Wood Gas Speedboat

Has anyone actually done this?

I have a 22 foot bowrider with a 5.7 L MerCruiser.

I would need to be able to get the boat up on plane but I don’t really care about going fast.

Is this doable? There’s not a lot of room on a speedboat but they are so hard on fuel.

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There was a Russian fellow that was in to sometning similar here. I bet it can be done, just keep in mind that a motor hungry for petrol will allso be hungry for wood. A general rule of thumb is 1 liter of petrol equals 2 kg of wood, you do the math to imperial unites.

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Yeah I think it would have to be a charcoal gasifier for sure from what I understand of them.

They are hard on fuel because theres no transmission. You wind them up to 4500 rpm and leave it there until you want to slow down.

They really need a cvt transmission system like a snowmobile or newer small cars

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Not nesseserly. The wood gasifier can be made just as compact a a charcoal gasifier. 4500rpm might be a problem for woodgas thugh. It has a wery different torq graph thain petrol. Per instance, l see best torq on my MB at 3-4000rpm range on petrol, while on woodgas thats 1700-2200rpm


Yeah 4500 is full throttle though. Which I hardly ever do. 3000 would be plenty.

I usually leave the dock, cruise out for a couple miles and then float around. Snorkel, scuba, fish. Then come back in at dusk.

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So this actually has me intrigued. What would a compact system look like? How much room would it take up?

The motor is a 5.7L TBI and if I needed extra power i could switch on the gasoline.

I dont have room for a 4’ tall gasifier. But I probably have 3’.

Probably an area on either side of the motor. 3’x 3’ x 3’

With lots of storage for wood or charcoal under the floor of the boat or under seats.

Any suggestions?

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Well, the gasifier l currently use is preety much reduced in size as far as possible, powering a 2.3l engine while fitting in a boot of a sedan car. Its not simple but it can be done.

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So if I wanted something just for cruising around it could be done.

Do you have pics or a build thread I could read?

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Before anyone jumps all over me…I’ll be building the one for the pickup first.

It doesnt hurt to do research and then keep an eye out for materials.




Yes, search my Mercedes-Benz thread. But its worth mentioning l am not trying to propose you copy my sistem as it is built for my needs, lm just saying it can be done :wink:

Some guidelines: l learned if you burn a mix of charcoal and wood, the gasifier can be made smaller and more efficient, allso cooler as charcoal absorbs radiant heat from the firetube.
This way its no need for much headspace between the nozzles and hopper. The rest of the height you can gain with carefully modifying your dropbox, gasifier depth vs width…


I’ll have a look. Even just getting ideas on how to build it compact.

I will build it as big as my space allows. Even if I have to hybrid with 30% dino that will be 60 dollars a weekend instead of 200!

And realistically, I might cover 15kms in a whole weekend.


Hi, Barry!

During the war a passenger boat for ~20 persons making 8 knots needed that volume for just the gasifier. Filters and air ventilated gas-cooler took extra space.
And that for a single cylinder inboard motor at 8hp , bunkered once an hour.

Just to envision the need for space. Wood should not be stored down-under.
Compact building makes servicing hellish!