A true lobster boat is designed with a full keel defined by a line from the base of the stem to the base of the rudder shaft, and on a fiberglass vessel, it is defined by the mould. These vessels are constructed from wood, fiberglass, and sometimes aluminum. According to the official Lobster Boat Racing Association rules, in addition to the engine and other necessities, all boats must also have a hauler.

It’s rare to come across a New England lobster boat that is not outfitted with Hydro-Slave gear, especially in the company’s home state of Maine. Hydro-Slave is a brand of heavy-duty pot-hauling equipment and replacement parts for commercial fishing boats and trawlers.

For over 40 years, they have mainly focused on haulers of many different sizes and life capacities. Unlike many other hauler brands, Hydro-Slave fits replaceable wear liners and seals on their main plates to protect the motor shaft from salt water. The average fisherman takes just minutes to replace these parts at or off the dock.

Hydro-Slave plates available at Mooney Boats Ltd., overseas in Ireland. Photo by Mooney Boats Facebook

“It’s easy to get parts for their gear, the set-up is simple, and they are a staple within the hydraulic market,” shared Cody Stewart, a commercial fisherman out of Portland, Maine.

Hydro-Slave haulers are American-made, right in the coastal town of Rockland, Maine, and can be found at New England boating stores such as Coastal Hydraulics, Inc., Hamilton Marines, and reach as far as Alaska and Seattle Marine & Fishing Supply Co. Advertised as the “world’s largest pot hauler manufacturer,” Hydro-Slave pot haulers are available from 8” to 17” with an aluminum backplate, polished stainless backplate, and all stainless hardware.

In addition to haulers, Hydro-Slave offers superblocks, power steering, and wheels. Hydro-Slave can be found at 17 Gordon Dr., Rockland, ME, or through your local boating or hydraulic store.

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Carli is a Content Specialist for National Fisherman. She comes from a fourth-generation fishing family off the coast of Maine. Her background consists of growing her own business within the marine community. She resides on one of the islands off the coast of Maine while also supporting the lobster community she grew up in.

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