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  1. #1

    Default Pirata V drive conversion, attempt #2

    I posted last fall about converting my 89 Pirata to a v drive. I got screwed by a guy on ebay selling a BW 72C with v drive (ebay did refund my 1200.00) and lost interest in the project. Now I'm back to it!

    The plan is to convert to both a vdrive and open bow. I've had a few open bows before and have never liked the walk through option. I converted a mid 70's Tahiti jet into a step over open bow and loved the front "bench" seat that that offered. I'm doing the same on this hull, a step through the windshield, over the bulkhead format. I'm mounting a curved open bow windshield in place of the flat plate original and wow, it brings the look of this hull into the 21st century!

    For the v drive, I purchased a Crusader unit for cheap. Its a 12* box with 15% gears, water cooled. I've pulled the engine/tranny, fuel tanks, interior, prop, prop shaft and strut. I'm now working on shimming the strut to give me the 12* angle instead of the 15* stock set up. It looks like the v drive box will be about 18" forward of the prior location where prop flange/BW mated up. With any luck, the v drive will fit completely under the floor. If not, I either fab a funky raised cover for it or build the entire floor up a bit to cover the v drive. I plan on using the original fuel tank as the rear seat base. I've purchased some Bennett trim tabs so plan on some type of trim-able wake/cavitation plate.

    The hull has bottom paint on it which will be a PAIN to remove. I've read where Soy Strip works well but have yet to try it. I'm also hoping to completely re gel coat the entire hull to some custom design.

    Progress will be slow as I have a full time job as a high school counselor (former wood/drafting teacher) and sell salmon at the local Saturday farmers market. I commercial fish in AK each summer and this year had a National Geographic camera crew on board and will be one of four boats featured in a 6 episode series called Alaska Fish Wars being shown on NatGeoWild in February! Didn't make a dime off of it but it was fun to be part of the program.

    Question: With the 15% gear box I can go either over driven or under driven. All of the current wakeboard boats are under driven by around 25-50% (1.25 or 15.:1). I wonder with the flatter shaft angle if I can run 15% over? Any thoughts?

    Lance

    Aug 2013 for sale 015.jpgAug 2013 for sale 017.jpgaugust II 021.jpgaugust II 022.jpgaugust II 024.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    536

    Default

    Very VERY interresting project ! Will follow it carefuly.
    What is the curved windshield from ?
    Sorry I can't answer your % question anyway
    Stéphane
    -----------------------
    1989 Supra Saltare

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    446

    Default Pirata V drive conversion, attempt #2

    Extremely Interested. I actually have a call In to a tranny shop in Florida who is putting together a complete parts list to put a Walter on the back of my velvet drive that is in my Sunsport. As soon as I have a complete parts list I will share it as if i have to put new stringers in my boat soon I should just vdrive it. Time will tell!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Chain of lakes, IL
    Posts
    194

    Default

    you sir, are a bold man! Im looking forward to following this.
    1987 Supra Sunsport
    351 PCM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Hudson, WI
    Posts
    2,653

    Default

    That windshield looks awesome and doesn't even look like it's going to be too hard to finish. Glass is going to be tricky. Good luck and keep us updated!!
    Former owner of a 1987 Supra Saltare. Current owner of a Malibu 23LSV.

  6. #6

    Default

    I bought the windshield off of ebay about 20 yrs ago and its just been sitting in storage. It's off a Stratos fish/ski outboard hull. The Pirata hull is wider so I'll have to get some new alum extrusion and make the center panel of the windshield about 6" wider. It will need some foam/glass work where the windshield mounts to the deck as the new unit does not make contact along the entire length of the mounting surface. I did the same thing to a Malibu Sunsetter a few years ago when I changed the flat panel to a curved unit.

    villain: you might check ebay for a complete unit also. What I had originally purchased was a Velvet drive with attached v drive unit and I believe it would have mounted up fairly easily. Things to watch for/consider: you'll need a v drive oil pan since the engine is now turned around, interference between pan and rudder assembly/strut mounting bolts, leaving access room to front of engine to get to water pump etc. Most of the true, old school flat bottom type v drives had the engine mounted about 36" from the transom allowing easy access to the front of the engine. Referencing from the current shaft log position, your engine is going to be fairly tight up against the transom. I'm looking at being about 12" forward of the transom on my install with a new shaft log location and v drive box being around 7-8' forward of the transom using a drive shaft around 24" long. I'll have to fit the various items as I bolt each piece in place starting with using the existing strut in the existing location but shimmed to give 12*.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    2,138

    Default

    Contact the people at B&W, they can help you with your power setup (just don't tell them you have a crusader). With your engine you want to over drive it. If you are using an older engine, you will already have some power loss, and the newer engines hold that power rating better.

    As for your drive, once you measure it out, engine, tranny and v-drive then take a look at your setup. Your engine will obviously be open space. But then the backrest to the rear seat and rear divider wall will help cover the tranny. You want access to the v-drive so build your rear bench over it. That way you can lift the middle seat and voila, V-drive. If you can make the lower base removable for service access you will be glad you did. I would recommend hidden latches on the back that pull the seat against supports at the front. Seal the edges of the sides of the bench with color matched rubber trim. You will never notice a gap, it will look clean, and it can come out in 5 minutes. Great for tranny and v-drive service.

    That's the other thing you have to think about, servicing the engine. You have to have it forward enough to access the belts, but far enough back to not lose space. Wheeee. Your boat is perfect for a v-drive conversion. Being a pirata you can relocate your fuel tank to the bow to offset the 700lbs that you just moved to the stern. You will want that balance. Also consider a hydraulic wakeplate, that way you can quickly and easily adjust your trim for varying conditions and weights in the boat.

    Make sure you go through that v-drive with a fine tooth comb. Those crusaders did have their issues.

  8. #8

    Default

    What specifically do I need to look for in the Crusader gear box in terms of issues? Any pics of what you're talking about in terms of edges with rubber trim? I've got some Bennett trim tabs ready to go!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    2,138

    Default

    Honestly I can't remember, I know that sounds real helpful, but I remember reading a bunch when I planned mine. Nothing catastrophic, but if you have it apart there were a few components that you could upgrade.

    I'll try and find a picture of the trim I'm talking about. It's small and looks like the border you would find around a cheap poster frame. U-shaped so that it slides over the edge you are trying to clean up. But it's thick enough that it basically provides a clean shim so your paneling isn't so tight you can't get it out, but closes up any gaps.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    446

    Default Pirata V drive conversion, attempt #2

    Just pulled a hurth tranny out of a MasterCraft that I'm thinking of having rebuilt to use. If you have never Sean one they are extremely short but tall. Whe. I get to work tomorrow I will put up some pics.

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