Written by Jen Finn
Holland tries V-drive on tuna; now's a good time to repower
The last week in February, Holland's Boat Shop in Belfast, Maine, was loading a 38-foot lobster boat onto a trailer and sending it to Marblehead, Mass., where her owner, Matt Finn, will finish it off. And, in early April, another truck-and-trailer rig is due at Holland's to pick up a 32-foot tuna boat and haul it to David Webber in York, Maine.
What's a little different about the 32-foot tuna boat is the V-drive marine gear on the end of a 425-hp Cummins. Holland's Boat Shop has put a lot of V-drives in both 32- and 38-foot pleasure boats but not in a fishing boat prior to Webber's.
"It's a clever idea if you want the engine out of the cabin but don't want it sitting in the middle of the cockpit," says the shop's Glenn Holland.
The engine could have been set up behind the main bulkhead in a normal manner with the gear facing aft. That would have gotten it out of the main cabin, but the shaft angle would have been too steep.
"But spin it around and run it through a V-drive, and you can get it behind the bulkhead without that steep angle," Holland says.
The V-drive gear is from ZF with a 1.77:1 reduction and bolted to the Cummins engine, which is set up a little aft of amidships. Holland, who knows a thing or two about how an engine's location can affect a boat's speed after spending years on Maine's lobster-boat-racing circuit, says, "She ought to go real good."
Webber's 32-footer was in the back of the shop.
In front of it was Finn's 38-footer, which also has a 425-hp Cummins engine, in this case, hooked up to the shaft in the traditional fashion.
The house on Finn's boat was moved 2 feet farther forward than normal, giving him 23 feet of deck space.
A little more than an hour down the road, in Friendship, is Wesley Lash's Lash Brothers Boat Yard, where several local fishermen have their lobster boats in for repowering jobs. Two of them are 37-foot MDI-built boats.
Randle Lee owns one of the 37-footers; he brought it to Lash's when the after cooler let go, sending water into the engine.
"Those engines don't like salt water," Lash notes.
So the 430-hp Cummins engine, with about 7,500 hours on it, came out of the boat, and a 500-hp Caterpillar C9 replaced it. Lash says the C9 came out of a yacht.
A dripless bearing was installed, and the engine was moved back 18 inches because of a difference in transmission sizes between the two engines. The split wheelhouse had to be altered to fit the Cat, which is about 6 1/2 inches higher than the Cummins.
When the Pitts clutch came off Jonathan Murphy's 375-hp John Deere, the crankshaft got all twisted. So out came the Deere and in went a 430-hp Cummins.
Denny Benner's Holland 38 was slated to arrive at Lash Brothers Boat Yard to have its Caterpillar 3208, with a little over 12,000 hours, hauled out and a Caterpillar C9 dropped in.
It wasn't a repower, but Lash was also working on a 37-foot Repco, built in 1979. The boat was getting a new winterback and being painted above the waterline with Alexseal, a paint that Lash says is supposed to be an improvement over Awlgrip and was, in fact, developed by the guy who first came out with Awlgrip.
Lash's assessment of the newer product: "Oh, it's paint."
Before the Alexseal went on the lobster boat, it took plenty of filling and sanding to get the three-decades-old fiberglass hull fair again. As Lash observed, "Nothing ever had been done to it." — Michael Crowley
Crabber is set up for trawling; aluminum yard marks 2 years
The 143-foot Arctic Fury was tied up to Hansen Boat Co.'s dock in Everett, Wash., at the end of February, with a list of things to be done over the next two-and-a-half months.
The Arctic Fury has a mud-boat-like hull and was built in the Gulf of Mexico, though Hansen Boat Co.'s Rick Hansen doesn't think she spent any time in the Gulf of Mexico's oil patch; instead she worked some fisheries in the South Pacific before being brought north by Seattle's Fury Group.
The Arctic Fury is currently set up to go after only crab. That limits how much the boat can fish and how much revenue she can bring in, so the boat's owners brought her to Hansen to rig her up as a dragger and midwater trawler and make her able to work charters. "The boat is large and has a lot of accommodations," Hansen says, "so it's set up nicely for the charter type of thing."
Ultimately, he thinks the goal is to have the boat midwater trawling for whiting off the Washington coast.
The 143-footer already has a ramp under the crab deck for hauling a net aboard. The crew at Hansen Boat Co. has to open that up and put in a door and a trawl alley. A shelterdeck will be built on the port side, and the deck crane will be stiffened.
Below deck there will be some rearranging of refrigeration equipment to free up space in case the Arctic Fury picks up some blackcod quota.
"They are trying to cover all the bases and keep the boat as flexible as they can," Hansen says.
In the engine room, which Hansen describes as "looking really good" when the boat came in, work has to be done to make the circulation pumps more accessible. Currently the pumps are jammed into a corner, and when they need to be serviced, piping must be removed.
"We'll move a bulkhead in the engine room and redo that area," Hansen notes.
The Arctic Fury's owners want the boat to be re-measured for tonnage, so a couple of doors might be added down below and some bulkhead and framing work done.
Also in at Hansen Boat Co. was the 120-foot Sea Ern, a house-aft crabber built in the 1970s that currently is used as a salmon tender. She had her fish hold sandblasted and painted, rotten piping in the engine room replaced and a new railing installed.
