Fishermen's News - The Advocate for the Commercial Fisherman

New Products at the 2019 Pacific Marine Expo


January 1, 2020

A new design from Elliott Bay Design group is a 32-foot Bristol Bay gillnetter with a 20-foot beam. Artwork courtesy of Elliott Bay Design Group.

The 2019 Marine Expo introduced a fair number of new products to West Coast fishermen ranging from the latest haul of digital devices to the new versions of Tier 3 marine diesel engines that measure right up to the legal limit of 805 hp (600 kW). Three European manufacturers have developed new engine platforms that cater specifically to US fish and workboat operators.

➤ New Engines Have Fishermen in Mind

MAN displayed a prototype of the brand new 800-hp (598 kW) version of its popular 730 hp D2676 inline-six engine. This has been installed in numerous Bristol Bay boats in the last few years, now the MAN D2676 LE426 will produce 10 % more power, thanks to its new injectors, cylinder head, and modified common rail injection system.

Note that the new engine comes with keel cooling as a standard feature from the German factory, but the dimensions and the displacement of 12.4 liters (757 cubic inches) are unchanged. According to Brian Cook of RDI Marine, the West Coast distributor of MAN, this engine will also achieve high performance with the same low vibration and noise, and will be available from the second quarter of 2020.

The Italian powertrain manufacturer FPT made a splash last summer on Bristol Bay with four new Aliotti boats, each running twin 500-hp FPT N67 EVO engines. FPT is another company with wide reach: their engines run New Holland tractors, Case backhoes and Iveco trucks used all over the USA. FPT's proven six-cylinder big block is called the Cursor 16-liter and provides up to 800 hp in a "13-liter package" for heavy-duty applications.

The first marine version was for the recreational market and has a top end output of 1,000 hp at 2,300 rpm. However, when FPT partnered with the legendary Italian speedboat designer, builder and racer Fabio Buzzi, he boosted the Cursor's performance to 1,700 hp, and built a hydroplane specially to test its full potential. In March, 2018 he broke his own world record for a diesel-powered boat on Lake Como with a speed of 172.5 mph (277.5 Km/h). The commercial version of this marine engine produces a conservative 800 hp for durability and performance in single-engine applications.

Volvo Penta has also taken an engine from its recreational division, the 6-cylinder 7.7-liter D8, and lowered its rating for use by commercial vessels. The D8 engine has been marketed since 2016, and feature's Volvo Penta's trademark high torque at low speeds. It has now been certified for Tier 3 emissions as the D8 MH for use in high-speed commercial applications with increased durability.

Pacific Power Group's Marine Division launched this engine at the Expo with a maximum rating of 440 hp (331 kW), making it ideal for twin-engine installations on gillnetters or fast crabbers. The commercial version retains the original D8's ladder frame, cast-iron cylinder block and head, double overhead camshafts and twin-entry turbo, but now includes a keel-cooled version.

➤ New Jets Aiming for All-Round Performance

Many gillnetters will choose waterjets to connect with these new engines, and the jet manufacturers have also been developing their designs to meet the demand for higher efficiency at high and low speeds. HamiltonJet is a leader in jet design and has introduced the HTX line after extensive research and rigorous testing. It incorporates new hydrodynamics, and more refined materials to deliver a unit that features improved thrust, speed, bollard pull and a fully integrated design for easier installation and service.

The first of this new generation is the HTX30, which can accept up to 775 hp (570kW) for use in patrol and commercial boats. Ben Reed, General Manager of HamiltonJet, stated: "The development of the HTX30 waterjet addresses issues raised to us by boat builders and as a result is far easier to install. It offers a 7 percent increase in high speed efficiency, with 19 percent more bollard pull and up to 2 knots improvement in minimum speed."

The Alamarin OMEGA series water jet line is a visual departure from the typical jet with its angular exterior housing, max input power of 2,040 hp. It has unique features like the dual-angle shaft that allows flexibility to adapt to different dead rise angles and sump depths by offering a shaft angle of either 0° or 4°. The frame integrated bearing structure incorporates the bearing housing, built in oil cooler, and variable intake geometry. Overall weight is 1,565 lbs. and the US distributor Motor-Services Hugo Stamp, Inc will be taking orders in early summer.

Marine Jet Power's newly designed X Series is its next generation of waterjet propulsion, providing more power in a lighter unit, burning less fuel and extending range. The X Series is a true mixed flow pump that reduces the weight by up to 10 percent compared to axial flow jets. The cast aluminum bucket has been designed for decreased stopping distance and increased maneuverability. With its new narrow design, center-to-center installation placement is minimized and the mechanical tie bar synchronizes steering with the helm pump. The smallest pump in the X Series is rated to 778 hp (580 kW).

US-based NAMJet LLC, makers of the Traktor high-volume jet now offers an alternative to standard hydraulic steering system – iNAV electric actuation. This eliminates the need for hydraulic tanks, valves, oil, hoses, with their associated maintenance and potential oil leaks. There is less weight and more room on board. With the iNAV system, the bundles of cables running down the boat between the waterjets and the helm control panel are replaced by an ethernet Cat 5 cable, which makes installation or refit for boat builders much easier.

