H&H Marine in Steuben, Maine, should really set up a boatshop on the West Coast. Ideally it would be somewhere around San Francisco, because that’s where they’ve sent several boats. The next one being built for the San Francisco area is an Osmond 42 with a 17' 6" beam that will be finished off as a crabber with a 750-hp John Deere for power.

The 42-footer may be working another fishery, as well as crabbing, because the owners are “talking about putting a net reel on,” says H&H Marine’s Bruce Grindal. The 42-footer should be leaving H&H Marine at the end of the year.

Not counting that boat, H&H Marine has sent about 10 fishing boats to the West Coast, with at least one West Coast fisherman satisfied enough with the Osmond 46 he had been fishing that he took delivery of a second one in early 2019. The most recent West Coast delivery was an Osmond 46' x 17' 6" crabber with a 700-hp Volvo that also went to the San Francisco area.

Closer to home in New England, H&H Marine is currently building an Osmond 50' x 19' 2" kit boat that will lobster out of Gloucester, Mass. An Osmond 47 was lengthened by three feet at the stern to bring it out to 50 feet. “When he brings the engine up, we are going to put the Volvo engine in, shaft, rudder and a few bulkheads,” says Grindal. The hull is being built with an open stern that will receive a hydraulic tailgate. H&H has built about five 50-footers.

A 32' x 11' 3" Osmond rod and reel tuna boat is going to Montauk, N.Y., with a 400-hp John Deere by the end of October. That will follow an Osmond 42 rod and reel tuna boat with a 750-hp John Deere that went to the Gloucester area.

Racing time. Three boats idle up to the starting line, hesitate until the starter’s flag drops, then three throttles are slammed down and the scream of diesels ramped to their maximum tells anyone within earshot it’s Maine Lobster Boat Racing Season, the time of the year when the last thing a lobsterman is thinking about is hauling traps. They are putting everything on the line — including the life of their engine — to be first across the finish line.

It was June 27 and the 17th contest of the day at Rockland, the first race of the 2020 season. Sixty-two boats showed up to take part in at least one of 29 races starting with Class A Skiffs, 16 feet and under with outboards up to 30-hp, operator 18 years and under. The day would end with the Fastest Lobster Boat race.

The three boats at the starting line waiting for the flag to drop were Misty, a Crowley Beal 33 with a 650-hp Scania; Maria’s Nightmare, a Mussel Ridge 26 with a 600-hp Cummins and Sea Borne, a Duffy 35 with a 610-hp Cummins. It was the Class I (551 to 700 hp, 28 to 35 feet) race. Misty has been the boat to beat for a number of years, but this season may be different because Maria’s Nightmare is now eligible for Class I after its Cummins engine replaced the 2,500-hp Chevy she ran with last year.

The challenge Sea Borne faces was evident when Maria’s Nightmare crossed the finish line first at 46.8 mph, Sea Borne was in second place, two boat-lengths back.

The fastest time recorded at Rockland was 49 mph by Blue Eyed Girl, a Morgan Bay 38 with a 900-hp Scania in Diesel Class K (702 to 900 hp, 28 feet and over). Blue Eyed Girl also won the Diesel Free For All at 48.4 mph.

The next two races were on June 28 at Bass Harbor and July 4 at Moosabec Reach. Forty-nine boats came to Bass Harbor and 81 to Moosabec Reach. A lot of boats will be at all seven races, ending on Aug. 16 in Portland. A boat that’s done well over the first three races is Black Diamond, a Holland 32, with 454 Chevy. She enters Gas Class C (V8, 376 to 525 cid, 28 feet and over). At Rockland, Bass Harbor and Moosabec Reach she won her class races, hitting 35 mph at Moosabec Reach and won the Gasoline Free For All at Bass Harbor.

The fastest time for all three events was registered by Wild, Wild West, a West 28 with a 1,050-hp Isotta Fraschini. At Moosabec Reach she took the Diesel Free For All at 52.8 mph and later the Recreational Lobster boat Race at an estimated 62 mph.

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

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