A Technologically Advanced Boat
Hi-tech Drive System - Z Drive - Azimuthing Lower Units
Propeller thrust can be in vectored in every direction in a Z-drive vessel. This is
accomplished by rotating the lower unit(s). Since a picture is worth a thousand
words, we'll let photographs from the shipbuilder illustrate the concept better than
any textbook marine engineering explanation.
Photos from Diversified Marine, at the
website of the boat builder, show the lower units and lower unit through hull fittings,
which are at the heart of this advanced propulsion system. Such systems require
additional job training to master.
In terms of marine engineering principles, azimuthing drives are vastly different
The 78 foot Lulapin packs a lot of agility into a compact length. Designed by the Canadian naval
architectural firm Robert Allan & Associates and operated by Brusco Tug and Towing (featured in
West Coast Tugs), Lulapin is a Z-drive azimuthing tug. This transmission system gives her
unprecedented maneuverability that isn't attainable with traditionally shafted propeller systems.