Written by Jen Finn
43-footer goes to California; an old Duffy gets lengthened
The last week in October the 43' x 18' Pacific Rival left Millennium Marine in Escuminac, New Brunswick, on the back of a long-haul truck for San Francisco.
The boat was expected to arrive by Nov. 5, which should have given her owner, Chad Bahlberg, just enough time to install the mast and check out the boat's mechanical and electrical systems before the start of California's Dungeness crab season.
This isn't the first boat Millennium Marine has sent to the West Coast crab fishery. And even though the others were longer at 45 feet, they don't have the carrying capacity of the 43-foot Pacific Rival.
"This is a new design with more freeboard, and it's deeper," says Millennium Marine's Cory Guimond. That means the Pacific Rival's 850 cubic feet of below-deck storage space should pack 22,000 pounds in four floodable holds, while the older 45-footer would only carry about 8,000 pounds.
Hydraulic pumps to circulate the water as well as to power the 19-inch hauling block run off the 510-hp Caterpillar C9 main engine that's hooked up to a ZF marine gear with a 2.25:1 reduction and 30" x 28" prop.
On sea trials, that power package pushed the Pacific Rival up to 14 knots. Guimond admits he was a "little disappointed" at the speed. But, he notes, the engine had been mounted farther forward than usual, and there's a large anchor winch on the bow. Still, he says, the boat's owner is satisfied with the speed, as he expects to run at 8 knots when the holds are tanked down.
On Oct. 25, the Finestkind Boatyard in Harpswell, Maine, launched a 46-footer for Greg Turner of Scarborough, Maine. Well, it was actually a 42-foot Duffy & Duffy when it came into the boatshop, but after 4 feet were added to the transom, it went out of the shop as a 46-footer.
Turner, who both lobsters and scallops, wanted the extra length for buoyancy, because when he was packing a load of scallops and lifting the dredge aboard, "it was putting the stern down pretty heavily," says the boatyard's Mark Hubbard, who notes that he thinks the boat is an early Duffy & Duffy 42.
To extend the boat, Hubbard started off by putting up a single layer of fiberglass on a lay-up table. That gave "a flexible sheet that could be wrapped around the shape of the hull," he says.
With the layer of fiberglass on the outside of the hull, 2' x 6' battens were set up, and the hull was glassed from the outside in.
Hubbard describes the transom as having a small amount of "V" in the back but otherwise being pretty flat and having some tumble home. He said a transom with more shape to it would have been easier to work with, "because the curve makes what is bending stiffer, and it holds its shape better."
Once the boatyard crew completed the laminating work, they ground down the outside of the old hull and the new fiberglass for some distance in either direction and then filled in with two layers of fiberglass to fair the new in with the old.
Hubbard was also doing some engine work on the Lizzie, a lobster boat owned by his brother, Todd. But it was Todd Hubbard's other boat, the Melanie Jean, that was garnering the most attention at the end of October.
The Melanie Jean, a wooden lobster boat built in 1973 by Willis Beal of Beals Island, Maine, and a constant competitor in the wooden-boat class at this year's lobster boat races, had sunk at her mooring in Perkins Cove. Only the antennas were left above the water.
Mark Hubbard says his brother had three bilge pumps on the boat, but "one by one they all quit, though the battery was still up. If he had come 15 minutes earlier he would have caught it."
Fortunately Perkins Cove is shallow, and with the aid of another lobster boat, the Melanie Jean was hauled a little further into the cove and pumped out at low tide.
Within a day all the electronics were washed down, and the engine was flushed out and running. "The whole key is if you can get the engine running and warmed up, it will take care of itself," Mark says. — Michael Crowley
It's a one-stop pilothouse yard;Cordova gillnetters take four
"It's a big thing. Customers come with expectations, and they leave happy," says Doug Alldridge, referring to Yaquina Boat Equipment's well-earned reputation for putting a new pilothouse on an old boat in a quick, efficient and handsome manner.
The latest boat to come in for a pilothouse refit is the 82-foot Jeanoah, a halibut longliner and Pacific cod and blackcod-pot boat out of Alaska. To speed up the process, the Jeanoah had already gone through a stability test between fishing trips in Kodiak.
Those figures were analyzed by Jensen Maritime Consultants in Seattle to figure out what weights needed to be adjusted for stability. When the Jeanoah showed up at the yard in Toledo, Ore., this fall, the pilothouse was in the shop, completed except for interior woodworking. However, a lot of the boat had to be removed before the new house could go on.
The Jeanoah was built at a Gulf of Mexico boatyard in 1970, and "almost all gulf shrimpers that go to Alaska eventually come to rust, corrosion and penetration where they are getting water inside," Alldridge says.
When the crew at Yaquina Boat Equipment cut the front 7 feet off the house, "it weighed nearly 10,000 pounds because they had added so much steel covering up the corrosion," says Alldridge. The rest of the house weighed in at another 9,000 pounds. In contrast, the new aluminum wheelhouse weighs about 8,600 pounds and has more than twice the square footage.
With the house off in mid-October, Alldridge says the boat looked like a canoe. Then the yard constructed a whaleback above the bulwarks and set the new house on that. The benefit of a whaleback design "is that the sides tip in instead of flare out. There's less bow area, less ice, and the fishermen can see buoys a lot easier," Alldridge says.
