SUCCESS FOR FPT-POWERED VESSELS AT MAINE LOBSTER BOAT RACES
Vessels powered by FPT Industrial’s series of class-leading marine engines for commercial applications have enjoyed considerable success at this year’s Maine Lobster Boat Races, with a results sheet that included seven victories and five second-place finishes. Maine, the northern-most state on the USA’s Atlantic coast, holds an annual series of races among its lobstermen, as elite working boats go bow-to-bow for points, cash and prizes in these exciting and highly competitive events. Lobster boat racing is a historic part of Maine life, especially during the summer months when tourists flock to the region’s coastal towns and villages. The races are an opportunity for young and old alike to showcase their boating skills and vessel performance.
Among this year’s stars was Eric Beal, who stormed to victory in the Diesel Class M(B) races at Rockland (27 June), Bass Harbor (28 June), Friendship (19 July), Winter Harbor (8 August), and Portland (16 August) in his 42ft lobster boat, called Kimberly Ann. Class M(B) is for boats of 40ft or more with engine power of between 501 and 750hp. Comprising an average of 12-16 boats per race, Class M(B) is staged over three heats and is considered the most competitive event at the Maine Lobster Boat Races. Previously powered by an FPT C13 at 750hp, Eric now takes advantage of an FPT C16 1000 at 750hp – one of two racers to own this new engine. The last time he secured victory was in 2016 with the C13, but the engine upgrade along with some gear ratio changes saw Eric return to winning ways this year.
Another successful participant at the 2020 Maine Lobster Boat Races was Gary Genthner. Gary owns the 34ft Lisa Marie, which is powered by an FPT C13 rated at 700hp, a marine engine that has helped him win many lobster boat races over the years. He has since downsized as he is advancing in age but still loves to race. As a result, Gary this year competed in Diesel Class G (for lobster boats between 28 and 35ft with engines from 436 to 550hp). Up against several other fast boats, he came second in Rockland and in Friendship with his 28ft Mussel Ridge vessel, called Lil’ Lisa Marie, which is powered by an FPT N67 550 EVO rated at 500 hp.
FPT engines are proving increasingly popular among the lobster boat owners of Maine, showing that even working boats are capable of competing at the highest level in this speed extravaganza.
By way of example, Captain Jason West also upgraded to an FPT engine for his lobster boat, called FV Pier Pressure, which features a 40ft H&H model hull. FV Pier Pressure now features an FPT C16 1000 rated at 815Mhp (at 2300 rpm), which has led to improved performance (speed and efficiency), reduced fuel economy and lower engine noise.
The upgrade proved enough for FV Pier Pressure to win at Moosabec Reach (4 July) in a very tough Class M(B). The race had to be split into three heats because there were so many vessels competing (14), but ultimately FV Pier Pressure proved the clear winner. Coming fourth in the same division was FV Size Matters, captained by Dixon Smith with an older FPT C13 750 engine. This boat will have more speed to show in the near future with some minor propeller adjustments. Jason also went on to compete with Pier Pressure at Winter Harbor in Diesel Class N and captured first place in that division making him the only FPT powered vessel to win first in two separate divisions this year.
Moosabec Reach also saw a second-place finish for Willie Coombs in FV Melynda M, which sports a 36’ Wayne Beal model hull that was recently finished at FPT dealer, Kennedy Marine Engineering. The boat was launched on 3 July and entered racing the following day. FV Melynda M is powered by an FPT N67 550 EVO rated at 500hp. There were eight vessels in this class (G), which is for boats up to 36 ft in length and from 436 to 550hp.
FPT supported five Maine Lobster Boat Races in 2020. As well as the opening event at Rockland, the brand had a presence at Moosabec Reach (4 July), Friendship (12 July), Winter Harbor (8 August), and Portland (16 August). Showcasing FPT’s range of marine engine products, the company sought to promote brand awareness at the races. In addition, VIP customers were presented with FPT’s Special Fidelity Kits, which include welcome-onboard mats, caps and nautical flags.