National Fisherman

ATY Northeast

Travelift delivers wheelhouse; historic schooner being rebuilt

The fourth week in March, the 95' x 28' scalloper Concordia was three or four months away from launching at Fairhaven Shipyard Companies in Fairhaven, Mass.

"They are quite a ways along at this point," says Garrett Norton with Farrell & Norton Naval Architects, the outfit that designed the boat and has offices in Fairhaven as well as Newcastle, Maine. "They set the engine in yesterday. It's all plated, bulwarks are all up, the pilothouse is on, and they are working on the rigging."

Speaking of the Concordia's pilothouse, she was installed in a slightly unusual manner. The pilothouse was built separately from the hull, which was constructed within a metal framework covered with heavy-duty vinyl from Big Top Manufacturing in Perry, Fla.

When it came time to put the pilothouse on, the crew at Fairhaven Shipyards took its new Travelift, with a 440-ton lifting capacity, and "drove it over the building, picking up half of it, drove it away and set it down. We picked the pilothouse up with the Travelift, went back over the top [of the boat] and put the wheelhouse on it," says the boatyard's Kevin McLaughlin.

Then they set shipping containers down around the boat and set the structure from Big Top Manufacturing on the containers. The 8-foot height of the containers lifted the covering up enough that the pilothouse fit under it.

The Concordia is being built for Malvin Kvilhaug and will replace a boat of the same name that the Wheeler Shipbuilding Co. of Whitestone, N.Y., built in 1946.

Besides moving a wheelhouse around now and then, the Travelift, which McLaughlin says is the biggest in Massachusetts, has made the boatyard more efficient.

"It's really opened up capabilities for the fishing fleet. It will pick up any dragger that I know and any of the scallop boats we see, and some of the bigger clam boats," he says.

A January 1946 radio announcer caused a lot of grief throughout Canada with the news that the schooner Bluenose had broken up on a reef off of Haiti. To most Canadians the Bluenose was more than a saltbanker out of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, more than just the tormentor of Gloucester, Mass., codfishermen, who were forever trying to best the Bluenose in International Fisherman's Cup races.

With her image struck on the Canadian 10-cent piece and a stamp, this 143-foot schooner, which spent much of her time on Newfoundland's Grand Banks filling her hold with salted cod, was also a kind of statesman. "Her passing is a national sorrow" is how it was put in the Halifax Herald.

The Canadians did what you would expect — they built another Bluenose. Though it took a while, 23 years to be exact, before Bluenose II was launched at Smith and Rhuland in Lunenburg. For another 40-some years she was Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador, traveling to special events and making public cruises.

Rot and decay eventually brought down Bluenose II. "The hull in the stern was hogged more than 3 1/2 feet," says Alan Hutchinson with Covey Island Boatworks.

Covey Island Boatworks along with Lunenburg Industrial Foundry & Engineering and Snyder's Shipyard, three companies common to the Lunenburg area, have formed Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance, a joint-venture company to restore Bluenose II.

The word "restore" doesn't encompass the scope of the project. The 143' x 27' x 15' 10" hull is being completely rebuilt. Though instead of doubled 6" x 8" frames of solid oak and birch, the new frames are built up from laminated layers of angelique.

Laminated angelique will also be used throughout much of the rest of the boat, though the keel, stem, hull and deck planking will be cut from solid angelique timbers.

The interior of Bluenose II was a little more modern than that of the original, but on this boat, "the interior and deck furnishings will more closely resemble the original Bluenose," Hutchinson says.

Like her two predecessors, this rendition of a Grand Banks fishing schooner has caught the public's attention, and many are watching the building on live streaming video (

"People are calling up and wanting to buy coffee and lunch for the workers. One fellow in Montreal has the next 27 Thursdays for coffee and donuts for all the crew," Hutchinson says.
— Michael Crowley

ATY West

Plenty of action at Wash. shop; boatyard returns to gillnetters

Ask Hard Drive Marine owner Tom Day what aluminum commercial fishing boats are being built in his boatshop, and he tells you, "What am I not building would be a shorter list."