While she was in Toledo, the Jeanoah had other work done, including a new wear deck. The deck that went down over new stainless steel framing is made up of alternating boards of apitong (a hardwood from Southeast Asia) and composite plastic planks.
The apitong planks have better impact resistance when a 7-foot cod pot is dropped on them, and they provide better traction. The pots slide easier on the plastic planks, and they keep the wood from wearing down.
On a smaller scale, up in Anchorage, Alaska, Reynolds Marine is building four 32-foot aluminum gillnetters for the Cordova salmon fishery and in December will start work on three seine skiffs.
The four gillnetters will all have water jets. Two of the boats will be powered with twin 300-hp Kodiak Marine 6.0 gasoline engines matched up with Hamilton 213 water jets. The remaining two gillnetters will leave the shop with twin 300-hp Yanmar 6LP diesels hooked up to Hamilton 274 water jets.
The Hamilton 213 water jets "are as big as you want to put in with a gas engine," notes Reynolds Marine's Charlie Reynolds. "The gas engines can't handle a bigger jet. They'll fall on their face."
However, because of better torque, the diesels can take a larger diameter water jet.
Reynolds says all four boats should be able to hit 40 knots.
The seine skiffs will also have water jets, but Reynolds says the owners of the boats are still deciding what make of water jet to use. Though it does look like it will be a mix of jets from North American Marine Jet (Traktor Jet) and Ultra Dynamics (UltraJet).
A 19- and a 20-foot skiff will be keel cooled and a 16-foot seine skiff will have raw-water cooling. Reynolds says the benefits of going with raw-water cooling are weight savings, simplicity and cost. And if a skiff isn't being driven up on the back of a seiner, it doesn't need keel cooling.
Reynolds is also building his own net reels and bow rollers. "It's a really stout reel and roller and as lightweight as possible," he says. The reel features a level wind that's belt driven with a Kevlar-reinforced belt, instead of relying on a chain drive. — Michael Crowley
Oyster barge sinks, gets a stern; wooden boat will work all year
Jennings' Boatyard in Reedville, Va., recently completed some major repair work on the Fat Spat, a 33' x 13' 6" wooden barge-style oyster boat. The Fat Spat sank in 2009 while tied to a dock after planking came loose in the stern. The late Francis Haynie of Northumberland County, Va., built the boat in 1976.
Cowart Seafood Corp. of Lottsburg, Va., uses the Fat Spat to carry oyster cages to and from the Coan River oyster grounds. The company also uses the barge to plant seed oysters on private oyster grounds.
To repair the stern, the boatyard's Larry Jennings had to straighten the keelson, which was hogged 14 inches. Jennings pulled the boat on the shore and blocked up all four corners to lift her 4 feet off the ground. He then drilled holes in the bottom of the boat through which he ran a cable that was attached to a 2,000-pound lead weight. Over time the weight straightened the keelson and removed the hog. Then Jennings built three bulkheads to hold the keel in place. He also replanked the sides and the stern with new plywood.
"He did a beautiful job on her," says Lake Cowart, owner of Cowart Seafood. "He brought her back to life. She has pulled a lot of oyster cages for us this summer, and when she sunk I honestly thought it was the end of her.
"The Fat Spat is 33 feet long. We asked [Haynie] for a 36-foot-long barge, but Francis said he could only go 33 feet because that was the length of his garage where he built her inside.
"I asked him how wide he could make her, and he said 'well as wide as my garage,'" Lake says. "He took out a ruler and measured the width of the garage. The boat is 13 feet 6 inches wide, the width of his garage."
Jennings also added 3 inches to the stern. "We installed two new outdrives that required a transom box 4 inches longer," Lake says. "We either had to extend the stern or move the engine ahead, and we didn't have enough room in the boat to do that."
In February 2010, Terry Haydon of Millenbeck, Va., bought a 38' x 12' Deltaville deadrise workboat from a Lewes, Del., clam dredger for oystering in Chesapeake Bay. The Delta Dawn was built in Deltaville, Va., in the 1990s.
After he arrived home he brought the boat to Best Boatyard near Saluda, Va. Haydon then hired boatbuilder Chris Sibley to get the boat in shape for the oyster dredge season that started Oct. 1. Sibley installed six salt-treated bottom planks, replaced some rub rails and washboards, and put new plywood ceiling in the bottom of the boat.
Sibley is the son of well-known boatbuilder Alvin Sibley who still builds a skiff or two. Chris Sibley learned the boatbuilding trade from his father. Working with him on the Delta Dawn was his son, Schuyler, who recently joined the Marines. "I'm teaching him the trade my father taught me," says Chris Sibley. "He has the patience to learn, and when he finishes service I hope he will come back and work with me. He's a lot like my daddy. He's quiet and patient. That's what it takes to learn this trade."
Last year Haydon fished from a 21-foot fiberglass skiff but bought the larger wooden boat so he could carry a four-man crew to the James River to hand tong for oysters when the dredge season ends on Dec. 31.
This October, Haydon was catching his daily limit of 10 bushels of oysters per man on the Rappahannock River using a dredge that's 21 inches wide. "I don't suspect this will last long because there are so many boats working on the public bottom this year," he says. "We'll most likely catch them all up before the season ends."
In the spring he plans to use the Delta Dawn to dredge on private oyster grounds. "We are going to try to work her year-around," Haydon says.
Haydon is optimistic that Chesapeake Bay oysters are making a comeback. That's why he bought the Delta Dawn.
— Larry Chowning
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