"In 2013 we replaced our old detroit diesel mains with twin John Deere 6090s from MER and we couldn't be happier. The efficiency of the Deeres combined with the SCOR system saved us 30% over the course of a year! That says a lot for a boat that works 365 days a year. MER's service department was professional to work with and were instrumental in the removal and replacement of our Jimmies. We're very pleased with the result and will continue to work with MER on future projects."
Herron Island Ferry Captain
Herron Island, WA
In 2003, we re-powered our Catalina C-400 sailboat with a Yanmar 4JH4E diesel and ZF/Hurth gearbox purchased through MER Equipment. Ever since, I've enjoyed receiving your newsletters. The Spring 2014 was one of your best. I really enjoyed the explanation about destructive harmonic vibration. During my years in the U.S. Coast Guard, many of the cutters I operated had "engine critical speed" rpm ranges. Our sailboat doesn't like 1,400 rpm. I've always known the effects of harmonic vibration, but no one has ever been able to adequately explain what it is and why it happens. Your article did so in a textbook example of clear technical writing."
"Lastly, my sympathies for the passing of Ivan Fox. I always looked forward to his columns. He truly was living Alaskan history."
I really appreciate you going the extra effort on the alarm pig tail. I haven't been to the Post office for two days but will get there today. I'm glad a friend suggested MER and your Parts Dept. directed my call your way. As a result of the GREAT service from you and the folks there at MER I will definitely recommend MER to others.
Thank you for your OUTSTANDING customer service, I know customers are not always easy to please.
This was a situation where my customer came to me with deadline drill for this quote and you came through.
I wanted to make sure your efforts are recognized.
Thank you again for your help!
- Dino Pellegrini
Everything MER builds runs like a top. I had an MER C221 installed on my Bristol Bay sailboat conversion in 1971. It is still running today. That is why I went with MER on my new boat, Blue Pacific. I like a company that's builds quality and backs it with the best service. They don't have a big business attitude; They are fisherman and vessel owners like myself. They know what it takes keep a boat on the water and take care in making sure everything is done right.
- Mike Holmstrom
(Captain/Owner of F/V Blue Pacific)
Hope you all are all doing well, we think of you guys fondly from time to time, and often talk about MER in terms of the great staff atmosphere there, not to mention good advice and service. My husband thinks you every time he turns the key.
-Chris and Margie
I want to express again, how good we think the product you sent us for the 6135 turned out. Your crew did an exceptional job. Further, several of my engineers have mentioned to me that they think you have a smart group of guys there and they are impressed. (High praise indeed! I don't hear that very often)
National Accounts Manager and OEM Sales Manager for Logan Clutch
Penn Cove Shellfish
Penn Cove Shellfish is a 36 year old shellfish farming company and about eight years ago we entered an operational partnership with a nearby boat and equipment fabrication shop and we are doing business there as Everest Marine. In 2004 we were approached by Coast Seafoods Company, another business partner which is big in the oyster farming business, to design and build a shallow draft oyster harvest vessel for them to operate in Willapa Bay, Washington.
We believed that the Traktor Jet would be a good propulsion solution for the shallow draft needs of our design so we began speaking with Bob Allen at MER Equipment in Seattle at that time regarding different power supply manufacturers. After speaking with Bob, we settled on a John Deere AFM 6081 M3 rated, 330 HP marine diesel engine with a ZF transmission coupled to the jet model available at that time which was the TJ 609HT jet. The design and final product turned out so well that we have just launched the 9th vessel of similar design and we have 2 more presently under contract.
The vessel design is 64’ x 17’ with a 4 degree dead rise on the hull. The boats weigh in at about 23 tons and regularly haul 40-50 ton loads. The evolution of the jet and impeller design since 2004 has allowed us to try various John Deere power alternatives providing increasing performance values over the different set ups. The engine paired to the last vessel was the John Deere AFM 6125 M4 rated at 525 hp utilizing the ZF tranny. The difference in the engine, jet and impeller design coupled with slight changes in jet placement have yielded an increase in speed during sea trials from 13.5 knots for the first boat to 21.8 knots for the last boat launched.
We also built a similar hull design utilizing twin TJ 457HT jets coupled to John Deere TFM 6068 M3 rated, 200 HP marine diesels. Given changes in engine design, were we to build that same boat today, we would utilize the new John Deere AFM 6068 M4 rated, 300 HP marine diesels.
Bob and the rest of his crew at MER have been great to work with in terms of design and implementation ideas and have responded well to matching the increase in horsepower available to increased horsepower capacity of their jet designs providing for a better power platform for all involved in our projects.
Our customers have been overwhelmed by the power and load capacity of our boats and their maneuverability as well, as even with a single jet design, the boats are able to turn a circle within their own length. We have not had any problems with the engines or jets and have actually gained greatly in terms of time and money spent on maintenance of standard oyster harvest vessel designs.
