National Fisherman

Boats & Gear 

Michael CrowleyThe 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.

Aging fishing fleets, the high cost of diesel fuel and the need to operate at efficiency levels unimaginable 20 years ago are all good reasons to consider building a new boat.

If that’s something you are contemplating, a good place to have been last week was Seattle’s Pacific Marine Expo. More than one fisherman has purchased most of the equipment his new boat needs at the Expo, and a goodly amount of it can be had at a discount.

While there, you would have attended a conference on the design challenges you, the naval architect and boatbuilder will encounter. Labeled “Naval Architecture: Understanding the process, decision points and input requirements for designing you next vessel,” the conference was guided by Jonathan Platt of J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. and Johan Sperling of Jensen Maritime Consultants.

The rising costs of steel, maintenance and fuel, as well as better crew accommodations are some of those design challenges. “Until recently boat owners didn’t care about fuel costs. Today every single one asks, ‘How can we save on fuel?’” said Sperling.

Add to those hurdles new regulatory challenges for things such as wastewater management, weight, and stability. “Wastewater treatment can change the life of vessels,” noted Sperling.

In the old days — 30 years ago — designing and building a boat were separate options. Today, the boat’s owner, the shipyard and the designer have to work together. That means getting the regulatory agencies and the Coast Guard involved early. “It's important to be all working together on the project,” said Platt. Then when the construction starts, time, materials and your money won’t be wasted.

As Platt said, “Once we start building and we put 100 guys on a boat, it's like ants to a picnic. We want to give them the right sandwich.”

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Dennis Payne’s eyes welled up and a flush spread over his face. He couldn’t believe what had just happened.

For three days — Nov. 27 to Nov. 29 — the ZF Beer Garden has been open the last hour of Seattle’s Pacific Marine Expo — free beer for anyone who enters and a ticket with a number on it. You win a pair of tickets to the Dec. 9 Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinal football game if your ticket stub’s number matches that of a ticket pulled from a pile of well over 100 other tickets.

BeerGardenPayneBrosIt’s the last day of the show when just before 5 p.m. the winning ticket is drawn and the number called out. Silence. Then at a table up near the Beer Garden’s entrance, an older bearded fellow quietly asks a younger guy to read the number on his ticket — just to be sure.

The guy confirms that Payne, who is at the show with his brother Allen, has the winning ticket. Payne is near tears with disbelief because a year ago, his third brother, Paul, also won the drawing.

Dennis Payne (left), raffle winner, and his brother Allen Payne.

Since then, Paul died of a heart attack, and though the Payne brothers enjoy the Expo, Dennis wasn’t going to come this year. The only reason he came to the show is because Paul’s wife told him, “Paul would have wanted you to come.”

“I can’t believe it. I’m still in shock,” he says.

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You just bought a used boat and want to change its name. Foxy Lady is scrolled along the bow and across the transom, but all your life foxy ladies have given you nothing but trouble, and even if they hadn’t that’s not a name you can live with. Nope, you are going with a more guy-like, a more masculine name — Big Gun. Add a comment

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If your survival equipment includes either Mustang’s MD2010 or MD2012 inflatable personal flotation devices sold in 2011, you want to get it to a Mustang Survival factory ASAP. Add a comment

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In December of last year, a lobsterman was setting lobster traps aboard a 77-foot offshore lobster boat out of Newport, R.I. The crew was working in 19-foot seas and 45-knot winds near the Gulf of Maine’s Jeffreys Ledge. Add a comment

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If you have wanted to build a boat and have the money stashed away or there’s a group of willing investors, now would be a smart time to build that boat. Smart because if you wait until after July 1, 2012, the same boat — as long as it is 50 feet or longer — will cost a lot more money. Add a comment

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On March 1, 2011, the Coast Guard put out an announcement: “Beware of E15 fuels in boats.” Add a comment

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Well, they say much of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil blowout is gone, and areas are being opened up for commercial fishing. Then again, oil is still in some nearshore areas and probably will be for some time to come. Add a comment

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America’s fishermen are a pretty diverse lot with Norwegian, Italian, Vietnamese, French, Croatian, Portuguese, Irish — just to name a few — backgrounds, all fishing a multitude of gear types from boats with very different designs. Some fishermen are out for a day and others stay out weeks at a time. There are fishermen who are slow to accept new ideas, and fishermen who are more willing to try something new. In some fisheries you can make a lot of money, some not so much, and in others it’s a battle to pay for the fuel. Add a comment

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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. Add a comment

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Page 6 of 7

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 9/9/14

In this episode:

Seafood Watch upgrades status of 21 fish species
Calif. bill attacking seafood mislabeling approved
Ballot item would protect Bristol Bay salmon
NOAA closes cod, yellowtail fishing areas
Pacific panel halves young bluefin harvest

National Fisherman Live: 8/26/14

In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about his early days dragging for redfish on the Vandal.

Inside the Industry

More than a dozen higher education institutions and federal and local fishery management agencies and organizations in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at building the capacity of the U.S. Pacific Island territories to manage their fisheries and fishery-related resources.

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PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative has appointed Matt Jacobson as its new executive director.
 
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