Last October, Yankee Marina partnered with Sabre Yachts, Mack Boring, Yanmar, ZF, and Garmin in a project to commission Mack Boring’s demo boat, a new Sabre 38 Salon Express. The integration included engine, transmission, electronic, and hull systems. This was the first time Sabre had installed ZF 2800 Pod Drives coupled to Yanmar diesel engines. For the application, twin 8LV 370hp Yanmar engines were used. The resulting integrated propulsion, steering, and automatic trim tab system, as compared to traditional shaftline propulsion systems, was designed to achieve faster cruising and top speeds, greater fuel efficiency, improved maneuverability, and quieter operation.
Due to Sabre’s production schedule, the boat was delivered to us during our busy fall hauling period just seven days before she was to be transported for exhibition at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Fortunately, we were asked to handle the project in the spring and had plenty of lead time to prepare.
Planning stages and the team:
Our planning began by researching all the intended work to ensure that we would be ready and that all electronic components and other materials would be available. As part of this process, we needed to source an auto pilot system that would interface with the ZF Drives. After extensive discussion with a number of manufacturers, a collaboration was developed with Garmin to obtain the release during beta testing of a new auto pilot with a special processor and wireless remote.
Next, a detailed work plan and daily work schedule were prepared to meet the boat’s departure date. As the boat’s arrival date drew near, the team was finalized to include 4 Mack Boring engineers, 2 ZF engineers, representatives from Sabre, and up to 14 of Yankee’s crew. With as many as 10 engineers and technicians working aboard at a time in tight spaces and coping with drying times and fumes, the schedule extended well beyond the normal work day.
Project completion and sea trials:
The boat arrived at Yankee Marine at 4 p.m. on October 8 and work began immediately. After securing the boat on jack stands, several technicians worked well into the night to prepare the bottom for painting. As the work went forward:
• Electronic systems were completed to NMEA standards, resulting in an interactive network of Garmin instruments, including radar, chart plotter, depth sounder, auto pilot, and data displays.
• Steering was achieved through a unique fly by wire system, enabling the helm to be operated manually or through the use of a joy stick.
• An Interlux barrier coat and bottom paint were applied, the ZF 2800 Pod Drives and trim tabs were undercoated with Velox antifouling paint, and the cabin sole was finished with several coats of Epifanes varnish.
The sea trials were the successful culmination of the project. They entailed several trips down the Royal River and into Casco Bay, involving multiple launchings and haulings, including the installation of new props to obtain just the right pitch. The boat and her systems performed perfectly and we knew she was ready for delivery to Mack Boring.
Just as scheduled, on Oct 15, we prepared the boat for shipping, including removing her mast and props so she would fit on a long haul boat carrier. As she left for the over the road journey to Florida, we were glad to have been a part of this great partnership and knew that she would serve admirably as Mack Boring’s promotional representative. Our confidence was borne out, as she performed perfectly during demonstrations at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and then was piloted by Patrick McGovern, Chief Operating Officer at Mack Boring, to complete her maiden cruise to the Bahamas.
Scott DuBrow, Manager, Marine Sales at Mack Boring summed it by saying:
“Thanks again for your teams work on the project. They did excellent work under a tight deadline and best of all the crew had a great attitude. It was a pleasure to work with such committed people.”