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Mavrik Marine's Bristol Bay Boats Run Fast and Smooth

Vessel Profile: F/V Skyline

 

The newly-delivered F/V Skyline can reach 27 knots and cruise comfortably at 21 knots. Photo courtesy of Mavrik Marine.

After four years managing a Middle Eastern shipyard for Topaz Energy, specializing in fast freight and crew boats, Zachery Battle returned to Washington in 2009 with the goal of starting his own business. Late In 2010, he opened Mavrik Marine in La Conner, Wash. where he began applying the production/operation experience he had gained in the high-stakes oil business. In just four years, this company has emerged as a significant player in the Alaskan fisheries.

Since last fall Mavrik has launched a remarkable seven Bristol Bay boats, five seine skiffs, a Puget Sound Crabber, and a 49-foot tender – all in aluminum. Meanwhile, the company's repair division completed three major refits on limit seiners. At the end of May, Mavrik was still going flat out with 85 employees working five shifts and moving on to orders for commercial vessels, repairs and conversions for the summer – plus a 70-foot ferry for Hawaii!

By far his most popular product has been the PB 32 Bristol Bay boat, a fairly conservative design by today's standards that he bills as "classic style meets state-of-the-art performance." It has a 14-foot beam, tunnel propeller, and a single engine in the 500-700 hp range. The latest to hit the water is the F/V Skyline – number nine in the series – for two young partners from Arlington, Wash.

Coincidentally, those partners, Matt De Witte and Jeffrey Ludwig have also worked in the US oil patch – during the winter – and in Bristol bay during the summer. These two young men became friends, and since Jeffrey had already bought a Bristol Bay permit, they decided to team up on the boat and gear. They incorporated as De Witte-Ludwig Fisheries LLC and agreed they needed a reliable modern boat to get the company going. They had heard about Mavrik's reputation and ordered a turn-key PB 32 from Battle that would be tested and ready to fish when it arrived in Naknek.

They were open to suggestions on the type of engine to install, but the MAN R6-730 was not on their list, until Battle recommended it. This German-made inline six cylinder 12.8-liter engine produces 537 kW (730 HP) at 2,300 RPM, with a rating of commercial/light duty, yet weighs only 2,877 lbs. It is a development of a heavy truck engine that is used all over the world and comes from a division of MAN – a company that also manufactures ship engines up to 100,000 HP. It spins the 30-inch by 34-inch propeller via ZF 360 2.192:1 reduction gears.

"It's a tough fishery and the MAN's lack of noise and vibration is good for the hull and reduces crew fatigue," Battle pointed out. "We offer it in the standard package because it has plenty of power when you need it, and runs as smooth as a sewing machine at idle," he added.

Mavrik had installed one in the F/V Ava Jane in 2014, making it the first work boat in the US with the new Tier 3 MAN version – without exhaust recirculation or exhaust after treatment, MAN announced.

Owner George Dauber, a fisherman with more than 35 years on the water, has found the engine lives up to all the maker's claims. "For me, there is no engine to match it – none that is so quiet on deck and at the pilot's station, nor which keeps its harmonious sound so consistently across the entire speed range," he reported. "For me, the Mavrik hull with a MAN engine is the perfect working environment." RDI in Seattle is the West Coast dealer and will be providing support in Alaska this summer. They have supplied Mavrik with nine engines so far, with another five on order.

The hull has a full-length keel and reverse chine. The plate is 1/4-inch aluminum on the bottom and 3/16-inch on the sides and features what Battle calls a "progressive tunnel" that doesn't restrict the water flow to the four-bladed stainless steel propeller. There is a heavy 1.5-inch by 8-inch metal shoe protecting the stern gear, giving a draft of 35 inches in lightship condition. The fuel capacity is 390 gallons, freshwater 50 gallons. Working displacement is 22,500 lbs. and hold capacity below decks is 18,000 lbs.

Five of Mavrik's seven Bristol Bay boats are lined up at the company dock prior to delivery. Photo courtesy of Mavrik Marine.

On sea trials with full tanks and six guys on board, the F/V Skyline was making 25 knots at 80 percent load and burning 37 gph, according to the computer readout that is part of the standard MAN package. At 21 knots, the fuel burn was 30 gph, putting that in the "economic cruising" range. The engine room is about 6 feet wide with enough headroom to inspect the engine, filters etc. that are all set up for easy maintenance. The three-station steering is run off a full-power Orbitrol hydraulic system.

The chiller/RSW system is an IMS 7.5 ton, split between the compressor and pump on the starboard side of the lazarette and condenser and chiller on the port side, which gives a very clean layout, says Battle. On deck, there are eight insulated holds. The reel was built by Mavrik, with a Maritime Fabrications automatic level-wind. The stern roller and anchor winch came from Kinematics.

The forepeak has four big bunks and there is a nice arrangement in the galley according to the builder, with a "wet head" shower, diesel stove and a single electric heater by Heatercraft. Mavrik delivered the boat to the partners with a full cradle, brailer bags, fenders, dock lines and assorted equipment – ready to fish for Silver Bay Seafoods in Naknek this summer.

 
 

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