Written by Jen Finn
Boatyard gets new 46-footer; a 'glass crabber is built for ice
In early November, H & H Marine in Steuben, Maine, was completing the plug for a new 46' x 19' design. By the first part of December, the mold is scheduled to be completed. Two hulls already have been sold to lobstermen. The first will be finished off at H & H Marine for a fisherman in Cutler, Maine. The second hull is going out as a kit boat to Columbia Falls, Maine.
H & H Marine had been thinking about building the new hull for several years, "but we just didn't have building space enough with everything that was going on," says Bruce Grindle, the boatshop's general manager. But once a new finish shop was completed to accommodate the design's 19-foot beam and the door to the layup shop was widened so the mold, at 22 feet wide, could pass through, the lack of building space was no longer a problem. Like the rest of the boats built at H & H Marine, the new hull is an Osmond Beal design.
Another project at H & H Marine is to take one of their 42-foot hulls and cut it down to 38' x 14' 10". The hull is being shortened to meet "permit rules and requirements," Grindle says. The first week in November, work hadn't gone very far on the project, as Grindle says they were waiting for drawings.
H & H Marine has also been turning out a number of 42' x 17' hulls. One was being laid up the first part of November.
Grindle lists several reasons more fishermen are buying wider boats: "They are fishing longer in the season. Lobsters hit when the weather gets worse, and they are going further offshore."
Cushing, Maine's Tyler Rodin does just that. He recently took delivery of a 40' x 14' 10" H & H Marine finished boat. The Pandora, with a cage over her 30-square-inch four-bladed prop, cruises at 18 knots and 21 knots wide open, Rodin says. He fishes 30 miles offshore.
For power, Rodin has a 600-hp Iveco hooked up to a ZF 350A marine gear with a 2:1 reduction. Rodin bought the engine from Journey's End Marina in Rockland, Maine, at last year's Maine Fishermen's Forum, which also is in Rockland.
Journey's End Marina had just added Iveco to its engine line, and Rodin liked the five-year warranty that came with the engine. The warranty, horsepower ratings up to 1,600 and the ability to compete with the Caterpillar C18 are some of the reasons Journey's End Marina became an Iveco dealer, says the company's Mike Davee.
Journey's End Marina just sold two high-horsepower engines to lobstermen. One is a 1,000-hp model that will replace a V12 Deutz, and the other is an 800-hp engine that's already in a lobster boat and be will retuned to 1,000 hp.
The CanMar Group launched a much larger boat at the end of October at its Universal Marine boatyard in Triton, Newfoundland. The 65' x 24' crabber Jean Denis Martin was built for two brothers, Martin and Jean-Denis Noel. They will fish the boat out of Shippegan, New Brunswick, for snow crab in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Since the 65-footer will be working in and around ice, the solid fiberglass hull has been reinforced with a 6-foot-wide band of tamarack that was embedded into the fiberglass at the waterline.
If it's not obvious from the ice protection at the waterline, it should be clear from the rest of the scantlings that this is a heavily built boat. The hull frames are 4" x 5" tamarack. The keel is 'glassed-over 12" x 12" hemlock, and the deck beams are 4" x 6" hemlock. The plywood deck is fiberglassed.
Canadians generally fish strings of pots, but the Noels will fish single pots, says Robert Starkes, CEO and managing director of the CanMar Group.
Starkes also says that instead of one crab hold, there will be four floodable holds with the water run through a refrigerated seawater system.
For power, the Jean Denis Martin has a 644-hp Mitsubishi diesel hooked up to a ZF W3200 marine gear with a 5:1 ratio, which spins a four-blade 72" x 66" prop on a 5-inch shaft.
To power the RSW system and house power are two John Deere generators, 50 and 74 kW. The two gensets and the Mitsubishi are keel cooled.
— Michael Crowley
Repowering job will save fuel; Calif. yard builds Dungie boat
In Reedsport, Ore., the crew at Fred Wahl Marine Construction was completing repowering work on a dragger, renovating a boat for scalloping and launching a new 58-footer.
In mid-November, the new 58' x 26' Arctic Fox was expected to leave for the Bering Sea cod fishing grounds. Fred Wahl, the boatyard's owner, and his son, Mike Wahl, are the boat's owners.
The Arctic Fox will pot fish for cod with king crab pots. She has a complete king crab hauling and launching system.
For main power, there's a 700-hp Lugger. All the boat's equipment is electrically powered off two 175-kW Northern Lights generators.
The crab will go into two refrigerated seawater holds with a combined capacity of 3,500 cubic feet.
Also in November, the 82' x 28' dragger Miss Berdie was due to go back in the water after getting a new 1,200-hp Cummins KTA38-M2 main engine, new marine gear, new shaft, prop and nozzle.
The engine is the same series that was in the boat, but everything else changed. Both the prop and nozzle are larger. In place of the old 62-inch nozzle, there is a 76-inch nozzle with a 75-inch stainless steel five-bladed prop.
The same diameter shaft went in, but it's made from a higher strength alloy than the previous one, says Mike Lee, the yard's general manager. A Twin Disc 5301 DC with a 6.37:1 ratio replaces a Twin Disc marine gear with a ratio of 4.97:1.
Thanks to these changes, the boat's bollard pull is projected to increase from 24,000 pounds to 30,500 pounds, and speed is expected to increase by 20 percent, Lee says. But the major reason for making the changes was to reduce fuel consumption.
With this new powering arrangement, "the new owners are hoping to be able to throttle back, have more thrust and save on fuel. They think the project will pay for itself within a couple of years," Lee says.
By going with a stronger alloy for the shaft, it wasn't necessary to install a larger stern tube to take a bigger shaft. That saved $15,000 to $20,000.
