Written by Jen Finn
Maine lobstermen need speed; 55-foot dragger goes to N.Y.
The Jarsulan 4 hit 34 mph (29.55 knots) on her sea trial, says Stewart Workman, owner of SW Boatworks in Lamoine, Maine. The boatshop finished off the 46-foot Wesmac-built hull for Brent Oliver of Stonington, Maine.
Workman describes the Jarsulan 4 as a straightforward, no-frills lobster boat. But anytime a 46-foot lobster boat hits 34 mph, it goes into the not-so-ordinary class.
The propulsion package delivering that power is made up of a 1,000-hp Caterpillar C18 that's bolted to a ZF 500A marine gear with a 1.96:1 reduction that turns a 32" x 36 1/2" prop.
It used to be that dropping a 1,000-hp engine into a lobster boat was enough to get everyone's attention at the local fisherman's coffee shop. But not anymore. The C18, which has been out about two years, has gone into several Wesmac hulls, says Steve Wessel, owner of the Surry, Maine, yard.
Wessel says that with some adjustments, Oliver's new boat should go a little faster.
"They expect to get more speed because they are only running about 86 percent load," he says.
The Jarsulan's hull is solid fiberglass, but the wheelhouse, cuddy cabin and foredeck are constructed of Core-Cell and fiberglass. The platform is 3/4-inch Penske Board, a high-density, glass-reinforced, urethane foam material. Three layers of fiberglass cover the top of the Penske Board, and the bottom is gel coated.
Fiberglass I-beams that lie across the hull's longitudinal stringers support the deck. Workman has been using extruded I-beams for three years. He says the fiberglass I-beams "are nice to use. They probably take a little longer installation time than other material, but are lighter, don't rust, don't rot and don't corrode."
Wondering where the name Jarsulan 4 came from? Workman says it's made up from the combined names of Oliver's wife and kids. This is Oliver's fourth boat carrying the name Jarsulan.
SW Boatworks is finishing off several other hulls. One is a 36-foot Calvin Beal design that Workman started as a spec boat and then sold to Alan Post, a Tenants Harbor, Maine, lobsterman. It has a 500-hp Caterpillar C9, a Twin Disc marine gear with a 2:1 reduction and a 30" x 28" prop.
Workman says Post was fishing from another 36-footer, but "the engine was getting tired. He didn't want to take the time to repower, and he wanted to go faster." The new boat was expected to be completed in January and stored until spring, when it goes in the water. Post is sticking with a name he has used on other boats, Last Time.
When the Last Time goes into storage, Workman will start building another spec boat. He plans on putting a 500-hp Caterpillar C9 in the 36-foot Wayne Beal hull.
In February, the boatshop will be finishing off a 38-foot Calvin Beal for Bruce Young, a lobsterman in nearby Bar Harbor. There's also a 40-foot R.P. Boat Shop hull to finish off.
Obviously, Workman's shop is staying busy. He says that while "some places have been really slow, I've been talking to dealers, and boatbuilding is picking up."
Another boatyard getting more calls about new boats is LeBlanc Brothers Boatbuilders in Wedgeport, Nova Scotia. They report a renewed interest in their boats from American fishermen. "For six months it's been very quiet here. But it seems like it's moving again," says Neil LeBlanc, one of the boatyard's owners.
It helps the boatyard's sales pitch that visiting fishermen can see a couple of boats being built for American fishermen. One is a 24-footer for a Connecticut conch fisherman, which should be completed by the first of February. She will have a pair of 150-hp Yamaha outboards for power.
The second boat is a 55-footer being built as a dragger for Bill Reed, a New York fisherman. This boat should go out on sea trials in mid-February with a 3408 Caterpillar for power.
The dragger has a solid fiberglass hull with a walk-around wheelhouse. The platform is stout, as it should be, to bear the weight and stresses of winches, a net reel, and an A-frame.
The deck beams are 3" x 8" timbers. Running longitudinally across the deck beams is a solid layer of 2" x 6" timbers, topped off with 3/4-inch plywood and five layers of fiberglass.
