Written by Jen Finn
Lobster boat gets raised sheer; new design has Maine lineage
In Milbridge, Maine, Sargent's Custom Boats finished off a Wayne Beal 46 and launched it in August for Chris Nelson of Winter Harbor, Maine.
To get the 850-hp Caterpillar C15 engine and a 6-kW Onan genset below the split wheelhouse's cabin sole, Nelson had Sargent's Custom Boats raise the deck level by about 9 inches. That meant the boat's sheer line went up 11 inches in the bow and tapered down to 9 inches amidships. The 9-inch height increase was carried back to the transom.
Bolted to the Cat is a ZF marine gear with a 2.5:1 reduction that turns a 36" x 40" four-blade prop on the end of a 2 1/2-inch Aquamet stainless steel shaft. With that power package, the Juggernaut cruises at 19.5 knots and has a top speed of 24 knots.
"There's no wood in the boat," says the boatyard's Montelle Sargent. The hull is solid fiberglass and the platform is composite construction with a 1-inch Divinycell core. The platform is supported by longitudinal and transverse bulkheads made up of fiberglass and 3/4-inch Divinycell core that goes from the hull to the bottom of the deck, where they are glassed in. The back of the wheelhouse has 1/2-inch Divinycell core and fiberglass.
Welded aluminum beams, 2" x 2" x 1/4", support the wheelhouse. Below the platform are three lobster tanks. The two outboard tanks hold six crates each, and eight crates can be packed in the center tank.
Sargent's Custom Boats is also finishing off a 36-foot Calvin Beal hull that is going to Block Island, which is off Rhode Island. The boat will be primarily used for sportfishing, though Sargent says she will have a hauling station, because the owner will be fishing a few lobster traps.
In southern Maine at Lowell Brothers' Even Keel Marine in Yarmouth, a new 38-foot mold is being built. It should be completed by the end of November. "The cabin mold is already done," says Jamie Lowell, who, along with his brother, Joe, operates the boatshop.
Jamie Lowell describes the hull as having flare in the bow, "a really nice run," a lot of deadrise and built down (looking from the stern forward, a built-down hull shows a reverse curve or wine-glass shape as opposed to the flat after sections of a skeg-built boat).
"Reverse curve and deadrise have always been a big Lowell-Frost strength, and we incorporated a lot of that into it," he says, referring to his boatbuilding lineage, which includes his father, Carroll Lowell, uncle, Royal Lowell, and grandfather, Will Frost. "The boat is a little wide on the transom's waterline to handle a little more power," Lowell adds.
Speaking of the transom, which measures 11' 5" wide, it has a bit of tumble home, what Lowell calls "handsomely pleasant, not fake." By "fake" he means an exaggerated amount. He admits there was a fair amount of thinking about the transom's design: whether or not there should be tumble home and how much.
"Guys want to maintain the deck space [to carry lobster traps], but a lot of guys are saying they like the tumble home," he says.
Hulls coming out of the mold will have a 13' 2" beam. "I don't think it needs to be any wider on a 38-foot boat," Lowell says. When the hull was being designed, he says, what they "wanted to avoid was when you start going really wide, you have to be proportionate in the draft to make it a comfortable boat. But you start doing that, and you slow the boat down."
The hull is designed to run comfortably with a 300- to 350-hp engine that will give it a top speed of 24 knots and cruise at 18 knots. "At the same time we designed it so if someone was crazy enough to want to put 800 hp in, it would take it," Lowell says.
Lowell says the boatyard is setting up to build the boat using the closed-mold infusion method. Using infusion to build a fiberglass hull means that all cloths, stringers, core material and backing plates are put in the mold dry. Then either a vacuum bag or another mold is placed over the laminate and a vacuum pressure forces the resin into the dry materials.
The benefits are that the process releases no styrene into the air and uses less resin, the quality of the laminate is better, and the hull can be built in less time. — Michael Crowley
Longliner gets a power boost; NOAA sends Texas 83-foot cat
Hauled out in September at Fishing Vessel Owners Marine Ways in Seattle was the 60-foot steel longliner Quest. She was in for repowering both the main engine and a generator.
The engine coming out of the boat was a 270-hp Caterpillar 3406 that had been in the boat since her launch almost 25 years ago. It was replaced with a 340-hp John Deere 6125. The replacement generator is a 20-kW John Deere.
One of the convenient things about a metal boat is that you can remove any large piece of engine room equipment from the boat by just grabbing a cutting torch and cutting out part of the hull, which is what they did with the Quest to extract the engine and the generator.
"We cut a hole in the bottom of the boat, outboard of the starboard-engine rail and inboard of the fuel tank bulkhead," says Leif Pedersen, general manager at Fishing Vessel Owners Marine Ways. Try that with a wooden or fiberglass boat.
Cutting a hole in the boat saved the boatyard from taking apart numerous engine room systems and removing the bulkhead between the engine room and fish hold. That was something the boat's owner, Peter Knutsen, wanted to avoid "because it's quite an ordeal to remove the insulation and fiberglass in the fish hold and then put it back together," Pedersen says.
Pedersen says Knutsen came up with the idea of how to remove the engine.
As part of the repowering job, a new Fernstrum keel cooler was installed. It has a larger capacity than the previous keel cooler, though Pedersen says Knutsen was "thinking about piggy-backing the old system with the new one for more cooling capacity." New engine mounts had to be built for the John Deere, though the exhaust system did not have to be altered.
The more powerful John Deere did require a new 3-inch Aquamet 22 high-strength tail shaft. The old shaft had the same diameter, but the metal it was made of wasn't strong enough to handle the increased horsepower. At the end of the shaft is a new three-blade 54" x 44" bronze wheel.
