Sterndrive for fast amphibious vehicle

Discussion in 'Sterndrives' started by Bert Amphibious, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    I am building a few fast amphibious boat/cars. I put a post out in the “Boat Design” Forum section titled “Surface Drive for fast Amphibious Vehicle” and the post/comments sort of went out in all directions. So I think I’ll try targeting some of the specific areas that I need help with. I willing to share info just look at my other string of replies and comments on my previous post. I've peeled apart and modified an alpha drive but I need lots of help and info to feel comfortable with finding the right parts and the right sterndrive. Please if you can answer any of the questions below please respond.

    I want to be able to offer the components and plans for amphibious hull/chassis assemblies with options for various sterndrives, jet drives and surface drives. I already built one very fast inexpensive version with a Berkeley 12JCA jet drive but I also want to do it with a sterndrive. The Wildlife & Fishery guys around here wanted a prop Period.

    For a smaller design I was considering using an Alpha drive for SBC 400hp and down. I have heard stories of people putting over 600hp to an Alpha but I don’t want to go there. The engine is connected to an automotive type automatic transmission then to a multiple outlet custom 4X4 gearbox. I have several gearbox designs to choose from. One of the cheaper and lighter gearboxes has a minimal number of gears so that the output to the sterndrive is in the opposite direction of a normal engine.

    I was looking at sending power to a sterndrive in the opposite direction of a normal engine. Note I do not need a water pick-up or water pump or an exhaust bellows. At one point I was actually looking at sending power to an Alpha drive input shaft counter clockwise (opposite from a normal engine). BUT the upper gears in the Alpha Drive are cut with the hillside being loaded in that application. I decided it was not a good idea due to gear loading on wrong side. The automotive transmission has forward neutral and reverse but it will not last if run in reverse for any duration.

    First Big Question: Did MerCruiser have optional Alpha gears for counter rotating engines? Probably not but I have to ask.

    Second Big Question: I read information stating that the Bravo drive has straight cut upper gears and straight cut lower gears. Somebody please verify for certain that counter rotating input power is or is not acceptable for a Bravo Drive?

    Third Big Question : Is the same question as #2 but for the NXT and the Six Drives?

    Forth Big Question: Are there any other sterndrives available that will work with a counter rotating input (OMC or Volvo or whatever)?

    I also have a transmission gearbox combo that will allow me to send a correct clockwise rotational input to the sterndrive. Since the gearbox is located just in front of the rear differential, I have to run a short adjustable length driveshaft with splines in the middle from the gearbox to the sterndrive. On the Alpha Drive I added a second bearing on the Gimbal housing in front of the gimbal bearing to help support the driveshaft to the gearbox. See picture.

    Question #6: Did Mercruiser ever offer an optional Gimbal bearing to keep the shaft it supports straight??

    Question #7: It appears that the MerCruiser Six drive is just like what I would want with a short drive shaft but it is soo expensive. Are there any other stern drives that use an independent driveshaft?

    I know that a Mercruiser Alpha drive can trim/tilt up high enough that every part of the Sterndrive is above the bottom of the hull for trailering.
    Question #8: I am pretty sure the same is true for the Bravo drive please verify yes or no?

    Question #9 can a NXT and a MerCruiser Six trim/tilt up high enough that every part of the Sterndrive is above the bottom of the hull for trailering (in my case driving on the street)?

    Anybody got any old sterndrives that will work for my applications. Note I do not need the exhaust bellows or the water pump? I am in the New Orleans area anyone want to collaborate on an amphibious project? I do not want to build anything slow the tires will be fully retractable like in previous designs. You offshore guys don’t need to worry it will a very long time before any amphibious cars/boats will even get close to half as fast as you.

    I have noticed that in general neither the auto guys nor the boat guys get too excited about amphibious vehicles. It is about time we got a few real affordable very fast amphibians out there and maybe there will be just a little renewed interest in amphibious cars/boats. See my hobby job website AmphibianMotors.com
     

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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  2. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    Can anybody Please at least answer a couple of my questions? I am happy to share info when I can Thanks.
     
