The East Side Boat Shop in Machiasport, Maine, launched the “Yes Dear,” a 41' x 15' 8" Libby with a 1,000-hp FPT, for a Rockland, Maine, lobsterman. Frank Coffin, the shop’s owner, figures the FPT will easily get the “Yes Dear” to 32 or 33 knots.
He describes the “Yes Dear” as a “standard plain-Jane lobster boat. Nothing fancy.” It is composite constructed with a split wheelhouse, V-berths forward, an open stern with a tailgate, but no lobster tanks or rope lockers.
The East Side Boat Shop has the Libby 34, 38, 41 and 47 molds. Coffin has found the Ernest Libby designed hulls to be very good at carrying a lot of weight. The owner of a 47 Libby that Coffin built a few years back reported that with 220 lobster traps aboard, along with all its trawl ropes and bay ropes and full fuel tanks, she was able to cruise at 15 to 16 knots. The boat’s owner told Coffin, “I’d like to see any of these other hulls go that fast with that much weight in them.”
Coffin attributes the Libby weight-carrying capacity to the hull’s rocker. “The Libby’s got a different type of rocker in her. They don’t jump up; they just rise as they are going along. They ride their weight more on the middle of the boat.”
The fourth week in June, another 41 Libby was nearly completed for a lobsterman on Bailey Island, Maine. She’s outfitted a bit more extensively than the “Yes Dear,”with lobster tanks, a rope locker, aluminum framed windows, stainless steering and an on-demand hydraulic system. A 700-hp Volvo should have her cruising at 28 to 29 knots.
In the yard outside the shop is a hull that will be a plug for a new 41 Libby mold. This one will have a 10-inch deeper keel to allow for a bigger wheel and 5- to 7-inch-higher sides. “These guys are running such horsepower now,” says Coffin, “that you can’t get a wheel under her. The average now is 800 to 1,000 hp. You don’t need it.”
Maine’s lobster boat racing passed the halfway mark with races at Stonington on July 11, Friendship on July 18 and Harpswell on July 25; 142 boats showed up for the three races. More boats would undoubtedly have come were it not for heavy rain and choppy racing conditions at Friendship and Harpswell.