Another boat hauled out was the 58-foot steel-hulled Primus, which longlines for halibut and pot fishes for cod. She got two new gensets, an 18-kW Isuzu and a 50-kW John Deere.
In the bow, the crew at Fishing Vessel Owner's Marine Ways installed a 60-hp Wesmar bow thruster. The Primus has a Kort nozzle, and Pedersen says at low speeds the nozzle adversely affects the boat's maneuvering. The bow thruster should make her an easier boat to control.
The wooden halibut schooner Seymour was hauled to have a plank replaced, some new caulking pounded in and some refastening. On the starboard side, a Douglas fir plank was removed and replaced with another Douglas fir plank, measuring about 14 feet and 2 1/4 inches thick. Pedersen says the boat's owner, John McHenry, wanted yellow cedar or larch wood but couldn't find one "in the time frame we had."
All American Marine in Bellingham, Wash., has built a number of aluminum boats for NOAA research activities. The newest ones under construction are an 83-foot hydrofoil assisted catamaran designed by Teknicraft Design, of Auckland, New Zealand, and two 30-foot monohulls that will work with the Rainier, NOAA's 231-foot hydrographic survey boat that was built in 1968.
The catamaran will be based in Galveston, Texas, and conduct most of her survey and research work about 100 miles offshore, at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, says the boatyard's Joe Hudspeth. The sanctuary has a number of fish species and abundant coral beds.
She will have scientific and trawl winches, an A-frame, a moon pool and a station for diving operations. For power, there will be a pair of 1,600-hp Caterpillar C32 Acert engines hooked up to Hamilton 571 water jets.
The two 30-footers will be part of a group of six that the Rainier carries for shallow-water survey work. The boats will have sonars to record bottom configurations and an A-frame on deck for running survey equipment. For power, the boats will have 490-hp Cummins QSC8.3 engines. — Michael Crowley
Oyster boat evokes heritage; dredging prevails in Virginia
David Moore's family has a history of wooden boatbuilding, and he is putting it to use building a deadrise 30' x 11' x 1' 10" workboat that he will use dredging oysters in the James and Warwick rivers.
Moore, of Newport News, Va., has private oyster grounds in these rivers, and with signs of oyster production on the rebound, he felt a need to build a boat. Moore's father is Billy Moore, who became very well known in the Chesapeake area as head boatbuilder for the Mariners' Museum boatshop in Newport News.
The elder Moore, who is 76 years old but still plenty able, started building boats in 1954 when the James River was the top oyster-seed-producing river in the nation and Chesapeake Bay was the top producer of market-size oysters. In those days, there was plenty of business for builders of wooden boats.
"Oystering and boatbuilding have been in my family for generations," says David Moore. "It's been a long time since we've built a boat. The last one was in 1993. I feel that we're at the point we're going to need a boat again.
"Oysters are beginning to come back some. I also wanted to build a boat with my dad, while he is still able to get some sawdust up his nose — to make him feel a little better."
Moore owns a metal fabrication business but holds tight to what's left of his water heritage. "We have about 700 acres of [private] oyster grounds and I've had to beg, borrow and steal a boat every time I have to go up there and check anything. We've had others working the grounds but I feel now I need a boat so I can dredge [oysters] myself," he says.
His new boat is made of pressure-treated pine and juniper.
There is an 8" x 8" pine keel, and the stringers, frames, and sister keelson are also pressure-treated pine. The side of the boat is strip-planked with 3-inch-wide pine and coated with West System epoxy, plus a layer of fiberglass mat. The planking is fastened with 2-inch stainless steel square-head screws.
The bottom planking is 8-inch-wide juniper. Moore used 35 pounds of stainless steel ring nails to fasten the juniper planks in place. "We use 17 nails to a board," he says.
The hull was built upside down, which is a Chesapeake Bay boatbuilding tradition. In September it was about ready to be flipped over and have the decks and house installed.
Oyster season began early, Oct. 1, in the Virginia portion of Chesapeake Bay because of poor production in the Gulf of Mexico, which state officials hope to take advantage of with plenty of Chesapeake Bay oysters. Prior to the opening, oyster boats were lining up at Cambrook Boatyard in Urbanna, Va.
The wooden deadrise boats Danny Boy, Hornet and Miss Kathy were on the railway getting paint jobs and routine maintenance. Besides oystering, the boats are used in the spring, summer, and fall hard-crab fishery on the Rappahannock River.
In early September, watermen were painting their boats but were holding off on rigging them until Virginia's Marine Resource Committee decided if Rappahannock River oystermen could work oyster beds with patent tongs or 22-inch-wide dredges. Patent tongs haven't been allowed on the Rappahannock since the 1980s. As it turns out, that's the way the committee left things, leaving watermen to rig their boats with dredges.
Oysterman Jimmy Hogge had his 30-foot fiberglass deadrise hauled out. He was painting the bottom and having Cambrook Boatyard repair his 3208 Caterpillar Diesel with a Stern Powr outdrive. The outdrive had a hole in the bellows and was dripping oil.
"It's an oddball thing," says Scott Cameron, manager of the boatyard. "You don't see too many outdrives behind a diesel on a commercial fishing boat." Hogge was one of the few that had rigged up with an oyster dredge prior to the ruling.
Longtime waterman boatbuilder Alvin Sibley was rebuilding two deadrise recreation boats in the boatyard, the Minnie B. and the Britney Faith. Sibley was replacing some of the Britney Faith's strip-planked sides with pressure-treated pine and fastening them with stainless steel screws. He had taken the old house off and planned to install a new one.
The Minnie B.'s new house was already in place and Sibley was finishing off the house, washboards and decks with West System epoxy. — Larry Chowning
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