Page 6 Inhibitors

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There’s always room for a product that is “better”, but it needs to meet a need before
it has any hope of becoming established.

And, to quote the retail people – “Right place, right time, right price”.

The idea of a Stirling powered small boat may have merit, but what are the inhibitors that
stand in the way of adoption?


First and foremost - availability – a source of supply.

The Swedish Stirling submarine demonstrated a capability in the appropriate forum.
The US navy readily grasped the opportunity. Stirling submarines were immediately
accepted and manufacture followed.

Alas, the merits of a Stirling boat are not so clarion clear.
The pleasure of near silent boating has already been exploited by the electric boat.
And is there sleight of hand with the carbon footprint of batteries and charging?
The user of an electric boat does not see the CO2 emissions of the power station needed
to recharge the battery - nor the carbon footprint in the manufacture of the battery.
Or its disposal/recycling.

Out of sight: out of mind.

The Stirling however, is an “in your face” burner of fossil fuel!

But getting back to the availability issue, the possibility of a Stirling boat is currently reliant
on “pioneer” individual makers.

Celebrity endorsement could “cross the threshold” of social interest?

Perhaps that is a viable approach.

The second biggest inhibitor is the lack of a proven, demonstrable craft.

i.e a Stirling installed in a boat that clearly works well – and it has to be “pretty”.

Sadly, our society is very heavily motivated (besotted?) by what it looks like.
Car manufacturers know this very well.

This requirement of a demonstrable craft is largely what this book is about.

Being able to make a Stirling that works is a considerable and rare skill.

Similarly, the ability to “marry” the engine with a boat is also a rare talent.

Both are needed – in the same place – at the same time.

Vs “the right price”, that could well be “not a problem”.

A prominent example for m
e, is the “concours d'élégance” factor.

At a major boat show, there is competition (for a prize) for the best presented boat.

Even the brass deck cleats and other brass fittings have to be polished and shining.

When you have 100 plus deck fittings, that’s a lot of polishing.

The solution – all the deck fittings are gold plated. No polishing needed. Ever!

My conclusion – the money is there – we just need to connect with “the will”.

The next step towards acceptance is a “pretty” well working Stirling craft?

It's all very do-able. And why not make it pretty as well?