o or up in the middle of the boat, a lot of older crusers were set up like that, if you are looking for a ski-wakeboard boat most any boat will work ie o/b,i/b, i/o or jet. Just pick what strikes your fancy and pocket book. Then grab a 6 pack and head for the water. Have fun

  7. #7
    Commander
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    Aug 2003
    Location
    austin, tx
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    2,312

    Default Re: V-drive vs. direct drive.

    there are some handling differences and some differences in the wakes but the rest is personal opinion...i guess the cost is pretty cut and dry, v drives are a little more expensive and harder to work on.v-drives are rear heavy which is good for wakeboarding. they handle more sluggishly due to this weighting difference. they are harder to perform maintenance on too. v-drives have more storage in the large bins next to the engine. this also creates a larger sun pad to lounge on.d-drives are fine for boarding and obviously better for skiing. the interior space is personal preference. there really isn't any additional space in them, the hull's not any bigger than their d-drive sister's. just set up differently so that everyone is sitting in the same area. on a d-drive, you can fit more people becuase they are spread out more. the engine cover is one of the best seats in the house.i'm tall, 6'3", and i don't like to be a passenger in v-drive wakeboard boats because you end up playing footsie and bashing your knees against other people's knees. but, it's your boat you should test drive them both and decide what you want.

  8. #8
    Lieutenant Commander
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,624

    Default Re: V-drive vs. direct drive.

    I'm not aware of any difference in difficulty in driving direct drive vs V-drive. As long as the boat is going forward, you use the wheel and throttle like any other boat. Backing up is a whole other deal. Both direct drive and V-drive can be a challenge in reverse. Here is another thread that goes into that - Direct Drive Steering Help Kelly Cook

  9. #9
    DJ
    Guest

    Default Re: V-drive vs. direct drive.

    Kelly makes a very good point. Either a V-Drive or Direct can be a real challenge to handle at slow speeds. Especially in reverse. It's not that they can't be mastered, it just takes a good deal of practice. Every boat will have its own handling quirks.The reason is that the propeller does not swivel like an outboard or I/O. Thus, the rudder has little effect unless there is a fair amount of water flow around it.As mentioned earlier, the V-drive came into popularity, again, with the wake board craze. Wakeboarders love big wakes and the engine sitting astern helps with making a larger wake.If you're really into wakeboarding, as opposed to skiing, I would go with the V-drive. If the opposite is true, nothing skis like a true competion direct drive ski tractor.

  10. #10
    Admiral LubeDude's Avatar
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    Default Re: V-drive vs. direct drive.

    "V drive", Duh, "V" drive, I knew that, just took a while to unlock the thinker. At least I knew that you want the weight in the back for wakeboarding!

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