Hot Boat's Stern-Drive Tech

The following Stern-Drive  Tech can be found on their web site at or in various publications of Hot Boat Magazine

Tyler Crockett, the Stern-Drive Tech, is the owner of Tyler Crockett Marine Engines in Ruby, Michigan, a complete machine shop service and  dyno facility. He has been in business for 17 years.


Dear Stern-Drive Tech:

I was very much impressed by the performance of the new Baja Shooter 27 as stated in your April '93 issue. In the review of the Shooter, you mentioned that there are only a handful of hulls in this category that come  close to the outstanding performance of the Shooter. Seeing as how I don't have  $40,000-$50,000 to lay out for a new Baja, I was hoping you would enlighten myself  and your readers as to what these other hulls might be, so that perhaps I could find a used boat in my price range. I also read in one of your recent columns  where you recommended the use of a stern-drive shower for cooling. What criteria are used to determine whether you should add such a device? And do you recommend using it in conjunction with an engine oil cooler?

Jim Kowske
Linn Creek, MO

Jim, there are several used hulls you could look at  when it comes to obtaining performance comparable to that of a Shooter. The '91  Powerplay Super Sport, '91 Nordic 32, '91 Seebold Silver Eagle 265, and '92 Saber 24 are just a few of the names that come to mind. As far as pricing, you should check the classified section of HOT BOAT, as well as other boating magazines,  to see what's available.

Yes, I firmly believe in the use of stern-drive showers. The reason is that when most performance boats are manufactured, they have a higher stern-drive X-dimension that what MerCruiser recommends, and this in turn helps the boat perform better. The shower has a small water pickup mounted on the rear of the cavitation plate at the back of the drive. This pickup is very similar  to V-drive water pickup. This pickup draws water when the boat is at planing speeds  and spits it on the top cap of the drive to keep it cool. On drives that have cone-clutch shifting (Bravo One, Volvo Penta, OMC King Cobra), there's a lot of heat generated in the upper housing. The shower keeps the housing cool, which keeps the oil cool. Without the shower your drive oil will break down and wear out faster due to the heat. The heat also turns the outside of the upper housing a white color, which does not happen with the shower installed. Make a hard run  with your boat, then stop the boat. Then touch the top of the drive. Most of the time it will be so hot that you can't touch it. It may even be steaming. All MerCruiser  Magnum engines come stock with engine oil coolers, but if you're going to add  any horsepower, you should have a larger one installed.


Dear Stern-Drive Tech:

We have just purchased a Checkmate 283 Convincor with twin 454 EFIs. We feel we now have a large enough boat to cross Lake Michigan and would  be cruising at a constant speed for an hour at a time. I've been told that stern-drive  showers will help in long periods of running such a crossing. Is this true? Will  they help to keep the oil and drive cool? If they are good for the drives, why doesn't MerCruiser install them as standard equipment on all their drives?

We enjoy your magazine very much. You help us get through  these long Wisconsin winters while we wait for boating weather to return.

Stephen K. Lentz
Campbellsport, WI

Stern-drive showers will indeed keep the top and centers of both outdrives at lower operating temperatures, aiding in the efficient transfer of heat produced in the stern-lubricating oil system. The showers have been available  for several years costing approximately $80, and they do an efficient job. I also wonder why a manufacturer would not make this part of standard accessory in a high-performance application; perhaps it's feared that it would add more straw  on the camel's back to place them in a noncompetitive position. I am not aware  of any technical restrictions preventing its addition.


Dear Stern-Drive Tech:

I own a 1996 Checkmate 253 Convincor with a 454 Magnum EFI and Bravo One drive. Should I install a drive shower? A Checkmate dealer told  me that the new Bravos don't need them. Is he correct? Also, will a drive shower reduce top speed due to added drag?

Steve Lutren
Farwell, MI

Yes, I would definitely install a stern-drive shower.  The dealer that told you that the new Bravos don't need them is not correct. The  late model style Bravo Ones do have an oil circulating system in them but they  don't circulate enough to cool the oil. The drive shower will bring the oil temperatures down and maintain the quality of the oil to let it lubricate and not foam. A drive shower will not reduce top speed.


Dear Stern-Drive Tech:

I recently saw a cooling unit attached to the stern of a boat where a pickup tube picked up fresh water (while underway) and, through a hose and another attachment on top or the outdrive squirted water on the top of  the drive to keep it cool. I'm looking for a manufacturer and/or distributor where I can buy the attachment. I'm turning to your group because of all the dead ends I've run into. Can you help me find this item? I'm in the southeast Michigan area. Thanks.

Curt Penland
via the internet

The cooling unit you are talking about is called a drive shower. There are several manufactures of these. Some are a single-bent tube that  dumps water on the top of the drives. IMCO makes one that has a plate with bent edges to help hold the water on top of the drive a little longer for more cooling. Some of the manufacturers are listed in the back of this magazine in the advertising section. Also, "V-Drive Tech" guru Jim Wilkes was busy evaluating such  a drive shower at press time for use in our January 2000 issue, so you might want to check out his findings in the next Hot Boat.

About Us: Simrek® Corporation specializes in external stern drive cooling systems for your high performance or pleasure boating needs. Composed of high-grade stainless steel, the Simrek® Multiport Drive Shower® can add years of life to your Alpha and Bravo drives

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