National Fisherman

Boats & Gear 

Michael CrowleyThe Boats & Gear blog is overseen by our Boats & Gear editor, Michael Crowley. It explores new construction projects, electronics, gear and equipment for the commercial fishing industry.

There are all kinds of reasons for buying a new diesel: air pollution requirements, better fuel consumption, weight savings (so you might go faster), a good maintenance record, or having the dealer and his mechanics near your dock when the engine needs servicing. But how about the engine’s ability to keep running after it has rolled 360 degrees?

2014 0724 rolloverAn MTU Series 2000 engine is rolled 360 degrees during testing.What happens when a boat capsizes is engine oil gets into the cylinders through the crankcase ventilation system. That destroys the engine as a result of uncontrolled combustion.

Obviously, this is an extreme rough-weather situation or one you might find yourself in if you were crossing a bar at the mouth of a river, but MTU has a solution for this potential problem and designed its 8V 2000 M84L to keep running after rotating 360 degrees on its own axis.

The secret is a valve in the crankcase ventilation that closes based on how far the boat is inclined and opens when the boat returns to an upright position — hopefully it does.

MTU tested the engine using a rollover stand that was “capable of realistically simulating a genuine lateral rollover.”

Truth be told, the Series 2000 engine with the rollover feature wasn’t designed with fishing boats in mind. Though there are some fishermen out there nutty enough to be curious about the notion of rolling over, recovering and continuing to steam along as if nothing had happened. If you know one, best not to ship with him.

The intended target of MTU rollover work is 31-knot, 65-foot lifeboats for the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institute. Those boats do now and then capsize and are designed to right themselves.

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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