Welcome to Marine Engines and Propulsion Systems Week!


I was about to write this piece focusing on all the latest heavily promoted fuel systems that are, very necessarily, intended to reduce or eliminate fossil fuel consumption and their accompanying emissions, when I received an email from an old friend, John Fitzhardinge Jnr. John is well-known to our readers as the chairman of Dongara-based Southerly Designs and Dongara Marine, renowned naval architects and boat builders. John also has sixty years of fishing boat ownership experience and was, for many years, chairman of Geraldton Fishermen’s Cooperative, the world’s biggest and most successful.

In other words, he knows what he is talking about with respect to ships, boats and marine engines. His email recommended I look at a YouTube video by Harry of “Harry’s Garage” interviewing Lord Bamford, the chairman of JCB, the large British manufacturer of construction, farming and mining machinery. It concerns the development of practical, realistic, affordable alternatives to fossil fuels in heavily used, long running machines just like ships and boats. I recommend that all our readers view it too.

Engines • Gensets • Gearboxes • Outboards • FPP • CPP • Waterjets • Sterndrives • Hybrid/Electric • Thrusters • Renewables • Nuclear • Gas Turbines

The good people at JCB have been experimenting with alternative fuels and systems for years but have come to the conclusion that direct hydrogen as fuel is a way to overcome almost all problems in terms of cost, utility, emissions, range and reliability. The only obvious drawback comes from the safety issue of using compressed gas but, even that, is something the world has enormous experience with in LPG. It can be done.

I urge readers of Baird Maritime to watch the video right through and think about it in relation to future marine engines. It is available here.

Vessel Reviews:

News and Gear:

Recent Important Features:

FEATURE | Faroe Islands enters research vessel newbuilding sector with high-specification multi-role ship

– “The vessel’s main role is to gather scientific data on local fisheries to provide the Faroese government with accurate information about the size, composition, and location of fish stocks in the surrounding waters.”

EDITORIAL | Incat goes electric: Bass Strait should be a showcase for electric catamaran ferries

– “Tasmania’s ludicrous decision to purchase two large, heavy, diesel fuel-guzzling ferries from Finland is made even more ridiculous and short-sighted when the latest and very carefully considered concepts from Incat are examined.”

– by Neil Baird, co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime

Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!

Call for content!

Any news or views about the global engines and propulsion systems sectors? Send it through to [email protected] ASAP (between now and August 20), so we can add it to this current edition of MEPS Week!

We are after:

  • Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
  • Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the engines and propulsion systems sector
  • Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the maritime world? (example here)
  • Other – Any other relevant news

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Neil Baird

Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime and Work Boat World magazine, Neil has travelled the length and breadth of this planet in over 40 years in the business. He knows the global work boat industry better than anyone.