IBEX 2013 VIDEO: Innovative propulsion advances

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — I often look for innovation in the marine industry under the umbrella of propulsion. And I never get rained out at IBEX. I found two interesting products that deserve some recognition (in addition to the propulsion-related innovation winners in the NMMA competition — Volvo Penta and Yamaha).

The EP-10000 electric motor from Elco Motor Yachts becomes the company’s most powerful electric motor to date. It generates power comparable to a 100-hp diesel. Operating time ranges from two to 16 hours and it takes three to four hours to charge.

With the addition of a generator, range increases. The engine’s first assignment will be to power a 1941 Elco cabin cruiser. “We will have a very old boat with the latest in electric propulsion,” Elco East Coast representative Neil Satterly told me Tuesday at the company’s display at IBEX.

In this video interview, Satterly explains the benefits of the EP-10000 (www.elcomotoryachts.com; booth No. 1051 at the show).

The Elco serves slower, larger boats from about 50 to 85 feet, such as trawlers.

In contrast, the second product I would like to highlight suits smaller, faster boats with high-horsepower outboard propulsion. Mercury Marine promises a 10 percent improvement in fuel economy with its Enertia Eco Prop.

Mercury’s proprietary X7 stainless steel allowed its engineers to develop a prop with a large blade area and high, progressive rake, resulting in “reduced drag through increased bow lift,” Mercury propeller product brand manager Dirk Bjornstad explained to me at the show. “The primary customers will be those who have your typical center console fishing or cruising boat that spends a lot of time offshore and at cruise speeds. That’s who will realize the most fuel savings.”

The Enertia propeller will hit the market in January. It will join another fuel-efficiency product for Mercury — its Eco display, which guides the operator to the engine’s most efficient speed, rpm and trim angle.

Check out this video with Bjornstad for more on the Enertia (www.mercmarine.com; booth No.1305).

— Chris Landry

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