View Full Version : New To V-Drives

06-12-2011, 01:24 PM
Brand new to the forum, but long time lurker.

In picking my next boat, I am torn between a Cobalt (sterndrive) and a Mastercraft (V-drive). My dilemma comes from having had an experience where I tore up a sterndrive lower on some rocks (ALL MY FAULT and, I was a new boater). While it was a sterndrive on which this occurred, my logic is that have a v-drive will ALWAYS put me in jeopardy of having another similar experience.

That said, I REALLY want a MC, and have come here to ask two questions and would like MC owners' real world perspective:

1. Is my fear irrational. Assuming that I am careful, will I be ok? Are there some hard and fast rules that you follow to avoid these occurrences?

2. How does a V-drive handle at very slow speeds around the dock and other boats (rafting)? Reverse?

I appreciate everyone's help. If everyone doesn't mind, I may ask a bunch of silly questions as I'm not really sold on one model yet, so be forewarned:D

Thanks in advance

06-12-2011, 01:35 PM
Your fears are Somewhat unfounded, you can ground and do damage to any boats underwater gear regardless of what type of boat it is. With that said the V-drive will have a shallower draft than a comparable I/O. If a grounding does occur the damage usually isnt as expensive to fix as a mangled lower unit.

The best way to avoid groundings in any boat is to be knowledgeable of the lake that you are going to be boating on,get a chart of the lake that marks sandbars and reefs, ask someone at the boat launch what to look out for.

V-drives do handle differently than an I/O and the best advice is slow and think ahead and you will be fine. Because of the props rotation you will back away and to the right when in reverse, bt once you gain experience you can spin a v-drive within its own length. Biggest thing is just getting time behind the wheel.

06-12-2011, 03:51 PM
As MIskier states vdrives will have a better draft so theoretically you should not get into trouble as often. There is also truth that there is less hanging in the water to damage but there is still plenty there to break should you decide to go trolling for rocks again.

From a handling perspective you will not have an outdrive to turn to direct your boat while in reverse. Nor will you be able to pull the outdrive up to beach the boat (something you won't see the majority of MasterCraft owners do anyway).

An inboard needs water moving past the rudder to maneuver, it will only back to the right when in reverse and in general takes more skill and practice to drive well. For putting up with it's limitations you will get a boat that handles like it's on rails, is more efficient and less mechanically complex. When it comes to water sports there really is no comparison to an inboard and don't even think about wake surfing with the Coblat.

The Cobalt however is a fine boat, I know this personally as I owned one. If I didn't have a MasterCraft I'd probably have another Cobalt or a Formula now. However for the type of boating we do (inland lakes, near shore) and the activities we use the boat for (skiing, surfing, wakeboarding) an inboard makes the best sense. In the end you'll have to decide what is most important to you and what you plan to use the boat for as well as who is going to be driving the boat. While my wife will pull skiers she will not attempt to dock or perform close quarters driving.

Best of luck with your decision making. Sounds like either way you go you'll end up with a nice boat.

06-12-2011, 05:29 PM
This image will give you a good idea what the difference between the MC and a I/O.

06-12-2011, 05:43 PM
This image will give you a good idea what the difference between the MC and a I/O.

this right here says it all! While the V-drive takes a little getting used to around docks and other boats at slow speeds, Its 100times better than an I/O! Once you get the hang of low speed maneuverability, you'll never have a second thought about your deecision to buy a V-drive over the I/O