Concept Mercury Turbine Outboard Powered Bass Boat – Lake Havasu
Fond du Lac, WI – Mercury Racing of Fond du Lac, WI, Marine Turbine Technologies (MTT) of Franklin, LA and Bryant Enterprises of Maryville, TN have teamed up to develop a concept turbine outboard powered high performance bass boat. The experimental outboard features a Rolls Royce Allison 250 series gas turbine engine mounted to a Mercury Racing 2.5 EFI Offshore outboard center section and 1.62:1 gear ratio Sport Master gearcase. This one-of-a-kind turbine outboard-powered Stroker bass boat will undergo tests in the near future in preparation to set a new American Power Boat Association (APBA) world bass boat speed record.
Overcoming water resistance requires the continuous operation of marine engines at 70 percent or more of their full power in order to maintain cruising speeds. Similarly, aviation engines also experience continuous operation above 70 percent of their available power in order to keep an aircraft flying. Current availability of surplus aircraft turbine engines, which can be refurbished at reasonable cost, has brought turbines into the marine propulsion picture. The turbine engine, designed to run continuously at high power settings and on multiple fuels, is very reliable due to no reciprocating parts. In addition, it provides a higher power-to-weight ratio in a smaller size than either diesel or gasoline engines.
A production version of the turbine-powered Mercury Racing Outboard could be a perfect alternative power source for U.S. Navy special operations forces as a substitute for gasoline powered outboard motors.
MTT founder Ted McIntyre is well known for his design of highly competitive turbine powered offshore race boats. Founded in 1990, MTT has perfected its knowledge of marine turbine installations and often is referred to as the marine turbine experts. Their engines have been featured in several government demonstrations to promote the feasibility and benefits of using turbine engines in government patrol boats and various military craft.
Stroker Boats founder Charles “Chub” Bryant, doing research on the bass boat market in the mid 1980s, found a need for a high qualilty, purpose built high performance bass boat. Bryant has an extensive background in racing and high performance. His career expands three decades of automobile racing, including drag, oval track and off- road racing. During his research of the high performance bass boat market, people said “with your racing background and performance knowledge, why don’t you design your own boat?”
Bryant resides in East Tennessee, where the high performance bass boat originated. His goal was to build a boat that not only performs well at high speeds but one that can also handle rough water and is stable in tight turns.
After two years and thousands of man hours, the Stroker bass boat hull design was completed. The high performance 21-foot boat, with an exceptionally wide 94 ½”-inch beam, provides a stable, wide deck for anglers to fish from, carries a full tournament load and is easy to drive. – Lake Havasu