Ian Jefferds - Penn Cove Shellfish, LLC - Coupeville, WAwww.penncoveshellfish.com
My wife and I purchased a recreational trawler powered by the John Deere 6125AFM. This was a serious step up for us and a steep learning curve. But, MER has full day hands on classes specific to each engine model so, with Herb as our instructor, Rose and I were adjusting valves and inspecting every accessible component of a partially torn down 6125. Confidence was building. Sea trials to qualify for the extended JD warranty were conducted with MER aboard after which they helped us chase down the source of erratic oil pressure readings. In British Columbia our engine died from lack of fuel and over the telephone MER helped us interpret the JD error codes. This is when we learned “low voltage” did not mean an electrical problem but rather a problem with fuel flow which is measured electronically and measurements displayed using voltage metrics. Cause: collapsed fuel line due to improper sized fuel hose fitting. Most recently, we were in over our heads changing out the raw water impeller and mistakenly removed the pump liner sleeve with the impeller. The inner o-ring must maintain its shape upon re-insertion or the sleeve will not seat properly. Well, gravity causes o-rings in vertical positions to sag so after untold hours of effort I stopped by MER for advice and moral support. Brian immediately understood the problem, confirmed my understanding of it by bringing out an identical pump which he proceeded to open up. This allowed me to conclude there is no alternative, meaning the o-ring can’t be inserted from the rear even if the entire pump is disassembled. Brian’s solution: get some Lucas brand red “sticky grease” to hold the o-ring in position and if that doesn’t work call him; they will send someone to our boat to fix it (I can’t imagine how though).
Long story short, the sticky grease worked, liner seated, impeller inserted with soap on the vanes and grease on the splined shaft and impeller gear just like we learned in the 6125 class. Good to go thanks to MER’s expert and very friendly service.
Jim Flaherty - Seattle, WA
Dear staff of MER,
We just wanted to take this moment to say Thank You for all of your support. Whether it's been routine maintenance or trouble shooting warranty issues, Brian, Herb and the shop have rallied to serve our needs with real competence. Through the process of working with you, you've made us feel like friends of MER.
Stu Chersky and Jim Sanders
M/V ' Sunset Blues' - Seattle, WA
...Can you please send Burt some info on the JD 6068 that we installed. I'm very
happy with the engine and as I said, after 4 years have calculated the fuel savings at 50%
over the NA 3208.
Thanks as always,
Sylvia Ettefagh - Wrangell, AK
Island Stream was built for my great uncle John Holmstrom. In Swedish Holmstrom is “Island Stream”. Uncle John commissioned Ed Monk to design a custom boat for him. He commissioned Bud Forder a custom boat builder in Kenmore to build her. At the time Uncle John was a vice president of Kenworth Truck.
On October 12, 1953 she was transported from Kenmore to Lake Union to be launched. (On a Kenworth truck of course) She cruised Puget Sound and all of British Columbia with this part of the family until 1971 when she was passed to Irene (Holmstrom) and Wes Mauldin.
She was built with a 6-cylinder Gray Marine engine which operated until 1964 when a V-8 Chrysler 413 was installed. This engine operated beautifully until 2006. Upon the failure of that Chrysler engine we set out to find a new engine for Island Stream.
The Chrysler engine operated for 42 years and probably about 7000 hours. Our goal was to find a new engine that could do the same. It soon became clear that there were no gas engines built today that could do that. We preferred diesel anyway so decided to switch to diesel.
We set out to find an engine and a dealer that could help us with acquiring and coaching us through installing a new engine. We visited lots of marine engine dealers in the Seattle area. All of them showed us what they had to offer. When I walked out of MER equipment I was certain that I would buy my new engine from them. Their knowledge and willingness to help us with this project was clearly a cut above everyone else. MER staff took all the time we required to help us choose an engine and understand what it was going to take to install it. Our selection was a Yanmar 4LHA STP, a 240 horse, turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine. We also purchased a ZF 63A reverse gear.
As we began the process of designing and executing a new installation MER staff was there for us every step of the way. They gave us access to installation documentation intended for dealers, answered all of our questions and phone calls with patience and clarity. A couple of problems we were having were solved by having a service technician spend a partial day with us to check out the installation and help us start the new engine for the first time.
The staff of MER equipment helped us to choose the correct engine, design an updated drive system including a thrust bearing, Design the fuel system to replace the old gasoline system and design a new exhaust system. I call the outcome perfect! This package in Island Stream is one of the smoothest most efficient, quietest boat/engine packages I have ever seen.
The Mauldin family is so grateful to the MER staff. They were such a pleasure to work with through the design install and as we have began to use this engine. We have ongoing questions about the equipment and how we are using it. MER staff spends all the time we ask to explain this to us even after the purchase is way behind us. I really look forward to my visits at MER equipment I always get what I need and it is always a very pleasant and friendly visit. I love being part of MER equipment!
M/Y Island Stream - Seattle, WA