Yanmar Specified Where Raw Grunt is Needed
As their name suggests, Perth based Niche Marine is a specialist boat builder who supplies vessels for very specific commercial applications. One of their latest projects has been the supply of 2 identical 11.2m utility boats, called Go Centaur and Go Minotaur, for running lines from ships.
Powered by a pair of Yanmar 6LYA 370 mhp diesel engines, the Go Centaur is a distinctive vessel. Destined for use at Port Hedland and operated by Go Marine, this is a tough workhorse. From any angle the hull has the lines of a rugged commercial vessel – high freeboard, small cabin, huge work deck and heavy duty tow post.
In addition to running lines between ships and the wharf, Go Centaur is showing her versatility performing additional task such as moving cargo, ferrying passengers and undertaking small barge work.
Naval architect Dennis Walsh designed the hull with a host of unique features. There is no transom above the line of the self draining deck, ensuring that aft access is totally unimpeded. The hull carries a beam of 3.6m and a draft of 1.2m with the hull made from 6mm aluminium plate all round. Under the hull, Go Centaur is fitted with nozzle style drives. The Mikado Kaplan 4 blade props spin within a nozzle with just 3mm clearance between the tip of the prop and the casing. The nozzle encapsulates and compresses the water thrust off the counter rotating propeller blades to deliver exceptional low speed thrust. The nozzle also protects lines against becoming tangled in the props.
The purpose built Yanmar 6LYA engine series marine engine is a proven, light duty commercial engine. Low fuel consumption and inexpensive servicing costs, along with high reliability, are critical factors which are highly valued by commercial operators the world over.
Yanmar’s 6LYA engine is a turbocharged, direct injected, intercooled, 24 valve, in-line 6 cylinder displacing 5184cm3 to produce 370mhp (272 kW) at 3300rpm. Weighing in at only 530 kgs (without gearbox) the 6LYA delivers industry leading power-to-weight Yanmar diesel performance.
The dual Yanmar 6LYA engines each drive through a Twin Disc transmission with 2.47:1 ratio. These transmissions were specifically selected for their heavy duty, cast iron housing, on-board oil pump, oil cooler and power take-off shaft to run the steering system.
The Go Centaur is a semi displacement hull, operating most of the time at low speed. Top speed is 17 knots. But it is down low in the realm of performing serious work, where sheer grunt is what counts. In a dock pull test prior to delivery, the Go Centaur returned a figure of 5.6 tonne static pull, a high level of thrust indeed.
The hull is also required to operate in a range tight situations, so Go Centaur needs to be highly manoeuvrable. There is a huge amount of gear shifting involved in a work day on the water. During sea trials, the Go Centaur could be stopped from a speed of 12 knots to zero in one and half boat lengths. By hitting the gear shift levers, the hull will spin 360 degrees on the spot.
“Over the years, we have fitted a lot of Yanmar diesel engines at Niche Marine,” said Rob Clayton, Niche Marine owner. “Across the board, Yanmar engines have an amazing power to weight ratio and lend themselves ideally to the work vessels that we build and re-power.”
“In the case of Go Centaur, we supplied Yanmar 6LYA engines as Go Marine already has vessels in their fleet with this engine. Maintaining a fleet with common engines makes life in remote areas easy as you can carry common spares and service parts.”
In addition to the pair of Yanmar diesel engines on board, Niche Marine also specified FROM Power Equipment and fitted a Mase IS6.1 marine generator set, PSS shaft seals and Arctic Steel Sea Strainers. The Mase gen-set was installed to drive the on-board air conditioning unit that keeps the wheelhouse at a comfortable temperature.
“Apart from the air conditioning system, the whole boat operates on 12 volts,” said Rob Clayton.
“We have designed and fitted out these boats to be simple, bare bones boats that can be easily maintained and serviced by the crew in Port Hedland. The maintenance interval is 250 hours on the Yanmar 6LYA so, with the vessels expecting to log between 800 and 1000 hours a year, maintenance is not a huge issue.” Go Centaur and Go Minotaur were built by Niche Marine and then fitted out by
Northport Marine Services.