When all was said and done, it was a non-essential expense that wasn't getting used as much as desired. So it was bid a heart-wrenching farewell with the intent to downsize in the future.
All well and good with many fond memories made during the time that my family and I were the stewards of such a fine craft. It was quite an education (albeit an expensive one).
Along the way, I learned a great deal about the internal combustion engine, and even noted some characteristics of its operation that I hadn’t considered before. (which later would lead me to find things about engines and energy that I would never have dreamed possible)
Chief among these odd characteristics was the fact that the push rod assembly in a typical V-style engine is incredibly inefficient in accomplishing its intended operation. Surely a belt or chain driven overhead camshaft arrangement would be far superior (Ford had the right idea with their famous 427 SOHC). A hemi–head design should be used on every engine. It has proven itself to be the best arrangement, and yet it still remains a mopar-exclusive in most cases. An inline engine is a vast improvement for a marine application (gas or diesel), as it is torque that makes the boat move out, not horsepower.
However, these are relatively immaterial annoyances in comparison to the fact that the reciprocating motion of the crankshaft, with the resultant side to side motion of the connecting rods, severely limits the potential energy (and efficiency) of any engine made in the last 150 years. Never mind the fact that the reciprocating design is so harmonically unsound that a balancing apparatus is often essential to its function.
It would appear that this trend was started in the steam engines of the industrial revolution, and was adhered to almost universally for both external and internal combustion engines right up to the present.
Aside from the Wankel rotary engine, there didn't seem to be anything else that rivaled the traditional reciprocating crankshaft v-style and inline engines of modern times.
I did an internet search on the subject and found a most interesting solution.
A brilliant engineer/inventor by the name of Russel Bourke devised what can only be described as one of the finest internal combustion engines in history (there is one other - see below). Unfortunately for the world, this remarkable engine and its inventor were lost to the pages of history. And what hurts the most is that the inventor had his engine all worked out by the year 1932, and built an outboard marine variation that was so powerful, it snapped the lower unit in half. That was in 1938.
A small table-top model of the engine, totaling 30 cubic inches, produced 76 horsepower @ 10,000 RPM.
Here are a series of links to a website that delves deeply into the design philosophy, and fascinating history of this engine. While the articles (some written by Bourke himself) are a tad long, they do not ramble, and are a real treat for any gearhead to read.
This engine should be mainstream. Its uses are greater than the engines we now use. It is without doubt, the ultimate marine engine. The fuel mileage would be remarkable in any vehicle.
Another brilliant internal combustion engine was invented by Harry H. Elmer. It was able to achieve the unfathomable efficiency of 300 miles per 1 gallon of fuel consumed (you read that correctly).
Here are some excerpts from an August, 1922 issue of Popular Science Magazine. Included also are excerpts from the actual patent granted to Mr. Elmer in 1924.
There were so many advances in carburetors, it is almost impossible to keep track.
The Fish carburetor is certainly one that stands out, and can still be purchased today.
This is an old and extremely rare book on carburetors that rendered 200 MPG or greater:
Finding these inventions (and many others of their kind subsequently) prompted the inevitable question: why haven't these clearly superior designs been implemented on a mass scale?
This article from a 1918 volume of Electrical Experimenter details an amazing method of producing high-quality gasoline synthetically:
I don't think it can be argued with any degree of efficacy, that the above three items completely solve the current energy crisis.
What if, however, an internal combustion engine could be run on fuels which were not petroleum based?
Well, what else is there?
Ideally, it would be an element of which we already have an abundant supply of, and which can never be completely exhausted.
Watch these videos: They all take place from about 1988 to 1990.
Here is one of the patents:
What is going on here? What am I not getting? Why doesn't my boat actually run on water instead of just planing over the surface of it?
Why do automobiles today only get 40 or so miles per gallon at best?
I didn't get it at first, but further investigation revealed that 2+2 certainly doesn't equal 4 when it comes to the politics of energy, and who ultimately benefits.
Now then, what is a person supposed to make of all this?
Just a little food....well... more like a three course meal...for thought.
What I have presented in this thread is the tip of an enormous iceberg that, despite its size, is cleverly and conveniently hidden from the view of the masses. And what you have just read and seen is a severely condensed rendering of the many volumes that exist on this and other subjects of similar nature. Though there is more where this came from, there is even more yet to be discovered.
I would be interested in reading those thoughts and opinions that the above may bring about, and wish everyone a pleasurable, safe season of boating.