Written by Jen Finn
Fiberglass boat and rock meet; lobster boat will also 6-pack it
Last fall the Mum's Girl, a 38-foot Calvin Beal Jr.-designed lobster boat, probably had her 650-hp diesel cranked right up there when she went across a ledge and tore up 25 feet of her keel.
"She was leaking quite well, though the pumps could keep up with it," says Sune Noreen at Jonesport Shipyard in Jonesport, Maine, where the Mum's Girl limped into and was hauled out.
Besides a ripped-up keel, a stuffing box that was attached to a bulkhead "had broken loose way down there, and we had to cut a hole in the side of the keel to reach in and sand it, vacuum it out, and lay it up heavy," Noreen says.
The impact created stress cracks in the hull and at the rudder box. The yard crew repaired the rudder box, and ground out the stress cracks in the hull by about a half inch, inserted tabbing pieces and filled the cracks.
After the keel was rebuilt, they added a scuffing strip of woven roving on the bottom.
Hitting the ledge knocked the 2-1/2-inch shaft out of alignment. Noreen says he thought the engine might have been moved but that wasn't the case.
As long as Mum's Girl was in the shop, the boat's owner, Dwight Carver of Beals Island, decided to have the hull below the hauling station repaired. "Three additional laminates were added," Noreen says. "The roving was left out because it's tougher and impregnated with white gel coat. When traps hit it, it won't ding up the hull."
Mum's Girl has gone back into the water and "Dwight Carver says she's going well," Noreen notes.
Still at Jonesport Shipyard is the Devil's Delight, a 45-foot quahog dragger owned by Jonesport's Benny Beal. The platform and stern area were pretty well shot after serving as the landing pad for the 2,000-pound drag. "It was kind of worn out and gave way under foot," Noreen says.
The plywood and fiberglass platform and its supporting structure were removed — all 1,080 pounds of it. (It had to be weighed before being hauled away.) The Jonesport crew rebuilt the platform using pressure-treated 4-by-4s to hold up a deck of 3/4-inch plywood topped with eight layers of fiberglass.
Noreen says the 4-by-4s "were through-bolted this time. Before there was a lot of screwing, but that just won't hold joists and framing."
While the boat was in for repairs, Beal also had the shop clean out the bilges, install new engine control cables and a cutlass bearing, replace the cooling pipes, and add a grounding strap for the stern bearing, which had never had one, says Noreen.
"This was a lot of fun," says Noreen, "because they just wanted it so the boat was done right."
In the fall of 2009, Holland's Boat Shop in Belfast, Maine, received orders for six new boats in two weeks. This January, only one of those boats remained to be finished, a 32-footer for Mike Stevens of Five Islands, Maine.
This is the second Holland 32 for Stevens. He bought the first one in the mid-'80s, says the boatshop's Glenn Holland.
Stevens used that boat for lobstering and some tuna fishing. While she was strictly a commercial fishing boat, Stevens is going to mix things up a bit with his new boat. The 32-footer will be set up for lobstering, but Stevens also intends to use her as a 6-pack boat.
She will certainly look like a lobster boat, but there will be a couple of changes to make life easier for sport fishermen. The interior arrangements are still in a preliminary design stage, but down below will be a head with a holding tank.
With its nicely sweeping sheer line, the Holland 32 looks a lot like earlier Beals Island and Jonesport lobster boats. But that sheerline results in less freeboard than on higher-sided boats with a flatter sheerline. And with less freeboard, the deck and its scuppers are closer to the water.
To achieve a slightly drier deck, Stevens had Holland raise it about three inches. That also provided enough room below deck so the fuel tanks can be mounted in the stern. — Michael Crowley
Setnet skiffs to haul iced fish; troller shines in stainless steel
Setnetting in Bristol Bay has always been a family thing for Reid Ten Kley of Iliamna Fish Co. in Portland, Ore. In fact, his family has been salmon fishing there for the past 55 years. Every year, some 15 to 20 family members come together, along with other permit holders and skippers, in what Kley describes as a "co-op of sorts."
Kley's family members own 13 setnet skiffs and the tender that services the skiffs. This year is the first time in 20 years they are having a new skiff built.
"The harvesting has been so good — 150,000 to 200,000 pounds in five weeks — that we need a boat that can haul more fish in rough weather," Kley says.
The skiff's design owes a lot to the setnet skiffs built years ago by Munson Manufacturing in Edmunds, Wash.
The Munson skiffs were very popular, and fishermen are still reluctant to give up the ones they have. Fortunately for Kley, he's found a link to that Munson past. Kim Alexander of Alexander Boatworks in Silvana, Wash., is building the new skiff, along with an identical one for Corey Arnold, another Bristol Bay setnetter. (Alexander previously operated Duralum Manufacturing in Everett, Wash. He shut that down, and the setnet skiffs are the first boats to be built at Alexander Boatworks.)
Twenty years ago, Alexander was building skiffs at Munson Manufacturing, "so he's able to incorporate those designs along with some of the newer things people have been experimenting with," Kley says.
Kley's and Arnold's skiffs will be 22 feet long and have an 8-foot 4-inch beam at the gunwhale. They are a bit longer and have more freeboard than previous skiffs. Kley figures they will be able to pack 6,000 pounds with moderate seas running, and on a calm day 8,000 to 9,000 pounds.
Determining how much to raise the height of the gunwhale can be tricky. "It's a fine line. You need a high enough gunwhale that you can put that kind of weight in the boat. But the fisherman doesn't want it too high because it's harder to work and harder to fish," says Alexander.
