12 Things You Need to Know About the EPA Guidelines When Replacing an Inboard Boat Motor
Things have changed significantly over the past few years when upgrading the engines in sterndrive or inboard marine powered boats. PPT is the #1 source for marine products and technical guidance to customers wanting to upgrade the motor their boat, BUT not understanding how these new rules effect their available options. Please be aware that the EPA rules are not just limited to NEW boats. There are specific provisions that affect your available product options regarding both new and remanufactured engines that are used when upgrading older boats. There are specific options in the EPA provisions available to address older boats, but each individual manufacturers’ program may vary.
UPGRADING ENGINES IN ANY pre-2010 sterndrive or inboard boat when using a “complete” Turnkey Bobtail Marine Engine or Longblock. This scenario can be summarized within these 6 OPTIONS:
1. Buy a new catalyst equipped MPI turnkey bobtail marine engine from MerCruiser or Volvo Penta. (See Note #1 Below)
2. Purchase a new non-catalyst equipped MerCruiser turnkey bobtail marine engine. (See Note #2 Below)
3. Buy a new Crusader, PCM, Indmar or Marine Power non-catalyst equipped turnkey bobtail marine engine. (See Note #3 Below)
4. Go with a Mercury Remanufacturing or CPO turnkey bobtail marine engine. (See Note #4 Below)
5. Go with a Partial Engine and re-use your existing accessories. (See Note #5 Below)
6. Repower with a New or Remanufactured longblock and re-use your existing accessories. (See Note #6 Below)
1. Choose a new catalyst equipped MerCruiser or Volvo Penta MPI marine engine
2. Return the Old Engine for a “New” non-catalyst equipped MerCruiser Carbureted or MPI marine engine
(Updated 2016) There are no longer any new, catalyst equipped, carbureted marine engines available today in the completely dressed out Bobtail Engine form. Therefore if you are currently trying to find a NEW “non-catalyst equipped” MerCruiser carbureted bobtail engine – this isn’t available any longer. The only carbureted models available from MerCruiser at the time were the 3.0L and 4.3L models which have been or are currently being discontinued. Several years ago they did allow this by returning your existing engine per the EPA guidelines. However, this option made up only about 1% – 2% of the repowers happening because it required special ordering the engines from MerCruiser which then required a minimum 16 – 20 week lead-time for delivery.
NOTE: A brand new EFI turnkey bobtail marine engine “without emissions control” can be used to REPOWER older boats that were not originally equipped with emission controlled engines. This applies when the newer emissions controlled engines are not compatible/feasible with the older boat application. Please note that the non-catalyst equipped engines are not inventoried and therefore will normally take between 16 -20 weeks for delivery. Also be aware that EPA requires you to return the old engine you are replacing to MerCruiser to “Offset” the new engine being put into service. This option makes up about 1% – 2% of the upgrades happening today.
Federal law mandates that the engine being replaced must be returned to the manufacturer of the new engine – EPA Code 1068.240. This is similar to the Automotive sector’s “Cash for Clunkers” program that required destruction of the car to receive a rebate. The ability to purchase engine with no emissions control is the “rebate”. Simply return the old engine in the returnable engine container supplied by the manufacturer. This satisfies the return of the old engine. All freight for these returns is paid by Mercury/MerCruiser.
3. Go with a Different Manufacturers Product Line (See Available Products)
Until further notice, outside the state of California Crusader and Marine Power can still sell new non-catalyst equipped turnkey bobtail marine engines WITHOUT requiring the old engine be returned. This will likely change in the very near future. Please note that Crusader only offers Inboard marine engines while Marine Power primarily offers inboard marine engines but also does have a product line that replaces both MerCruiser & Volvo Penta sterndrive engines. In these cases you will likely have to re-use some of your manufacturers sterndrive specific accessories such as the flywheel housing and shift bracket. This option makes up less than 5%- 10% of the boat upgrades happening today. Read More on Sterndrive versus Inboard Configurations…
4. Go with a Mercury Remanufacturing “Plus Series” or CPO Product (See Available Products)
Mercury Marine Remanufacturing offers factory Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) MerCruiser engines as well as their own remanufactured engine product line which includes the Plus Series sterndrive and inboard models. These products can be used to upgrade new boats as well as pre-2010 boats in 49 states. They can also be used to upgrade pre-2008 boats in California. This option likely makes up over 50% of the repower upgardes happening today that require a completley dressed Bobtail engine vs just a longblock.
By refreshing existing engines Mercury Remanufacturing can offer both engine and sterndrive products at a fraction of the cost of the new products by passing along the savings. This is a great option since these are engines and/or sterndrives that are returned to factory specification, while MerCruiser stands behind these products with factory-backed warranty and service support. Read More on Mercury Remanufactured Products…
Whether Certified Pre-Owned or Plus Series, each Mercury Remanufacturing engine comes standard with a factory backed one-year limited mercury P&A warranty. These engine may also qualify for up to two years of Mercury Product Protection. Certified Pre-Owned MerCruiser engines have been brought back to a fully functional state after going through the CPO process. Read More On CPO Products…
5. Go with a Partial Engine (See Available Products)
At this point the new partial engines do not require returning the existing “worn out” engine that is being replaced. However, in some cases the EPA is beginning to require that the purchasing customer sign an affidavit indicating they will destroy the old longblock being replaced such that it is rendered inoperable. This achieves EPA’s desired purpose for this Guideline being that the NET effect will be NOT adding any new un-catalyzed emissions into the atmosphere. This option makes up between 10%-15% of the upgrades happening today.
6. Go with a Remanufactured or New Longblock (See Available Products)
Much like with Partial Engines, at this point the new longblocks do not require returning the old longblock being replaced. However, in some instances the EPA is beginning to require that the purchasing customer sign an affidavit indicating they will destroy the old longblock being replaced such that it is rendered inoperable going forward. This achieves EPA’s desired purpose being that the NET effect will not be adding un-catalyzed emissions into the atmosphere. This option makes up between 40%-45% of the engine change outs happening today. Read More on What’s Included with a Longblock…
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