This isn't the first time the Miss Berdie has been to the Reedsport boatyard. Previously the yard added a bulbous bow and lengthened the stern, which helped to give the boat more buoyancy.
Before the Arctic Fox was launched, a 102-footer, also owned by Wahl and son, carried the name Arctic Fox. When the Wahls sold the boat, they kept the name for the 58-footer.
The old Arctic Fox became the Arctic Hunter. The new owners, Stan Shones and Tom Stam, wanted some major renovation work done, as scalloping in Alaska was going to be added to the boat's longlining and crabbing fisheries.
More crew is required for scalloping, so most of the work involved renovating the accommodations area. That meant gutting an entire deck area.
"We put in a galley, two new heads, two six-man staterooms and a new mess area. The pilothouse stayed the same, but everything else was brand new," Lee says.
After spending the winter cod fishing and crabbing, the Arctic Hunter will return to Reedsport to have the winches, boom and shucking house installed for scalloping. With three generators in the engine room, Lee figures there's plenty of power to run the scallop winch.
In Fort Bragg, Calif., at Van Peer Boatworks, Chris Van Peer and his crew are closing in a 63' x 24' steel Dungeness crabber. When she's not crabbing, the boat will be tuna fishing for albacore.
The boat is being built for Dennis Sturgell of Hammond, Ore. It's a sister ship to the Jesan — right down to the same engine, a 640-hp Cummins KTA19-M3 — which was launched in February 2006.
In early November, Van Peer reported that his crew was plating up the hull and "just putting the top house on, so we can get it closed in to work in this winter."
When the boat is completed, it will have a pair of stainless-steel-lined insulated fish holds. One will be 2,120 cubic feet and the other 1,480 cubic feet. The holds will be tanked down for crabbing; but for albacore fishing, chilled seawater and spray brine will be used.
The boat also will have a 320-cubic-foot bait tank behind the fish holds.
— Michael Crowley
Oyster season packs Va. yard; Bay builder revisits workboats
The Virginia oyster season opened Oct. 15, and boats based along the Rappahannock River headed for marine railways just prior to the opening.
One of the busier boatyards on the south side of the Rappahannock is Cambrook Boatyard in Urbanna. Before the start of the oyster season, the Remlik, Va., oyster fleet all came at once for general maintenance and repairs. Some of the boats showing up were Danny Boy, Hornet and Miss Kathy. Scott Cameron, owner of the yard, does general maintenance on the boats, and traveling repairman Alvin Sibley takes care of major problems with wooden boats.
The yard was particularly busy this fall because one of the oldest railways in the area, Burrell's Marina and Railway, closed its doors forever.
Alexander Burrell Sr. was a Rappahannock River oysterman who had a reputation for catching mighty fine oysters. Burrell owned land on Robinson Creek. In the 1950s, his son Alex Burrell Jr. started a marina and railway that catered mostly to African-American watermen.
The little railway was open to all races, but Burrell made a point of looking after black watermen. In the days of segregation in Virginia, African Americans were often moved to the back of the line at some railways when it came time to haul their boats.
The younger Burrell built boats, ran the railway that was powered by a 4-cylinder gasoline engine from a Model-A Ford, and rented slips to black charter boat captains and oystermen. Although he died a number of years ago, his family kept the business going.
Then several years ago, the railway was purchased by Betty Christian, whose family made their fortune in the Coca-Cola business. She upgraded the facility and made sure African-American watermen and charter boat owners had a place to bring their boats.
The railway was in operation in August 2006, but then Christian died. Land developers bought the property and shut down the railway. Most people expect the land to be used for condominiums. When that happens, another piece of Virginia's maritime heritage will be gone.
Down in Deltaville, Va., The Only Son, a 45-foot classic Chesapeake Bay deadrise workboat is getting a new lease on life. The boat has a wheelhouse with a rounded front, a round stern and was used for years in the crab and oyster fisheries.
The boat's main claim to fame is being featured in a painting by nationally known maritime artist John Barber. Now she is being rebuilt by well-known boatbuilder Joe Conboy. Conboy is renowned for high-end yacht construction, but he has built his fair share of commercial fishing boats.
National Fisherman featured the builder in the early 1990s, building fiberglass Chincoteague scows for crabbers and oystermen on the ocean side of Virginia and Maryland's Eastern Shore.
For awhile, Conboy got out of the boatbuilding business to build bridges. His return to old wooden workboats is sort of like returning to his youth. Conboy grew up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia near Accomack, and in his early teens restored a 16-foot seaside bateau for the rockfish and trout fisheries. Later he became one of the premiere builders of wooden yachts on the Chesapeake.
The 42-foot deadrise needs plenty of attention. Conboy has cleaned out all the seams in the sides and found some bad wood. He has replaced portions of both the starboard and port chine logs with new salt-treated pine.
The top deck from the stem to the front of the house has to be replaced, and the planking around the house needs attention.
An interesting feature on the Only Son is the wedge below the round stern. A wedge is a term used by watermen for a small extension built under the stern.
In the early days of motor-powered workboats, watermen used small 1- and 2-cylinder engines. The boats plowed through the water, and there was little concern for getting them up on plane.
When boats and motors got larger and watermen realized they could generate speed by getting their boats up on plane, squat boards were installed at the stern's waterline to help keep the boats from dragging in the water.
As the boats got even wider and longer to accommodate more power, the squat boards were replaced with wedges that extend out just a few inches from under the stern.
The Only Son is getting a second chance, and it's nice to see one of the bay's longtime wooden boatbuilders back in the trade.
— Larry Chowning
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