Boat of the Month: Pinwheel

As a little kid, Tyler McLaughlin would sleep near the front door of his home so his father could not leave to go fishing without him. His parents would promise fishing trips to get him to behave, do his homework and get his chores done. McLaughlin grew up in Rye, N.H., and started fishing on his father’s boat, Pacifier, named as such because it would literally pacify him. Fishing was a family pastime that would eventually turn to McLaughlin’s passion and livelihood.

McLaughlin’s newest boat, the Pinwheel, was purchased from a lobsterman out of Prince Edward Island. The boat only had about 400 hours on it when McLaughlin purchased it. It was not set up to go tuna fishing, so he brought it to Journey’s End Marina in Rockland, Maine, to begin work. Side work, glassing, mounting new equipment and installing the latest technology, were just a few of the things that kept the boat at Journey’s End, and would even bring the boat back for a second round of work.

This is the second boat named Pinwheel for McLaughlin. The name comes from the description of the circling a bluefin tuna does when it approaches the boat — which McLaughlin calls “the death circle.” After fishing the first Pinwheel without a name for a year, McLaughlin and his then-college roommate decided Pinwheel would be a good name, and it has stuck even now that he’s onto his second boat.

“I felt like I had stolen someone else’s boat when I first took it out,” McLaughlin said of the second Pinwheel. “I have so many memories of my old boat. But after fishing it a bit, finally during this past summer it started to feel like mine.”

This is likely because of all the time and energy he put into making this new boat a perfect fit.

His personalization of the boat even extends to inside the wheelhouse, which was extended to make it more comfortable both for McLaughlin’s crew, as well as the camera crew from National Geographic that spends a lot of time onboard filming Wicked Tuna, which McLaughlin has been involved with since 2012. The wheelhouse is adorned with a wallpaper displaying a famous donut pattern that is familiar to Phish fans and is equipped with the latest radio and security technology.

From prop cutout access to a new outside station, McLaughlin has ensured that his comfort, safety, passion and ability to fish hard are complimented and boosted by the boat.

“I designed the boat as a weapon to get as much advantage as I can from it,” he said. “I’ve made do for a long time, and now I’ve had the opportunity to build this boat the way I want.” — Monique Coombs


Homeport: Rye, N.H.

Owner: Tyler McLaughlin

Builder: Provincial Boat Builders, Prince Edward Island

Year Built: 2015

Fisheries: Tuna (bluefin, bigeye and yellowfin), swordfish and commercial striped bass

Hull material: Fiberglass

Length: 45 feet

Beam: 15 feet

Draft: 4.5 feet

Crew capacity: 4

Main propulsion: 705-hp C-12 Cat

Gearbox: Twin Disc 2.54:1 ratio

Propeller: S Bland Nibral, 32″ x 41″

Speed: 24.6 knots loaded

Fuel consumption: 15.8 gallons per hour at 17 knots; 6.8 gallons per hours at 10 knots

Fuel capacity: 700 gallons

Freshwater capacity: 150 gallons

Hold capacity: 5,000 pounds with four below-deck live tanks

Electronics: Three 12-inch Simrad NSS EVO 3 multifunction displays, Simrad Halo 4 open ray radar, Airmar transducers, Seakeeper 6 Gyro Stabilizer, Kohler Marine Generator 9 kW, Lumitec underwater deck lights, three Icom VHFs, 40-foot Hamaguchi Greenstick, Xantrex 3000-watt inverter, Furuno 285 fishfinder, LD Morse lights LED 70,000 lumens

About the author

Monique Coombs

Monique Coombs is the Seafood and Marine Resources coordinator for the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association. She has worked in the fishing industry for a decade, is married to a lobsterman and lives on Orrs Island, Maine.

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