  3. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Just so you do not feel unattended I will express my opinion. I think there must be a very specific reason (and I'm sure you have it) to want to use a vehicle that does not work well as a car and does not work well as a boat.
     
  4. Yellowjacket
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Landlocked...

    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    I think the issue here is that now you're looking for technical info that is very specific to the design of these outdrives and that is information that most owners or the general public just does not have. Most likely the only people who would familiar enough with these drives to supply that info would be service tech's or the actual designers, and there just aren't many of those folks around. If you can find a tech locally and can get him to work with you that is probably your best bet.
     
  5. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    TANSL You haven't watched any of my videos yet have you!!!! I think your really really wrong!! . ITS FAST on WATER and fast on LAND. The videos are of my first prototype granted I only got it up a little over 40 knots in the water. Oh yes it can also smoke the tires on dry pavement too. (it's about 300 hp). Granted it is a little rough looking but that is cosmetic stuff. If you pull the fenders and hood off any car it would look like crap. I got all the USA Boat regulations USCG HIN and Wildlife & Fisheries Registration issues. The version in the however did not get the DOT regulations yet (lights windshield horn,title). I am making a few changes for Version 2 prop drive instead of a water jet drive We are also upgrading to a much higher horsepower engine. I am NOT redesigning a slow 1960 Amphicar.

    My passion started after working through the hurricane Katrina recovery. I am still bothered after watching all the recent Houston Hurricane Harvey Flood videos of our police sitting in tiny 4' wide flat bottom getting rain soaked day after day. Our local government is so ill equipped to handle flood situations it is like we were still using horse drawn fire trucks. There is a real need for amphibious vehicles and not just as a recreational toy. The technology is available watch my videos.

    First Video which had copyright issues

    Intro to Hobby Job Company with me singing and playing guitar

    My first DIY post with amphibious Machines about Front Differential options “IFS” February 2 2018 William Bert Sandlin https://www.facebook.com/william.sandlin.58/posts/1685176578191858:47

    Video to dispel Issues with False information in article (note article still got more hits than my video and didn’t get too much right but at least I got a mention even if the info was way off. Not even sure they watched the video before they wrote the article.

    Now I am not the only one out there looking at FAST amphibious vehicle just Google amphibious followed by Gibbs, WaterCar and CAMI. If some people have a few amphibious tender boats for their yachts I am sure a few of them would have made it out in the rescue/evacuation/recovery effort. The problem almost seems like many boat people and many car people are resisting the thought that decent FAST amphibious vehicles are possible. In addition it appears that many Auto companies have worked to block legislation for Special Purpose Built Vehicles. There is pending USA federal legislation (HR3274) for low production vehicle manufacturers that, if passed, will make the registration of Complete Custom models much easier". I am hoping that passes!!

    Also many people do not realist this but a fast flood response is very crucial to the Utility Companies . If Power, Gas, and Water companies had a few Amphibious Workboat Trucks it would have made huge difference. If gas or water piping loses pressure, ground water can/will contaminate the piping and then the piping needs to be purged or flushed out. If the leaks can be isolated right away it can save weeks even months in the recovery process. An amphibious tool truck could be used to help in the initial rescue and evacuation process while scouting out and handling the easy leak repairs and debris clearing. People can move back into their houses sooner. After Hurricane Katrina about 25,000 houses had to have their gas meters removed and flushed out. It took months to fix and the natural gas company could not sell any natural gas to hem!!!! By comparison me a a bunch of us in our area which was much harder hit got out just hours after the storm and shutoff the leaks. We never lost natural gas pressure or water pressure and out area recovered much faster.

    Please we make all kinds on boats from tiny flat bottom boats, to big shallow draft fishing boats, to sailboats, to Mega Yachts just think of the new next generation of Amphibious Vehicles as just an option. No need for Haters; I embrace having lots of marine boating options.
     

