In a move that could make your cruising life easier, the Coast Guard is testing diesel-powered outboards on some of its Fast Rescue Boats. If the tests are successful, and more diesel outboards move to the recreational boat market, it could mean that you wouldn’t have to carry separate gas on board for your RIB or dink if you have a diesel-powered cruising boat. It’s also possible that diesel outboards will become more popular as the primary engine(s) on larger recreational boats.
The Coast Guard test involves 175-hp Mercury Optimax outboards, as well as 200- and 300-hp units, and will assess their long-term performance, reliability and maintenance. Testing is at the Coast Guard’s training center in Yorktown, Virginia. The Fast Rescue Boats that serve as platforms for the tests make up 40 percent of the Coast Guard’s overall fleet.
See the Coast Guard’s story here: http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2017/06/rdte-spotlight-diesel-outboard-engine/