|A conventional, carbureted 2-stroke engine will be joining the horse and buggy in 2010 in the U.S.|
|Indmar was the first U.S. engine maker to introduce a catalytic converter.|
How much will 2010 stern drive and inboard engines cost?
To meet EPA regs inboard and stern drive engines will not only have to have catalytic converters, but they will also have to have onboard diagnostic systems. These systems will automatically alert the operator when there is an engine malfunction and when emissions exceed a preset limit. It will then be incumbent on the owner to take the boat in for servicing.
The engine makers are reluctant to be quoted on the increased price of their engines and they have no idea what the boat builders will add. From what we can gather, the new engines intended for California cost about $2000 more each at retail. Whether or not this price goes down when the whole country -- about 63,000 units a year -- comes on line remains to be seen.
Will outboard engines cost more in 2010?
Since outboard makers do not have to strap on catalytic converters and making their engines compliant only involves adjusting their fuel calibration systems, their expenses rest more in engineering. We assume that price increases, if any at all, will be minimal, and not related to the new standards.
Carbureted 2-stroke outboards that your grandfather used as a kid can not meet the new emissions standards and will be effectively outlawed in the United States. However, most outboard makers will continue selling them elsewhere in the world.
The high-pressure, fuel injected 2-stroke outboards, such as the Evinrude ETEC, Mercury OptiMax and Yamaha 2-Stroke High Power, will meet the new EPA regs and will continue to be sold.
Will performance suffer?
Based on our testing experience with both MerCruiser and Crusader/PCM engines built for the California markets, there will be no loss in performance among stern drive and inboard engines. A spokesman for Volvo Penta says their engines will have no change in performance.
Will high-performance engines comply?
Since catalytic converters would be blown off high-performance racing engines, the CARB and EPA standards have been lowered so that these engines can comply with current technology. Mercury Racing is allowed to average its emissions with the parent company’s compliant production engines. Small, boutique racing engine shops are exempt because they build so few units.
Will currently installed engines be grandfathered?
Yes. For now. Old automobiles are still legally on the road without the new EPA mandated
technology and we suspect will be for some time. Whether or not the EPA will allow
boats to follow the automobile precedent remains to be seen, but we think it is
a safe assumption.
|This is Norilsk, Russia, said by some observers to have the worst air quality in the world. How many years will it be before Russia even has an EPA?|