Why does a SigmaDrive work so well? Because SigmaDrive is a constant velocity joint which allows the propeller shaft to rotate without transmitting the engines movements and vibrations. Other attempts at solving these solutions rely on rubber couplings or Cardan units. The SigmaDrive requires none of these, is compact and easy to fit, usually without slipping the vessel or requiring modifications to the shaft line. It’ s a premium product manufactured from a special bronze alloy that is maintenance free and its internal components are hard wearing and long lived.
Looking at the image on top of the schematic you can see the usual method of connecting an engine with a propeller. The three fixed points, consisting of the propeller mount, the mechanical seal and the engine / gearbox, are individually or collectively capable of creating the two potential causes of noise and vibration. Firstly, any imperfect alignment of the three points can create vibration and noise. Secondly those vibrations and the associated noise are then transmitted directly through to the hull of the vessel and thence throughout the boat.
The simple solution is to fit a SigmaDrive coupling in the place of the standard one. The whole system from gearbox to propeller instantly becomes much more flexible, with the coupling able to correct imperfect co-axial alignment between the prop shaft and the gearbox of as much as 6 degrees. As can be seen in the lower schematic with the SigmaDrive in place the reduction in the rigidity of the whole propulsion system means that the engine vibrations are significantly reduced or eliminated completely, and the prop-shaft can rotate naturally with no vibrations or noise to transmit to the hull.