outboard motor

Nord Star Offers New 24 Offshore Model with Outboard Power

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Nord Star USA and Brewer Yacht Sales will be showing a new Nord Star 24 Offshore model from the Finnish boat builder at the New England Boat Show in late February.  The boat features outboard propulsion but retains the salty pilothouse looks of its sister ships in the Nord Star Patrol line that runs all the way up to 40′.

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Interior Forward View of New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Interior Forward View of New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

The 24 Offshore with outboards features a vee berth forward and seating for up to six in the pilothouse.  I’ve written before about the Nord Star line — I tested both the 26 and 31 — and I think they’re worth a good, long look.  The design and construction are to hardy commercial Finnish workboat standards, and the systems and features are first-rate.  This new outboard version of the 24 will offer a little more mechanical simplicity, as well as below-decks storage, for an owner who prefers an outboard solution, rather than the standard Volvo diesel.

Vee Berth Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Vee Berth Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Marine Head Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Marine Head Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

I don’t have the specs on the outboard choice(s) yet, but in the images you see with this story, taken from the company website, the boat has been fitted with a sizeable Honda, probably the 225, which is built around a 5.6L V-6.  Maximum recommended horsepower would be around 250, based on the listed 200 kW.  I noticed that the listed beam measurement of 8′ – 9″ means that it would require a special trailer permit in most of the United States, but they’re simple to get and frankly, with a weight of just under 3 tons withOUT the motor, you’re not gonna just drag this around behind your Civic.  It does mean, though, that you can probably store it in the backyard or driveway in the off-season.

Looking Aft from the Cabin Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Looking Aft from the Cabin Aboard New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

If you can visit Boston in late February, you’ll see this boat at the New England Boat Show.  You can download a basic brochure on the inboard-powered 24 model here

Layout of the New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Layout of the New Nord Star 24 Offshore Outboard Model

Nord Star 24 Offshore
Specifications

IMCI CE-B OFFSHORE  
Total length 7,8m (25’6”)
Total width 2,7m (8’9”)
Hull v-angle (stern) 18,3
Height in main cabin 1,88m (6’2”)
Transportheight (with cradle) 2,95m (9’7”)
Max. recommended nr. of persons 6
Max. recommended
propulsion power
200 kw
TANK SIZE CHART  
Water 50L (13 gal)
Septic 47L (12 gal)
Diesel 240L (63 gal)
LOADING  
Max. recommended loading 600 kg
(1323 lb)
WEIGHTS (avarage)  
Weight (without engine) 1900 kg
(5732 lb)

 

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats

Take the Poll — What’s the Ideal Tender Outboard?

A Maritime Engineering Group Vision Diesel Outboard

A Maritime Engineering Group Vision Diesel Outboard

Yanmar D-Series Diesel Outboard

Yanmar D-Series Diesel Outboard

If you could have the perfect outboard for your dinghy or tender, what would it be?  A diesel perhaps, because you’re already carrying hundreds or thousands of gallons of that fuel and because looking for and storing gasoline is such a pain in the neck, not to mention dangerous? I’ve long thought, for example, that Evinrude could probably make a small killing by adapting its current universal-fuel outboard for regular diesel use. It would probably get a little heavier, but since most of us are using a davit or crane of some kind already, that might not be a big problem. Size is probably the biggest current issue for small diesel outboards. Most engineering efforts, such as the Marine Engineering Group outboard in the top photo, have focused on larger, high-power units so far. But there are 20- and 30 hp diesels out there that might be adaptable. The second image is of the old Yanmar D Series, which I don’t believe is available anymore.

Marine Green Co-Founders Bill Parlatore and Howard Brooks test an early propane-powered outboard

Marine Green Co-Founders Bill Parlatore and Howard Brooks test an early propane-powered outboard

What about a propane-powered outboard? There’s at least one in development that looks promising and if you’re tanking propane for stoves or barbecue grills, it wouldn’t be much of an inconvenience to use that for the dinghy, too.

Yamaha's Current 2.5 hp Gas 4-stroke Outboard

Yamaha's Current 2.5 hp Gas 4-stroke Outboard

Maybe you just want whatever is cheapest because you don’t use it enough to justify any real investment. You just want something cheap and reliable. That’s probably a two- or four-stroke gas outboard, which is relatively inexpensive and (mostly) reliable.

New Torqeedo Travel 1003 Electric Outboard

New Torqeedo Travel 1003 Electric Outboard

What about an electric outboard? Like the Torqeedo or something similar?  Lots of benefits there — low noise, zero pollution, great acceleration, and plenty of fuel since most cruisers and passagemakers have copious electrical generating capacity. Okay, some sailboats don’t and maybe for them electric isn’t a viable option.  The downside to electric? Somewhat limited range, depending on what kind of performance you require (fast or slow). Read about Torqeedo’s outboards here and here.

