We're used to seeing boats that make use of outboard brackets, but what about a bracket that's meant to hold a sterndrive?
The Armstrong Yanmar Marine bracket — fabricated with marine-grade aluminum — can be used when repowering an outboard, sterndrive or inboard boat, or it can be installed at the factory when the boat is built. The setup is available with a variety of Yanmar diesel sterndrives from 188 to 370 hp.
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A Parker 2530 Extended Cabin is the first boat to be outfitted with the bracket. It's powered by a 260-hp Yanmar 6BY2-260 linked to a Yanmar ZT350 hydraulic clutch sterndrive.
"As it turns out, the Yanmar BY series of engines that we've designed the bracket around is very similar in weight to the larger outboards," says Rusty Sedlack, vice president of Stuart, Fla.-based Armstrong.
The bracket adds buoyancy, and its location lowers the engine's center of gravity, says Tom Watson, marine division manager of Adairsville, Ga.-based Yanmar America. And the design creates an unobstructed transom boarding platform, he says.
"There are certain [boat owners] who will light up to this — maybe those who run their boats or cruise a great deal," Watson says. "It's not going to be for the light-usage [boater]. It's going to be for fairly enthusiastic boaters."
No additional construction requirements are necessary for vessels already using Armstrong's outboard brackets, Sedlack says. The key ingredient: a solid transom at least 2-1/2 inches thick, he says.
Consumers will appreciate the fuel efficiency of this propulsion option — and that they have the option in the first place, says Linwood Parker, owner of Parker Marine Enterprises Inc. "People are looking for value," he says. "Range and longevity of the engine have become a real premium."
At 26.7 mph, the Yanmar burns 10.8 gallons an hour for 2.5 mpg, and it gets the same mileage at its top speed of 34 mph, according to Yanmar testing.
For the Parker 2530 Extended Cabin, the propulsion package with the 260-hp Yanmar, Yanmar ZT350 and AYM bracket costs about $46,000, according to Yanmar.