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TOPIC: The Invention of Stern Drives

The Invention of Stern Drives 1 month 3 weeks ago #146639

  • Nautilus
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At a Mercury Marine board meeting in the late 1950s...

Gentlemen:

Straight drive is an old idea. It's too simple and makes too much sense. In order to guarantee our financial future, we need to change simple to complicated. Let's design a way to power a boat so that the gearing needs to make two right angle turns, requiring several bearings, shims, seals, etc. We can cut a giant hole in the transom so all that gearing hangs out the back and stays completely under water. With enough gaskets and seals, we should be able to keep the water out of the casing. The whole thing will need to swivel and we'll also design a complicated electrically operated hydraulic system to raise it so the boat can be trailered. We'll have to come up with some kind of rubber seal so the boat doesn't sink but, of course, it will eventually fail. We'll sell it as a new space-saving idea that will also allow tighter turns. Of course it won't be nearly as reliable as a straight drive but that's the whole point! I tell you, gentlemen, we'll make a fortune, not only on the units but on overpriced parts and service! Remember the Hula Hoop? The herd mentality is going to make us all rich! (applause, cheers, handshakes, etc.)

The rest is not history, it's current events.

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