Oceanville Boatworks in Stonington, Maine, launched the Katherine Pennington, a  49' 11' x 19' 7" H &H on April 26 for Abe Philbrook, a lobsterman from Islesford, on Maine’s Little Cranberry Island. 

Although with its three-foot aluminum beavertail stern extension, the Katherine Pennington measures 53 feet on deck. Beyond that extension, “quite a bit of customized work went into the boat,” said Oceanville Boatworks Dale Haley. 

A bare hull arrived at Oceanville Boatworks with 10 inches of sheer, but Philbrook felt that was too much, so the sheer “was cut back to 5 inches,” said Haley, “and it has a little bit wider flare on it, more for the spray, to sheer it away from the windows.”  

At the hauling station that flare was cut into, creating a kind of cutaway for bringing traps aboard. Then the H&H cabin top on the pilot house was removed and a custom cabin top built “with the visors where he wanted them and with a lip around the edge,” said Haley. Up forward a bow thruster was installed to help “get away from the dock. It’s not unusual for a boat of that size.”

Composite construction is used throughout the Katherine Pennington with 1-inch Coosa boards for the deck covered with lengths of 4’ x 3/8” Mega Rubber decking. Mega Rubber also covers the pilothouse deck and was run down to the V-berths. It’s a rubber matting Haley has put on 40 to 45 boats.

Below the rubber matting and Coosa board deck, a 1,400-hp MAN, bought from Billings Diesel & Marine Service in Stonington, is matched up with a Twin Disc gear,  3-inch shafting and a 40-inch wheel.

There are also two self-bailing tanks, each holding 10 lobster crates, and two floodable tanks, also holding 10 crates each that were fabricated by KB Welding in Southwest Harbor. Hydraulics and wiring throughout the boat was installed by Long  Cove Marine in nearby Deer Isle.

Under the engine and tanks, Philbrook wanted “shiny bilges so he could clean them easily.” The key to that was something Haley admits he initially frowned on. It required two coats of Interlux epoxy paint along with two coats of primer. Now, Haley admits, “it’s pretty nice, and a lot easier to clean than only roll-on gelcoat that stains and you can’t get it clean.” 

When the Katherine Pennington left Stonington, it marked nine lobster boats built consecutively at Oceanville Boatworks, but it also marked the end of that string, for the next boat to be finished off is a 44-foot pleasure cruiser. 

“There have been no bites on lobster boats since all this stuff that’s been going down since last year,” Haley says. He’s referring to talks concerning the potential of whale entanglement in lobster gear and possible effects of offshore wind power projects on the lobster fishery.

Additionally, the price for lobsters was down last year, while fuel and bait prices “were sky high.” In the meantime, Haley is adamant: “We’d rather do lobster boats.”

The 50’ x 11’ Katherine Pennington features composite construction, rubber deck matting and a 1,400-hp MAN. Oceanville Boatworks photo.

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Michael Crowley is the former Boats & Gear editor for National Fisherman.

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