The Engines Go Into the Spencer 74

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You read about the impressive restoration of the damaged Spencer 74 sportfishing yacht not long ago. If you missed it, check out: http://bit.ly/SpencerRestoration

Last week I went up to see the installation of the new MTU engines. The same two experts who installed the original, 2,600hp diesels at Spencer Yachts in Wanchese, North Carolina, were on hand to install the new engines. They had been here to remove the damaged MTUs when the boat arrived at Worton Creek a year ago. And they will be back to do the alignment and other tasks prior to launch. They told me they do two or three new boats a year. The rest of the time they work on repowering fishing boats in the Wanchese area. It is a special set of skills to do this right with such large MTU and Caterpillar engines. It requires a familiarity not found in the skillset of a normal boatyard staff.

 It was vital that all electrical and plumbing work be completed in the engine room before the generator and engines went in, as this seemingly open space becomes very tight with all machinery installed. The workmanship is first class.

It was vital that all electrical and plumbing work be completed in the engine room before the generator and engines went in, as this seemingly open space becomes very tight with all machinery installed. The workmanship is first class.

 An Onan generator gets lifted into the boat before the engines.

An Onan generator gets lifted into the boat before the engines.

 Note the special MTU lifting bracket engineered to safely to move these engines around. Pieces of carpet and extra straps are added for extra insurance so no damage will occur during the installation process.

Note the special MTU lifting bracket engineered to safely to move these engines around. Pieces of carpet and extra straps are added for extra insurance so no damage will occur during the installation process.

 The starboard engine is turned around so it will fit through the holes created by cutting off the flybridge and saloon sole. Given the size of the 9,000lb engine and transmission, it is still a tight fit, carefully planned and meticulously executed, as John Patnovic and his crew hover over the scene.

The starboard engine is turned around so it will fit through the holes created by cutting off the flybridge and saloon sole. Given the size of the 9,000lb engine and transmission, it is still a tight fit, carefully planned and meticulously executed, as John Patnovic and his crew hover over the scene.

 This kind of installation is not something one sees very often, and all eyes follow the progress as each engine is carefully maneuvered into place.

This kind of installation is not something one sees very often, and all eyes follow the progress as each engine is carefully maneuvered into place.

 It takes imagination to see beyond the chaos of this project. Note the galley microwave and stereo equipment are original, as they were just beyond the reach of the seawater when the boat struck then settled onto the rocks off Peurto Rico. 

It takes imagination to see beyond the chaos of this project. Note the galley microwave and stereo equipment are original, as they were just beyond the reach of the seawater when the boat struck then settled onto the rocks off Peurto Rico. 

 Almost done, the techs put Tef-Gel on all engine mounting bolts as the starboard MTU becomes part of the new yacht. These diesels will drive the 74-footer to 48 knots.

Almost done, the techs put Tef-Gel on all engine mounting bolts as the starboard MTU becomes part of the new yacht. These diesels will drive the 74-footer to 48 knots.

 No fooling around with this German engineering. Each is rated at 2,600hp at 2,450 rpm. A beautiful piece of engineering that is way beyond what we would ever see in the trawler community. And a fuel consumption of 230gph is not for the faint of heart. But you've got to love it nonetheless. Dream big!

No fooling around with this German engineering. Each is rated at 2,600hp at 2,450 rpm. A beautiful piece of engineering that is way beyond what we would ever see in the trawler community. And a fuel consumption of 230gph is not for the faint of heart. But you've got to love it nonetheless. Dream big!

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Next month the final glass work on the hull takes place, an interesting mix of vacuum baqging and heating that fuses the foam core with fiberglass. The boat will go on the market in May as a new yacht fully capable of fishing the world's oceans.