Last year everyone was talking about Tier IV engines, and there was admittedly some trepidation as to how it would affect the industry. As our Boats & Gear Editor Jean Paul Vellotti addresses in his new-diesel review — “The iron curtain” — on page 26, not much has happened in the development of marine engines for the new tier.

In the meantime, many new and refitted fishing boats are working around the requirements by rebuilding older engines or doubling up on lower-horsepower iron to top out above the 804-hp line drawn for Tier IV requirements.

This article was first published in the February issue of National Fisherman. You can subscribe to NF for digital and print access online.

It may surprise you to learn that the young fishermen are the ones driving the trend to rebuild older engines. They’re looking for speed and efficiency without a bigger burden on their take-home pay.

Then there are special programs that allow for replacement of older non-tier engines with Tier II diesels. As Vellotti describes in the boatbuilding story “Custom Cats,” a major refit of a Rhode Island scallop and squid boat included replacing an old Cat with a new Tier II model. But finding a Tier II engine is no easy feat, as they’ve been phased out stateside. Read the story starting on page 22 to find out how they got their hands on one, how they got it into the boat and what strings were attached to make it a legal trade.

If you’re in the market for a new engine, you won’t want to miss our diesel lineup, starting on page 29. We’ve got you covered from 150 to 4,000 horsepower.

If your bent takes you toward lighter fare, longtime NF contributor Corky Decker shares an excerpt of his new book on the origins of tuna harpooning in the Gulf of Maine. “Harpoon” is a subject near to his heart, as Decker grew up learning from the pioneers of the fishery in and around Small Point, Maine.

Though he left home to seek adventures in Alaska and the Caribbean, the Gulf of Maine drew him back in. Decker now returns to his old stomping grounds every summer in pursuit of the black-backed bluefin — only now he comes armed with harpoons as well as poles. “Harpoon” is also a return of sorts, as Decker chronicles the history of the fishery with a cast of real-life characters that simply can’t be made up. Read the excerpt on page 20, then grab your own copy on Amazon.

I’m also thrilled to get the chance to review “American Seafood,” which author and chef Barton Seaver describes as “a complete catalog of American seafood.” The first time I chatted with Seaver about this project, it sounded so incredibly ambitious, I figured it would be a decade in the making. Then the next thing I knew, it had been published.

I would be lying to say I wasn’t surprised by how quickly he turned this around, and it’s not because he skimped on materials. Read my review of Seaver’s massive missive on page 10.

Jessica Hathaway is the former editor in chief of National Fisherman.

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