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Date: 30 June 2024. A New Age in Boating (part 1)


Walking into the venue for a boat show is always exciting.

I rambled on at the fingertips. You might wish to pour yourself a cuppa caffeine. This has turned into a multi-part series. What I consider a revolutionary change in the boating world is occurring at present. I'm ready for it.

The complete series is on this page:
A New Age in Boating Series

For those that prefer smaller posts or who have a spotty internet connection, here are links to the four articles in the series.

  1. A New Age in Boating (part 1) ←you are here

  2. A New Age in Boating (part 2)

  3. A New Age in Boating (part 3)

  4. A New Age in Boating (part 4)

In January my friend Shelley and I were able to spend time at the St. Pete Boat Show here on the Gulf coast of Florida. Shelley is a detail oriented neighbor who has recently moved to the region. We had a great time seeing what is new and improved. Today I will both reminisce and share with you what I consider a major evolution in the boating world.

Held on the waterfront in ST. PETERSBURG ↓, the St. Pete Boat Show is a good place to explore new boating trends.


Over the decades I have seen boats change so much as to become nearly unrecognizable from those long-gone days of yesteryear. When growing up there were many of the older ladies cruising the waters of the world.

This beautiful yacht was photographed in Monaco by M/V Lutin. She is a gem.

As I recall it, the wealthiest retired folks back then had mega yachts. In those days that would be defined loosely as above 60' in length. Many of our friends living and cruising on their boats had much smaller vessels. Most couples living aboard had boats in the 28-35' range. Our own at 40', was considered large by contrast.

Photographed just more than 50 years ago, this is M/V Lutin. She was Cap'n Oliver's family boat.

Pictured above:  Oliver's Mom, sister Helene, Oliver and his Dad. Circa 1971, Lutin is a Grand Banks motor yacht.

Memory Lane: I remember the boats of my youth being primarily gasoline powered. Our boat was built in the 1950s. She originally had a diesel tractor engine that Daddy marinized. I wrote about my earliest home in The Fishing Boat article. Later though, in the 1960s and 1970s, diesel became the prevalent engines installed in live aboard boats.

Daddy's boat...


Now however, I am seeing more outboard powered boats than ever before. I am not referring to the small runabouts and go-fast sport boats. Instead, I am seeing vessels 40-plus feet long with multiple outboard engines aligned on the transom.

The February 2024 issue of BoatUS Magazine showcased a variety of new boats with outboard propulsion.

Indeed, I have read about larger motor yachts utilizing outboards instead of inboard diesels. There is quite frankly a lot of good to be said about a *4-bolt repair.

*4-bolt repair: Unscrew four bolts, and have the outboard taken to a mechanic for repair or replacement. Spending time waiting for the busy diesel mechanic to arrive, source parts, then fix the problem is irritating. It is far easier to simply replace the ding dang broken motor. Being able to continue immediately is wonderful for cruising boats.

Ryan with a new Suzuki for another boater.

I do understand the costs involved with outboard replacement. For folks with the means, not having to spend the time awaiting a repair is indeed wonderful. For Seaweed I am considering the purchase of an outboard as an interim means of propulsion should my diesel have an issue.


Being stranded is risky. On inland waterways such as those I prefer, the ability to move my home to safety is important to me. An outboard could get my Seaweed out of trouble.

This idea is not my own. Instead I learned about the impressive system employed by Ted and Sarah aboard Manatee. Their method of back-up propulsion during their travels is both innovative and relatively inexpensive to implement. It would work for far larger boats than my own 23'er too.


Details can be found in the Manatee Moves article.


Once primarily used in dinghies and runabouts, it is my belief that the age of outboards is dawning.

Part Two will be uploaded in a day or three... Thank you for reading.

That's it from the water. Have a great week.

Have you observed larger boats with multiple outboards?
And, would you consider a boat with outboards versus an inboard engine?

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Categories:  Boat Talk, Boats, Characters, Locations, Memory Lane, Security,

2024 St. Pete Boat Show Weekend ~ Previous Post ...    ... Next Post ~ A New Age in Boating (part 2)


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