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  6. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Navigating fast is not the same as sailing well.
    But I do not want to take away your illusion, I just do not support those things that are good for everything but do not do anything right. That's why I tell you that, I'm sure, you have some very important reason, that I'm not able to imagine, to try to do two things half well. These are my thoughts.
    Also, if you sell many of those boats it will be the proof that I am wrong. Let's see what happens. You will tell us.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  7. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
    Posts: 23
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    Yellowjacket,

    Yes I am looking for technical info that is very specific to the design of these sterndrives; that is one of the reasons I joined this website group. I would like to think that we have a few members out there that could answer a couple questions about MerCruiser Sterndrives. I don't expect somebody to run down the list and answer all my questions but it would be nice if I could get a few answers.
    Most of they guys left that deal with sterndrives only deal with the high end Mercury racing sterndrive stuff and they are "Racing Purist". It is sort of like taking a flat bottom mud boat to them and asking for help. It is NOT what they are passionate about so the less questions I have left to ask them the less it will annoy them and the better chance of getting all my questions answered.
     
  8. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    TANSL The problem is public perception, laws and lobbyist working against amphibious designs. If your design criteria is to build an Amphibious Tender Boat/Car from somebodies yacht or houseboat and you design something that can only run on land or only water it is not half done it is NOT right at all. The new generation of amphibious vehicles does have a niece market out there. WaterCar is selling plenty amphibious cars but kit-car laws limit the number they can sell. Until some laws change the price will remain too high for the average boater enthusiast. How if the cost can be lowered and automotive regulations can be made more reasonable affordable FAST amphibious vehicle are possible. Watch this they sell plenty of them.

    I did NOT ask for your thoughts on why I was not getting any answers to the questions. I am only trying to get a few answers to what I thought would be a few simple questions to some experienced mariners. Sure there are plenty of Marine purist and Automotive purist that like the idea of anything but what they are interested in. An offshore racing purist guy is not going to want to much to do with shallow water tiny flat bottom boat. Just like regular boats out there amphibious craft do not fall into one category. The amphibious hoover-craft market is out there doing well.

    I am hoping for better laws like USA federal legislation (HR3274) for low production specialty vehicle manufacturers.
     
    myark likes this.
  9. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I have deleted "which is what you have requested" in my previous post. Sorry, my mistake.
     
  10. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    Technology grows on inspiration. I build stuff and I post stuff that I hope will inspire other people to excel and do more. I do not see a one dimensional marine industry. In addition a think that some automotive technology can be used for the betterment of the marine industry. Example the surface drive on this tiny mini boat is something that I designed over 42 years ago. I dusted the idea off again because I was looking at using on an amphibious car design. It turns and trims. I borrowed the concept from the rear suspension of Jaguars and Corvettes as well as the front solid axle suspensions from solid axle 4X4 trucks. (I was working as a car mechanic in my dad's shop). This mini boat in the video uses a cheap 7.5 hp lawnmower engine a tiny surface-drive and the guy in the boat is about 225 pounds (102 KG). We got the little boat up to about 27 knots. I think that is pretty impressive. Read more below the video and the picture.
    MiniBoat Video Jake.gif IMG_2312.JPG
    So if I do something that associated with "amphibious" designs it may have something to do with standard marine designs as well. This tiny surface drive was really super cheap to build and the design is scale-able so it could be used on a much bigger boat. It uses all tube and plate construction no castings anybody with a metal lathe can build it. It uses an alpha 1 U-joint bellows but even if the bellows is left off it still works. In addition the design allows the bellows to be tested for leaks before it is put in the water. The concept can even be adapted to sailboats because it can be installed in a manner that would allow it to be completely retracted out of the water"ZERO" drag!!!!

    So if somebody helps me with sterndrive questions there is no telling what else the information leads to. Somebody else can be reading this post and get the next great idea because somebody is willing to share a little information. That is why I joined this site. Please share if you can answer a few questions about MerCruiser Sterndrives it would be helpful.
     
