View Full Version : Are all V-drives like this?

02-20-2010, 11:42 PM
I'm in the market for a new(er) boat. I currently have an old 1989 Mastercraft Prostar 190 (direct drive). I found this 06 Supreme that looked awesome for a reasonable price. It's a v208 and it's only got 75 hours on it. The boat appeared to be in great shape. It's got some black scorpion engine with 300+ hp (not sure of the exact number). Anyway... first impression was that on take off, it was much slower than my old boat (stock ~250 hp supposedly). Also, it handled sluggishly (even with the ballasts empty). The other thing I noticed was that if I took my hands off the steering wheel, the boat would immediately veer to the right (sharply, not just a little bit). It took considerable pressure on the wheel to make it go straight. Also, when the boat was in neutral and I just put it in Forward, there was a ringing noise (from transmission or v-drive?). The guy said it always sounded like that.

Since this is the first time I've driven a v-drive, I wanted to know which (if any) of the things above sound "normal" and which indicates a problem with the boat. Thanks!

02-20-2010, 11:49 PM
In response to a V drive VS DD. When taking off and going straight you should be able to let the wheel go and keep going in a straight line, i can easily 1 finger steer my boat in clam waters.

Turning has always been called my Corvette on the water. My V drive turns something fierce, it sharp, handles tight, and will easily throw you out of the seat if you don't hold on.

Take off is considerable also, it puts you in the seat, if your standing and not holding on you will fall and get hurt.

I cant compare this to a DD as i havnt driven one but sounds like that boat has some serious tracking issues. Also if its sluggish on the take off it could be a weak and worn out engine. Even though it has low hours only a compression test will tell you the efficiency of the engine.

Sounds like that boat is got some alignment issues or other drive train problems.

02-20-2010, 11:53 PM
I was a little disappointed the first time i took a v drive out as well. And it was a 95,000 nautique v210 or something. it felt like a pig and would only do like 38 mph. felt like my buddies 135 hp IO. Iwas sadly disappointed. but then i took out a supra 20 launch and i felt a little better, imo its peformance was superior. I ended up with a 21 v with a 340 hp which i like. it does not have the hole shot like my outback ls but then it weighs another 1000'lbs. there is a def difference between dd and vd. you have to drive a couple before you decide. weight , HP, and prop will all give diff characteristics. be sure to see what speed WOT will give you as the prop will affect this. pwi and just trying to help. My outback ls would corner at 45mph like it was on rails.....a real head turner.......but so is my new boat:)

02-21-2010, 10:07 AM
A DD will out pull (holeshot) a V drive and a DD will always be faster. All your other issues seem like something to worry about or at least steer you away as you just don't seem impressed with that particular boat. Also keep in mind you are coming from a smallish boat as far as inboards are concerned so the bigger V Drive may seem sluggish to you.

02-21-2010, 10:21 AM
The pulling could be torque/prop steer, but the ringing doesn't sound typical. If you really want that boat just have it checked out by a shop... good peace of mind.

02-21-2010, 11:15 AM
You are comparing a 19' narrow, light PS to a 21' heavy boat. Of course the hole shot is going to be different. The two hulls are different (for their different jobs: ski vs board) and will react differently. Though, the V drive "should" handle pretty close to your old boat and must better than an I/O. Steering issues could be just a simple tune of the rudder or it could mean a problem. "Ringing" noises are never supposed to be there in forward on any boat. In reverse, it is probable that you will hear something different.

02-21-2010, 01:27 PM
Thanks guys, I'll keep looking, the tracking + ringing had me nervous, but the guy insisted it had always been like that. I appreciate your replies -- yes I did expect "different" performance from v drive vs. direct drive, but I figured with an extra ~70HP and newer by 20 years, it wouldn't be that dramatic -- could be the brand, could be something wrong with the boat, I don't know. I'll test drive some more and find out, though. Thanks again.

02-21-2010, 01:43 PM
saber, I agree. Tracking should be straight and noise minimal moving in the forward direction. The tracking could be many things such as the rudder and the skags that could indicate possible damage from hitting something.

02-21-2010, 01:53 PM
Saber, if it doesn't seem right it probably isn't. Never trust anyone selling their boat unless they have earned it.... good luck in finding something

Ian Brantford
02-21-2010, 02:18 PM
saber, I agree. Tracking should be straight and noise minimal moving in the forward direction. The tracking could be many things such as the rudder and the skags that could indicate possible damage from hitting something.

+1. If he's only got 75 hours on it after several years, he probably hardly every uses it and doesn't know how to drive it or maintain it. The description lists major issues with the engine, transmission and steering. My guess would be that he hit a rock, really hard. It probably got damaged at 74 hours, repaired for as little money as it took to cover up any external evidence, and is now being dumped by the owner. Possibly there was some problem with insurance, as it would normally cover damage in an accident.

Regardless of whether the above speculation is correct, this boat is not worth considering. Only an expert who can do his own extensive repairs should even consider it.

02-21-2010, 07:17 PM
sounds bad-never had a noise with both of my v-drives and both track straight.

02-25-2010, 01:32 PM
That boat definitely had issues of some sort. Good choice to keep on searchin. Best to stick with the more reputable names also. Not that anyone builds a bad boat, I'm not looking to start that conversation, but if anything for resale it's a better decision. Good luck...

02-25-2010, 02:27 PM
Another thing also to remember is the fact that the Vdrive towboats are designed with wakeshape in mind not speed....

02-27-2010, 02:00 AM
I vote for having a marine mechanic you trust have a look. It could be something minor and you might come out way ahead with a low hour boat. If you don't have anyone like this it is probably better to walk though.