Written by Jen Finn
Donelle molds get new home; Maine tuna boat goes to Mass.
Cory Guimond at Millennium Marine in Escuminac, New Brunswick, improved his boat lineup by acquiring two molds from Donelle Boat Builder, a New Brunswick boatyard that is now out of business.
The molds are for 43' x 14' 6" and 35' x 14' hulls, which Guimond says are in excellent shape.
Guimond has been building his own 35-footers by extending a 31-foot mold. "That," he admits, "is a lot of work." The new mold should make things easier for the lay-up crew, and it will produce a boat with a 14-foot beam. "That combination makes for a nice lobster boat," he says.
The 43-foot hull is close in length to Millennium Marine's 45-footer, which is a good offshore boat, as it is big enough for fish holds capable of carrying 30,000 to 40,000 pounds. However, the Donelle 43-footer is what Guimond refers to as an open boat. That means the deck is close to the water line and there's not enough room for a fish hold.
The Donelle 43 carries fish in totes on deck, which is fine for a day boat. "It adds an inshore boat to my product line," Guimond notes.
The two molds were delivered to Millennium Marine on June 6, and Guimond was already working on a deal to send a 35-footer to Puerto Rico.
It will go to a lobsterman who bought one of Millennium Marine's 45-footers seven years ago. "Now he is looking for another boat and the 35 is at a price he can afford," Guimond says.
The hull is to be solid fiberglass, but the bulkheads will be cored with Divinycell.
On a much larger scale, a New Brunswick fisherman is talking to Guimond about a 62' x 22' crab boat. Millennium Marine doesn't have a 62-foot mold, so the crew would use the 52-foot mold. The hull will have to be stretched out 10 feet, raised 2 feet and widened 6 feet.
"It's by far the biggest extension we've done," Guimond says. The 62-footer would replace a wooden boat that's close to 40 years old.
With a more efficient and lighter hull, "the speed of the new boat should be higher and the fuel consumption should be about half what his old boat was using," Guimond says.
The news has been sparse out of Downeast Boats & Composites, but the Penobscot, Maine, boatyard is very active. They have just launched one boat, have one under construction and may be laying up another.
The Knot-A-Care, one of the boatyard's Northern Bay 38s, went to Yarmouth, Mass., the first week in June for tuna fishing.
The 38' x 13' 8" hull is cored with Baltek's lightweight balsa, says the boatyard's John Hutchins.
The molded top also has a balsa core. "Everything else is NidaCore — the stringers, bulkheads, floors and the platform," Hutchins notes. The only wood in the boat is some teak trim.
The 38-footer hits 37 mph with a 750-hp 13-liter Iveco diesel hooked up to a ZF 325 marine gear with a 1.459:1 reduction that spins a 28" x 26" Michigan four-blade wheel.
In the engine compartment is a 7-kW Westerbeke genset.
The tuna will be stored in two insulated 8-foot-long brine tanks below.
Of the two other 38s, one looks like it will be for a local lobsterman. Hutchins says an engine has yet to be chosen, but it won't be a low-powered model. "He definitely wants to go fast."
As a result of talking with the lobsterman, Hutchins is working at developing a low-friction, high-speed rudder. "We want a shape that will reduce the friction underwater." He figures it will be some king of foil shape instead of the flat plate on his boats.
The second 38 is a sport-fishing boat that will have a 500-hp Volvo for power. "The boat will be built very light," Hutchins says.
A 500-hp diesel that went into an earlier boat pushed her to 31.5 knots. — Michael Crowley
Repairs have their own power; 58-footer heads to Bering Sea
Blake Painter brought his 58-foot Tradition to Astoria Marine Construction in Astoria, Ore., for two things — to replace the wooden apitong deck with a composite material from FiberForce, and substitute stainless steel hydraulic lines for the rubber hydraulic deck hoses. He thought he would spend about $50,000 for the work. When the Tradition left Astoria in early June, the bill was closer to $150,000, and deck work was just the starting point.
"It just seems like one thing leads to another," says Painter, whose boat was built in 1991 at Fred Wahl Marine Construction in Reedsport, Ore., though he has only owned it for three years.
"The main project was the new decking and the stainless steel piping," says Painter. Apitong is a hard, tough wood, but over the years the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska had pulled all the strength out of the wood.
"You'd drop something on the apitong, it would snap and then you'd have to waste time fixing it," Painter says.
The replacement material, FiberForce, is a composite of polyethylene plastic and fiberglass. Prior to fastening down the 2" x 6" lengths of FiberForce on 3" x 4" angle iron to keep it above the deck, every hydraulic hose that would be under the new deck was replaced with stainless steel piping. "We were losing oil and the time it took for repairs," Painter notes.
Then there were all those things that it just seemed a good time to do. The yard added a 2-inch stainless steel pipe rail all the way around the boat.
The prop, which Painter says, "was pretty beat up," was reconditioned. That led to replacing the shaft bearing and intermediate bearing. And of course, the shaft had to be realigned.
