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A Modest Proposal
|Author||Topic: A Modest Proposal|
posted 09-04-2002 11:16 PM ET (US)
A MODEST PROPOSAL
On How Global Air Pollution From Boating Recreation Might Be Reduced
As our recent discussion on their relative fuel economy revealed, there is little difference in the real-world performance of 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines when comparing carefully measured results with identical boats. The 2-stroke engines had better performance, weighed less, and were assumed to have better longevity. They were also much less expensive, in some cases almost $5,000 less than an equivalent 4-stroke engine. In short, the 4-stroke engine had little to recommend it, except that it had less emissions and contributed to a general lowering of air and water pollution. To attain this environmental goal, a strong and loyal group of supporters rallied around the 4-stroke engine, in spite of its heavier weight, higher cost, and lower performance.
I now have developed a new approach for how to obtain this same lower pollution outcome, while at the same time enjoying the simplicity and excellent performance of the 2-stroke engine. The solution is a novel one, but I think it has great merit.
The idea came to me as I was trailering my boat on the highway over Labor Day weekend. Being a very prudent driver, I tend to be one of the slowest vehicles on the interstate when I am hitched to the boat; thus I get passed by practically everyone on the road. I get to see a great deal more traffic going by than if I were moving along with it at 80 MPH.
One thing stood out this weekend: how few boats were on the road. I saw many travel trailers and campers, but not that many boats. I did see plenty of Personal Water Craft (PWC), often carried in twins on dual trailers. These frequent sightings gave me the germ of my idea.
Instead of trying to lower total recreational boating pollution by buying 4-stroke engines, what we need to do is to buy conventional 2-stroke engines, but then take the $5,000 we have saved, and use that money to purchase as many used PWCs as we can. How will this reduce pollution? You see, we will never use the PWCs. We'll just keep them in the garage and slowly cut them into pieces that can be thrown out with the trash each week.
The benefits of this are wonderful, really. You still get the improved performance, better acceleration, lower weight of the 2-stroke, and you also make a major impact on reducing recreational boating pollution. With about $5,000 you ought to be able to buy at least two PWCs. This takes two PWCs off the water forever! That is two less idiots spinning around in circles the next time you go boating. Two less PWCs at the launch ramp taking too long to load or unload. Two less PWCs making noise while you fish!
The total impact is much greater than the fuel emission reduction.
posted 09-04-2002 11:45 PM ET (US)
Funny thought thats what the Sail Boat croud says about us,,,,,,
posted 09-05-2002 12:20 AM ET (US)
Or you could take the $5,000 and come visit me in the still PWC free San Juans :)
posted 09-05-2002 12:22 AM ET (US)
wouldn't it be cheaper and more effective pollution and enjoyment wise to just pour some sugar in a couple of PWC gas tanks? :)
posted 09-05-2002 08:52 AM ET (US)
I wonder if somewhere on the web there is a PWC site where the enthusiasts bitch and moan about those darn boaters who just want to troll along slowly getting in the way of their spinning around in circles.
posted 09-05-2002 10:41 AM ET (US)
Screw them! Sorry for the quasi-vulgarity but anyone here can tell you that I supported PWC's but not anymore. I owned 2 Jetski's back in the days(standups...real PWC's) and I raised hell but only where nobody was bothered by it. Probably did my fair share of hurting the environment being most driving was done in meadows or marshes....whatever you call them but nobody was aware of that back then.
Anyway last Monday the wife went "labor day" shopping and I took out the Baja ALONE. Beautiful day and calm so I decide to run outside in the gulf. I came around Bean point and idled down for the surf fisherman, etc. When clear I took off running south. I was doing a cool 3300 rpm's which is about 47mph. Out in the middle of the Gulf, about 3/4 mile offshore, and these 2 waverunners are heading west out to sea about 1/4 in front of me. Well I am hauling booty and this jackass decides while he is cutting in front of my bow about 100 yards to do a 360 and of course dippy girlfriend flies off the back and now "I" have to swerve to miss running over them. Man if my insurance did not expire last week, I might have just kept going straight. Middle of the damn ocean and you have to swing a 360 right in front of me while I am doing 50mph......Darwinism better take over soon here people.
Ok I vented.
Now I currently have 2 4 strokes and 2 2 strokes so I am neutral on the rest of this issue.....except that they are not equivelelnt and 4 strokes get WAY better economy, etc.....at least mine does. You will have to pry it off of my cold dead hands before I let it go for a 2 stroke.
posted 09-05-2002 12:45 PM ET (US)
I prefered the Optimax's will only fail for lawyers concept. Problem here is that the maufacturers will keep putting new PWC's in at the start of the pipeline.
posted 09-05-2002 01:59 PM ET (US)
Come on... give the PWC a break.
Remember all those stupid things you did as a kid in a car... many times its the same with PWC. Unfortunately many kids can afford a PWC that can go 60 mph and get out of the drive way / Dad's view in a hurry.
