John’s Bay Boat Co., in South Bristol, Maine, launched the 46' x 16' Twilight II for a Friendship, Maine, lobsterman on Oct. 16. It was the 75th wooden boat Peter Kass has built since opening the shop in 1983. Somewhat over 50 of those are lobster boats.
The Twilight II, like other Kass boats, is cedar planked with oak frames. It is loosely based on a Kass-built half model that was used to build the Twilight, a boat Kass built 25 years ago that the Twilight II’s owner had bought from another fisherman. The Twilight measures 40' x 13'.
Twilight II is “huskier and the beam-to-length ratio is more,” Kass says. “The old Twilight was an 18,000 to 20,000-pound boat. This is 40,000 pounds, double the displacement.” Twilight II has 800-hp C-18 Cat, while “Twilight had a 9-liter John Deere with half the horsepower.” Twilight II also has a 6-kW Northern Lights generator that’s “mostly for lights. Now they are all nuts about the huge lights up on the mast.”
The Twilight II’s split wheelhouse is built with what Kass calls “the standard setup,” which means varnished raised-panel cupboards and drawers in the wheelhouse. Up forward are bunks and storage spaces. Kass says it could be an overnight boat, “but I don’t think that’s his plan.”
Behind the wheelhouse the deck is composed of plywood covered with fiberglass under a layer of rubber bridge tiles. Lobster boats are still being built at John’s Bay Boat Co. with seamed and caulked Douglas Fir decks, but, Kass says, “rubber decking is becoming the thing.”
Beneath the deck are two lobster tanks that should store a combined weight of 2,700 pounds and two fuel tanks holding a total of 550 gallons.
After the Twilight II was launched, work began on a lobster boat for a Stonington, Maine, fisherman. “This is a different approach than the rest of the lobster boat world,” Kass notes. “This guy’s after fuel economy. She’s 47' x 14' narrow.”
In the beginning of the design process, the boat ‘s owner wanted a boat like the one John’s Bay Boat Co. built for his uncle. That measures 44' x 14' with a 450-hp 9-liter Cummins and cruises at 16 knots while using very little fuel.
Then the boat’s owner started thinking he needed a little more space for traps and started talking a bigger boat. “He kept stretching it. We quit at 47,” said Kass. She should be launched in late summer or early fall.