News & Projects

Sea Creature Comes to Life with Volvo Penta D13s


Your engines are smoking. “Not exactly the words any boat captain wants to hear,” says Steve “Creature” Coulter, captain of Sea Creature, in Hatteras Village, NC. “I knew about the problem, and replaced the turbos, but the engines were still smoking. After realizing the injectors were bad and the engines needed to be rebuilt, I found out that I couldn’t get parts for my old engines. So, I began to look at new engines for the boat.”

Coulter discussed engine replacement with Herb Haneman Jr., chief executive officer of Western Branch Diesel, who recommended twin Volvo Penta D13 700-horsepower engines for his 2002 Leonard Rigsbee-built fishing boat. The Sea Creature is unique. It’s big—one of the largest boats in the Hatteras Harbor Marina—but it doesn’t weigh a lot. The Volvo Penta engines would deliver enough power for Sea Creature and Coulter to provide a pleasurable ride for his guests, while using less fuel.

“I found I didn’t need as much horsepower. The new engines are more economical, and burn 2.5 gallons fewer per hour, per motor. It saves five gallons per hour at the same speed and RPM,” says Coulter. “The boat is running faster, and never overheats.”

Ken Cotte, territory manager for Western Branch Diesel, has received positive feedback about the performance and fuel savings from Coulter, who has been a Western Branch Diesel customer for more than 20 years. Coulter is one of the top charter captains in North Carolina, and the east coast, and is one of the captains that fishermen follow. “He’s been happy with the low-noise level and reliability. I believe the service and support he receives from us is what really sold him.”




Steve “Creature” Coulter



Sea Creature



58 ft



17 ft



4 ft



Volvo Penta






Twin Inboard

With 1100 hours on the engines, Coulter has had regular oil changes to Volvo Penta specifications, and his motors are running well. He is pleased with the three-year extended warranty, which covers everything. The service he has received from Western Branch Diesel has been excellent.

He notes the engines are much quieter, and are lighter. Passengers also comment that the boat is quiet and fast, and an improvement in comfort over the old engines. He has had no lag time with the Volvo Penta engines. Coulter operates more than 150, six-person fishing charters per year, running the engines about 1500–2000 hours per year.


“The Volvo Pentas have all the new technology. Some people in my business shy away from electronics and computer-run engines, but the techs have it working well with all of the bugs worked out,” says Coulter. “Overall, the electronics are integrated extremely well with the applications that are in the boat.”

Drew Pelton, applications engineer for Volvo Penta, felt the engines were a good match for the running hours and speed that Coulter needed. They are smaller, which gains some space in the engine room as well.

Coulter is a pioneer of big game, offshore fly fishing in North Carolina, and serves on the board of the Dare County Waterways Commission.


News - Coulter


“The Volvo Penta D13 engines are working great. We’ve caught a lot of marlin this year, as many as last year, and our guests are happy. Western Branch Diesel is very supportive of me, as well as the charter-fishing community in North Carolina. There is nobody better to work with in the area.”

Steve “Creature” CoulterOwnerSea Creature