New CAT Power Boat Diesel Engine Turbo-supercharged
Power boat owners are going to be very interested in a new compact and powerful turbo-supercharged diesel engine that Caterpillar has developed in tandem with leading edge engine technology developers Fiat Powertrain Industrial (FPT). The manufacturers say that this environmentally friendly engine produces startling power for its size and weight (650 mhp @ 2300 rpm) while fully compliant with EPA Tier 3, IMO II, and CCNR Stage II exhaust gas emission standards.
Boats in Torquay Harbour: Photo credit Geograph/Chris Downer
The C8.7 pleasure craft engine, full details still kept under wraps, will replace Caterpillar's present 575 mhp C9 engine with a common rail fuel system and a new air management system to produce all that power from a smaller and lighter unit.
Announcement of this new engine follows on the heels of the January signing of the collaboration agreement between Caterpillar and FTP, whose existing Type C90 engine coincidentally also displaces 8.7 liters with the same power output. Be that as it may, this pair of manufacturers intend in the future to offer the leisure boat market a broad array of engines in the 650 to 1000 mhp output range. In the meantime the new C8.7 engine will be available for delivery in 2014.
FTP C90 Diesel Engine: Image courtesy of Fiat Powertrain Industrial
The C8.7’s sophisticated fuel delivery system allows the use of a radial, belt-driven supercharger in addition to the conventional turbocharger; this feature eliminates smoke and reduces lugging, while delivering phenomenal low-end torque and impressive fuel economy. When the turbo takes over the boost function and the supercharger is no longer needed, an electromagnetic clutch disengages it to prevent it becoming a parasitic load which allows the turbo to provide the maximum permissible boost pressure. In this way the new engine is impervious to turbocharger lag, allowing rapid transient response throughout the engine’s entire operating range.
David Shannon, Caterpillar Marine Power Systems marine pleasure craft global sales manager, believes that in addition to the horsepower gain this engine will have one of the strongest torque curves in the industry.
Additionally, Caterpillar’s latest pod propulsion systems are perfectly matched for use with the new C8.7 engine, which can also be used with existing CAT marine controls and its proprietary Three60 Precision Control maneuvering system. This propulsion system integrates thrusters and propellor drives into one system that provides fully proportional power in any direction, with propellor control down to 50 rpm; a welcome contribution to slow speed maneuvering during critical berthing operations.