➤ Pushing the Limits in Bristol Bay Design

Bristol Bay is likely to be where most of these propulsion systems will be employed in the latest designs for these 32-foot long boats with unlimited beam. That's why the design proposal that Elliott Bay Design Group presented at the Expo with a record-breaking 20-foot beam and a raised wheelhouse deserves a mention. With a 12-foot depth of hull, triple 550-hp Cummins QS86.7 diesels and Ultrajet 340 HT waterjets, performance-prediction software indicates it could carry 20,000 lbs. on plane at 20 knots

➤ Word's First Wireless crab Pot Light

The SeaTrace 3000 bills itself as the "world's first fishing light" that is water-tight to 3300 feet/1000 meters and is operated and recharged entirely by wireless systems. The secret to this extreme depth capacity is that it never needs to be opened up to swap betteries because it is re-charged via an inductive charging stand, and turns on and off with a magnet. The flashing pattern and color sequence can also be changed remotely by using a wireless connection and smart phone with the SeaTrace app (SeaTrace Pro) and program it to emit sounds (SeaTrace Advanced).

That explains how the light keeps the water out, but not why it works so well in crab and lobster pots – even without bait. However, fish and squid have been caught using light for centuries, so it is not a great surprise that crustaceans should be attracted to it. The SeaTrace has been tested by an official marine research lab in eastern Canada on snow crabs with outstanding success, and in Florida on stone crabs and lobster with the same good results. One charge is good for approximately 200 hours of continuous light and another 100 to 150 hours of flashing; the unit is predicted to handle a minimum of 1,000 charging cycles with no loss of intensity. The basic model has two white-only LED lights and sells for $70 in the introductory sale period. The programmable models with colored LED's sell for $80 and $100.

➤ Longsoaker Timed Release Bait Container

The McGirk Longsoaker timed-release bait container is a new device that allows fishermen to re-bait their fish or shellfish gear without leaving the dock. The Longsoaker is filled with fresh bait and sealed shut with an elastic band attached to the container by a Galvanic Time Release (GTR) pellet with a life of eight hours to five days. The container automatically opens and extends the inner compartment with slotted walls to let the fresh bait begin to work.

The Longsoaker can effectively "re-bait" a savvy fisherman's gear while on the bottom, and multiple Longsoakers can be used to deploy a steady stream of fresh bait on multiple days – reducing the number of trips needed and fuel expenses. It keeps fishing during storms, is durable enough to last for many years, and often pays for itself after just one use.

Whether you are a bering sea crabber or a West Coast Dungie fisherman, the Longsoaker should allow you to land more catch. Longsoakers cost $20 each and are based in Ferndale in Northwest Washington.

➤ XTRATUF Boot Has Extra Non-Slip

Speaking of crabbing, handling pots in a seaway is a very demanding job where footwear becomes an important safety issue. In the XTRATUF booth, I noticed a boot model, called the Swingsaw, with a number of disintictive blue discs on the sole, between the typical non-skid lugs. I was told that this feature is called "GlacierTrek PRO" and features eleven six-sided discs per boot, each a little more than 1-inch in diameter, and made from what the maker calls the "ultimate compound for exceptional grip" especially on wet ice.

The Swingsaw also features insulated waterproof construction with an EVA insole for added comfort and a 5mm neoprene bootie that is comfort-rated to -20°F.

Note that no boot will prevent slipping in all occasions. Always tread cautiously.

➤ Grays Harbor Company Makes Underwear That Stays Dry

Grays Harbor Unders is a performance clothing line produced and managed from the port of Hoquiam on Grays Harbor, Washington. This business has been designing and sewing a range of high performance base-layer clothing for over 20 years, originally for motorbike riders who spend hours on the saddle on long-distance trips. The secret to their success is a special Polyester/Nylon/Lycra blend fabric that is different from any other "wicking" cloth on the market.

This stretchy material looks like an ordinary piece of fabric, but is actually a dual-layer weave that transports moisture from the inside to the outside. This enables the garment to keep the skin dry on the inside even while the material is wringing wet on the outside!

The company now produces a separate line of lighter weight underwear that is perfect for everyday work and wear--a base layer that helps you stay comfortable no matter how extreme you work or play!

➤ Merino Wool Takes on Synthetic Fibers

It wasn't so long ago that everyone who worked on the water wore traditional wool shirts and sweaters. Wool was warm, resisted moisture, but it was also heavy, bulky, took too long to dry, and itched when it touched the skin. In the 1970s everyone started wearing synthetic fabrics, which had the advantage of light weight, easy wash and non-itch, but the disadvantage of feeling wet and clammy against the skin, sweaty and smelly, and often highly flammable.

Marine Jet Power's new X Series waterjet provides more power in a lighter unit, burning less fuel and extending range. Artwork courtesy of Marine Jet Power.

Twenty-five years ago, a young New Zealander started a company called Icebreaker to produce outdoor wear made from local Merino wool. This hardy breed of sheep is renowned for its fine fibers that make a fabric ideal for outdoor clothing, being lightweight, soft, non-itchy, non-clammy, and a great insulator. What's more, it's naturally renewable, recyclable and biodegradable!

The company also created "RealFLEECE" garments from brushed Merino fabric reinforced with a fine nylon core for strength and durability to deliver surprising softness and warmth. Today, Icebreaker makes a complete range of inner and outer wear for men and women, sourced from ranches that practice ethical animal husbandry and woven and sewn in Chinese factories that treat their workers with respect. I've been testing the beanie for a week, biking in cold weather, and it is staying remarkably dry.


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