On the same note, we have a pretty big group of cigarette boats here in SoCal. Some of these guys make the PWC crowd look like angeles. I was buzzed twice by one guy (once each way up and down the coast) a couple of weeks ago while trolling off Huntington Beach. The same guy actually shot the HB pier. Unfortunately the police chopper was not around. They don't call them "small-penis boats" for nothing.
Stupidity doesn't stick to any one group. Look at the crazy guy driving around the harbor with his boat cut in half! Now that's crazy!
posted 09-05-2002 04:02 PM ET (US)
Your logic is a bit flawed Jim, the person from whom you buy the PWC is most likely selling it because he(she) wishes to upgrade. You will only help them financially to achieve their goal. What you should do is take that same money, find a PWC that is selling for say $1000. Then, offer the owner the full $5000, with the caviat that he must sign a contract stateing that he, nor his immediate family will buy or use any PWC for 10 years, and that if they do, they will be in default and either have to give you that PWC or buy one of equal value to give to you. Then, take the PWC you purchased and sell it for $1 to a current owner of a PWC. To them you present a contract that states that they must sell their present PWC to you or your friend at it's current value. They must also wait 5 years before using their newly acquired PWC and they can not buy another PWC in that time, nor can they sell the one they purchased for $1. The details of the contracts would explaine penalties for default and so on.
Result, your out of pocket cost: $4999 plus say another up to $5000 from a buddy who saved money in the same manner according to your above post, one ex-PWC owner who is without one for 10 years, and another who is sitting on one for 5 years before he can use it. Alot of things change in 5 and 10 years, needs, desires, laws, and you have fully removed 2 PWC users from the water.
posted 09-05-2002 04:22 PM ET (US)
Pers'nally, ah prefers a li'l jar of Jack in mah mouf AND a li'l jar 'o Brer Rabbit brand cane syrup in da PWC gas tank. Costin' only 'bout $1.49, each jar is a small step fer mah pocket, an'a giant step fer mankind.
Biggie, wid all those 4-strokes, is you a closet tree-hugger?:-!
posted 09-05-2002 04:26 PM ET (US)
Remember this photo:
posted 09-05-2002 04:37 PM ET (US)
Hooter seconds the sugar fix! Anymore votes for the cheap route?
posted 09-05-2002 04:56 PM ET (US)
I kill as many trees as I can find.....on my property that is.
New JD power reports:
Boaters who purchased a new boat equipped with a two-stroke outboard engine report twice as many problems as those who purchased a boat equipped with a four-stroke outboard engine, resulting in a general conclusion that for both two- and four-stroke engines, the larger the engine is, the fewer problems are reported, said the release.
"Among the five technologies used in outboard engines, the quality level of four-stroke EFI and carburated engines is unparalleled," said Eric Sorensen, director of the marine practice at J.D. Power and Associates, in the report. "In additional to quality, four-stroke engines are cleaner and quieter than two-stroke engines and are very fuel efficient. The fact that they weigh and cost more, and donąt accelerate as rapidly as two-strokes is not much of a deterrent for many boat owners."
posted 09-06-2002 08:16 AM ET (US)
As any good accountant knows, you can make numbers say anything you want them to say. In the JD Powers report, did they note whether more 2 stroke or more 4 stroke motors are sold? If more 2 stroke motors are sold, did they take that into account? Or, does it just look like there are more 2 stroke problems because there are more 2 stroke motors? It could be that proportionally, the failure rates are the same.
posted 09-06-2002 08:17 AM ET (US)
My "Modest Proposal" does not seem to have drawn the same reaction as the original one upon which it was modeled. (See http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~benjamin/316kfall/316ktexts/swift.html ).
But the notion of buying oneself the chance to use higher polluting engines is really in fact the situation these days for global polluters. North American industries "buy" the opportunity to have higher emissions from third-world countries that are not creating pollution. They send them a check for a certain amount of pollution to be emitted, and then the North American company gets to create the pollution instead of the third-world country. This arrangement is part of the latest "accords" on global pollution.
So why not adapt this to boating? Keep using your higher pollution 2-stroke, just pay your way by buying some pollution credit with the unused PWC.
Oh well, all in fun. Don't take me too serious here. But it is an interesting approach to reducing global pollution from recreational boating!
posted 09-06-2002 10:37 AM ET (US)
Another impact of PWC is that many areas now have speed limits so as to keep PWC out. The PWCers ruined things for the rest of us. There is a particular cove and marsh in RI that I water skied as a child and now my kids can't because of the speed limit.
I used to have people in larger boats make wakes for me to jump and enjoy watching, now they report you to the Coast Guard!