Accommodations aren't extensive, as it is a day boat, but there are six bunks and a small cooking area. This is the biggest boat LeBlanc Brothers Boatbuilders has sent across the border.
— Michael Crowley
Calif. gets Canadian mussel rig; new Alaska combination boat
Bernard Friedman's graduate work as a fisheries biologist in Nova Scotia exposed him to the province's longline mussel industry, which relies on longlines suspended horizontally in the water with ropes hanging from the longline. Mussel larvae are inserted into the hanging ropes that weigh out to about 8 pounds per foot when mature.
"He thought he could adapt that type of mussel farming to Southern California," says Jay Brevik, owner of Lee Shore Boats in Port Townsend, Wash., where Friedman came to have an aluminum boat built to turn his mussel farming idea into reality.
David Vohs, former owner of Lee Shore Boats (then Lee Shore Marine) designed the boat. It measures 35' x 12' and, Brevik says, is "the largest V-design we have done." The boat carries an articulated deck crane, a hydraulically operated hauler, and processing equipment that will strip the mussels from the ropes and de-clump them. The boat should easily pack 6,000 pounds of mussels.
Friedman will run the boat out of Santa Barbara and have his longline sets in the Santa Barbara Channel.
Brevik says the boat is larger and more seaworthy than those used in Nova Scotia because in that part of Canada, mussel growing is done in bays and inlets, whereas the Santa Barbara Channel is far less protected.
A Honda engine powers the hydraulics, and a pair of 150-hp Yamaha outboard engines provides enough power that Brevik says the boat will plane when not carrying a load of mussels.
Lee Shore Boats also is building a couple of aluminum 22-footers for the state of Washington's Muckleshoot tribe. Tribal fishermen set salmon gillnets near where the Duwamish River enters Elliot Bay, which fronts the city of Seattle.
Unfortunately for the tribe, large cruise ships come through the area where they cast their nets. So Lee Shore Boats is building the tribe a bow picker that will allow them to retrieve the nets when a vessel comes in and set the nets out again once the boat leaves.
The boatshop also is building the Muckleshoot tribe a 22-foot fisheries research and patrol boat.
In Cordova, Alaska, Webber Marine and Manufacturing is building an aluminum 32' x 11' 8" gillnetter for Gus Linville of Seward, Alaska. At the end of December, the hull had been lifted off its jig and turned over, the engine bed and keel cooler system installed, and the boatshop was only waiting for a load of preformed plate from Seattle to continue work.
The 20-year-old Linville basically grew up on a setnet site in Prince William Sound, says Bill Webber, the boatshop's owner, who describes Linville as one of "the young, up and coming fishermen."
Linville's new boat won't be setnetting, but she will be gillnetting for salmon and longlining for halibut, with dedicated reels for each fishery.
To bolt the reels to the deck and make for easy removal when they aren't being used, threaded bosses were put into solid 2-inch-square bar and welded under the deck plating. "Then when you remove the salmon or halibut reel, there are no above-deck protrusions to cause net hang-ups or trip hazards. It's just a nice clear deck," Webber says.
The boat's main engine is a 500-hp Lugger 6125. It's an older model that Linville had rebuilt after it came out of a yacht in Los Angeles. The Lugger will power a 14-inch Doen water jet through a Twin Disc 5075 marine gear with a 0.06:1 reduction.
Two fish holds are being built, so if Linville decides to do on-deck processing, which he is considering, he can keep chilled whole fish in one hold and dressed fish on layered ice in the other.
Besides building Linville's boat, Webber has his own gillnetter in the shop to lengthen by a foot and repower. He also wants to set up one of his fish holds to take small totes with processed salmon. That's opposed to putting dressed fish on layered ice, which compresses the ones on the bottom. "It's just pushing back on the quality bar a little bit," Webber says.
In the meantime, there are orders for four net reels and seven hydraulic power rollers to build. All this before mid-May, when both Linville and Webber will be lined up for the Copper River salmon opening.
