Capt. Rick Croson, who has been running a fishing charter business from North Carolina’s Wrightsville Beach for more than 10 years, recently requested a Volvo Penta diesel sterndrive power package for a new boat.
Croson started his charter business with a 20-foot Onslow Bay mostly for inshore fishing and later moved up to a 27-foot Onslow Bay with twin 225 outboards for offshore work.
However, he wanted better fuel economy and longer-lasting engines to meet the demands of his busy schedule, the company said. He typically runs day trips out to the Gulf Stream 60 miles each way. The outboards were burning 90 to 95 gallons of gasoline per trip and needed replacement every three or four years at a cost of $17,000 or more per motor.
“I have been asking Onslow Bay for years to build me a single-diesel boat, and the 32 hull had enough room to accommodate what I wanted,” Croson said in a statement. “I did a lot of research and felt I could get better economy and longevity out of the Volvo Penta 370-hp D6 and DPH-C package. This mated nicely with the hull. I have no motor box and full access to the engine, and the weight was a perfect match for the 32.”
Since taking delivery of the Onslow Bay 32 in May, Croson has put more than 400 hours on the motor and gear. His total fuel consumption for a day of fishing is just 75 gallons.
“I average 2.75 miles per gallon and have a fast cruising speed of 28 knots loaded and a top speed of 35 knots. That means I can get out to the Gulf Stream in about two hours,” he said, noting also that he can carry about 75 gallons less fuel than the same model boat with outboards, yielding more space for storage and larger fishboxes.
“My clients love how quiet the motor is and the absence of exhaust fumes on deck,” Croson added. “The clean transom is a big plus for clients, as well — no losing fish at the transom or tangled lines with big outboards hanging off the stern.”
“The Volvo Penta D6 diesel sterndrive is an ideal propulsion package for center console offshore fishing boats in the 30- to 45-foot range,” said Marcia Kull, vice president, marine sales, Volvo Penta of the Americas. “It provides superior performance in terms of fuel economy, emissions, quiet operation, speed and high torque at low RPMs, resulting in faster time to plane. We encourage other boatbuilders to give serious consideration to offering a diesel sterndrive option as an extremely attractive and cost-effective alternative to twin or triple high-horsepower outboards for offshore fishing.”
Croson mentions one more unexpected benefit: “When trolling with one gear the trail is so clean, and the diesel vibrations actually make the boat very attractive to fish!”