Alaska commercial fisherman Marty Wise nets salmon in a Freddie Marine-designed bow picker, Graycie Lynn. When the 10-meter (32-foot) vessel was first built, a single 317-kW (425-hp) John Deere 9.0L engine powered UltraJet 305HT water jets through a ZF transmission with a 1:1 gear ratio. Jet propulsion allows the gillnetting vessel to maneuver around drift nets and access the shallow waters of the Copper River Delta.
Although Graycie Lynn cruised a respectable 20 knots and a top-end speed of 30 knots with the single engine, Wise wanted more speed to get to the fishing grounds."I work in a high-speed fishery. Everybody goes fast, even with a load of fish on. If you can't, you're behind everybody."
Bill Greenstreet, a longtime friend and John Deere marine dealer in Homer, Alaska, suggested Wise turn the single-engine vessel into a twin-screw and repower it with 4045S marine engines, new ZF 220 transmissions, and 25.4-centimeter (10-inch) Hamilton 274 jets.
"The first thing I noticed was the power. At half throttle, we cruise 20 knots and 36 knots full throttle. I am also surprised the two engines are so quiet; they're very smooth-running engines. I'm very, very, very impressed."
The vessel's fuel efficiency improved, too. "My boat was extremely fuel efficient, and I was burning a gallon a mile (0.43 kilometers per liter) with the 9.0L, and that's efficient. But now the boat is consuming 0.6 gallons per mile (0.7 kilometers per liter), so I'm way below the expected norm, which I'm very excited about. It made a huge, huge improvement."
Wise is a diesel minority in a fishery heavily dominated by gas-powered boats. "It's been very interesting the number of people who are interested in the engines. People have been coming to my boat and checking them out."
The first thing I noticed was the power.