Q&A with Caterpillar’s South Florida marine engine sales consultant: Brian Fowler
Anglers Journal editor at large John Brownlee posed a few questions recently to Brian Fowler, Caterpillar’s South Florida marine engine sales consultant for Pantropic Power Systems, regarding Cat’s new C7.1L diesel engine.
Q: Brian, Caterpillar’s new 500 hp C7.1 diesel has been chosen as the power for the new Bertram 35, tell us a little about this new powerplant?
A: Well, the engine is an inline 6 cylinder displacing 7.1 liters, and although this block has been around for awhile in other applications, it’s all new as a marine propulsion engine. It’s a common rail injection design, which means it’s quieter, more efficient, gives a better hole shot and has substantially less vibration than previous models. The C7.1 comes in 400, 450 and 500 hp versions and requires no more valve trainor belt adjustments. That’s all automatic, plus that manual fuel hand priming pump is gone. The C7.1 fuel system primes itself automatically. It also contains no zincs, as it’s a galvanically neutral engine. This modern engine more closely resembles the engine in your car in terms ofease of use and reduced maintenance requirements.
Q: Will we see more horsepower offerings from this engine down the road?
A: Possibly. As with every model, we like to look to the future and see what we can get out of a particular engine once it has proven itself in the marketplace.
Q: What about warranty?
A: All Cat Pleasure Craft engines come with a two-year, unlimited hour standard factory warranty, and you can extend that warranty out to 10 full years with no change in what is covered. That’s a lot of coverage available to owners and shows our confidence in the product.
Q: I’ll say. What other new products has Cat come out with recently?
A: As with most marine diesel manufacturers, when Tier 3 emissions standards went into effect in 2013, we lost a number of our older engines that couldn’t meet the new standards, engines like the C7, C9, C12 and C15. To replace these, Cat developed this new engine, the C7.1, plus an C8.7 that develops 650 hp, and a C12.9, which cranks out 850 to 1,000 hp. The 1,000 hp C12.9 is both supercharged and turbocharged putting it into the same hp class as the C18 (18-liter) model in a lighter, more compact package. The supercharger creates low end torque and speed and as the rpm increases, the supercharger drops out and the turbo takes over, so you get consistently strong acceleration across the power band.
Q: What about monitoring options?
A: The engine ECM monitors the engine hundreds of times per second to provide instantaneous protection, response, and efficiency. This information is consolidated and transmitted onto the new Cat CMD (Color Marine Display) seven- and 13-inch display units . The new displays are high definition touchscreens displaying commonly requested parameters such as rpm, temperatures, pressures, fuel burn rate, load percent and boost. In addition these units can monitor one or two engines per panel or dedicate one display panel per engine. It’s totally flexible and you can mount a display pretty much anywhere you want. The Bertram 35 comes standard with the CMD7 utilizing the single panel, split screen feature.
Q: Brian, this all sounds very exciting and we will be eager to see these new products at the boat shows this winter.
A: Thank you.