December 1, 2012

blogger - Outboards

In the last decade thanks to the advent of silent, clean, and fuel efficient four strokes engines, outboard powered boats have increased there size dramatically.  It was and still is a high performance young market but the sizes have increased and is not unusual to see a forty feet plus center console with four, five big outboards in its back.  That was till 2012!
Now this year Sea Ray rewrites the rules and presented the 370 Venture.  This 2012 sport cruiser model from Sea Ray breaks the mold in one most important feature, the outboards practically are hidden and do not disturb the lines, and the aft part of the cockpit deck.  How many times have I heard people not interested in an outboard boat because of this.  Fast forward a couple of months and S2 Yachts outboard Pursuit brand comes with a response presenting the SC365 project, which should launch by years end.  Pursuit also says that they have a patent pending for its invisible outboard system. 
Europe seems also catching up on this outboard bug and Italian Cranchi did this year present an outboard line presenting two models with the 24 and 32 Panama, this last being an outboard version of the Zaffiro which is about 25% cheaper to the Diesel inboard stern drive version.  It is still not what the two American builders are doing, but considering Italian, European flare how long before we see something like that from the Old Contienent. 
It will be interesting what the Sea Ray 370 Venture will give to the market, will it be a niche, or a new growing trend.  The case in favour of four strokes outboard is that they are clean, silent, reliable, and also fuel efficient which could make the premium of a diesel engines less popular. If the engines are not visible and they are not wasting exterior deck spaces, that is another bonus!