Seattle yard puts 3D scanner to use

In late December, Snow & Company delivered a new 50′ x 16′ steel oyster dredge. It’s a Snow & Co. design and the first steel oyster dredge built at the Seattle boatyard.

While the current trend for oyster dredges is to build them in aluminum, Snow & Co.’s Brett Snow says, “The clients wanted steel because they feel it will hold up better. It definitely will be tougher than aluminum.”

The deck is stainless steel, as “oysters wear the paint off a painted deck,” says Snow, and the wheelhouse is aluminum. The main engine is a John Deere 6068, while a John Deere 4045 will power the hydraulics. It will be working in Willapa Bay, Wash.

While work was being completed on the oyster dredge, Snow & Co. was also building three 18′ x 10′ seine skiffs with 225-hp engines for Alaska fishermen. Also under construction is an aluminum wheelhouse for the Tuxedni, a 110-foot steel tender owned by Trident Seafoods. The tender was built in the 1960s, says Snow. “It had a wood wheelhouse, and it’s getting rotten.”

Snow & Co. often goes well beyond the confines of Seattle to work on commercial fishing boats. In the summer of 2016, Brett Snow and four of his crew were on the Russian island Iturup converting Russian boats into seiners, as part of a larger group of Americans, teaching Russian fishermen modern seine fishing.

Before the new year, the Snow & Co. crew took off for King Cove, Alaska, where they spent about a month repairing two purse seiners, including replacing the main engine in one and the auxiliary in the other.

Snow & Co 3D Scanner

The 3D laser captures the surface in millions of points which are used to develop a perfect 3D model.

“We’ve got a crew that likes to do this,” says Snow. “They work three weeks to a month, come home and take three weeks to a month off.”

Snow & Co.’s design department also does some traveling, now that they’ve recently acquired a 3D scanner. That allows them to come to your boat, wherever it may be, do a 3D scan with “a point cloud that picks up millions of points,” says Snow. It basically develops a 3D model of the boat, “so we can design very accurately without taking measurements.”

That’s what they did with the 110-foot tender mentioned above. “We have the point cloud and then designed the wheelhouse to fit on that boat perfectly,” Snow says.

Snow & Co. has sent someone to Florida to scan a boat, three times to Alaska, and a number of boats in the Seattle area. They will also do scanning for other boat yards and designers.

About the author

Michael Crowley

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

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