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The inboard of the future


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Bear with me here for a moment.  In reviewing the new Mercury V-12 600 HP outboard, it occurred to me that this may be the future of inboard boat engines.  I understand that historically, outboards have brought a lot to the table with steerability, trim, and even compactness.  The main problem is that they have always been underpowered when compared to marinized automotive engines.  Malibu could get out ahead of the competition by offering a mid- or even forward-engine boat for either ski or wake use.  I see several advantages:

  • Ability to steer with authority in forward and reverse
  • Ability to trim thrust for wake/towing/cruising
  • Improved weight distribution
  • Very compact design
  • No need to align
  • No prop cage on trailer
  • Possibly less tugging in a slalom course

Disadvantages:

  • Hard to work on it in tight space
  • Cost (although overall it might be competitive with an equivalent inboard)
  • I can't find dimensions, but the V-12 looks like a monster.  It might not work in a slalom boat (unless the tow ball is mounted behind the engine).

I don't think that a mid engine would work well if the thrust were too close to the CG of the boat because the steering might be funky, but putting the engine a bit forward or aft would probably work well.  Anyway, it's a thought that might get more attention in the future.  Mullet boats have run this configuration for decades:

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Note to moderators:  This isn't directly about Malibu boats, but the intent here is to discuss what Malibu might be able to do with a V-12 outboard without just bolting it on the transom.  Obviously, it could go to the off-topic forum, but I thought it might be interesting to specifically target Malibu with this thought.  Thanks for understanding.

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I have been reading about this, just don’t know what to do with the vertical size. Maybe Mercury could build one horizontal and the drop the drive down off the end.

EDA185F4-C295-4BDF-9F8D-116A1C1BBA94.jpeg

Edited by Bozboat
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6 minutes ago, Bozboat said:


I have been reading about this, just don’t know what to do with the vertical size. Maybe Mercury could build one horizontal and the drip the drive down off the end.

EDA185F4-C295-4BDF-9F8D-116A1C1BBA94.jpeg

They are huge.  It is impressive that they crammed a 7.6L V-12 in there, though.

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17 minutes ago, Bozboat said:

Big is fine, but you need a big boat to hang an $80,000 power plant.

I think that's the thing.  It would be interesting to see a cost comparison given all of the stuff you don't need on the boat, like rudder, coolant pickup, exhaust, wedge, etc.  Each of those costs money to install and adds complexity.

Hanging one engine on that does all of that sure makes things simple and creates interesting possibilities for internal layout.

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smileysteve

The Volvo forward drives are likely the future for the issues you're trying to solve.

With the Bryant and Cobalts offering huge tabs we're seeing a very "flexible" boat.

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My question is lbs/HP?  And total wt.

@justgary- are you thinking the drive unit pokes down through the hull mid ships somewhere?  Hence moving boat CG forward relative to transom mount.

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20 minutes ago, Woodski said:

My question is lbs/HP?  And total wt.

@justgary- are you thinking the drive unit pokes down through the hull mid ships somewhere?  Hence moving boat CG forward relative to transom mount.

They show 1260#, so just over 2 pounds per HP.

Yes, exactly.  The drive unit would poke through the hull, which would definitely move the CG forward.  I really like the L-drive concept that @csleaver mentioned.  That would solve the height thing easily, but would then take up more interior space.  Given that one could disconnect one Cannon plug, unbolt, and hoist the whole unit out, some repairs could be done out of the boat.

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@Woodski-  I would guess that a marinized big block engine weighs a bit over 700 pounds.  Add a vee drive, transmission, drive shaft, strut, rudder, and prop and you might be pretty close to 1200 pounds with that as well.

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Doesn't a pod drive basically achieve what you're looking for here, since that V12 is really just an outboard mounted pod.  Or are you looking to be able to trim it out?

Edited by TomH
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31 minutes ago, TomH said:

Doesn't a pod drive basically achieve what you're looking for here, since that V12 is really just an outboard mounted pod.  Or are you looking to be able to trim it out?

Sure, this would be very similar to a pod drive.  I think the ability to trim the thrust is very important, and the ability to tilt for shallow water or trailering is nice to have as well.

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TenTwentyOne
On 7/23/2021 at 11:06 PM, justgary said:

I think that's the thing.  It would be interesting to see a cost comparison given all of the stuff you don't need on the boat, like rudder, coolant pickup, exhaust, wedge, etc.  Each of those costs money to install and adds complexity.

Hanging one engine on that does all of that sure makes things simple and creates interesting possibilities for internal layout.

Full driveline package for an inboard (let’s use a SC 6.2 as an example) is about $25-$28k with transmission, manifolds, etc.. Full powertrain package cost. 
 

That Merc 600 is $82k.

The Rudder, coolant pickup, muffler, hoses, strut, driveshaft, and plate/wedge is all less than 10K for everything. It would be a huge jump in cost.

 

The question would be- are the perceived advantages worth an extra $40-50k?

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1 hour ago, TenTwentyOne said:

Full driveline package for an inboard (let’s use a SC 6.2 as an example) is about $25-$28k with transmission, manifolds, etc.. Full powertrain package cost. 
 

That Merc 600 is $82k.

The Rudder, coolant pickup, muffler, hoses, strut, driveshaft, and plate/wedge is all less than 10K for everything. It would be a huge jump in cost.

 

The question would be- are the perceived advantages worth an extra $40-50k?

Easy answer...NOPE!

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