Traditionally setnet skiffs are built with bins to accommodate brailers of the salmon that are picked from the twine as the net slides over the skiff. But Kley and Arnold will forego the brailers in an attempt to deliver a better quality salmon.
The skiffs are being built with a flush deck "to accommodate totes with ice or slush bags with iced fish," says Kley. "That can improve their quality."
He adds that while their skiffs already unload fish at their tender within "two hours of taking the first fish out of the net, icing the fish will take it to the next level."
For power, Kley's skiff will have a 50-hp Mercury two-stroke outboard, and Arnold will strap a 90-hp Yamaha four-stroke onto the back of his skiff.
Down in Fort Bragg, Calif., Van Peer Boatworks launched the steel 75' x 20' Chasina Bay for Harold Haynes in Ketchikan, Alaska. Haynes, a longtime fisherman in Southeast Alaska, will use the Chasina Bay as both a troller and a charter boat.
The charter trips will last for several days and take passengers to the bays and inlets near Ketchikan where they can fish, wander the shore or explore the area in a kayak.
The Chasina Bay will carry both one- and two-person kayaks.
When either trolling or chartering, the Chasina Bay will be easy to recognize, what with all the stainless steel that was used in her construction. That includes the flying bridge, entire after overhanging deck, inside of the bulwarks, capstans, rail caps, companionway ladders, door frames, and trolling cockpit.
Out of sight but still getting a share of stainless steel is the fish hold, refrigerated seawater holds and all the oil and hydraulic piping.
Besides improving her appearance, the stainless steel should make the boat easier to keep clean and reduce maintenance costs.
For power, the Chasina Bay has a 425-hp Lugger L1276A2 main engine as well as 25-kW and 40-kW Northern Lights gensets. A 30-hp Wesmar bow thruster will come in handy when it's time to maneuver in tight places. — Michael Crowley
New oyster barge is all PVC; Virginia netter gets a repower
Cockrell's Marine Railway in Heathsville, Va., delivered a 20' x 8' x 6" oyster barge in January to Sapidus Farms in Heathsville, Va.
Mike Manyak, Sapidus Farms' owner, grows oysters in cages and will use the barge for hauling and transporting the 3' x 4' x 18" cages, which weigh up to 500 pounds when loaded with market-size oysters.
The barge is built out of 1-inch-thick PVC boards and has a motor well on the stern for a 15-hp Mariner outboard. Manyak's oyster grounds are in the protected waters of a small creek off the Little Wicomico River.
All of his oyster grounds are within a mile of his mooring, which enables Manyak to get by with a 15-hp outboard. It pushes the barge along at 10 mph, says the boatyard's Myles Cockrell.
Manyak steers using the outboard's tiller arm. To get low enough to work the tiller, he has to stand in a hatch next to the motor well.
"I think he will eventually put a stand-up console on the boat that will give him some protection from the weather," says Cockrell. "Then he can work controls from inside the console and use an extended steering stick so he doesn't have to work from the hatch."
The hatch also gives Manyak access to the inside of the boat. It's crawling room only, but he can do repairs and maintenance work on the inside of the barge.
On deck he has a galvanized steel davit to haul the oyster cages.
Myles and Andy Cockrell, the owners of Cockrell's Marine Railway, have opened their own oyster business and named it the Little Wicomico Oyster Co.
It helps that the Cockrells own a boatyard, so they can refurbish a 42-foot wooden chunk round-stern deadrise boat for their oystering business. The late C.H. Rice of Reedville, Va., built the boat, probably in the 1950s. She has a Detroit Diesel 4-53 for an engine.
Rice was best known around the Chesapeake Bay as a builder of trap boats for the pound-net fishery, striker boats for the menhaden fishery, sailing skipjacks for Maryland's oyster dredge fishery, and large deadrise oyster buy boats.
"I'll tell you one thing, Mr. Rice built a good boat," says Myles. "Our plans are to eventually build a barge like Mike's to use in our business, but until then we have outfitted the deadrise with a mast and gaff to load and off-load cages."
The Cockrells installed a winch and wash-down pump along with used hydraulic equipment that was taken off a Potomac River pound-net boat. "We do a lot of improvising around here now with old stuff," says Myles. "You've got to if you want to stay in business these days."
Bubbie Crown's Crown Marine in Deltaville, Va., is repairing a 43' x 16' fiberglass boat and repowering it. Donelle Boat Builder in Shemogue, New Brunswick, built the boat in 1996.
Scott Bergman, who fishes out of Mathews County, Va., owns the boat and uses it for conch potting and gillnetting for spot and rockfish off the Atlantic coast.
Bergman was one of the first Virginia watermen to buy a Canadian fiberglass boat for fishing Chesapeake Bay. In the 1990s, Canadian fiberglass boats generally didn't cost as much as fiberglass boats built in this country. During that time Virginia watermen purchased a number of Canadian boats. They have been used in a variety of fisheries throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
Crown Marine is going to fiberglass the decks on the 43-footer, replace the cockpit, and install a new 500-hp John Deere engine. The old one is a well-used Caterpillar 3208.
The repowering work includes installing a new Aquamet stainless steel shaft and a new exhaust system. The exhaust will also have to be enlarged from 6 to 8 inches to accommodate the increased horsepower.
Crown Marine is located in the heart of Deltaville, where it operates out of a historical boatbuilding site. It is the same building that was once used by Hulls Unlimited East, one of the first fiberglass boatbuilders in Virginia to build deadrise fiberglass boats for commercial fishing boats. — Larry Chowning
The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.
Read more... Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery. “It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.
La. crabbers face management changes
Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.
“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.