Society has changed.....
posted 09-06-2002 11:10 AM ET (US)
Some would call any Whaler thru a 15' a PWC... :)
I was learning to windsurf down in Bird Island Basin in TX once upon a time. There were probably 400 people along the beach. When 2 PWC's came idling down parallel to the beach, everybody on shore stopped what they were doing and turned to gesture as they passed.
Had to smile at that.
posted 09-06-2002 04:48 PM ET (US)
Interestingly enough, we've seen a sort of evolution on the PWC scene here on Lake Pontchartrain.
At one time, you couldn't get away from these idiots. Now it seems it's turned into a "been there, done that" kind of event. Most individuals I know that have owned them grow bored of these things after several hours of use. Literally, selling them after they sit in their garage for a few months.
The used buyers now get to try their salt at an even lower price, but they too become bored quickly. Before you know it the paper is full of used, worthless PWCs, and no one is buying them.
Of course, we still have the occasional genius out on a Labor Day type holiday, liquored up trying to run donuts around Berts and Hats, but they are fewer and farther between. Outside of New Orleans in the marsh, no one runs around on those girly toys anyway. And that's where the fishing in done.
posted 09-06-2002 05:02 PM ET (US)
The above reminds of a joke I heard recently:
posted 09-06-2002 07:07 PM ET (US)
As I don't own a PWC, I still find myself sticking up for them. What moral right does a boat owner have over a PWC owner? Does a PWC pollute more then a 40 foot fishing boat?
Admittingly I dont spend time boating in fresh water lakes, but in the intracoastal and ocean I dont see the PWC's bothering anybody. And the vast amount of eviromental pollution comes from boats not PWC's...Besides I've ridden PWC's many times and there a hell of a lot of fun! I think some of you are all showing your age!
posted 09-06-2002 09:25 PM ET (US)
Boat slips in our area have a $10 usage fee due to PWCs. Access lanes to beachs have been closed because PWCs were being launched off the beachs with jacked up 4X4s. PWCs go 60 mph. PWCs have no steerage at low speed. Most PWC owners don't know what the word steerage means. PWCs have no prop and are commonly see close to swimmers and sometimes inside swimming areas.
PWCs remind me of the age old question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg or, which came first, the idiot or the PWC.
My 2 cents on the topic
posted 09-08-2002 10:03 AM ET (US)
Sometimes I think the PWC was invented by Congress. The old let's create a problem then manage it through legislation that affects everyone - not just the ones that are the problem. Look for more regulations, restrictions, closures, penalties, fines and laws directed at "solving" the PWC problem. And guess who gets to pay for it? The PWC community and industry needs to wake up or they're going to have a partner.
Before the advent of the PWC, boating and boat handling seemed to be based on tradition and etiquette. It was difficult to purchase a boat without some kind of guide, teacher or mentor that was there to help out and show you the ropes. These small, relatively inexpensive, and easily handled craft have opened up the boating experience to a lot of people that would never have had the opportunity otherwise. Unfortunately these machines are marketed and promoted as excitement machines capable of all types of mayhem. They enter the water with lack of knowlege or experience, focused on image and yes, their actions affect all of us. Some of them do mature or move up to larger craft but they seem to be bringing all of the bad habits with them.
1st stage could be 15 minutes of alcohol consumption at the entrance to the launch. Points based on actual amount of alcohol consumed.
2nd stage could be trailer handling and launching. Points awarded on how many people blocked, general disruption of the launch site, and how far the PWC is popped into the water. Special bonus points for getting in in front of another vehicle already backing in. Style points for surliness and point reductions for jack-knifing the trailer.
3rd stage - Grand Slalom. A run out through gates represented by fishermen, swimmers, boats, a tethered flock of waterfowl, three rotations around a shoal marker and a final straight run at WOT back to the trailer and loading. Points awarded on time and the distance the vehicle and trailer are moved on impact.
Survivors would advance to a regional.
posted 09-08-2002 11:32 AM ET (US)
I think the proposed PWC event is a grand idea, but I would add an additional leg.
After the alcohol compsumption phase, the PWC must be loaded onto a twin trailer (but with only one PWC on it). Points will be given for how far off-center, how much lean to one side, smallest tie-down straps, etc. The smaller the tire size on the trailer, the better!
Then the contestants must trailer the PWC at a minimum of 75-MPH for two hours in heavy holiday interstate traffic. If the PWC trailer is passed by anyone, points are deducted.
posted 09-08-2002 03:39 PM ET (US)
I think that this is really a super idea. Unfortunately restrictions on waterways and lakes against PWCs are bleeding over into the boating crowd. And pwc operator age restrictions and rental restrictions have helped lower the amount of poor pwc operators. This being a Boston Whaler Forum, we have the resources to do even more though. If we could get our hand on a Naval Gov. Issue commercial whaler with a 50 cal. mounted on the bow, we could even decommission more PWCs while on the water… arch
posted 09-11-2002 05:13 PM ET (US)
Maybe we could just change the name of them from "PWC" to "deer"........
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