ARNESON SURFACE DRIVES THE FIRST AND THE FASTEST
ARTICULATED SURFACE DRIVE SYSTEM
When we speak about marine propulsion systems we usually
refer to conventional under water propellers being the most
common and worldwide known systems used for marine
A conventional system like this if well designed can allow
good performance for top speeds of about 35 knots and in few
cases up to 40 knots.
The technology to move into the realm of over forty, fifty,
sixty and above are now available and have been proven.
The conventional propulsion system of fully submerged
propeller and inclined shaft has been left behind for the
development of surface drive systems particularly Arneson
Drives the first articulated surface system released into the
Arneson Surface Drives (ASD) was originally developed as a
“go fast toy” for its inventor Mr.
Howard Arneson visit: www.howardarneson.com.
The drive has been through an evolution of technical
problems and has emerged as an extremely reliable system used
by boat and yacht builders.
The creation of his unique surface drive system began as an
hobby. Arneson spent about three years developing the drive
system, which was introduced in 1980. He began with a fixed
shaft arrangement with a surface piercing propeller, and
although the basic idea worked, it was impossible to trim up
||Howard Arneson taught “I could not find the
sweetheart spot that’s right for all conditions” and also
it needed rudders to steer with.
After changing the spot and angle several times, he figured
that if he could develop a trimming system, he’d be on the
way. A key element in his invention was a ball and a socket
arrangement, which when coupled with a constant velocity joint
would allow the operator to change the angle and achieve the
trimmability Arneson was seeking.
The final configuration for the ASD was conceived in 1979 and
the first models were constructed and tested in early 1980.
Shortly after that, production began on the smallest model
which we now call ASD 6.
Initially tested on many different racing applications,
Arneson Surface Drives were immediately successful in a number
of racing circuits around the world. From their initial debut,
two of the world famous Miami-Nassau-Miami off shore races
were won on stock, fully warranted, factory Arneson Drive
units, as well as numerous off shore class 1 world
championship events. ( Steve Curtiss, Cougar Cat, 1988, Howard
Arneson, 1983 and 1984 )
Since the production of Arneson Surface drives in 1980,
many catamarans in excess of 150 mph have been designed and
are currently in operation today.
|SKATER 46’ 1x4500Hp
Textron Lycoming gas turbine/ASD 10 B 1 L over 150 knots
Since then thousands of ASD have been produced and ASD
is became the most popular and used surface drive system in
In 1992 Twin Disc Inc. one of the major Company in marine
propulsion field acquired the rights to manufacture and
distribute ASD. The development of different ASD sized has
continued since that time to meet a wide range of applications
in the boating industry, and today, Twin Disc offers nine
different model sizes for gas, diesel and turbine engines up
to 10,000 Hp.
Today, Twin Disc Arneson Surface Drives are in use throughout
the world as an option for many pleasure boat builders.
Designers are recognizing the many benefits that are offered
by the use of ASD and are designing these units into new
Over 20 Government Agencies around the world have
recognized the many advantages of ASD and have built patrol
boats and other craft that utilize ASD as well as Commercial
operators who have applications ranging from small utility
craft to ferry boats (visit section reference
for hundreds of applications).