The Boats & Gear blog is overseen by our Boats & Gear editor, Michael Crowley. It explores new construction projects, electronics, gear and equipment for the commercial fishing industry.
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
The last weekend in June the U.S. Navy was due to sea trial a new 509-foot destroyer out of Pascagoula, Miss. The ship would have been operating in the gulf at least four days. But then the Navy started thinking about what all that oil floating in the gulf would do to the engine’s cooling system. Sea trials were canceled.
Just because your boat is less than 500 feet, lacks four gas turbines delivering about 108,000 horsepower, doesn’t run easily at over 30 knots, and isn’t outfitted with Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles for deck gear doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be worried about oil contamination.
Of course, those with the most to worry about operate boats in the Gulf of Mexico, but if oil swings around the tip of Florida and starts floating up the East Coast, then the class of concerned boat owners becomes even larger.
Oil and dispersants in the oil are most likely to affect anything rubber — hoses, gaskets, seals, impellers — and cooling piping.
In a recently released service bulletin from Caterpillar, owners of Caterpillar engines — and this would apply to diesels other than Caterpillar — are advised that the following components are at risk: pumps, heat exchangers, aftercoolers, seals, hoses, and any other component in contact with the polluted water.
Outboards have some of the same problems. A bulletin to Mercury Marine repair centers listed things to be concerned about after running through oil contaminated water: thermostats, water strainers, and coolant passages can be blocked by oil; water pump efficiencies are reduced with an oil-water mixture; an oil-coated cooling system leads to higher than normal engine-block temperatures.
About those rubber-based components — hoses, impellers and engine mounts. Mercury says they can absorb oil and swell. That means less rigidity and strength, followed by possible failure.
What to do? Well, Mercury advises you to monitor the cooling system and when you are back at the dock then flush out the cooling system with 150-degree water for 10 to 15 minutes with the prop removed.
For its inboard engines, Cat says to check fluid levels, inspect for leaks and monitor coolant temperatures, inlet air, and the exhaust. Additionally you can monitor the flow rate of seawater by measuring the pressure drop across pumps or coolers.
For cleaning operations, Cat says to refer to the owner’s manual.
Callifornia crabbing: Here's a fun video shot on the decks of the Majestik while catching Dungeness crab off the coast of northern California.
Alaska fisherman and commercial fisheries activist Kevin Adams was elected chairman at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute board of directors meeting on May 9 in Anchorage.
The governor-appointed board consists of seven members: five seafood processors and two industry representatives actively engaged in commercial fishing. Adams was appointed to fill a harvester seat by Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2004.
With 38 years of fishing experience in Bristol Bay, Adams has long been an active member in the Alaska fishing industry, ASMI says. He has worked for both the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation and the Bering Sea Fisherman's Association, and represents Alaska fishermen on numerous boards.
The Northeast Regional Planning Body, a group of state, tribal and federal representatives from New England who are working to implement the National Ocean Policy and address critical New England ocean issues, is holding a series of public meetings in May and June.
The meetings are being held to discuss draft regional ocean planning goals and associated potential actions. The planning body seeks input on these goals and actions. Additional information on the group's progress can be found here.
The meetings will also provide an opportunity to review draft maps and products from initial efforts to gather information on the natural resources and diverse uses of the ocean, including fishing, transportation, energy and infrastructure, aquaculture, and recreation.