Cummins engine traveled a long way — 13,000 miles — to power the 90-foot dragger and tender Sea Mac. But just before it reached its destination, Hansen Boat Co., in Everett, Wash., the trip really got interesting.

2015 0212 Mar BoatbuildingMichael Crowley, our Boats & Gear editor, writes in our March issue about the unusual journey that 1,000-hp KTA-38M took ("Power trip," p. 28). The Sea Mac, out of Kodiak, Alaska, was propped up in the dry dock at the boatyard with a large hole cut in her port side. The boat's old KTA-38M had been removed, and there the vessel sat, patiently awaiting the arrival of the replacement engine.

But the old KTA-38M was a Tier 1 mechanically controlled engine. Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency wouldn't allow it to be replaced with another Tier 1 diesel. And adding a Tier 3 engine would require major modifications to the vessel, which would be an expensive undertaking.

Cummins was eventually able to gain EPA permission to replace the old engine with another Tier 1 motor. But the only place that builds that particular Tier 1 engine is the Cummins plant in Pune, India.

Thus began the engine's lengthy journey. And just when it seemed that its long trip was nearing its destination, trouble reared its ugly head. The tractor-trailer truck carrying the engine took a wrong off-ramp and was too high to fit under a bridge.

So the driver backed the truck up onto the off-ramp in an attempt to get back onto the main road. But the trailer drifted off the road and onto soft ground, causing the trailer to roll down an embankment.

It landed upside down with its cargo still strapped to the trailer. Now the one engine that could replace the Sea Mac's old KTA-38M was upside down — and lying about 500 feet from Hansen Boat Co.

Could the well-traveled engine be salvaged? Well, you'll have to read Mr. Crowley's story to find out how it becomes the not-so-little engine that could.

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