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Your input needed for a high school boat racer's homework, please...

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  • Your input needed for a high school boat racer's homework, please...

    Posting on behalf of Nate Mitchell, current APBA racer, who is taking a Engineering Design and Development class as a high school senior. His team needed to come up with an electronics project, including evaluation of a potential problem, the design of a solution and then they will ultimately need to build a prototype. Good exposure as he had to educate his classmates on outboard boat racing! He needs 30 seconds of your time to respond to 5 questions in the survey his team designed at the link below.

    Thank you all in advance for your support/participation!
    - Brian

    My name is Nate Mitchell and I am working on a project for my Engineering Design and Development class. Part of my project is receiving data from individuals to see if they think my problem is worth fixing. I would appreciate if you took the time to fill out my brief survey. Thanks!

    Click Here for Survey
    baries, Brian10s and 7 others like this.

  • #2

    Re: Your input needed for a high school boat racer's homework, please...

    Good idea for a project.


    • #3

      Re: Your input needed for a high school boat racer's homework, please...

      Just curious if the project is dealing specifically with race engines, or outboard engines in general... I seem to recall the Mercury Marine "Engine Guardian" computer system used to shut down the engine to protect from damage when overheating. Then some guy was returning to port thru an inlet with "following seas" while his MerCruiser was getting hot... The Engine Guardian kicked in, shut off his engine, and his boat was swamped. He sued Mercury because he would rather ruin his engine than have his engine completely shut down while in dangerous waters. Now the Engine Guardian system will simply sound it's alarm and not shut off your Mercury Marine engine..?

      Still a pretty neat project. Hope the team follows up here on their progress.


      • jp183w
        jp183w commented
        Editing a comment
        The gaurdian system will not shut down the engine.It will limit the rpm's so people can try to get back to port. If the
        engine stopped on that person it was from another reason or it did seize.

      • bmitch1
        bmitch1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Nate says, targeted at boat racing but the functionality might be portable to other applications. Perhaps towards the antique/vintage crowd. He acknowledged that modern computer-controlled four-strokes have other embedded safety features for this.

    • #4

      Re: Your input needed for a high school boat racer's homework, please...

      Neat project. Nate, the survey answers I gave you reflect pleasure boat motors, not race motors. The dollar values escalate as the engine size increases. One problem - if you are out in the middle of lake Erie and your motor shuts off and you can't restart it at all, you are really stuck. Whatever system is developed needs to have an override so that the motor could be started and idled for 2-3 minutes at a time with a 20 minute cool-down in between so you could limp to shore. Mercury's guardian system reduces output to idle in regards to low oil, overheat, etc. In a scenario like this internal damage is catastrophic.

      Hope this helps.

      Mary says we this does NOT apply to a 350MR. Finishing is everything!!
      Brian10s and jsilvestri like this.


      • bmitch1
        bmitch1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Jeff/Mary: Nate reaffirmed: Race to win. Or don't!

    • #5

      Re: Your input needed for a high school boat racer's homework, please...

      Thanks everyone who has responded so far - your prompt replies have been surprising for our boat racer's peers who may not have appreciated how far/wide our organization works! The survey is still open for anyone who has input...

      Some comments from the design team:

      "The idea for the system came from outboard racing and was being targeted for boat racers because of the good motors that had failed during a race due to an unknown/unexpected failure of the cooling system. The goal is to try and save a good motor from imminent catastrophic failure, perhaps even just a few seconds earlier. There are still important decisions for my engineering team about safety issues which will make for good conversation. Your input and expertise is very valuable to us, and I appreciate your experience."


      • #6

        Re: Your input needed for a high school boat racer's homework, please...

        Survey completed,
        I have owned many Omcs over the years plus have wrenched on them too. They used the SLOW
        System in many different motors which tied the oil mixing and temp to the power pack thru tan wires.
        The piezo horn gave short audible tone when started and would beep or go full on when any issue hit the limit.
        I seem to recall some Omc power packs had the tan lead so I wonder if we could legally use those versions and add a sensor to cyl Head.
        I have done this on houseboats I have rigged remote steering and controls with Omc 25-35 hp.
        Since the helm was 50 away from motor and usually on the roof , I wanted to make sure an overheat was relayed to the wheelhouse.
        I had a few other motors act goofy with these when harness diodes failed after getting hot, which I see common to our sport.
        The ability to keep going to clear a course (or clear a shipping lane on Puget Sound )is a must so a limiter over total shutdown is desired.
        Overheat is like ringing a bell , really hard to unring it.