SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

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sebago_kid

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Thinking about plunking down the dough for a new SEI stern drive...
anyone have one?
any experiences with them?
good?
bad?
I do like the fact that they have a 3 year no-fault warranty.
And I also like the idea of rebuilding my Alpha one to keep as a spare...
tell me what you think.
 

Zackman

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Re: SEC SternDrive... What's your take???

Re: SEC SternDrive... What's your take???

Do you mean SEI (Sterndrive Engineering Inc)?​
 

Don S

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Re: SEC SternDrive... What's your take???

Re: SEC SternDrive... What's your take???

I have to assume you mean SEI and not SEC, but here is my take on it.
The drives work fine, but my opinion of them may not be to others liking.
Merc came out with an outdrive that turned out to be the most popular drive around.
Like some other countries do to Rolex watches, vidieos music, and such, a company EXACTLY copied another companies product. So exact that the special tools requiered to repair them, along with the parts required to fix them are interchangable. Yet they didn't have to pay the R&D to get to that point or eventually have to pay for all the R&D to get to that point.
Then, who knows what the long term quality of the parts the drive is built with or where they were put together or anything else about them.
Except they are cheaper.

Probably should have called themselves Sterndrive Copying, not Sterndrive enginerering. They just copied a product, they didn't engineer anything but some tooling to copy things.
Your choice.
 

sebago_kid

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Re: SEC SternDrive... What's your take???

Re: SEC SternDrive... What's your take???

Yes.
Sterndrive Engineering
 

windsors03cobra

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

Couldn't you just get a local MerCruiser mechanic to repair what you have with new parts ? Surely that could be cheaper.
 

Don S

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

Couldn't you just get a local MerCruiser mechanic to repair what you have with new parts ? Surely that could be cheaper.

That's the problem, It probably won't be cheaper if there is more than just some minor repairs as the problem.
 

Bondo

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

Quote:
Originally Posted by windsors03cobra
Couldn't you just get a local MerCruiser mechanic to repair what you have with new parts ? Surely that could be cheaper.
_______________________________________________________________
That's the problem, It probably won't be cheaper if there is more than just some minor repairs as the problem.

Ayuh,... That alone is making them Much more attractive, even to Me.....

Even with Seirra parts,+ a Bud you'll do drives for a buck,+ 1/2 a pop...:rolleyes:

It's starting to look Cheaper to buy 1 of their uppers in 1.84:1 to test my Ideas,..
Rather than finding a set of gears...
 

JustJason

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

The drives do do what they are supposed to do... and that's push the boat in the water.
The owner of SEI has popped on here once or twice to defend his products. Basically it's a made in china drive. The owner stated that they were not made in china, but he would not say where they are from. (go figure)
I've put them on and they work fine. They are a bit noisey, and the alloy and paint isn't as corrosion resistant as a Merc drive, but that's about it.

My rule of thumb is this... if your boat is clearly worth less than 10 grand, then the SEI drive is a no brainer. If the boat is worth more than 10... consider having your drive fixed. If the boat is clearly higher end.... then keep the chineese beer can metal off the back of the boat and stick with the better built american product.

Don, can we add something to the adults only forum about SEI drives? They seem to come up alot. If need be, I can write something sortof impartial and well natured to the product.
 

TilliamWe

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

Jason, get your facts straight. Yes, the gears are from China or Asia somewhere, but as far as I know the cases are made in the USA, and SEI drives are assembled in Florida. No need for the owner to say that on here, it's listed very clearly on their website.

Even on a boat worth $100k, they are a no brainer. BRAND NEW with a better warranty than Mercruiser. And the warranty even covers collision damage!!!!!!!!! What is not better?
(Oh I have heard they had paint issues, but that is supposedly better now. But anyone here ever seen a Mercruiser or Volvo with paint issues?)
 

JustJason

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

tilliamwe said:
Jason, get your facts straight

williamwe said:
but as far as I know the cases are made in the USA

So if I take your word on "as far as I know" is that truely a fact? Can you back it up and tell me what aluminum foundry the cases are cast at?
It's not just the paint, its the alloy of the aluminum as well that matters. Merc uses what they call XK360 alloy. Basically its a low copper higher strength aluminum alloy. Or recycled beer cans. Can you state for a fact what aluminum SEI uses???
Gheez... you just defended SEI like you were an employee of the dang company.

SEI doesn't necessarily suck, but they are not the best thing since sliced bread either. Take one apart some day and you'll see.
 

sebago_kid

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

The price and the warranty are what's makin me think to go with it...
That, and I'd have a spare drive, after I rebuild the Alpha one.
But warranteed even when you hit something and destroy it...
The company must be confident it's fairly tough....
either that, or it's so darn cheap for them to make that it won't hurt them too bad if a bunch come back... but then, again, how could a company stay in business like that?
They're supposedly 100% interchangeable with Merc parts, right?
 

Greg Pickren

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

This is a great thread with some interesting comments and questions about SEI. Just to clear up some confusion and try to answer some questions, I?ll provide my thoughts on a few matters:

1) I certainly agree with some posters that our 3 year no fault warranty is unbeatable. To my knowledge it is the best in the industry. This warranty shows the confidence that we have in the product that comes from years of testing and proven performance.

