For many decades the bright yellow Caterpillar marine propulsion engines have formed the steadily thumping heart of commercial vessels on oceans all over the planet. But what many don’t know is that Caterpillar also produces an extensive range of high performance marine engines, tailored to the specific wants and needs of pleasure craft owners and operators.
In the Netherlands, Pon Power has been importing and distributing Caterpillar since 1926, making the company the oldest Caterpillar dealer in Europe. At Pon Power’s headquarters in Papendrecht, Francois Longayroux and Kees van der Zwet are responsible for both national and international clients and dedicated for the yachting industry. They explain: “In the world of pleasure crafts and mega yachts, owners have different needs than in commercial shipping. Of course the most important issues are performance, reliability and efficiency. But appearance and understanding the business also matter greatly. Yacht owners want a high-performance and fuel efficient engine that’s very compact and looks great. We recognized those needs and developed a product range that pretty much ticks all these boxes.”
As said: in the world of yachting the importance of looks cannot be underestimated and this also goes for the engine. The pleasure craft engine range therefore doesn’t have the ‘classic’ yellow Caterpillar paint job; it’s delivered in a distinctive and sophisticated yacht-class white finish. Longayroux: “A Cat pleasure craft engine differs from the commercially used engines. With unpainted wiring harness and engine mounted hoses, it is specifically designed and built for this industry with its specific demands concerning look and feel. Not only does the engine have a sleek white finish; all visible components, for instance, have been designed to look great.” When it comes to yachting, Longayroux knows what he’s talking about. “At Pon Power we have a dedicated team, with many years of specialized experience in the yacht building industry. We know what demanding clients in this business expect and are constantly working on meeting their high expectations. This means clients have one dedicated account manager, to keep the lines short and direct. We take pride in being flexible and quick to respond, and we are ready to offer bespoke solutions if required.”
With a Cat engine, a yacht owner not only buys a reliable, efficient and worldwide-recognized piece of machinery, but also peace of mind. Longayroux explains: “As part of a family business, we understand the power of relationships. We believe that only if clients meet outstanding service at any point in the life cycle of their engine, we can truly build a lasting relationship with them. With our nationwide service coverage we are proud to say that we can deliver 98% of our parts within 24 hours. And this dedication doesn’t end at the border: thanks to the international Caterpillar service network, we can provide our clients with fast, professional support, service and parts, 24/7, wherever in the world they are.” He adds, smiling: “For 90 years we have been living up to the trust that ship owners, captains and crews worldwide have placed in us. And we intend to do so for the next 90 years as well.”
Caterpillar dealers EPSA Australia and Pon Power of the Netherlands are cooperating to support new build and maintenance of marine engines and generators to exceed the requirements of the owners of Damen vessels in Australia.
In July representatives from both EPSA Australia and Pon Power toured Australia with a Damen trade delegation aimed at developing partnerships for the upcoming SEA 1180 OPV program with Defence. One of the highlights of the successful week was the visit to Damen’s brand new Multi-Role Aviation Training Vessel (MATV), the MV Sycamore that will provide specialized training support to the RAN for the next 30 years.
Damen and Pon Power have been working together since 1969 and many Damen vessels are equipped with Caterpillar engines. In Australia, more than 100 Damen vessels equipped with Caterpillar propulsion engines and generator sets are in operation, including the MATV.
EPSA and her partner Australian Cat dealers will coordinate the sustainment of the Caterpillar equipment onboard Damen vessels, ensuring maximum availability and increased reliability while simultaneously minimizing operating cost.
Pon Power and EPSA is a fine example of the benefits of 2-way technology transfer as they continuously work together to share best practices and lessons learnt. The two organizations continue to cooperate and have further training and sharing of know-how planned. EPSA, with continued cooperation from Pon Power, is prepared to support Damen’s Offshore Patrol Vessel fleet, with a growing and skilled Australian workforce who are ready to expertly guide installation and sustainment of the necessary Caterpillar equipment.
Reliability and low operating cost are key aspects for Caterpillar. In partnership with EPSA we ensure that the Caterpillar engines perform according to the owner’s expectation, even when operating in a rough maritime environment or when dealing with different fuel quality levels.
About Pon Power
Pon Power B.V. is an operating company of the Pon family concern and official dealer for Caterpillar engines and power systems in the Netherlands since 1926. Pon Power is a market leader in energy solutions built on Caterpillar engines as reliable power source. With extensive knowledge of its markets Pon Power delivers more than an engine or generator alone. It offers expert advice tailored to the customer’s needs, fast service via the worldwide Caterpillar service network, and a range of related product and maintenance services.
Caterpillar is a world leader in heavy-duty construction and mining equipment, diesel and gas engines, industrial turbines, generator sets and heat-power installations. For more information on Pon Power go to: pon-cat.com/scheepvaart.