  11. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    Thanks. Please watch some of my other comments and videos. I am a crusty old shellback engineer that is semi-retired from the oilfield. I would like my legacy to be that I left something behind that made the world better. I am not at the point where I am willing to just post all my ideas and plans out free to the internet yet but that day may come. Hopefully we can comment and post articles that will inspire other people to come up with more ideas.
     
    myark likes this.
  12. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    Hi Bert
    Tom Kane gallery link attached may interest you,
    When you conquer the regulations and cost, the world amphibian market is your oyster.

    Pivotal Drive for power boats.
    Member Album by tom kane | Boat Design Net https://www.boatdesign.net/gallery/albums/member-album-by-tom-kane.3589/?page=2
    Mk1 pivotal Drive a go anywhere propulsion great for shallows or open seas. Any HP any size boat. Lift drive from helm or let it look after itself as it will lift automatically going into shallows and drop down again when in deeper water. CAM.A.PROPULSION.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    Myark
    Thanks for encouragement. Unfortunately for some reason there are marine and auto people out there that are adamantly opposed to any amphibious vehicles of any kind. I can get the cost down. It is the laws that are the problem. Maybe the tourist industry in some countries like the Dominican Republic will consider getting a few FAST 12 to 15 person amphibians for tours. Anything to help get it started and change public perception.
    I am afraid that we will probably have affordable flying cars before we will have affordable amphibious vehicles. It is sad because a few amphibious vehicles would have made a huge difference in many flood disasters around here.
    I was really just looking at getting a few questions answered. Maybe I just asked too many questions at one time. I guess I'll try again with just a question or two.

    There has to be somebody out there that can tell me for sure (water pump removed) " IF you send power to a MerCruiser Bravo drive with a counter rotating engine without any major concerns"? Are all the top gears and all the bottom gears in all Bravo sterndrives models all straight cut? Even with straight cut gears is there an issue with the oil passages and a preferred rotations. Is the Bravo sterndrive casting designed for a preferred clockwise feed due to bearing loads from the gears?
     
  14. myark
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: Thailand

    myark Senior Member

    Bert
    Here is a example of the problems with regulations Gibbs had. ..............
    Gibbs Technologies is reportedly running into a tangle of regulation when it comes to bringing its Aquada to market – an amphibious vehicle that's said to be just as home on the lake as it is motoring around your neighborhood. According to TheDetroitBureau.com, the main issue seems to be that regulatory bodies want the car to conform to safety and emissions standards for both cars and boats. Unfortunately, those two worlds aren't exactly compatible. For starters, the EPA wants the Aquada to use a standard catalytic converter. Unfortunately, the emissions equipment needs to operate at close to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit – nearly 1,200 degrees more than what the U.S. Coast Guard allows on a typical watercraft.

    How ever if you had the hundred odd million Gibbs had, I am certain you would easily find a way for a fraction of the cost, Gibbs didn't invent the idea, he brought the patents and proto type from a friend of mine called Terry Roycroft, Gibbs never mentions Terry.
     

  15. Bert Amphibious
    Joined: Feb 2018
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    Location: Belle Chasse Louisianna

    Bert Amphibious Bert Amphibious

    Thanks for the info. I believe they had a picture of Terry Roycroft's prototype on Amphibious Machines website before they were required to take it down? It was pretty cool looking it was aluminum and sort of resembled the Aquada. I wish I had copied the PIC.

    Yep the car and the boat regulations don't match up too well. The marine guys inspecting my amphibious machine let me get away with an automotive exhaust because only the top of the engine was actually covered and the engine was considered "open" like that on an airboat. We sort of discussed it but they let it pass. I wonder if they just let it go because it was a prototype not for sale and that they wanted to see me develop what I was working on.

    I am not too sure how WaterCar gets around the USCG regulations since they also have a fiberglass hull and the engine is totally enclosed. Again any info helps thanks.
     
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