CASE STUDY Commercial Marine

mtu engines dramatically improve Salacia, Boston Harbor Cruises’ high-speed catamaran

Posted on November 28, 2016

Boston Harbor Cruises’ high speed catamaran, <i>Salacia</i>, is the Boston-area’s unofficial getaway driver for weekend escapes to Cape Cod; giving passengers an opportunity to trade the city’s summer heat for the Cape’s refreshing sea breezes in just 90 minutes. Carrying up to 600 passengers and traveling up to 40 knots (45 mph), it’s the largest and fastest passenger catamaran of its kind in the country.


Boston Harbor Cruises


mtu Series 4000 M64


Reliability, fuel efficiency, lower emissions and reduced engine noise


Boston, Massachusetts, USA

We needed a reliable engine, as the vessel will transport tens of thousands of passengers to and from Provincetown quickly and efficiently from May until October.

Chris Nolan - principal of Boston Harbor Cruises
New England’s premier cruise company since 1926, Boston Harbor Cruises (BHC) offers a wide variety of excursion and commuter boat services. With its more than 50-vessel fleet, BHC is the nation’s largest private operator of passenger vessels. The varied fleet meets a wide range of service needs and offers everything from 6-passenger water taxis, to Codzilla, a high speed thrill ride, to its flagship vessel Salacia.
Salacia’s seasonal service route runs between Boston and Provincetown, a small resort town on the tip of Cape Cod. Traveling faster than most speedboats, Salacia is equipped with cushioned airline and booth-style seating, air-conditioning, free onboard Wi-Fi, audiovisual system with satellite TV, full cash bar and food options and lots of outside deck space, so passengers don’t have to wait to get to the Cape to start catching rays.

Comfortable Cape transport

To remain the Cape Cod weekenders’ and day trippers’ transportation mode of choice, Salacia underwent an extensive interior overhaul in 2014. The overhaul revamped the vessel’s galley, bar and restrooms and included installation of new carpet and reupholstered seats in the main cabin. To complete Salacia’s revitalization, Stewart & Stevenson Atlantic Division provided Gladding Hearn Shipbuilding with four mtu 16V 4000 M64 diesel engines to repower the vessel in early 2015. The mtu engines reduced the Salacia’s diesel emissions, increased efficiency, reliability and durability while minimizing engine noise, ultimately upgrading passenger comfort in the already luxurious cabin.
“We needed a reliable engine, as the vessel will transport tens of thousands of passengers to and from Provincetown quickly and efficiently from May until October,” said Chris Nolan, principal of Boston Harbor Cruises, “We decided to purchase these engines from S&S and mtu because they are leaders in the industry.”
With the addition of these top-of-the-line mtu engines, Salacia is the first EPA Tier 3 Certified Emissions Level vessel operating in Boston Harbor. The engines are also equipped with ZF reduction gears, which allows the vessel to transfer torque between the engine and water jet impellers.
The Series 16V 4000 M64 engine reaches EPA Tier 3 certification using only in-cylinder engine technology, including optimization of the common rail fuel injection system, turbocharging and combustion processes. The engine package that was delivered included all filters, pumps and other engine accessories mounted directly within the engine envelope, assuring a simpler installation. Despite their very low emissions levels, the engines will offer high fuel efficiency and will have maintenance intervals of as long as 30,000 operating hours.
“The engines are powerful and proven pieces of equipment. It is the best engine made specifically for this vessel, and paired with a resilient mount, this power package ensures low noise levels ensuring passenger comfort,” said David Taglieri, marine sales manager for Stewart & Stevenson.
mtu’s strategic maintenance schedule will ensure the Salacia experiences exceptional uptime and reliability, both of which contribute to lower lifecycle costs. BHC is supported by its local mtu dealer, Power Products of Wakefield, MA as well as S&S Atlantic Power, the master distributor. Power Products and S&S APS are in close and constant contact with BHC to discuss the upkeep of the fleet’s 18 mtu engines.