Propulsion Science: The Basics of Marine Engines

Propulsion science is based on the system or mechanism utilized to produce the thrust necessary to move a vessel across water and marine engineering is the area involved with the development of marine propulsion systems. Although sails and paddles in some cases are still employed on a few smaller watercrafts, most modern day ships are powered by mechanized machines that includes an engine or motor rotating a propeller, or in some instances, in jet drives, a sort of impeller. The first mechanical engines were steam engines used in marine propulsion which have for the most part been replaced by heavy newer technology including propulsion engines like the Caterpillar marine engine.

Boat owners have a lot of choices when it comes to the components of the propulsion system they decide on for their boat, especially when it comes to marine engines and propellers. Outboard motors are the most commonplace variety of marine propulsion options. Stemdrives provide the best of both worlds (inboard/outboard) motors. In this case the marine engine is fitted inboard ahead of the transom along with a shaft that runs through the transom to the engine’s drive unit. Compared to the outboard lower system, this segment of the marine engine also has a propeller that operates as a rudder in order to steer the boat. Surface drives are additional options that are specialized and are typically used on high performance boats, equipped with a propeller that pierces the water’s surface which in turn increases thrust, operating half way in and out of water in the planning wake of the watercraft, with the help of a propeller shaft.

Jet Drives are generally used in personal vessels including very large boats; instead of using propellers to thrust a boat through the water they use high pressure to force air out of the stern area of the vessel, drawing water from under the hull, and passing it through impellers and out of a moveable nozzle that directs the boat.

Caterpillar provides an outstanding range of Caterpillar marine engine diesel power options that have made them a leader when it comes to marine propulsion solutions, and EA Power (EastAsia Power) in Singapore has over 13 years of experience in the maintenance, repair and re-manufacturing of Caterpillar diesel engines. We also offer comprehensive overhaul packages, engine tear down and re-assembly; this includes Dyno Testing.

EA Power also offers a rebuilt diesel Caterpillar marine engine exchange program (sale or trade in); basically you can exchange a qualified used core engine for another engine with a written warranty. You can rest assured that EA Power uses only genuine parts as well to ensure the integrity of the product and the workmanship. We will carry out a comprehensive tear down and inspection of your engine, reconditioning components or replacing them as needed. In addition, the marine engines we support are reassembled within the specifications of new engines.

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