In Port Angeles, Wash., Chad Crozier spent 10 years working for Armstrong Marine, helping to build nearly 100 aluminum boats, before he decided to go out on his own two years ago. In that time, several boats have been built at Crozier Craft, including a couple of commercial boats, and Crozier has repaired fishing boats.
One was the 25-foot fiberglass bowpicker sitting in the yard at Crozier Craft in February. Now she sports a new aluminum house instead of the cramped fiberglass-and-plywood structure that had been on her deck.
One of the fishing boats built at Crozier Craft is a 28' x 10' 6" dive boat/ shellfish harvester for Dustin Schmitt in Port Angeles. The other is the Xulsalt'sa, a 25' x 10' 6" bowpicker built for Robert Moss Jr. of Neah Bay. Crozier designed both boats.
With its single 225-hp Honda outboard mounted on the stern, the Xulsalt'sa has a top speed of 30 knots and cruises comfortably at 26 knots.
The aluminum hull has a reverse chine and variable deadrise, starting out with 35 degrees at the bow and finishing up with 15 degrees at the transom. Inside are two watertight bulkheads, and since it's outboard and not an inboard engine with a gear and shafting that's powering the Xulsalt'sa, enough space has been freed up under the deck for a 5' x 10' x 2' fish hold that packs 2,800 pounds.
Originally the boat was to be used for setnetting. But Crozier says Moss now will be putting a gillnet reel on her with a hydraulic package powered by a 9-hp Honda engine that puts out 9 gallons per minute. — Michael Crowley
Clammer is slammed by barge; builder extols virtues of PVC
The clammer Amy Samantha was recently at Jordan Marine Service in Gloucester Point, Va., for extensive repairs. She had narrowly avoided sinking when struck broadside by a loaded barge while anchored and clamming in the James River.
The 44' x 14' clammer is owned by Raymond "Motie" Crowder, also of Gloucester Point.
In the accident, the wheelhouse was dislodged, and decking on the stern was damaged. As part of the repair work, the old wheelhouse came off and a new one was built. It has varnished-mahogany interior trim and new electronics, including a 64-mile radar, GPS and fishfinder, all from Furuno. Marine Electronics Hartfield of Hartfield, Va., installed the electronics.
New electrical wiring and a circuit-breaker panel were installed, as well as hydraulic steering lines and a 6-inch stainless-steel wet exhaust for the Detroit Diesel 8V-71 main engine.
Varnished-mahogany exterior trim and stainless-steel handrails and brass guardrails give the Amy Samantha a yacht-grade touch not usually seen on a Chesapeake Bay clam boat.
The hull has double-planked mahogany sides, 2 inches thick. The bottom planks are 2-inch spruce. Mahogany isn't often seen on a workboat hull, but the wood has held up well over the years, requiring only a coat of linseed oil every season. Francis Smith of Bena, Va., built the Amy Samantha in 1986.
The clamming gear was replaced with new equipment built with 316-grade stainless steel, including the winder and schedule-40 pipe for the mast and gaff.
Building boats out of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is catching on among builders of wooden boats in Chesapeake Bay.
Eric Hedberg at Rionholdt in Glen Allen, Va., builds deadrise and flat-bottom skiffs of PVC. He recently built a 20-foot flat-bottom skiff for a Northern Neck, Va., pound-net fisherman, a 16-foot deadrise crab skiff and a 22-foot sailing skiff, a reproduction of an early 1900s crabbing and gunning skiff used on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Before PVC, there was "wood" for Hedberg. For more than 25 years, he built and repaired wooden schooners, brigantines, skipjacks, skiffs, yachts and workboats. His work encompassed just about anything that could be made out of wood.
For a number of years he owned, used and restored a Chesapeake Bay buy boat built in 1914, originally named the Elsie Lousie.
Hedberg was one of the first on the bay to experiment with PVC as a boatbuilding material. He says that a boat built with PVC "looks like a wood boat. Acts like a wood boat and feels like a wood boat. Has that great ride of a wood boat, but it won't rot, won't absorb water and doesn't have the shrink and swell problems that wood boats do.
"We are building boats out of cellular PVC and modern adhesives that we fully expect to last indefinitely and with a minimum amount of care. The rate of destruction truly is negligible," says Hedberg.
He uses 1-inch-thick sheets of cellular PVC and constructs the boats using a patented process he developed. Hedberg says the boats are impervious to worms, easy to clean and particularly suitable for gillnetting in that there are no ribs to "catch" a net while it is being worked.
Moving on to Virginia's Northern Neck, February was a rough month for the boatbuilding industry as Tiffany Yachts, a boatyard near Burgess, Va., suffered major fire damage on Feb. 2, and Heathsville boatbuilder Francis Haynie died Feb. 9.
Tiffany Yachts builds million-dollar-plus wooden yachts and doesn't seem like a boatyard that would be mentioned in National Fisherman, but, as with many yacht builders, the boatyard's roots go back to commercial fishing boats.
Over 80 years ago, boatbuilder Odis Cockrell opened the yard building deadrise commercial fishing boats. His son, Tiffany, joined him after World War II, and the business expanded around building deadrise workboats for the haul-seine and oyster-dredge fisheries.
The firm switched to building yachts in the 1960s. Randy Cockrell, one of the owners of the business, says the company will rebuild.
Francis Haynie, 81, was building wooden deadrise boats right up till the end for the crab, finfish and oyster fisheries. Haynie has been featured several times in National Fisherman. He was one of the last builders on Chesapeake Bay who cut, milled and cured lumber for his boats. — Larry Chowning
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