The three-masted barquentine Spirit of New Zealand is believed to be probably the world’s busiest youth ship. Commissioned in 1986, the ‘Spirit’ spends around 340 days at sea.
The Spirit of Adventure Trust which owns ‘Spirit’ was established to provide the youth of New Zealand with access to a character development programme conducted in a maritime environment. Subject to stringent, on-going maintenance surveys, refits and audits, Spirit of New Zealand is expected to be able to continue operating youth voyages until around 2020.
In September 2010 ‘Spirit’ commenced an 11 week refit in Whangarei New Zealand. This extensive program included the removal of the original 8L3 Gardner engine. Given that the 286 tonne displacement ‘Spirit’ had experienced two groundings and, as a tall ship presents high windage in adverse conditions, a redesign of her propulsion system was essential.
Passionate about all things propulsion, Tony Whiting, General Manager of Whiting Power Systems, (the authorised Yanmar distributor for New Zealand) relished the opportunity to advise the Trust on a solution for the engine room.
Central to the repower was a new Yanmar 6AYM-STE (rated at 490 kW at 1900 rpm continuous) combined with Hundested VP9.5 (1700 mm diameter) controllable pitch, four blade propeller.
Adaptability and dependability are key attributes of Yanmar’s 20.379 litre, 4 valve, in-line 6 cylinder engine that is offered in four power ratings and models depending on the application and duty cycle proposed. Fitting for this project, the Yanmar 6AY offers strong performance, low fuel consumption and low emissions.
The versatile 6AY Series is suited to a range of vessels from high-speed planning hulls such as passenger ferries, patrol craft and cray fishing boats to heavy duty displacement type vessels such as fishing trawlers and tug boats. With good acceleration, strong performance and class leading fuel economy, the 6AY Series is popular throughout international markets.
The Yanmar 6AY combined with the Hundested VP9.5 (1700 mm diameter) controllable pitch, four blade propeller is thought to be a world first for both manufacturer and distributor. The resulting efficiency has resulted in reduced fuel burn while motoring or motor-sailing.
Cruising speed following the Yanmar re-power is now 10 to 10.5 knots with a top speed of 12.8 knots. Previously, the old engine would do 4 knots into a head wind, with the best at 7 knots on a good sailing day.
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In addition to the propulsion package, Whiting Power also supplied new Kobelt engine controls and a Cruisair Air Conditioning system. Realizing that during such an extensive project, the budget might not stretch to comforts such as air conditioning, Margaret and Tony Whiting together with Dometic Environmental USA generously donated equipment to the Trust, identifying the improvement in the experience that these systems make, over a wide range of weather conditions.
With the ‘Spirit’ now back on the water and sailing better than ever the youth program is back in full flight. Her programme is conducted mostly out of her home port of Auckland into the Hauraki Gulf, but she makes occasional voyages to the Bay of Islands, the Bay of Plenty and beyond, around the East Cape to Wellington and the Marlborough Sounds area. Voyages southwards to Lyttelton, Port Chalmers, Bluff and Stewart Island are also scheduled from time to time, ensuring the ship’s high public profile.
The team at Whiting Power Systems and Yanmar are very proud to support and be a supplier to such an inspirational organisation which encourages youth to respect and enjoy the sea as much as they do.
Power Equipment is the exclusive and authorized Australian, New Zealand (through their Whiting Power entity), Papua New Guinea and South Pacific Distributor of Yanmar Marine and Industrial diesel engines importing product from Yanmar plants in Japan, Asia, USA and Europe. Power Equipment is also the exclusive authorized Distributor of JCB DieselMax engines for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific. Power Equipment also distribute the Yanmar powered MASE diesel marine generators range and Gori high quality folding sailboat propellers.