A Lobstering Legacy
For Frank Thompson, lobster fishing is a family legacy that spans generations — back to the 1960s, maybe even longer. "My grandfather did it; my wife's great-grandfather did it. I mean, we've been at it for quite a while," recalls Frank. "My boys are the fifth generation." Both Frank and his wife, Heather, run their own lobster boats. Two other boats are captained by their sons, Spencer and Nathan. The boys' grandfather, Gary Stout, is also a lobster fisherman.
With decades of commercial fishing experience, the Thompson family has insight into boats and engines that are well-suited for Maine lobstering. The Thompsons agree that ample horsepower in a compact engine package is a key ingredient for speed, and three family members found that in the lineup of John Deere PowerTech™ marine engines.
In 2015, Gary repowered his 2005 Triple H (named for his daughters Heather, Hilary, and Holly) with a PowerTech 6090SFM85. The 410-kW (550-hp) engine powers the 11-meter (36-foot) boat to an impressive top speed of 30 knots. Frank and Spencer both run new lobster boats powered by the 559-kW (750-hp) 6135SFM85.
Although the Thompsons each work independently on their own boats, Frank says there is a sense of togetherness — a shared passion — that is very satisfying. "We are very lucky that the whole family can do it and make a good living out of it," he adds. "It's really pretty neat, you know; I'm very fortunate."