Answer on river is a speed limit

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Counting drops? I just read a story that leaves me to the conclusion that there is a general lack of knowledge concerning the move to four-stroke or direct injection two-stroke engines for Kenai River boating.

The old technology used in the first generation two-stroke has the exhaust port always open just below the combustion chamber allowing the burned fuel to vent out when the piston clears the burn cycle each stroke. The problem with this technology is when the piston is moving back up, gas mix is being injected into the piston. Until that piston goes past that exhaust port, it is pumping unburnt fuel mix out the exhaust port and into the water.

New technology solves that problem by not injecting fuel until that piston goes past the exhaust port. One big payoff for this is nearly double the gas mileage, and very little unburnt hydrocarbon in the exhaust, so less pollution. That unburned exhaust would then mix with hot exhaust from the other piston and then try to burn in the exhaust lending that ugly two-stroke smoke and whine to the mess.

So counting drops was easy, about one-third to one-half the gas put in the old two-stroke motors is really just being poured into the river. Horsepower limits are not the answer for the Kenai, how about a simple 25 mph speed limit. Then bigger motors would simply get you on step faster and reduce wakes. So don’t try to defend the use of these old polluters, and with the price of gas, a new motor will double the time per gallon on the water.

Dennis Barnard


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