|The Nadji participates in an ocean race in 1930|
Photo courtesy of the Mystic Seaport's Rosenfeld Photographic Collection
Not long after this adventure, I saw an ad in the local paper - "1941 Lincoln V-12 Marine Conversion Engine, extra V-12 parts, extra V-12 engine. Make offer." I figured it had to be the same engine I had been pursuing. I called the number listed in the ad and was given directions to the same bayou I had already visited!
|A Seawanhaka Schooner's hull receives its coats of paint|
in the boatyard of the Bath Iron Works in the 1920's
Tied up at the pier was a very large vessel. It turned out to be the Nadji, a 60-foot staysail schooner of the Cox & Stevens designed Seawanhaka class. There had been 16 of these boats built in the mid-1920's at the Bath Iron Works in Maine (although they were wooden vessels). Remarkably, I was told by the owner, 12 were still afloat some 50 years later!
The Nadji had been provided with a Kermath Sea-Zephyr propulsion system in 1941. This was a marine conversion of the Lincoln-Zephyr V-12 automobile engine. The conversions were done by the Kermath Marine Engine company of Detroit. The owner was in the process of converting this vessel from the Kermath powerplant to a more modest (and vastly more efficient) Volvo diesel system. I made a modest offer and had to assist the owner in removing some remaining parts of the original installation, but I got the engines and parts. I apparently was the only respondent to his ad.
|Today, the only surviving Seawanhaka class vessel,|
renamed the Seawanhaka, is circumnavigating the globe
|An early Kermath advertiseent|
I later heard that the Nadji had left for South America to be used as a Christian missionary vessel. I had intended to convert the engine back to an automotive use, but decided it was too rare an item to use in that way. I sold the engine and transmission to a marine engine collector in Canada. I still have some of the many V-12 parts that came as part of the deal!