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Old 25-06-2022, 12:00   #1
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Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

See here how gasoline outboards pollute the pristine waters of your anchorage.

After 15 minutes of operation you see in these tanks the pollution from

a 2-stroke on the left,

a 4-stroke on the right and

an electric outboard in the middle.

I knew they are dirty but this is far worse than expected.
Don't buy these shitty things anymore if there is an alternative.
See a little video here.
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Old 25-06-2022, 12:30   #2
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

Quote:
Originally Posted by myocean View Post
See here how gasoline outboards pollute the pristine waters of your anchorage.

After 15 minutes of operation you see in these tanks the pollution from

a 2-stroke on the left,

a 4-stroke on the right and

an electric outboard in the middle.

I knew they are dirty but this is far worse than expected.
Don't buy these shitty things anymore if there is an alternative.
See a little video here.
As long as you are charging off solar, that’s a valid point.

If you are charging that electric outboard off a generator, or the grid, you’re just putting the same exact pollution into the air instead of the water.
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Old 25-06-2022, 12:32   #3
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

"Ew gross" is not a scientific way to look at it at all.

Yes, they pollute, but the quantum is very small.

I'm all in favor of electric outboards, but they are not a solution for many of us who need more range and/or power than they can practically provide. Many of us don't have the onboard charging capability either. And as Chotu said, depending on how your power grid is powered, you might just be transferring the pollution from here to there, not reducing it at all.

So let's not go crazy with this.

Anyone who wants to have a positive impact on the planet will have the greatest effect with two things:

1. Give up meat and dairy. Single biggest thing you can do not only for climate change, but also fresh water and land use. Eating meat is worse than any other thing we do to the planet.

2. Support carbon-free nuclear power against irrational superstitious radiophobes, and other forms of renewable energy, especially wind and solar. Agitate against coal power which is incredibly destructive and deadly.

Switching from a petrol to an electric outboard will have an extremely small effect, some orders of magnitude less, compared to those two.
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Old 25-06-2022, 12:32   #4
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

I can't argue that outboards aren't dirty. But I'm a bit skeptical about the source. It seems there may be a motive for bias there. I wonder what it would look like if the gasoline outboard companies ran the same test.

And, let's face it, diesel inboards aren't always clean, either. Of course electric is the way of the future, and electric motors work great for many use cases today. But for the rest of us, the storage technology (fuel density) isn't there yet.
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Old 25-06-2022, 12:52   #5
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

Anyone got any recent studies?
  • Everything I could find was 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke and was >20 years old. In the US 2-strokes are no longer part of the debate, so even showing one is sort of ignorant.
  • Those motor are old, more than 20 years. Of course they pollute, because they are old designs, but more so because they are worn out. Old cars stink. And how many electric motors can claim that sort of longevity? I know quite a few people that had very early failures of Torquedo etc.
So we are comparing apples to hand grenades.


But it is a good topic and I do feel that electric motors have a very strong future. Please post a relevant, quantitative (mg/hour etc.) study from the past 5 years, using motors no more than 5 years old, 4-stroke only obviously. Today's technology only.
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Old 25-06-2022, 12:53   #6
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
As long as you are charging off solar, thatís a valid point.
That is obvious
Quote:
If you are charging that electric outboard off a generator, or the grid, youíre just putting the same exact pollution into the air instead of the water.
Even in that case it is not the same pollution

For one thing, industrial scale grid generation typical 60% efficiency combined cycle then transmission and conversion loss.

The small 2 stroke engine is generally below 10% thermal efficiency and puts a lot of additional oil into the water.
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Old 25-06-2022, 12:56   #7
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
"Ew gross" is not a scientific way to look at it at all.

Yes, they pollute, but the quantum is very small.

I'm all in favor of electric outboards, but they are not a solution for many of us who need more range and/or power than they can practically provide. Many of us don't have the onboard charging capability either. And as Chotu said, depending on how your power grid is powered, you might just be transferring the pollution from here to there, not reducing it at all.

