And now a word from our engine…

The heart of any old vessel is her engine. The Carlyle III originally had a 46 horsepower four-cylinder Gardner engine. Gardners can still be found on some older Canadian commercial fishing boats, and have enjoyed a long reputation as reliable and fuel efficient. In 1939, the fisherman who then owned the Carlyle had Finning Tractor Equipment Company install a brand new marine Caterpillar Diesel engine. According to Finning Company literature, this was the first CAT engine installed in a boat in Western Canada. A few years later when the fisherman retired Mr. Finning purchased the boat and had her lengthened and turned into a company yacht, in which capacity she gave many years of service and tens of thousands of miles along the beautiful British Columbia coast. Here is the original installation plate :


And some of the original instrumentation:


One of the great things about this boat is the extensive documentation. The Carlyle III is a piece of history – I am just a temporary custodian. The previous owner, Rick, recognized this and I was delighted when he came up with the original engine owner’s manual and parts manual from 1939:



One of the greatest challenges of caretaking this boat is becoming competent with the engine. Learning to care for the engine is as daunting as medical school for me: it’s part engineering, part foreign language, part physics PhD, and part voodoo. I have captained boats for decades, done basic shipwright repairs, dealt with emergencies at sea – but this engine will be a new and challenging responsibility. In the youtube link below video Rick showed me how to start her and checked on her after a lay-up:


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