Boating & Cruising

Photos, ramblings and the occasional bit of useful information from our voyages aboard the runabout Sunset Chaser and other small boats.

Something's not right with this outboard...


It's not a sound you want to hear from an outboard engine.

The cause of the noise is shown in the photo. Can you find it?

Engine technology to watch for

With the recent release of the final report of Nigel Calder's HyMAR project, marine internal combustion / electric hybrid powertrains are making waves once again- and not necessarily in a good way, as Calder's team found that the benefits of the expensive hybrids were limited to a relatively narrow, low-speed operating regime. We've known for quite a while that the major advantages of gas/electric and diesel/electric hybrid cars- namely, instant start/stop and regenerative braking- don't apply to boats. We've also known for quite a while that hybrid systems only make economic sense aboard ship if the house loads are comparable to, or larger than, the power required for main propulsion.

Tech addicts need not fear, though: There are many other fuel-saving and pollution-reducing technologies waiting in the wings, and hybrids aren't quite out of the running yet.

Fog over Collins Bay

Fog may be a routine matter for the Maritimers who read this; for us Great Lakes folk, though, it's a bit of a rarity during the boating season. Most boaters around here simply avoid it, but there are often a handful who will forge on through no matter what.