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Old 01-02-2008, 08:58 PM   #1
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Default A thought for Mr. Maxum

The 1800 SR3 is a great boat, but here in Europe (especially in UK) fuel costs for petrol are very high ... just over £1 a litre, equiv to $7.60 per US gallon.

The thirsty 4.3L petrol is needed to get a reasonable number of horses, however some manufacturers are now fitting an alternative -
The VW Marine engine.

In Europe we have a long history of very efficient small compact Diesel's, and in cars there is the very well respected engine used in the Audi A6, A8 and various SUV's ... this is the 3 Litre VW diesel.
This is now being produced by VW marine as a drop in complete marinised unit ... giving a 225hp package in a smaller footprint and less weight than a V6 petrol.

VW marine state that it has better acceleration than a 220hp petrol, and being diesel has bucket loads of low end torque ... which makes it ideal for large or duo prop installs.


Master Craft for example now have this in their Master Craft Pro Star 190. They quote that the diesel had not only to be good for a diesel it had to be as good as the petrol.


This is a high revvving performance engine .... maybe Mr. maxum it's time to take a look at alternatives.?

If you want some other options :

I had an LPG converted V8 on a previous boat and that was 50% cheaper to fill, and you can still run on petrol at a flick of a switch.
All it needs is build in at construction time to be cheap - after conversions are expensive.

Howbaout a Hydrogen fuel cell engine, BMW now make one for the 5 & 7 series ... with added beneift that it has zero emissions, all that comes out of exhaust is plain old water.
THis gives the grunt of an internal combustion engine with benefits of Hydrogen fuel ... no batteries so no weight penalty.


So Mr. maxum ... howabout it.
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:02 AM   #2
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I was reading about the diesel engine by VW and it sounds like a cool option....thanks for posting...... 8)
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:06 AM   #3
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As fuel prices continue to rise I've been thinking about alternative power sources for boats more and more. My assumption about the manufacturers continued use of lump engines is that they still maintain the attitude, since boats are basically a luxury item, those that have them can afford the fuel to run them without any concern of cost. Which, really is probably true for a large portion of the boating world. The exception would be those, like me, in the smaller boats where paying $2000 a year in fuel is in the budget but $3000 isn't.

The majority of the boats here in Tampa, that navigate the Gulf of Mexico use outboards because they can pull them out of the salt water without yanking the boat. From small skiffs to 35' fishing boats that use 4 250 hp Yami's, 'rudes and Mercs etc. These outboards have more horsepower than my 190 4.3 V6 (and most 5 liter V8's) and use less gas and less weight and probably emit less emissions.

The 4.3, 5.0 and 5.7 GM blocks are dirt cheap for Merc to convert. It will really boil down to consumer demand or lack thereof. Your typical 18' sport boat owner is going to have a limited budget for fuel. Sales will only decrease as fuel costs rise with the current batch of power plants. It's easy to see.

As the Boat US magazine likes to remind their readers, as the wealth of the world increases, the wealthy decrease opportunities for boating for the middle class by buying up water front real estate and thus making public accessible launches rare. Something that I am already witnessing here in FL.

It won't be long and boating will be an activity left only to the very rich...those who can afford the fuel...have water access...and support the expensive waterside marinas. Bleak outlook? Maybe. It's not here yet, but it could be.

To circle back around to the original topic I believe it is necessary for the boat manufactures to enter into a new era of affordable, fuel efficient power plants for sub 22 footers if they care about selling them in the future. But I don't think they care now or will care in the future. Their highest profit margin is in the sport cruiser/sport yacht market.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:36 AM   #4
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>It won't be long and boating will be an activity left only to the very rich

about where it started then.

A small fuel efficient high torque high power output power plant would seem ideal for bulk market.

Matercraft need the ability to pop skiers - their reputation is built on it, and if the diesel is now suitable for them, it's time others looked at this.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:21 AM   #5
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Plenty of waterfront property for sale in nov scotia :wink:
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:25 PM   #6
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I would love to see Diesel... one problem though.

Call Simon Waring at Mastercraft, his number is: 01977674635; ask him how much a Diesel is over a Petrol MCX - The price is astronomical! These engines make perfect sense, apart from the the price tag, they are stupid money.

A 4.3 MPI engine can be bought from Mercruiser for around $7k by a big manufacturer, a VW lump is triple that, if not more.
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:14 PM   #7
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There a re anumber of excellent diesel packs out there ... VW/Audi is only one.
BMW, Honda ... Brunswick has big enough buying power, and as it owns Mercruiser ... perhaps Merc are looking at a small Disel lump ? Volvo certainly now do them.
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:33 PM   #8
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I was just reading in "Go Boating" magazine about Volvo (I think) putting out a new compact diesel to go along with their other diesels. Designed to fit in smaller places, it is designed as a "slant" 4 cylinder block.
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:44 PM   #9
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To put it into perspective the top of the range 280 mastercraft fitted with twin diesel vags costs £27500 MORE than a twin small block set up! 27000 liters of fuel would keep me going for a few seasons.
Nice idea tho if you can get some serious economies of scale......
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:18 AM   #10
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Lets face it in most cases boating is an expensive sport. I would rather pay less for the boat and use it less, then not be able to afford the boat at all. The idea of switching engines using alternative fues etc., will only come to the mainstream when demanded by the people. Look how many hybrid cars and suvs there are now, the public demanded them and costs are coming down.

Unfortunately, until the demand for boats in the U.S. changes things will remain the mostly the same. Maybe VW could produce the diesel engine for the same price as the Mercrusier, then things would change.

I fully understand your pain. I certainly would use my boat differently at $7.60 than at the current $3.09.
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