Written by Jen Finn
January 23, 2013
Mass. yard building scalloper; home to Maine for repowering
After launching the 95-foot scalloper Concordia in December 2011 for Malvin Kvilhaug of South Dartmouth, Mass., Fairhaven Shipyard in Fairhaven, Mass., has another scalloper under construction.
The new boat will measure 79' x 26' and is for Kirk Larson of Barnegat Light, N.J. She was designed by Farrell & Norton Naval Architects with offices in Newcastle, Maine, and Fairhaven, Mass. Fairhaven Shipyard's Kevin McLaughlin says he "believes the scalloper will replace an existing boat."
The new boat is designed along the lines of the Elizabeth — an 83' x 24' dragger built at Fairhaven Shipyard in 2008 — says Garrett Norton of Farrell & Norton. "She is just shorter and wider. It's a single-chine, dual-dredge with an ice fish hold."
McLaughlin said the keel was laid in the summer, "then we took a break. Now we are framing all the bulkheads and tank tops and will probably start assembly after the first of the year. It will probably be ready about this time next year. The owner doesn't want it for the 2013 season."
The 79-footer will most likely be powered with an 800-hp main engine, but in late December the owner hadn't made a decision as to what engine, though McLaughlin thinks the choice is between a Caterpillar and a Mitsubishi.
The keel on Larson's boat went down prior to the July 1, 2012, deadline when she would have been subjected to new load line and classification standards. Norton says the keels for a "couple of other boats" also went down before the July 1 deadline, but they "seem to have just drifted off to the side."
He attributes this to a kind of wait-and-see attitude where "a lot of people are leery that they have cut the scallops back so much next year. They are saying they will give them back the days, but I don't think anybody believes that."
Besides building Larson's scalloper, Fairhaven Shipyard has a fair amount of work with 10 boats in for repairs. Among them are the scalloper Celtic, which is getting new steel plating along the sides of the boat, as well as in the shaft alley and the engine room.
The Sea Ranger is having work done on her bulwarks. The scalloper Luzitano is getting a new tail shaft, and yard crew went over the decks on the scalloper Contender and is installing new bunk rooms and a new heating, ventilating and air conditioning system.
One thing about satisfied customers is that they will most likely return, even if it takes a while to get there. A case in point is the 38-foot Red Storm that was trucked up from its home port of Riverhead, which is on New York's Long Island, to Farrin's Boatshop in Walpole, Maine.
The first week in January, the Red Storm, which fishes for snails and sea bass, was outside the boatshop, waiting for a crane to show up and haul out the boat's 500-hp Lugger 6125.
In 2000, Farrin's Boatshop finished off a new Wesmac-38 hull. That was the Red Storm. "Now we're going to repower it, paint the hull, the superstructure," says the boatshop's Bruce Farrin, adding that he "sure appreciates my long-distance customers."
The replacement engine hadn't been determined. "We're beating that around now," said Farrin. The options were between John Deere, Cummins and Caterpillar. Whatever the choice, there will be a drop in horsepower.
"The newer engines are more efficient, and the fisheries have changed so they don't have to run as far," Farrin says. "The new engine will be quieter, burn less fuel and be easier for maintenance." He expects the repowering job to be pretty straightforward with no changes to the exhaust or cooling system.
Besides repowering the boat, the crew at Farrin's Boatshop will be going over the Red Storm, "from the keel to the top of her and check everything out, hoses, bolts, seacocks, hydraulics and probably Awlgrip the hull," Farrin says. The electronics are good so they shouldn't need to be upgraded.
Besides the work being done on the Red Storm, Farrin's Boatshop is repowering a pleasure boat from gas to diesel and rebuilding a 36-foot Jarvis Newman pleasure boat. — Michael Crowley
Bowpicker will also longline; 58-footer getting a whaleback
A hull for an aluminum bowpicker built by Hard Drive Marine in Bellingham, Wash., is on the floor of Petrzelka Bros. in Mount Vernon, Wash. Petrzelka Bros. is finishing off the 34' x 12' hull for Ashton Poole of Homer, Alaska, who will use it in the Copper River salmon fishery.
This boat should be a little different from other bowpickers. It will have a "sliding net drum, extra hold space and a fairly large fuel capacity — for more cruising range. It will also be set up for an RSW system," says Petrzelka Bros.' Jon Petrzelka. Poole is "trying to make it so he can do other fisheries. He wants to be able to longline as well as gillnet with it."
Poole's boat has a pair of Iveco engines hooked up to Doen water jets. Petrzelka says that while "most people use Hamiltons, the Doen is considerably less expensive, and some people like them as well or better than Hamiltons."
Another gillnetter being finished off at Petrzelka Bros. is a 32-footer for Bristol Bay that was built at Master Marine Services in Mount Vernon. The gillnetter has a tophouse and a single Traktor Jet hooked up to an 850-hp MAN.
Traktor Jets, from NAM Jet in Benton, Ark., are going into a lot more boats built for the Bristol Bay gillnet fishery, in part "because it seems to push the load with a Bristol Bay boat easily," says Petrzelka.
A return customer for Petrzelka Bros. brought in a fiberglass bowpicker that the boatshop had repowered and built a new cabin for "five or six years ago," says Petrzelka.
This time the boat's deck was removed and the yard installed a new raised, flush deck. They lowered the hatches for the fish holds "so they are all on the same level. You don't have to handle the fish more than once. They fall on the floor and go in the fish hold," says Petrzelka.
