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New Boat Engines for 2013
Mercury TDI SmartCraft
Who Wants It? Boaters seeking relief from ethanol worries associated with gasoline engines.
Importance? High efficiency, high performance and high torque in a small footprint.
Electric and Propane
Propane outboard manufacturer Lehr Inc. will add a 9.9 hp outboard to its marine engine line in 2013, joining its 2.5 hp and 5.0 hp models. This new 9.9 takes Lehr into a larger market segment. The twin-cylinder, 212 cc motor features forward-neutral-reverse (F-N-R) shifting and weighs 87.7 pounds. A Mercury 9.9 FourStroke displaces 208 cc and weighs 83 pounds, just for comparison. The Lehr 9.9 is fueled from a 10- to 20-pound propane bottle placed in the boat. Retail pricing starts at $2,599 for a 15-inch model with manual starting and a tiller. The motor will also be offered with a 20-inch shaft, remote controls and electric start options. Derived mostly from natural gas, propane is currently cheaper than gasoline in some markets when purchased in bulk. Propane is clean-burning and nontoxic, produces no evaporative emissions, and will not damage marine life. It’s also much cleaner and perhaps safer to have on board than gasoline for auxiliary power. Contact golehr.com/index.shtml.
Torqeedo expects the commercial market to provide initial sales for its 80 hp (60 kW) Deep Blue electric outboard motor, but it’s also working with pleasure-boat builders and may rig the motor on a pontoon at the 2013 Miami boat show. This motor will be a big leap for Torqeedo, which offers a line of kicker-size electric propulsion motors up to 4 kW. Marinized lithium batteries power the 400-volt system. Each 14 kW battery measures 3 feet by 2 feet by 1 foot and weighs 330 pounds. Torqeedo says four batteries provide five to seven hours of working power. The motor with controls will cost $17,500, with each battery pack priced at $15,000.
Torqeedo’s position is that you’re buying 10 years of fuel up front. There’s no fuel to store and no service costs, it says. There are environmental advantages and electric motors are virtually silent. Because electric motors make full torque at all speeds, it’s ideal for pushing heavy boats. Deep Blue will be available in February 2013. Contact torqeedo.com.