So let's not go crazy with this.

Anyone who wants to have a positive impact on the planet will have the greatest effect with two things:

1. Give up meat and dairy. Single biggest thing you can do not only for climate change, but also fresh water and land use. Eating meat is worse than any other thing we do to the planet.

2. Support carbon-free nuclear power against irrational superstitious radiophobes, and other forms of renewable energy, especially wind and solar. Agitate against coal power which is incredibly destructive and deadly.

Switching from a petrol to an electric outboard will have an extremely small effect, some orders of magnitude less, compared to those two.
Thanks for posting this. The impact of livestock is the single greatest factor for climate change, and fresh water consumption/pollution. The numbers are staggering.
We could also solve human hunger overnight and reduce deforestation if humans ate plants instead of animal products.
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Old 25-06-2022, 12:57   #8
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

So I am in a Yamaha shop with my 2 stroke 8HP Enduro and the guy is trying to tell me how much my engine pollutes. While leaning on a center console with THREE 350hp outboards.
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Old 25-06-2022, 13:04   #9
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

Quote:
Originally Posted by seandepagnier View Post
That is obvious

Even in that case it is not the same pollution

For one thing, industrial scale grid generation typical 60% efficiency combined cycle then transmission and conversion loss.

The small 2 stroke engine is generally below 10% thermal efficiency and puts a lot of additional oil into the water.
MY grid, at least when I'm in Finland, is 90% carbon free, and will be 100% carbon free when the next big Finnish nuclear plant comes on line later this year. So if I were charging an electric outboard from the grid, that would certainly be a whole lot greener than an IC outboard.

But charging from a U.S. grid? Or German? Or Polish? Where coal is prevalent? I daresay that will be worse than burning petrol in a normal outboard. A coal power plant in normal operation, kills more people every year than were killed by Chernobyl whilst melting down, and even emits more radioactivity. The efficiency difference between large scale power generation and a small outboard, will not make up for this difference, if coal is a significant source of the grid power.
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Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 25-06-2022, 13:05   #10
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Switching from a petrol to an electric outboard will have an extremely small effect, some orders of magnitude less, compared to those two.
Eating meat only causes emissions if you obtain meat from the industrial food system.. not if you catch your own fish. Eating meat is not worse than "any other thing": using internal combusion engines to plow 20 times more land than needed and destroying the soil is pretty bad. It is the engine that enables the current system of meat production so it is all intertwined and you can simply regroup activities to prove one of several "things" is worst, for example: "drilling for oil, and digging for coal" being the single worst activity.

Secondly, the latest wind turbine designs cause less overall emissions than nuclear per kwh generated at 5-7 grams/kwh. This is full lifecycle cost. Nuclear is 9 because of the cement in construction, mining uranium etc. PV solar around 11. natural gas is at best 450 grams or so, not counting the 3.5% that leaks from pipes making the net warming effect worse than coal which is about 1200 grams/kwh.

It should be clear that the most environmentally friendly way to power a dingy is with a sail, then oars, and the electric motor is a long way behind either. We should be debating if electric outboards are worth the environmental cost of producing them.

Nuclear is a limited resource that should not be wasted powering more stuff we dont need. It cannot be replaced and if wasted boiling water on earth may never be able to reach other celestial bodies and become extinct here on earth.

A gas outboard is a selfish thing to use and has a large negative effect because they do leave oil slick in the water. The same is true of charging an electric outboard from a dirty grid. I am not sure I consider 90% "clean" as any amount you use, the difference ends up being made up for with a dirty source?
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Old 25-06-2022, 13:07   #11
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

I don't get these threads...a Boeing 747 or similar burns around 3,500 gallons of fuel per hour. At any one time, there are 100's of aircraft flying around...24/7...
A Panamax freighter or similar burns about 60-80,000 gallons per day...and there are 100's of these floating around out there

Think about the gazillions of automobiles, around the world..motorcycles....trucks, etc, etc, etc..