2) Our drives are assembled in Florida from parts procured around the world. Our cases are made on a contract basis from a foundry for which we own the casting and CNC tooling. As for where they are made, our competitors would love to know so it?s not something that we share on a public forum (but as a hint it?s not China).

3) Our drives do have some Chinese made components. They also have some components made in the USA. Our forward and pinion gears are made of the same 4820 alloy as used by the OEM and it is sourced from a US foundry. The gears are then shot peened and cryogenically treated. We do not know of another manufacturer that cryogenically treats their gears and our endurance testing shows it does make a difference.

4) Our paint quality has improved dramatically over the years.

5) Calling us ?Sterndrive Copying? is a little harsh. Yes our drives are reverse engineered, but I can personally tell you a lot of man hours by real engineers went into the effort. To get the gears, cases, shafts, bearings, and all the other parts just right was a huge effort. Not only did we have to get the quality right, but we had to do it in a way to make the product economical and affordable.

6) I am proud to say that our sales are up this year even in the current economic environment. (Probably not many other companies in the marine industry can say this right now.) Our new outboard lower units have been very well received in the market with sales exceeding our expectations.

7) Iboats.com is a loyal SEI dealer and our products can be bought right here. Remember, buying here helps support this great forum.

8) And for those of you who do not know this (and to keep all the lawyers happy), Brunswick Corporation is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Sterndrive Engineering, Inc. (or SEI) is not affiliated with the Brunswick Corporation and is not authorized to sell or service Brunswick products.

Thanks for your interest in SEI,

Greg Pickren
President and Owner
SEI
 

wkb2460

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

Greg,
Are you working on any Volvo drives yet??
 

Greg Pickren

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

No, we are not working on any Volvo compatable drives at this time, however we do have a new product coming out soon for OMC powered boats. This new patent pending product will convert OMC Cobra drives to a SE116 drive. We do this with a conversion kit that changes out the bell housing and other related parts.

This kit will be available mid summer.
 

TilliamWe

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

No, we are not working on any Volvo compatable drives at this time, however we do have a new product coming out soon for OMC powered boats. This new patent pending product will convert OMC Cobra drives to a SE116 drive. We do this with a conversion kit that changes out the bell housing and other related parts.

This kit will be available mid summer.

Well, others on here may want to bash you for "copying" but this is truly a GENUIS idea! Granted, once all the old Cobras are gone, you'll be out of the market, but you should make a ton of money selling these kits. You will also help a TON of boat owners who currently have Cobra powered boats that want to sell them. You just helped the resale of a huge sector of boats. Way to go!!! (Heck I might even consider a boat with a Cobra knowing I can change it over, more easily and less expensive than is possible now!)

Jason, you have a PM.
 

sebago_kid

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

Hey, Greg...
I started this thread... so....how about a nice discount for the free publicity?
:D:D:D:D:D:D
I think I was almost sold before I posted this, but wanted to hear from some others who might have had experiences with them.
 

Fishermark

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

I don't work for the company, but I have installed a couple of the drives - one on my boat several years ago, and one on my dad's boat less than a year ago. I really cannot say enough good about the company. Here's a link showing my experience with them. I give them kudos for customer service:
Sterndrive engineering experience
 

sebago_kid

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

nice...
good cust. service is lacking with a majority of companies out there at this day and age...
it's good to hear, and possibly a testiment to the SEI brand.
The one remaining question I have is probably best left for the gurus at SEI...
I believe my Alpha One Gen One 5.7L to have a gear ratio of 1.50 (please chime in and correct me if I'm off)
The closest ratio for SEI drives is 1.47. Should be a non-issue, right?
 

QC

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Re: SEI SternDrive... What's your take???

I want to add something to the OEM vs. Aftermarket comments, concerns dept . . .

I have an OEM background. Caterpillar dealer for 23 years, and they INDOCTRINATE all into the genuine parts mantra, and I believe it and preach it. I now work for a small engineering firm that struggles to compete and partner with OEMs on a daily basis. We also supply directly to OEMs. I also believe in protecting those same OEMs from us, or dealers of ours, "poaching" business that they create i.e. the OEM sells a truck with some of our stuff on it and then their customers try to get parts from us for cheaper. With that background I would buy an SEI drive in a heartbeat, and I have installed one for a friend.

Patents, experience, branding etc. account for a lot of revenue for an OEM. Development costs are substantial, but so are the rewards for a successful product. OEMs have the legal length of their patents, and they also have the opportunity to offset all of the costs of even failed products against the successful ones. They command huge (and sustaining) margin from replacement parts and each unit delivered carries with it a nice little parts annuity for the remainder of it's useful life . . .

If a small company can legally pull together a business that meets a market opportunity created by that well deserved revenue stream, then I say more power to them. And for me this is not about it simply being legal, of course it is also about ethics. IMHO our system of capitalism demands that the market be corrected, affected etc. by competitive challenges. It is good for both sides of the equation, particularly the consumers . . . but it drives innovation etc. when an OEM gets lazy. I am not saying that Mercruiser is lazy, but if any OEM opens the door, then it probably needs to be walked through.
 
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