A trip to the Arrecife Alacranes uncovered some Lister Petter history
Tom Dutton is the Lister Petter Sales Manager for Latin America, he recently took a trip to El Arrecife de Alacranes, Yucatán.
What started out as an exploration quickly turned into a dream trip for any Lister Petter engine fanatic. So much so that we thought we’d share his findings (in his own words);
“The journey was a 12 hours moto-sailing leg from Progreso to Alacranes, 65 miles North of Progreso Port, Yucatan. We sailed in my friend’s 37 feet sailboat powered by the LPW4 engine. The engine manages to move the 9 tonne boat very well through the waves, with low noise and low vibration. It was quite a good experience I must admit. The engine worked most of the time adding about 2 knots to the sailing speed. Sails were only giving 4-5 knots, so we added the engine at 2500 RPM to go at about 6-7 knots, which is the cruising speed of this heavy old boat.
This is the second time I visit that reef, but the last time was over 20 years ago and I was too young to be curious enough about the history of the place.
About 12 years ago I saw an old HR2 Lister genset arriving at uncle’s Chris workshop for maintenance. I was told then that it was one of the gensets powering the Lighthouse in “Alacranes” and that my grandfather had sold that unit some decades before then… On this visit I was curious to know if that genset was still there or if it had been replaced by something else after all this time.
“Isla Perez” is the main island there, where the lighthouse is located. I found two machine rooms. One operated by the lighthouse keeper and the other by a small military base.
Well, in the lighthouse keeper’s little machine room, I found four TS2 Lister-Petter gensets. Two of them had a readable engine plate which you can see in the pictures and, the other two were impossible to read.
In the military machine room there’s the super old HR2 genset kept in reasonably good condition.
Other than that, legend has it that the original lighthouse keeper’s house was donated by Queen Victoria sometime in the 1800’s, and that the first lighthouse (the one that you see in ruins in the pictures) was sponsored by Lloyd’s Register also in the 1800’s, and manufactured in Birmingham “CHANCE BROTHERS CO. LTD.”. You can see it stamped in the old lighthouse that is currently in ruins… but I was told there’s a plan to restore all of that as part of the heritage of the place.
It was just so interesting to have found that the reef is, in a way, a forgotten British colony… but still powered by British gensets!”