Certainly, no part of the market had as much impact on the development of cleaner marine engines in America as the watersports towboat sector. The sector has such high demand for engines that shipbuilders like Malibu and Collectcraft could afford to produce their own motors in house. The engine is the most expensive and important part of the boat, so when these shipbuilders started growing through acquisitions, the best use they saw to make use of their vertical integration was to improve the engine, the most important starting point. By increasing in size these companies were able to dedicate more resources into the production of their own in-house motors to ensure the quality that the customers desired. Technology is one of the reasons for the increase in towboat sales, and customers appreciate this. Customers are constantly on the lookout for high quality engines, and the added benefit of the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your engine is also green is indispensable.
In recent years high power, low emission engines have been popping up all over boat shows and getting significant attention. A well engineered engine with low emissions and a green footprint also helps sell the products as the customer sees the special attention put into the product and elevates it above the competitors. CorrectCraft’s Pleasurecraft Engine Group, for example, is driving the new PCM228 engine, a direct injection, supercharged and %100 closed cooling system powerhouse Built on General Motors’ LYV8 platform, which was featured in the Miami 2020 Boat Show. The cooling protects the engine in heavy use, even in the hottest climates. CorrectCraft’s new engines produce 600 hp and up to 608 ft / lbs of torque, making it the company’s strongest product to date. The entire Z-series participated in the Miami Boat Show and won the 2020 Innovation Award, making this huge win for the industry.
The expansion of the water sports section also provided an opportunity for Volvo Penta, which in turn helped develop the sector with its unique forward drive design. Volvo Penta has ridden the wave created by wake surfers to provide inboard solutions to a wider audience. Wake boarders have high demands from engines as they are directly behind the boat as they participate in their sport, and thus are the most exposed to the harmful emissions of the old generations of engines. Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive has changed everything and continues to do so by introducing Avalon’s new Waketon Surf Pontoon Boat Series to Minneapolis Boat Show. At Minneapolis, they brought Volvo’s level of excellence to new market segments and a whole new cultural landscape. The new pontoon setup allows users to compete, swim, socialize, and sail directly from the platform.
The tow boat sector also allowed for new diesel engines with the ability to produce high power at low revs. The 2020 model CraftCraft is available from Yanmar with a 370 hp 8Lt diesel with maximum torque of 595 ft and an added option for their G-Series. The low rpms also mean that these engines burn far less fuel than their higher rpm counterparts, allowing for reliability and sustainability at the same time. The tow boat market is very strong and thus is able to come up with innovative solutions to keep their environmental impact low. For customers, if an engine can both provide both the power they need to enjoy themselves to the fullest, and the sustainability to keep their enjoyment free of guilt then there is nothing else to ask for.