Stateside, Scania is known for its solid footing in commercial marine — Bristol Bay, Alaska’s salmon fisheries and Maine’s lobster boats are longtime proponents of the Swedish manufacturer. Scania engines are also used in trawlers, which often utilize commercial engines rated by the International Organization for Standardization as ICFN, or for continuous use.
And now, with the Covid-19 pandemic having limited Scania’s bread-and-butter, North American commercial markets, the engine maker has invested in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification needed to enter the American recreational marine space. “We needed a different segment to diversify our portfolio,” says Scania USA Marine sales manager Al Alcalá. “The last barrier to entry into [North America] was the perceived small market to spread the cost to develop the engines to meet EPA emissions.”
Last year, the 130-year-old company achieved the EPA’s Tier 3 emission standards and launched a series of common-rail diesels, led by a 6-cylinder, 13-liter model and a 16-liter V-8. The engines range from 700 hp to 1,150 hp.
After Scania struck a deal for distribution with New Jersey-headquartered Mack Boring — the company manages approximately 300 authorized dealers across 26 states — the team at Mack brainstormed ways to introduce Scania engines to the recreational market. President Patrick McGovern, an avid angler, looked down the Garden State Parkway to Viking Yacht Co., and Mack commissioned a Viking 46 Billfish to debut the 900-hp, DI13 diesel.
McGovern spent the summer on board the 46, christened Mack 900, running up and down the Eastern Seaboard on the tournament circuit to generate awareness in a marketplace dominated by Caterpillar, Cummins, MAN, MTU and Volvo Penta. The Viking Billfish, he says, is the “perfect match to show the power and performance that Scania is known for. There’s no better platform.”
The DI13 diesels are the most powerful engines ever installed on the 46. (Options include 800-hp MAN i6-800s and 850-hp MAN i6-850s, while 715-hp Cummins QSM11 are standard.) The Scanias tip the scales at approximately 190 pounds heavier than the MAN 850s but occupy nearly the same footprint because the blocks are made of a lighter, compacted graphite iron. They’re also equipped with waste-gate turbochargers that obviate the need for additional turbos and a supercharger.
Once aboard the 46, I admired the fjord ice white engines and wondered aloud why Mack Boring didn’t opt for the glowing Scania orange. Alcalá laughed and answered with a humblebrag about Scania’s service network — the company’s Smart Support logistics system promises 98 percent parts availability within 24 hours of any location in North America.
“Pleasure boat owners will be pleased to know that the engines in their yachts are capable and reliable in the most demanding work environments, supported by the most capable and growing support network,” Alcalá said.
Like all Scania engines, each of the DI13’s cylinders has an individual head that weighs about 40 pounds so it can be removed or serviced by one tech, one at a time, with no need for heavy equipment. But we needed no service the day I was aboard. McGovern cleared the inlet’s no-wake zone and blasted into the Atlantic at nearly 37 knots and 2,000 rpm, on the way to an average top speed of 41.6 knots with 12 people on board. An occasional burst got us to 43-plus knots. The boat settled in nicely at 1,750 rpm and 31.3 knots, burning 49.2 gph, good for a leggy 451-nautical-mile range. “[We’re] really showcasing Scania in this venue,” Alcalá said from the helm.
As of now, Viking Yacht director of communicatons Chris Landry says the Scanias are available by request on the 46. But with the excitement generated from the Mack 900 summer tour, the superlative performance of the engines, and Mack Boring’s plans to showcase at boat shows all fall and into the winter, the Swedish brand looks here to stay.
This article was originally published in the October 2021 issue.