Written by Michelle Gayton
Fla. fisherman gets Maine boat;
'Tunamania' has wedding angle
At the end of July, General Marine in Biddeford, Maine, pulled a 26' x 9' 6" hull out of its mold for Florida swordfisherman Jackson Coate.
When the boat is finished, it will feature a center pilothouse. General Marine hadn't built a boat with a center pilothouse before, though "we have a mold for one and have had blueprints for this for six years," says the boatshop's Stacey Raymond. "I'm eager to do one."
Raymond feels it's a necessity to work with blueprints when planning out a boat with a customer. "I don't want to do it without a set of plans. There will be changes, but it eliminates 80 percent of the guesswork."
The pilothouse will be open on the backside. "You can close it off, but with the engine below you get into issues of heat and sound," Raymond says. The engine is a D4 Volvo Penta rated at 250 horsepower.
Raymond favors a pilothouse along a boat's centerline far more than one offset to one side. "We did one six years ago, it's a bad idea. Whenever you get anything over to one side, you change all the hydrodynamics; you screw the boat up."
Coate will be able to slide fish past either side of the pilothouse to a fully insulated 7' x 4' iced fish hold in front of the house.
Another General Marine hull is in the process of being finished off; only this is a 38-foot Northern Bay at Dana's Boat Shop on Maine's Westport Island.
It is one of the earlier Northern Bay 38s designed by Spencer Lincoln in Brooklin, Maine. "She's got a lot of the lines like the old Duffy had, with tumble home in the stern. It gives them a lot of character," says the boat shop's Dana Faulkingham. He's building the boat for Steve Peaslee, his son-in-law, in nearby Damariscotta.
Prior to that, Dana's Boat Shop completed the 42' x 14' 6 1/2" lobster boat Long Haul. On launch day she was constantly hitting 23.5 knots, says Faulkingham.
Wesmac Custom Boats in Steuben, Maine, built the fiberglass hull and shipped it to Dana's Boat Shop with a 650-hp John Deere, shafting and rudder installed, along with a molded top.
The lobster boat was built for Hugh Bowen of Freeport, Maine, to replace a 40-foot Young Brothers. With his new lobster boat, Bowen "was looking to make the next step," says Faulkingham.
That certainly means a newer and bigger boat and one that can pack a lot of lobsters beneath its deck — eight to 10 crates, Faulkingham figures. A hydraulic Pacer pump keeps the live-well lobster tank full, while another Pacer pump serves for the wash-down hose and deck tank.
The deck was constructed with about 60 percent plywood and pressure treated framing, and 40 percent composite materials.
He used the composite materials around the in-deck lobster tank and a locker that's beneath the hauler to catch the pot warp as it flakes off the hauler and drops below deck. The composites materials "are for strength and trying to make it completely watertight where we put the penetrations in," says Faulkingham.
In the meantime, Wesmac Custom Boats has been "very busy," says the boatyard's Steve Wessel. They've got a 46-footer going to Vinalhaven, Maine, lobsterman Harold Pool, two boats going to salmon fishermen in Alaska, and a kit boat to be trucked to Santa Barbara, Calif., and finished off as a longliner.
There was also a spell of what Wessel calls "tunamania," brought on by a good tuna season in 2011. They delivered a 42-foot tuna boat to a Massachusetts fisherman.
A 46-foot tuna boat was expected to be launched in August, and in June the 46-foot tuna boat Hazel Browne — lengthened from 42 feet — went to Browne Trading Co., in Portland, Maine.
The Hazel Browne was a boat Wessel was paying particular attention to. Linda Greenlaw, who was portrayed in the movie "Perfect Storm" and has written several books, skippers the boat.
In September, Wessel and Greenlaw were to be married, so Wessel knows he best have gotten it right.
— Michael Crowley
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