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 application.
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 market.

1979 Howard Arneson


Arneson Surface Drives (ASD) was originally developed as a “go fast toy” for its inventor Mr. Howard Arneson visit:

Howard Arneson Tribute

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 or down.

  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 the world.

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 applications.

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).

1979 First Arneson Drive