Besides building boats, Petrzelka Bros. is also known for the deck equipment it designs and builds for gillnetters. This winter that's a big part of the boatshop's work as "a lot of new bowpickers are being built for Cordova," says Petrzelka. "So we are building a lot of reels, power rollers and deck equipment. It seems like 30 to 40 percent of the new boats built, we put the equipment on them."
At the Oregon boatshop J&H Boatworks in Astoria, Tim Hill refers to the 58-footer in his shop as "one of the most complete metal renovations that I'm aware of."
The boat, out of King Cove, Alaska, was built in the 1950s and has sunk once that Hill knows of, and maybe twice. The owners salvaged the boat and had her rebuilt so they could fish it.
This fall they brought the 58-footer to J&H Boatworks for a sponsoning job — the beam went from 19 to 26 feet — a whaleback addition and to have a freestanding mast built. "The old style house is completely gone. The tophouse is up on four little skinny legs and we are tying a whaleback into it," Hill says.
In addition, J&H Boatworks cut open the transom and constructed a stern ramp for dragging. By the time she returns to Alaska, the 58-footer will also be set up for crabbing, pot fishing for cod, and salmon seining.
For the time being, the fish hold won't be expanded into the sponsoned area, though that could be a future option.
"For a small boat it's a huge amount of work," Hill says. The owners "wanted it to look really nice. It's a design that has nothing but curves. There's no straight section."
Tullio Celano, whose company is Crescere Marine Engineering in Columbia City, Ore., did the design work. "He is getting to be well known," Hill says.
Once J&H Boatworks completes the metal work — Hill is hoping for March — the boat will go to Seattle for an interior rebuild.
J&H Boatworks is also building shelter decks for a couple of boats in the longline and crab fisheries. One of those, the 75-foot Majestic, is getting a 33' x 30' shelter deck. — Michael Crowley
More scallopers from Fla. yard; history lesson in pound netter
Duckworth Steel Boats of Tarpon Springs, Fla., is building two scallop boats for Eastern Fisheries in New Bedford, Mass. This will bring the total to eight that the Florida boatyard has sent to Eastern Fisheries, which now has 25 scallopers.
Prior to starting work on the two boats, Duckworth launched two scallopers in 2012 for Eastern, the Røst and the Pyxi. Both were 95' x 27' x 12' and had bulbous bows.
The two new scallopers measure 95' x 28' x 14' 6" and will also have bulbous bows.
Duckworth Steel Boats is also working on a scallop boat owned by Billy Wells of Wells Scallop Co. in Seaford, Va. The boatyard's Joe Duckworth says cabin windows on Wells' boat leaked horribly. This required removing the old pilothouse and building a new one along with some new rigging.
"The scallop fishery is keeping our yard real busy," says Duckworth. "It's one ocean fishery that seems to remain strong."
Moving up to Chesapeake Bay, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission's policy of annually rotating oyster grounds for commercial harvesting has resulted in at least one oysterman building a new boat.
The oyster grounds range from the James River to Tangier Sound in Chesapeake Bay, which is a considerable distance for a small boat to travel on a daily basis. Thomas Lee Walton of Walton's Seafood in Urbanna, Va., and his sons, Lee and Scott, have been using 24- to 32-foot fiberglass boats for oyster dredging.
The Waltons trailer their boats to the James, York and Rappahannock rivers but Tangier Sound oyster grounds are in the opposite direction and in the middle of Chesapeake Bay. Trailering a boat that distance from Walton's oyster shucking house in Urbanna could require staying overnight.
So the Waltons are having JC Kinnamon of Kinnamon Construction on Maryland's Tilghman Island build them a 39' x 11' fiberglass-over-wood deadrise boat. The boat will have overnight accommodations and enough power, length and beam to run across the bay to Tangier Sound.
Prior to starting Walton's boat, Kinnamon finished a 37' x 11' fiberglass-over-wood boat for Maryland waterman Dennis Jones for blue crab trotlining. "That's all [Jones] has ever done," says Kinnamon. "He needed a new boat and my father and I have built a many a boat for the trotline fishery."
On the rails at Reedville Marine Railway in Reedville, Va., is the 64-foot Dudley, a pound-net boat built by the late Gilbert White of Palmer, Va., in 1938 for the Biddlecomb family. The boat is still owned by Reedville's Fred Biddlecomb.
George Butler and his crew at the railway are replacing the last of the pine bottom planks installed in 1938 with 2-inch juniper planks.
Biddlecomb uses the boat to drive pound poles for fishermen and for charter fishing. The boat is named after his brother, Dudley.
White was a renowned Virginia boatbuilder, who started out building log canoes in Mathews County. Then he moved to Lancaster County and became a pioneer in the development of deadrise and cross-planked boats in the Virginia area of Chesapeake Bay.
The Dudley has some old-time construction features that aren't used by today's builders of wooden boats. "The keel has to come off to replace any portion of the bottom," says Butler.
"Mr. White's boat were built with the ends of the bottom planks butted up to each other, flattened [on the inside edges toward the keel], and the keel goes on over the seams of the bottom planks. Modern boatbuilders butt cross-bottom planks up to the keel so individual planks can be removed without disturbing the keel."
Portions of the skeg were also replaced, as were two sister keelsons with cypress timbers.
"Many of Mr. White's older boatbuilding features show us how construction of deadrise construction evolved," says Butler. "It's a lot of work to remove the keel just to replace bottom planks so that style of construction was soon altered. Mr. White was a pioneer in deadrise construction and he built a good boat that lasted. Just look at the Dudley, she's still working the Bay at  years old."
— Larry Chowning
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