The US Navy has announced that it has made a commitment to using diesel power for all its extensive fleet of small craft in the future. This commitment is likely to speed up the development of diesel outboards and this in turn is likely to lead to the wider use of diesel outboard power in the leisure and commercial sectors.
The US Navy is a major user of outboard power for its extensive fleet of small patrol boats and RIBs and this commitment to diesel power is likely to be followed by other US marine authorities such as the Coast Guard and marine police and local patrol authorities.
A commitment from all these authorities would create a wide base market for diesel outboards which in turn should spur the development of diesel units to meet the demand. There has recently been considerable activity in diesel outboard development, mainly focused in Europe with the Swedish company Cimco launching their 200 hp diesel outboard at METS and German company Neander Shark is well advanced with the development of their 60 hp diesel outboard.
Cox Marine in the UK is developing an innovative diesel outboard in 200 and 300 hp versions and this development reflects the UK Royal Navy’s requirement for diesel outboard power on the small craft of the Royal Navy. The development of these Cox units is being funded in part by the UK Ministry of Defence and the military market is behind the development of a diesel version of larger Mercury outboards.
In the US there have been several attempts to develop diesel units but the Jet Pac diesel/water jet stern drive unit is the only one that is proven and is ready for moving into the production stage. (Nov 2014)