— Michael Crowley
Builder back to fishing roots; three scallopers from Florida
It had been a couple of years since Ronnie Carman of Carman Boats in Marion Station on Maryland's Eastern Shore built a commercial fishing boat. But in 2006, the longtime builder of fiberglass boats turned out two boats for commercial fishermen.
In July, Carman delivered a 32' x 11' oyster boat to Ronnie Bevans of Bevans Oyster Co. in Kinsale, Va., and in December, a 40' x 12' deadrise-style boat was delivered to Steve Norkowski of Leesburg, N.J., for oystering and crabbing.
Bevans' boat, the Stephanie Cheryl, is powered by a 310-hp Volvo Penta D6 diesel set up with an outdrive. The solid fiberglass hull is built from one of Carman's standard molds.
Bevans is a longtime Northern Neck Virginia oyster grower. He is using the boat to dredge for market and seed oysters on traditional oyster bottom. Bevans is also involved in Virginia's aquaculture program and grows oysters in cages.
A smaller engine powers the New Jersey–bound Fancy Nancy. Its 225-hp John Deere engine turns a 1 1/2-inch Aquamet shaft through a Twin Disc 1 1/2:1 reduction gear. The boat is being used in the Delaware Bay oyster and crab fisheries and in the Atlantic Ocean conch fishery.
The Fancy Nancy is a classic Chesapeake Bay deadrise-style boat constructed of fiberglass over plywood. Carman builds in three styles of fiberglass construction: fiberglass over plywood, solid fiberglass hulls built in molds and hulls built with C-Flex, which is planking material made up of fiberglass rods, roving and a light fiberglass cloth.
Carman says he is getting more inquiries from watermen than he has in many years.
"I really want to build commercial fishing boats," Carman says. "I started out as a commercial waterman and all of my early boats went to fishermen."
Carman was working an oyster patent-tong rig in the winter of 1987 when he decided he would become a full-time boatbuilder. He had been building boats on the side since 1984.
"I had built several wooden deadrise boats, and then I went to building glass over plywood boats," he says.
"It was part-time first, but then the phone kept ringing and I soon decided to become a full-time boatbuilder."
Today, Carman Boats builds the solid fiberglass hulls in lengths of 27, 32, 36 and 46 feet. He also builds a full line of C-Flex boats designed by Sintes Fiberglass Designs in New Orleans so that owners can have a solid-fiberglass boat at any desired length or width.
Carman is a Volvo Penta dealer but offers other engine packages, including John Deere, Caterpillar, Cummins and Yanmar diesel engines.
The mid-Atlantic scallop fishery has become a lifesaver for many southern yards, as boats are being built and rebuilt for that fishery. The scallop fishery may get an additional boost in 2007 should the Elephant Trunk, an area off Delaware Bay, reopen after being closed since 2004. The Elephant Trunk is estimated to hold 100 million pounds of scallops.
Duckworth Steel Boats of Tarpon Springs, Fla., is a southern yard that has profited from the scallop fishery's success. Junior Duckworth, president of the boatyard, reports he is building three scallopers.
One boat has been launched and is being finished in the water. It is for the Seaford Scallop Co., owned by Bill Wells of Seaford, Va.
The other two scallopers are sisterships and are going to Eastern Fisheries in New Bedford, Mass.
The Virginia-bound boat measures 95' x 25' x 10'. A 750-hp Caterpillar 3412 powers it. The winch engine is a Caterpillar 3406 rated at 300 hp. A pair of 72-kW Northern Lights generators runs off John Deere engines.
The main Caterpillar engine will turn a 68" x 67" four-bladed prop and will work through a Twin Disc gear with a 6:1 ratio. All three boats are equipped with standard onboard shucking houses and raised fo'c'sle wheelhouses.
The New Bedford vessels are identical in every aspect. The boats have a double chine and measure 95' x 28' x 13'. An 800-hp Caterpillar 3512 will power each boat.
The marine gears are Reintjes with 6:1 reductions.
"The scallop fishery is holding its own," Duckworth says, "and we are reaping some of the rewards."
— Larry Chowning
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