|American Marc 10 - America's first Diesel Outboard Motor
I have a new favorite outboard: the Amarc 10! It was the first (and only) small horsepower diesel outboard built in the USA. It was manufactured by the American Marc Company in Inglewood California, based on the articles in boating magazines and data in my old Abos Guides, it was only available in 1960 and '61.
It is a 2-cycle diesel utilizing the Junkers/Fairbanks Morse opposed piston design where the pistons are aimed at each other and have two crankshafts. (See drawing below) It is water cooled, 21.5 cubic inch displacement, 9.25hp at 3500 RPM and was reported to burn 3/4 a gallon of #1 diesel oil per hour at full throttle. It also incorporates a "total loss" oiling system for many parts such as the top of the crankshafts and has a separate gearcase filled with hypoid oil under the powerhead to lubricate the various gears connecting the two crankshafts. There is a glow plug for frosty mornings and starting is by electric start only with no manual backup. (This also necessitates having a 12v car battery for the starter system) Various ads claim that the superior torque of the diesel makes this motor the equivalent of a 14hp outboard. All this goodness in a package that weighs in at a hefty 135lbs (estimated) - about the same as a Johnson 40hp from that era - and that doesn't include the battery!
Small diesel generators and other diesel equipment for the US military were American Marc's bread & butter, no doubt this outboard was an outgrowth of their military products. They also got into the boat manufacturing business for a brief period in the early 1960s - there is a great recap over on the Fiberglassics website about them.
That American Marc would dare to build a 9.25hp diesel outboard motor for consumers utilizing the Junkers/Fairbanks Morse opposed piston design can only be described as (in the words of the The Mamas and the Papas) California Dreaming! A 1960 article in Boating magazine indicated the factory was ramping up to produce 4,000 Amarc 10s per month, unless there is an Indiana Jones type government warehouse full of them, it does not appear that they got even 1/10 that number during the entire production.
Back in 1960-61 when the Amarc was made, engineers and product planers here in America took risks with unusual engineering and their products to try and build a better mousetrap. In today's world with Casper Milquetoast MBA's running things, no company would ever take a risk building such a product - and I feel our country is all the worse for that.... I often think that all of our great engineering achievements were made with slide rules: winning WWII, development of the atom bomb and atomic power, supersonic jets and even putting man on the moon! Today with all our computer power and connectivity, what really great thing have we humans done? The Amarc 10 is a small monument to America's greatness in the past....
If you have one of these motors or parts for them (or know of a parts source for them) I'd be interested in hearing from you!
1960-61 American Marc - Amarc 10, 9.25hp
1960-61 Amarc 10 - 9.25hp
Year & Model: 1960-61 Amarc 10
Horsepower: 9.25 @ 3,500 rpm
Cylinders: 1 - Pistons: 2
Bore: 2 5/8"
Stroke: 2" x 2
Glow Plug : Bosch
Injection Pump : Bosch
Cooling: Water by impeller
Retail price when new: $495.00
Weight: 135lbs (estimated)
Oil: #1 diesel fuel + separate oil tank SAE 30 non-detergent. Upper gear case 1 pint hypoid 90wt - lower gearcase 1/2 pint hypoid 90wt.
It's not running yet but it's sure cool!
The Amarc diesel - the first diesel outboard