We are at risk of losing some of the most incredible pedigree of sportfish yachts ever built. International Maritime Organization Tier III diesel emissions regulations are set to take effect January 1, 2021, requiring Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems in the engine rooms of yachts with a load line length greater than 78 feet(24m). The adoption of increasingly stringent exhaust standards is impractical for current mega sportfish models to accommodate without significantly compromising performance, function and overall design.
“These requirements are going to force us to stop production of our 93 Motor Yacht and our 92 Convertible,” Pat Healey, president and CEO of Viking Yachts says. Currently, Viking has two 92C hulls on the production line and will need any new orders to be booked by the conclusion of the 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The new mandate requires 10 percent of the hull to be completed by the January deadline. “Basically, the hull stringers need to be completed to comply,” Healey adds.
Builder John Vance of Jim Smith Tournament Boats has delivered a 95-foot and a 105-foot convertible in recent years and is currently nearing completion of a 100-foot convertible. Jim Smith can accommodate another supersized sportfish build before the deadline however, “We have a few weeks left in order to get moving on the build and get the keel laid but time is running out,” Vance says.
Weaver Boatworks also delivered their largest build to date, the 97-foot 18 Reeler in 2018 and has the capacity to proceed with another legendary build. “The only reason I could take an order this close to the deadline is because we already have the plans available. However, there is a real sense of urgency as we would need to start production in October,” Jim Weaver says.
Unfortunately, the outlook appears grim for the largest sportfish models to continue to be produced in the coming years. The International Council of Marine Industry Associations was previously successful in earning a five-year extension for recreational yachts, though recent attempts to delay the regulations were not effective. “We’re up against the majority of the EU and Canada. They’ve blocked the extension of the exemption,” Healey says.
If you or someone you know is looking to build a massive sportfish, then it’s time to act fast.
For more in-depth conversation check out this webinar produced by DLBA Naval Architects. During this webinar, which discusses how the new emissions requirements will impact vessels in this size range from a design and implementation standpoint as well as practical ramifications. The main solution being employed, Selective Catalytic Reduction, or SCR, will be the focus. DLBA offers design experience and expectations while MTU will offer greater detail on their solution to this new challenge.