And, yes, there is plenty of activity at this Bellingham, Wash., boatshop. On March 30, a 32' x 12' Prince William Sound bowpicker was going in the water. Another bowpicker for Prince William Sound was due to be completed by late April, along with a Bristol Bay-bound 32' x 16' 6" sternpicker with an enclosed flybridge.

The Bristol Bay gillnetter is getting an 18-inch White Water Marine water jet with a 650-hp Scania diesel. One of the Prince William Sound gillnetters will sport a pair of 241 jets from HamiltonJet, along with 315-hp Yanmar diesels. The other one is going with dual HamiltonJet 274s and 370-hp Yanmar engines.

Other boats being built include a slightly smaller — 29' x 11' — crabber going to a Nome, Alaska, fisherman. She'll have twin 135-hp Honda outboards along with an after cabin.

A 40' x 15' salmon tender for Washington's Puget Sound will have a prop and rudder arrangement powered by a 200-hp John Deere. And construction will soon start on a 28' x 10' crabber for Puget Sound and two more Prince William Sound bowpickers.

Hard Drive Marine has made a couple of changes to the way it builds boats, including putting doors in the bulwarks to make it easier to get in and out of the boats.

On gillnetters going to Prince William Sound, where there's a jellyfish problem, "We've increased the jellyfish trough," Day says. The trough runs from port to starboard, is 6 inches deep, 8 inches wide and grated over. "The jellyfish just slide into that and wash out the scuppers," he says.

And all the bowpickers are plumbed for refrigerated seawater, "even if the customer doesn't plan on putting it in," Day says. He notes that it costs the boatshop $200 to $300 to do the work, but if the fisherman later decides he wants RSW and the boat is in Alaska, it could cost several thousand dollars.

In 2001, All American Marine built the Chris K, a 32-foot Bristol Bay bowpicker for Nick Wahl. That was the last Bristol Bay gillnetter to emerge from All American Marine — until this past fall. That's when the Bellingham boatyard built a 32' x 15' 3" x 1' 10" Bristol Bay gillnetter in time for Seattle's Pacific Marine Expo.

Since then All American Marine completed another 32-footer in February for Frank Chambers of Bellingham and is building a third gillnetter.

The strong market for Bristol Bay salmon is the reason All American Marine is getting back into building commercial fishing boats. But the boats under construction now are vastly different from those the yard once built.

The Chris K was a bowpicker built in a pretty traditional fashion with the use of templates and cutting out aluminum plating by hand with a Skilsaw.

The new design is a house-forward sternpicker. It's also a "fully designed and engineered package and uses our CNC cutter to cut out all the parts. Every boat is identical as far as shape and performance. In the old days, two boats were never the same," says All American Marine's Matt Mullet.

Power for the new boats comes from a 650-hp Scania that's paired with a 610 HT Traktor Jet from North American Marine Jet. In a ready-to-go-fishing state she hit 27 knots. With 10,000 pounds aboard it is 11.3 knots, and 9.4 knots with 20,000 pounds.

A Wesmar V2-10M bow thruster is incorporated into the design.

At Jensen Maritime Consultants in Seattle, more than one large longliner is in the design phase. In late March, Jensen Maritime Consultants' Jonathan Parrott couldn't say how many boats or name the owners. What he could say was "they vary in length up to 150 feet, and we are in various stages of discussion with the owners."

One of the designs has proceeded to the extent that "a shipyard is doing structure and lofting. We are trying to get the shipyard ahead of the game," he says.

Part of the design work for the longliners includes trying to develop "different technologies to minimize bycatch and bird kill, which is critical for longlining," Parrott notes.
— Michael Crowley

ATY South

Scalloper launched in Alabama; pound netters like wood skiffs

In 2003 Williams Fabrication in Coden, Ala., completed the 83' x 24' scalloper Vantage for Nelson Fishing of Fairhaven, Mass. At that time, the company's Gregory Kulpinski told the boatyard's Dale Williams that when the mother ship of his fleet, the scalloper Nelson, was to be replaced, he'd call him about building a new scallop boat.

