When Mark Niver wanted to build his ultimate Bristol Bay fishing boat, he relied on experiences on other vessels that he’d either owned or leased since diving into the gillnet fishery in 1980.

But he also reached into the future when he had Kvichak Marine Industries build the Surrender in 1996.

“Back then, people were just starting to put refrigeration in their boats,” says Niver. But there was the question of cost. At one point Niver decided to have the refrigeration system plumbed into the boat but without the compressor pump and other ingredients so he could retrofit it in the future.

Also in the equation was his choice of power. One option would have called for the installation of a 700-hp Lugger, while the smaller 6125, which put out 460 hp came at a much lowered cost.

“I decided at the last minute to go with the smaller engine and put in the refrigeration system,” says Niver. As it turns out the 460-horse version netted huge savings in fuel costs per season. Niver estimates he burns 1,300 gallons of diesel fuel with his 6125.

“There’s only 4 knots difference in speed,” says Niver. “But the fuel consumption is almost double with the 700-horse.”

In the years since, the boat and its refinements (he retrofitted with wet exhaust a few years ago) have served him well.

He says the wet exhaust subtracted weight from the boat with the removal of the dry stack, and the engine room stays 20 degrees cooler. Also he notes an added efficiency to the refrigeration system since the stack no longer lives forward of the fish holds. That and absence of engine noise on the flying bridge make the seasons slip by with an added comfort and allow him to concentrate on his fishing.

“I’ve been doing this so long I can do it with my eyes closed,” he says. 

Boat Specifications

HOME PORT: Naknek, Alaska OWNER: Mark Niver BUILDER: Kvichak Marine YEAR BUILT: 1996 FISHERIES: Bristol Bay salmon  HULL CONSTRUCTION: Aluminum LENGTH: 32' BEAM: 13.6' DRAFT: 38" CREW CAPACITY: 4 TONNAGE: 28 gross/20 net FISH HOLD CAPACITY: 18,000 pounds in 8 refrigerated holds  MAIN PROPULSION: Lugger 6125, 460 hp  GEARBOX: Twin Disc 1.98:1 PROPELLER: 4 blade, 28" x 24" pitch, stainless steel SHAFT: Stainless steel 2-1/4" SPEED: 18 knots FUEL CONSUMPTION: 6 gph FUEL CAPACITY: 400 gallons  FRESHWATER CAPACITY: 60 gallons ELECTRONICS: Motorola VHF, Garmin 1040xs plotter with radar, Coastal Navigation Depth Sounder, ComNav autopilot OTHER EQUIPMENT: Wet exhaust and IMS refrigeration

Charlie Ess is the North Pacific Bureau Chief for National Fisherman.

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