Thousands of people travel Alaska on mega-cruise ships each year, but only a handful get to cruise Alaskan waters on the immaculate M/V LISERON. Built in Seattle in 1952 by the US Navy as a minesweeper she was sold to France, but returned to Seattle in 1990 after being lovingly converted to yacht-class in Florida.
The late Michael Allan McIntosh, philanthropist and environmentalist, founded The Boat Company in 1979, initially as a program of The McIntosh Foundation. The LISERON joined The Boat Company’s first vessel, the M/V OBSERVER (herself a former inland coastal minesweeper(, their mission, to educate the public as well decision makers, about the challenges faced in the Tongass National Forest, and the importance of the natural habitat of Southeast Alaska through eco-cruises. Following his death in 2015, McIntosh’s sons, Hunter McIntosh (who has been employed by the company for over 15 years), assumed full management of the vessel, together with an identical aluminum-hulled replica vessel, to continue the work set out by the founder.
No matter how well cared for, and the LISERON is definitely Bristol-fashion, boats need periotic upgrades. This past winter, the 145- by 28-foot wooden hulled beauty was repowered. One of her two original 8-cylinder Cleveland 8-268A diesels (450 HP at 1200 RPM) was still in reasonable working order. The port engine had given out just months earlier while operating in Alaskan waters. Parts were becoming a challenge to locate in a timely manner. Bearings, special ordered from overseas were disintegrating within a year and, worse yet , small pieces of babbitt were clogging lube oil passages.
The decision was made to repower. The two dry-base Cleveland diesels were lubricated from 100-gallon reservoir tanks mounted under the engines. Additional lube oil storage was on the forward bulkheads. All of this would have to be removed and, with it, would go about 40,000 pounds.