MV Tortuga

Alaskan Trawler

Tortuga is a 1971 American Marine 49′ Alaskan – Hull #6. She is a classic passage making trawler with a rich history, designed for heavy duty offshore cruising with a 1,000 mile range.  Being shed kept over the last ten years has allowed this Alaskan to retain much of her original good looks.  The starboard aft bulwark had been removed for repair but overall she showed little outward sign of her 30-year life span.  It appears the ownership has been shared by four captains.  The first lived in Canada and kept her for almost ten years.  I’m guessing they had a close relationship with Gardner Diesel since he exchanged the Lehmans for Gardners almost immediately.  The second owner lived in the Washington, D.C. area and kept her for nearly ten years.  The third for only about a year (1988) and it was then quickly sold to a broker.  We are guessing that her name was Joanna Voynick based upon papers found onboard.  She may have been an employee of Sperry at the time.  The fourth owner was Charlie and Patty Scott in Kent Narrows, Maryland and he has kept her for nearly ten years.  Charlie owned the marina there in Kent Narrows.

For those interested in what Tortuga cost when new – Hal Jones of Hal Jones & Co.Yachts provided the following sales slip information from Balboa Marina, Newport Beach., CA  for a purchase on 12/18/1971:

Twin Ford 120hp Diesels:  $93,150
Twin 4 cycle V8 Diesels:  $105,650
7.5kw generator
Hot water heater
Saltwater wash down
Wet bar and icemaker
Coast Guard equipment
Shore cord


Hull Material: 1 1/2″ Mahogany planking over steam bent white oak frames. There is a storage locker on the deck in front of the Portuguese bridge with a ventilation hatch to the V-Berth below. Access to the engine room is via a hatch in the galley floor. Access to the aft storage lazarette and rear engine room entrance is though a hatch on the aft deck. Engine room ventilation is provided by twin scoops on the solon roof.  Chain/rode locker ventilation is via a foredeck mushroom (hooded) vent.


She sleeps four in two double staterooms plus an underway pilothouse bunk. One could drop the solon table and the pilothouse chart table to give a total sleeping capacity of nine. A V-berth cabin is forward with a head and shower in the main hall. The Master suite is amidships, with a private head and shower tub. There are opening hatches and portholes in all sleeping cabins. The main salon has double (folding) door aft in addition to five windows. The headroom is 6’4″ throughout. The salon has hand rubbed teak veneer with solid teak trim. The salon incorporates an L-shaped built-in corner seat with table which can be lowered for conversion to a sleeper for two.  There is a U-shaped settee and dining table that accommodates six in the pilot house and an off watch bunk above and behind the settee.  The berths are fully air conditioned.


Located portside, the galley is equipped with a three burner electric stove/oven,  large stainless steel sink with hot and cold pressure water, ample storage for utensils and dishes, etc. A residential  refrigerator freezer is built in on the starboard side but is being removed.  A starboard entry door provide passage from the walk around.  The counter tops are Corian and there is a microwave above the stove.


  • Icom 602 VHF radio with integrated GPS-coupled DSC, fog horn and hailer
  • RayMarine ST-60 Tri-data display and transducer for speed, water temp, and depth
  • The Capn’ Electronic Charting System (ECS) with full-size WindowsXP-based 12VDC computer
  • Furuno FR-240 Mark-II open-array radar
  • RayMarine 320 GPS WAAS receiver
  • ROSS Engineering AMV250 VHF radio
  • Robertson AP2000DL Autopilot
  • Raytheon 611xx chart plotter and dedicated Raymarine GPS
  • Raytheon R11xx open-array radar
  • Raytheon V850 color echo sounder


  • Kohler Model 8CCO 8KW Generator with separate starting battery.
  • Electrical service panel in the pilot house.
  • Power distribution panel on the forward starboard bulkhead of the engine room.
  • Two house banks consisting of two GC2 6 volt batteries each providing 250 Amp Hours.
  • Each GC2 is rated at 975 MCA.
  • One 24VDC starting bank consisting of two 908D batteries (1,340 MCA each)
  • Link20 and Link10 battery monitors
  • Pathmaker battery combiner for house banks
  • Xantrex 750 watt inverter
  • Two Gardner 6LW 94 hp 6 cylinder diesel engines
  • The 6LW develops 94 bhp at 1500 rpm and has a swept volume of 511 cu ins (8.4 litres).
  •  Twin Disc transmission (reversing gear) model MG-506
  • Hynautic power steering (now called Sea Star)
  • Two Marine Air Systems Cabin Comfort CC9-9,000 BTU air conditioning stations
  • 20 gallon hot water tank
  • 300 gallons fresh water in two tanks
  • 1,100 gallons diesel in six tanks – there where four tanks in the original design.  The two additional tanks where installed forward of all other tanks and have a gravity feed line that connects the two forward tanks on each side.  There are site tubes on each of the original four tanks.  The two new tanks have no site tubes.
Cruising Range

The cruising range of 1,500 nautical miles comes from an average burn rate of 4 gallons per hour with an average speed of 7 knots.


  • 40 lb. Danforth anchor with 6′ of chain and 200 feet of rope rode.
  • 45 lb. plow anchor.
  • Salt water wash down.
  • S-Lectric up-haul electric windlass with dual capstans that accommodate both chain and rope.
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