True to his word, when Kulpinski sold the Nelson he called Williams about another scalloper. That ended up being the 98' x 29' scalloper Vanquish, which was completed in March.

The Vanquish is a Williams Fabrication design with a double chine and a bulbous bow that is integrated into the hull form.

The scalloper is powered by a 1,100-hp Caterpillar 3508 working through a ZF W4610 marine gear with a 5.63:1 reduction, which turns a five-blade Rolls-Royce 82" x 66" open prop on a 6-inch Aquamet stainless-steel shaft.

Williams says the boatyard fabricated "a fish-tail or airplane-wing-shaped rudder" for the scalloper. He says this style of rudder is shaped to better direct water flow, which gives the boat extra degrees in a turn. "I can get 50-degree turns out of my rudder, whereas most get 35- to 40-degree turns."

The Vanquish will carry approximately 18,000 gallons of fuel and 8,000 gallons of fresh water. The fish hold has 5,300 cubic feet.

For dockside maneuvering, the skipper of the Vanquish can take advantage of a 22-inch bow thruster from Speedy Marine Supply, which is powered by a 110-hp hydraulic motor. A 450-hp Caterpillar 3406E engine powers the hydraulics.

Electrical power comes from three John Deere generators: two water-cooled 65-kW units and one air-cooled 30-kW genset.

The Vanquish has the latest Furuno transducer, an 80-kHz model that goes with the Wide Angle Sonar Seafloor Profiler, or WASSP as it is called. This multibeam sonar system was developed by a New Zealand company, and Furuno is distributing the product. (See "The ocean floor in high def," NF April '11, p. 58) It is the second WASSP unit to go on a fishing boat in this country.

In fact, it's so new that the transducer didn't come with a manufactured housing, says Williams. The boatyard built a custom housing from 3/8-inch steel.

Albert Carlton builds 14- to 16-foot wooden skiffs in his garage in Urbanna, Va. He sells his boats to commercial fishermen and recreational boaters. The skiffs are used in the pound-net fishery where fishermen like to have at least one small, light skiff with a low-powered outboard for setting pound-net poles and then use the boat as an auxiliary skiff.

Commercial blue-crab fishermen use Carlton's skiffs in the bay's dip-net fishery.

A skiff's stem is shaped from either white oak or pressure-treated pine cut from a 4" x 8" board. A galvanized eyebolt with an 8-inch shank is used as a mooring pin and is fastened to the stem or cutwater as Carlton calls it. The mooring pin goes through the stem and an inside false stem. A knee bolted to the inside stem gives the entire bow added support.

Carlton installs a breast hook, which serves as decking and runs a little ways back from the bow. The deck provides a covered space for storing rope, lifejackets and other gear.

A 2" x 4" keelson runs the inside length of the boat. On the bottom is a 1" x 4" keel.

Chine logs and shear clamps run the length of the boat and are cut from North Carolina white cedar. Ribs are 2" x 2" pressure-treated pine and are about 18 inches apart. For added support, the spacing is closer the nearer to the bow the ribs are. There are eight transverse ribs in a 14-foot skiff.

Each plank on the bottom and sides is a single length of 1" x 6" pine. The planks are fastened with 1 1/2-inch silicon-bronze screws.

The skiff's square stern is made from two 2" x 8" pine boards and supported by a knee similar to the one supporting the stem. All wood used in the skiff is treated with Woodlife CopperCoat green wood preservative.
— Larry Chowning

Inside the Industry

The Center for Coastal Studies recently announced that Owen Nichols, Director of the Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Fisheries Research Program, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the John Annala Fishery Leadership Award by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. 

Read more ...

Cummins  announced the opening of a new Alaska service location on Kodiak Island last week that will serve as a service and support location for commercial marine applications.

Read more ...
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