Whatever your thoughts are, we’d like to hear about them.  Please take just a few seconds to take the poll on our front page (lower right section, you may have to scroll down a bit). We’ll do a follow-up with the results, although you can see the results any time you’d like by clicking on the link at the bottom of the survey.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Engines, Gear & Apparel, Powerboats, Sailboats, Technology

Got Propane? Run Your Outboard Motor on It

Could This Be Your Next Dinghy Gas Tank?

Could This Be Your Next Dinghy Gas Tank?

Well, soon maybe.  In my apparently Quixotic quest for a single fuel for vessel, tender and toys, I keep looking for new ideas.  Using propane as fuel for an internal combustion engine is not new, but it is for a modest outboard application.  A company I can only identify so far as Marine Green (more on that later) has posted a video on YouTube that shows a small outboard running on what appears to be propane from a recognizable tank near the transom.

To quote the YouTube poster, “The ongoing progress of Marine Green’s R&D program. Propane is a better alternative fuel than other fuel sources. Safe, reliable, it does not go bad, and emits much fewer harmful emissions than gas… ”  Here’s the video:

 Is propane really a good fuel to use for your outboard?  Possibly.  We’ll have to wait and see Marine Green’s final performance and emissions numbers, but we do know a little bit about propane, generically, as a fuel.  Check out the table below to see how propane ranks in terms of its energy density.

Btu Content of Common Energy Units

  • 1 barrel (42 gallons) of crude oil = 5,800,000 Btu
  • 1 gallon of gasoline = 124,000 Btu (based on U.S. consumption, 2008)
  • 1 gallon of diesel fuel = 139,000 Btu
  • 1 gallon of heating oil = 139,000 Btu
  • 1 barrel of residual fuel oil = 6,287,000 Btu
  • 1 cubic foot of natural gas = 1,028 Btu (based on U.S. consumption, 2008)
  • 1 gallon of propane = 91,000 Btu
  • 1 short ton of coal = 19,988,000 Btu (based on U.S. consumption, 2008)
  • 1 kilowatthour of electricity = 3,412 Btu

Source:  U.S. Energy Information Administration

You can see that propane has about 26 percent less energy in a gallon than a gallon of gasoline, and nearly 35 percent less than a gallon of diesel.  That means that you’re not gonna get as far on a gallon, but if range isn’t an issue and if you’re already carrying and monitoring propane availability, it might be a solution.  It’s hard to tell what size outboard is in the video; but I might be anywhere from a 9.9hp to a 25hp unit, based just on appearance.  We’ll have to wait until the company’s website is up and running to get more details.  I have also reached out to an individual well-known in passagemaking circles to confirm a rumor that he is at the center of this project.  I’ll let you know what I hear from him.

Ultimately, I would still like to see someone like Evinrude take one of its multi-fuel E-TEC models and just certify it for diesel.  It will already run on the stuff, as well as practically everything else out there; from gas to Jet fuel.  Yes, I know diesel fuel is harder on an engine and it would require beefing up key components, but there are a LOT of diesel-powered yachts out there who would love not to have to carry gasoline for their tenders and dinghies.

Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats, Construction & Technical, Cruising Under Power, Engines, Powerboats, Technology

New Torqeedo Might Be The Green Go for Your Dinghy

New Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 R Electric Motor Has High Thrust and Efficiency

New Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 R Electric Motor Has High Thrust and Efficiency

Torqeedo, the German company that produces those cool, skinny electric outboard motors has introduced a new model — the Cruise 4.0 R — that has the power to realistically be considered a replacement for the gas-powered outboard on your dinghy.  And it does so with an overall efficiency of more than 50%, which is at least an order of magnitude greater than other electric motors, and much higher than any gasoline outboard.

The Cruise runs on 48 volts and offers 215 pounds of thrust, roughly equivalent to a 9.9hp gas outboard.  The Cruise 4.0 R is designed specifically for remote steering and throttle.  The throttle mount includes an LCD display that shows remaining battery charge, current speed and range remaining at current speed, as well as input power in watts.  The motor’s onboard computer includes its own GPS receiver, which enables the speed and range calculations.

The Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 R addresses one of the principal shortcomings of electric motors as primary propulsion on boats, which is the short range and time of operation due to limited battery capacity and relatively low efficiency.  With its significantly higher efficiency, and with a power output that should be sufficient to get a typical 10 or 11-foot dinghy to speed with a full load, it can truly be considered a potential replacement for the gas motor.

Another potential advantage not cited by Torqeedo might be the ability to eliminate the carriage of gasoline for the tender.  All trawlers and passagemaking boats on the water have sufficient electricity generation capabilities to keep the Torqeedo’s batteries charged.  And with no mess or the inherent danger of gasoline storage and management, it offers a safety enhancement.  The motor operates on lead-gel or AGM batteries, or a set of two high-performance lithium-manganese batteries available from Torqeedo. 

The motor is not cheap, with a suggested retail price of $3,699, but the extra thousand or so compared to a gas outboard motor might be more than made up by the economy, efficiency and safety of operation.

Copyright ©  2008 by OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Industry News, Technology