Being a 20-year-old boat, the Tradition needed its shaft alley and lazarette sandblasted and painted, and all the plumbing reconditioned and metalized.
And while the equipment is available, you might as well sandblast and galvanize both fish holds.
While that work is going on, it can't hurt to give the crew a little more protection by building up the wave wall on the port side from 4 feet 6 inches to 7 feet.
And inside the boat, life would be easier by replacing a small stove and refrigerator with full-size models.
Of course, you can't leave the wheelhouse out of the project. So the Tradition got a new Furuno sounder and radar. The Olex system was upgraded, and all the monitors in the wheelhouse are now all flat-screen models.
That's how "one thing leads to another."
The first week in June, the Tradition was steaming to Bristol Bay to work as a salmon tender. At about the same time a new 58-footer from Fred Wahl Marine Construction was being christened in Reedsport, Ore.
That was the Alaskan Star, the eighth boat built to the boatyard's 58' x 26' design. It's also the third boat that Nick Delaney has been a partner in. The others are the 58' Alaskan Dream and the 59' x 28' Shemya, a head, gutting and freezing boat designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants in Seattle.
Delaney says the Alaskan Star will be pot fishing for Pacific cod in the Bering Sea and western Gulf of Alaska, and longlining for blackcod and halibut.
The Alaskan Star has a 660-hp Cummins QSK 19 main engine and three John Deere gensets. Two of them are 175 kW and one is 65 kW.
When the Alaskan Star left Reedsport the week of June 13, the boatyard's crew was at work building two more 58-footers. "The hull for one is 75 to 80 percent done, and the other boat's keel is finished and they are building bulkheads," says the boatyard's Mike Lee. — Michael Crowley
Skipjack undergoes rebuilding; barcats are good oyster boats
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., announced a major restoration project for the skipjack Rosie Parks. The three-year project will be funded with $500,000 in philanthropic support and conducted at the museum's boatyard.
Maryland's oyster dredge fleet is the last group of sail-powered commercial fishing boats in North America. When the Rosie Parks was built in 1955, around 80 skipjacks were fishing. Today, pushed by a declining oyster harvest, the number is closer to 13.
The Rosie Parks was built by Bronza Parks for his brother, Capt. Orville Parks, and was named for their mother. The museum purchased the skipjack in 1975 from Orville. The Rosie Parks had a reputation as the best maintained skipjack in the oyster dredging fleet and as a champion sailor at the annual skipjack races at Deal Island, Md., as well as the Chesapeake Appreciation Days at Sandy Point.
Recently surpassing her 50-year mark, the Rosie Parks is in need of substantial rebuilding. In an e-mail, Richard Scofield, the museum's boatyard manager says about 85 percent of the boat will be replaced.
Work started with replacing a small section of the keel, but other than an area around the centerboard trunk that had to be renewed, the keel is in good shape. However, a new rudder and the rudderpost were built, as was much of the transom.
Scofield says most of the side frames are in good shape and "some of the deck beams are savable." However, all of the planking on the sides and bottom will be replaced.
The decking, the house, and the rollers for the dredge have to be torn out and replaced with new wood.
The Rosie Parks still has her original winders (power winches) and other dredging gear, which will allow her to be fully outfitted when she is refloated. While the Dacron sails are usable, she will most likely need a new engine for the push boat.
Skipjacks were introduced to the bay region in the 1890s. The boats didn't draw much water, which enabled them to dredge in shallower depths than the deeper round-bilged pungies, schooners and sloops.
The sailing fleet has survived in Maryland because the state's Legislature in the late 1800s recognized the negative impact the oyster dredge would have on the oyster population. Consequently the Legislature outlawed it for boats with engines.
At Burrell's Marine Railway, which is now part of Sunset Pointe Marina in Urbanna, Va., the 28-foot Captain Cole is on the rails. Recreational houseboats surround the old railway, but watermen still use the classic facility.
Rufus Ruark Sr. and Rufus Jr. of Shores and Ruark Seafood Co., in Urbanna, own the Captain Cole and use her to hand tong for oysters on private oyster grounds and to hoist cages full of farm-grown oysters from Virginia's Rappahannock River.
The boat is on the rails for annual maintenance, which includes bottom and topside painting.
The Captain Cole is a classic deadrise blue-crab scraping boat, but she works well in the oyster business too, says Rufus Ruark Sr.
The style of boat is called a barcat on Tangier Island, Va. Barcats evolved from the days of sail and had a raked stern with an outside rudder and tiller. They are similar to some of the earliest deadrise and cross-planked boats built on Chesapeake Bay.
Drawing very little water, the barcats were originally built for Tangier and Smith Island, Md., where watermen hand-pulled metal scrapes. The scrape is similar to a dredge and was used for soft-shell and peeler crabs in the shallow, grassy waters of Tangier Sound. The Captain Cole was modified to work the Rappahannock River oyster fishery.
"She has made us a mighty fine oyster boat," says Rufus Ruark Sr. — Larry Chowning
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