Neander ramps up for production
The German company Neander Shark, which has spent the last three years developing a diesel outboard, has now announced that it will start production and sales in January 2016.
This revolutionary outboard will be launched with an initial power output of 50 hp but a spokesperson said that there is considerable potential to upgrade this to higher power in the future. “We are looking to upgrade to around 75 hp in the future and there are also longer term plans to produce diesel outboards up to 150 hp”. Neander anticipates that the market for this engine will be around 5000 units per year as the sales build up and the initial production is geared to produce around 1000 units per year.
The Neander diesel outboard was first announced two years ago after the initial development work on an engine originally developed for motor cycle use. This twin cylinder engine featured a two crankshaft layout with each piston connected to it with two connecting rods. The makers claim that this will offer much smoother and quieter running than would be the case with a conventional single crankshaft layout. The 800 cc engine is turbo-charged and fresh water cooled.
For outboard use this engine has been coupled to a tried and tested Selva outboard leg from Italy. Selva has been running extensive trials with prototype Neander outboards on one of their boats on Lake Como whilst Neander itself has been running long term evaluation trials on a rescue boat supplied by Fassmer. The trial engine here has clocked up over 1000 hours in sea operations so Neander is confident of the long term durability of their engine Further trials will continue with up-rated versions of the engine will continue before they are introduced.
Claus Brustle, the Managing Director at Neander commented, "The diesel torque to weight ratio, beneficial specific fuel consumption and tax free diesel fuel in some applications makes diesel engines extremely attractive. There is also the benefit of not have to maintain supplies to two different fuels." Because of the good torque of this outboard it is possible to use larger propellers which can promote greater propulsion efficiency.
“We expect that the initial demand for our engine will come for use on rescue boats and tenders carried on boats ships and for this requirement we have developed a tiller operated version. The engine can also be used in multiple engine installations with remote control”, commented Martin Kirch, the Project Engineer at Neander. “We expect that demand for this engine from the leisure sector will be smaller because of the price tag of €29,000 ex-VAT but it could be a good engine for super yacht tenders where the use of diesel fuel will make it compatible with the fuel of the mother ship”. Inshore fishermen could also be major users of a diesel outboard of this power.
As far as is known none of the major outboard manufacturers around the world is planning to develop a diesel outboard. One commentator said that the outboard majors had 'missed the boat' in not adding a diesel to their range and it is anticipated that the diesel outboard will take a significant proportion of the overall outboard market in years to come particularly in the commercial sector.
By Dag Pike
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