Natural gas vehicles, natural gas tractors and now natural gas boats. Is there nothing that can’t be powered by natural gas to reduce emissions? Seems so.
Readers who took a great interest in that sleek new New Holland natural gas powered farm tractor will be thrilled to know there are also natural gas powered boats available for their next marine adventure. It’s hardly a new concept but one made increasingly feasible by fracking proving how versatile natural gas is in meeting our energy needs while reducing emissions. What a blessing natural gas is. Have you thanked a fracker today?
Natural gas boats are already a reality. Sport Fishing magazine wrote about them in 2015, in fact:
This is the fuel of choice for millions of U.S. homes, and it’s used to power many modified diesel-engine buses to reduce pollution in crowded cities. Also known as methane gas, this fuel is extracted from the ground, often alongside crude oil. Refining helps purify the methane, separating it from elements such as hydrogen sulfide, moisture, butane, ethane and propane.
North Carolina-based Blue Gas Marine believes in this fuel so much that it has been touring coastal areas with an Intrepid 327 center-console fishing boat fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG), as well as gasoline, and propelled by twin Mercury 300 hp Verado outboards.
The CNG system consists of a fueling panel, fuel tanks, pressure regulator, and high- and low-pressure fuel lines. A modified engine electronic control unit, sensors and special injectors are also required. Retrofit systems are available for both Yamaha and Mercury outboards, and start at $6,000. The Intrepid’s fuel systems are independent of each other, offering the ability to switch fuels on the fly.
A visit to the Blue Gas Marine site reveals more about natural gas boats. Here is a video put together by Boating Magazine:
And, here are the benefits:
- 70% less fuel cost than gasoline
- 40% less fuel consumption
- 6-month to 1-year payback on natural gas system
- Zero carbon deposits in the engine
- Reduces air and water pollution by up to 70%
- Eliminates all engine smoke and exhaust odor
- Fuel never goes bad (like destructive and harmful ethanol)
Many utilities are now offering CNG fuel stations at marinas and, of course, they’re found across America at an ever-growing list of locations for natural gas vehicles to fuel up. Natural gas is the future. Thank a fracker!