Flexible approach needs reliability

Flexible approach needs reliability Atlantide has a John Deere PowerTechTM 6135SFM85 engine

The obvious choice is not necessarily the right one, as Le Croisic fishermen Dominique Debec points out. He takes a flexible approach to fishing, meeting the challenges of fishing restrictions and oversupplied markets by switching his target species between spider crab, brown crab, shrimp and lobster that he fishes in waters around the French Atlantic port of Guérande.

“Oversupply reduces the value of the catch,” Dominique Debec explained. “I always try to tailor the species and quantity to match supply and demand. That way I can maintain a good price,” he said, adding that this flexible approach combined with a experienced crew and a reliable vessel mean that he can meet the challenges head-on as they fish with 580 traps and land catches to the local auction.

His 12 metre potting vessel Atlantide was built at the port, at the local Chantier Naval Croisicais yard, when he took the decision to go for low-maintenance GRP, as well as pushing the beam to five metres to provide additional space on board.

“I just had it repainted – the first time in 12 years,” he said, adding that as part of Atlantide’s latest refit, it was time to upgrade the boat’s power system.

“When my crew at sea, their lives depend on the boat’s reliability, so I wanted an engine that would be reliable under any circumstances – for their safety, as well as my business. The mechanic who looks after my engines suggested I try John Deere because of the quality of the engines and the level of service. So I purchased the new engine through the local marine dealer, Indumar in Bouguenais. They are very knowledgeable and always available to answer questions,” he said.

The new John Deere PowerTechTM 6135SFM85 engine slotted right into Atlantide’s existing engine bay, and even matched the existing 4-blade propeller. In addition to providing propulsion, the engine powers the aerator, the deckwash and bilge pumps, and the alternator.

“The engine runs through a gearbox with a ratio of 5:1. This gives us plenty of power with little pressure on the engine,” he said.

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