The little engines above don't burn squat by comparison...
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Old 25-06-2022, 13:20   #12
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

Quote:
Originally Posted by seandepagnier View Post
Eating meat only causes emissions if you obtain meat from the industrial food system.. not if you catch your own fish.
True, but what percentage of meat consumed by humans comes from other than the "industrial food system"? 1%?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seandepagnier View Post
Eating meat is not worse than "any other thing":
You need to revisit the science. Yes it is. The single largest source of carbon emissions, the single largest user and spoiler of fresh water resources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seandepagnier View Post
. . .using internal combusion engines to plow 20 times more land than needed and destroying the soil and the rest of it is. It is the engine that enables the current system of meat production so it is all intertwined and you can simply regroup activities to prove one of several "things" is worst.
You're not looking at it right. Needing to plow up 20 times more land is inherent to meat production. If you power the tractors in a green way that is only an incremental improvement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seandepagnier View Post
Secondly, the latest wind turbine designs cause less overall emissions than nuclear per kwh generated at 5-7 grams/kwh. This is full lifecycle cost. Nuclear is 9 because of the cement in construction, mining uranium etc. PV solar around 11. natural gas is at best 450 grams or so, not counting the 3.5% that leaks from pipes making the net warming effect worse than coal which is about 1200 grams/kwh.
Wind power is awesome -- no argument there. But you need base load generation, and the best source of that is nuclear, which is a vastly superior base load power source even compared to gas and oil fired plants. Nuclear and wind go together like cookies and cream. That's how we get out of this disaster.

Quote:
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Nuclear is a limited resource that should not be wasted powering more stuff we dont need. It cannot be replaced and if wasted boiling water on earth it we may never be able to reach other celestial bodies or access new resources.
Nuclear is not a limited resource like petroleum is. The power density is staggering, many orders of magnitude more than hydrocarbons, and uranium is not rare. Furthermore -- ever heard of breeder reactors? Nuclear is practically a renewable resource, and anyway will last probably a million times longer than we need it, as we will eventually figure out fusion power which will make fission power obsolete.


We only need nuclear fission maybe until the end of this century, plus or minus depending on how the technology develops, and there is enough uranium for about a million years of the whole world's power at current rates of consumption. This is not an issue.
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Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 25-06-2022, 13:40   #13
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

Great discussion. I wish I had more to add, but I agree with so many points in here, I don’t have anything to say.
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Old 25-06-2022, 13:53   #14
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

I think the test is doctored. My 2004 2-stroke outboard had a recent rebuild and put out a hell of a lot more pollution than that little toy. Hell, the water would have been green-blue with little sea monsters swimming around.

Anyway, I believe that replacing our old 2-strokes is a grand idea. They are gross. However, today's modern 4-strokes run rather cleanly and are more practical in most applications. Whereas, electric could not compete with today's battery chemistry. That will likely change within a few years.

Regarding to not eating meat, well that sounds good on paper, but your family of 3 or 4 will have absolutely zero impact on the earth. We need to think about what changes can be made which affect millions of people.
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Old 25-06-2022, 14:27   #15
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Re: Outboards are incredibly polluting - WOW

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
I don't get these threads...a Boeing 747 or similar burns around 3,500 gallons of fuel per hour. At any one time, there are 100's of aircraft flying around...24/7...
A Panamax freighter or similar burns about 60-80,000 gallons per day...and there are 100's of these floating around out there

Think about the gazillions of automobiles, around the world..motorcycles....trucks, etc, etc, etc..

The little engines above don't burn squat by comparison...
This was posted about visible oil slick left in the water as this is very common from outboards. It is not so much how much fuel they burned. Regardless, those freighters are delivering goods for millions of people so this is a fraction of what a small outboard uses.

The other examples you stated vary but are similarly not acceptable to use either.
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