Total Refurb by Original Manufacturer pays Dividends for NSW Marine Rescue
To replace or to refurbish, that’s the dilemma that not only confronts recreational boaters, but also marine rescue authorities. Marine Rescue NSW faced this very predicament when they reviewed the ailing performance of the 22 year old Colin Woods from Jervis Bay.
After a comprehensive five month refurbishment program at Steber International (one which included a total engine room make over with a pair of Yanmar 6LY3-STP main engines and a Mase generator) the Colin Woods is back in service at her home port of HMAS Creswell at Jervis Bay.
Launched in May 1990 this Steber was commissioned by the Australian Federal Police and was stationed at Jervis Bay. When new, the vessel (a Steber 41), was fitted with a pair of 4 stroke, 8 cylinder 425 hp (non Yanmar) diesel engines. Top speed then was around 26 knots at 2800 rpm. Sometime later the vessel was sold to the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol, which subsequently became Marine Rescue NSW. But after serving her two masters so well, the Colin Woods was showing signs of getting tired.
An extensive assessment of the vessel revealed the hull and superstructure to be in excellent condition, but a lot of work was required to bring the 22 year old Steber 41 back up to modern day standards for rescue work. The original engines were tired, as were the transmissions, gen set, electronics, fuel tanks and a host of other systems.
Steber boss, Alan Steber, accepted the commission to undertake a major re-fit, in the process saving Marine Rescue NSW almost $250,000 when compared to the commissioning a new rescue vessel.
“To help keep the cost down, we arranged for the Colin Woods to be motored under her own power from Jervis Bay back to the Steber factory at Taree,” said Alan Steber.
“When the boat arrived we began to strip it right back. The anti foul was removed all the way back to original gel coat and the engine room stripped bare. Our task was to refit the entire boat and bring it up to the similar standard as the new Steber 38 vessels that we have been supplying to Marine Rescue NSW.”
At the heart of the re-fit was the new Yanmar 6LY3-STP engines. With a bare engine room, finished off with a new soft grey flowcoat, the pair of Yanmar marine diesel engines were bedded in with new ZF transmissions, new exhaust system, new wiring, new fuel tank and a new Yanmar powered Mase Mariner 700 (7kw) gen set.
“Yanmar is the engine of choice with the new model Steber 38’s that we have been supplying Marine Rescue NSW and numerous other professional operators along the coast. The same units already supplied to NSW Marine Rescue have been performing exceptionally well so everyone was very happy to see the Yanmar’s selected again and installed into the Colin Woods. That
was despite the hull being almost a meter longer and overall displacement significantly higher.”
The purpose built Yanmar 6LY3 engine series marine engine is a proven light duty commercial engine. Low fuel consumption and servicing costs along with high reliability are critical factors, highly valued by operators the world over.
Yanmar’s 6LY3-STP engine is a turbocharged, direct injected, intercooled, 24 valve, in-line 6 cylinder displacing 5813cm3 to produce 440mhp (324 kW) at 3300rpm. Weighing in at only 640 kilos (without gearbox) the 6LY3-STP delivers industry leading power-to-weight Yanmar diesel performance.
The Yanmar 6LY3 features a high-technology electronic control and display system that controls and displays all engine operations from fuel management to twin engine synchronisation, gear shifting and diagnostics.
Following a comprehensive program (that took almost five months) utilising the same quality tradesmen and leading quality practices that Steber is renowned for with their new builds, the Colin Woods was ready for sea trials and commissioning. Ian Mills (Power Equipment Marine Sales Engineer for NSW) was in attendance, and together with the Steber engineers, oversaw a full test and commission of all systems over 2 days which was exactly in line with the test completed for a brand new vessel. With an overall weight reduction, thanks to the new technology Yanmar’s and
an increase of 4” in pitch with the new props, the Colin Woods performance and reduced noise levels impressed all aboard and has no doubt changed it for the better.
While the rated power of the new Yanmar’s is virtually the same as the old engines which were removed, the refurbished Colin Woods is almost 4 knots faster at wide open throttle. Now the Yanmar’s deliver a top speed of 30.0 knots at 3360 rpm.
A comfortable cruise speed of 18 knots is achieved at 2390 RPM with fuel consumption recorded 37.5 litres per engine per hour.
“In a tough market where both recreational boaters and commercial operators are weighing up the costs of replacing versus refurbishment, we are finding that our ability to offer a factory refit with quality engineering practises has become increasingly attractive,” said Alan Steber.
“In the case of the Colin Woods, we replaced a huge amount of the hardware on board, while at the same time applying a generous amount of external and interior cosmetic work. The outcome is a 22 year old boat that looks and performs like a brand new vessel.”