P.E.I. boat slips into Maryland; scalloper tests powder coating

On Canada's Prince Edward Island, Hustler's Fiberglass Boats in Bloomfield recently completed a new mold for their 44-foot 6-inch hull. The new hull is wider across the transom by 14 inches, making it 14 feet 9 inches. The keel is slightly narrower to bring more solid water to the prop and thus more speed, and the bow has larger spray rails to deflect water.

"It just gives you more room if you are moving gear. More room under the floor and more room on top of the floor," says Jamie Hustler, the boatshop's owner. He adds that even with the increased beam, the hull is guaranteed to have a volume measurement less than 5 tons, which is what the Jones Act requires to bring a Canadian boat into the United States.

One of the first boats out of the mold went to Derrick Hoy, an Ocean City, Md., scalloper. On deck, Hoy uses a Pullmaster winch, powered by a pump on the transmission, to haul in his scallop dredge.

In the engine compartment is a 580-hp Caterpillar diesel, which, Hustler says, produces enough power to push the scalloper along at 22.5 knots.

By the end of January, three more of the new 44-footers were under construction.

In Maine, Wesmac in Surry has a 46-foot lobster boat about halfway completed. The boat has an 853-hp Caterpillar C15, an engine rating that yard owner Steve Wessel notes, "is new. Before, it only had 800 horsepower."

There's also a 42-footer going to Old Saybrook, Conn. The owner is sticking with an old standby for power, a 650-hp Detroit Diesel 8-92 that was rebuilt at a race shop.

A 50-footer is going to a lobster pound in Harpswell, Maine, and there are two 42-foot and a pair of 46-foot hulls to start. The most interesting boat of those being built is a 54' x 17' 6" purse seiner for a New Jersey fisherman.

"It will look like an old fashioned purse seiner that will be catching pogies for lobster bait," Wessel says.

The main engine will be a 900-hp Lugger 6170, which Wessel describes as "a big old dragger engine. It's 5 feet tall and 7,000 pounds." Work started on the boat in December, and it will be launched next summer.

In Fairhaven, Mass., D.N. Kelley & Son has the 68-foot Challenger hauled out for bottom work. The boat is being converted from a dragger to a scalloper.

"She's having a Kort nozzle put on, bulbous bow and keel cooler," says Charlie Quinn, the boat's owner. He says a short boat acts kind of quirky in rough water, and the bulb will keep the bow from going down so far in the water.

The boat has been repowered with "a new Deutz package," Quinn says, and part of that deal is the addition of the new Fernstrum keel cooler. "A keel cooler is the way to go. Before, she was saltwater-cooled, but that's old school. A keel cooler is what you do now when you upgrade boats."

Quinn figures corrosion won't be a problem with the keel cooler, and there should be less maintenance.

Prior to being hauled out at D.N. Kelley & Son, a shucking house was built on the boat, and the galley and fish hold were gutted and rebuilt. In addition to owning three boats under the name Quinn Fisheries, Quinn has a fabrication shop, East Coast Fabrication in New Bedford, which built the shucking house and did the interior renovations to the boat.

The coatings being applied to the Challenger are possibly a first for the commercial fishing industry. It's a thermal plastic powder coating from Xiom Corp. in West Babylon, N.Y. Actually, only certain areas of the boat's bottom, topsides and fish hold will have the plastic powder coating. The rest will be painted with conventional paints, and then the two will be compared after three months when the boat is hauled.

Andrew Tarbelli, the Xiom distributor in Massachusetts, is in charge of the job.

"We'll do a section of railings and show that ice won't stick to the coating," he says. The same holds true for the bottom, where a Xiom coating with an antimicrobial additive will be used.

The Kort nozzle will also receive a thermal plastic barrier coating that should prevent the wear groove from developing in the nozzle.

"We are looking to revolutionize the industry with antifouling, ice preventive coatings and antislip material for decks," Tarbelli says.
— Michael Crowley


Seiner-longliner is sponsoned; jets power Alaska bowpickers

By April 1, when the Paige Marie steams away from Fashion Blacksmith in Crescent City, Calif., and heads for the Southeast Alaska fishing grounds, she will go out longer and about 7 feet wider than when she arrived. And she'll have gained some much-needed space in the fish hold, engine room and fo'c'sle.

The Paige Marie, which now seines for salmon and longlines for blackcod and halibut, was built as a salmon troller sometime in the 1970s in Fort Bragg, Calif.

"She still had the old gaffing hatch," says Fashion Blacksmith's Ted Long. But that was lost when the last 15 feet of her stern was cut off.

"A lot of tanks were back there and a lot of heavy plate. To make the most efficient use of the space, we cut away all that stuff and added a whole new stern," Long says. The new structure is 3 feet 10 inches longer than the original, pushing the boat's overall length from 54 feet to 57 feet 10 inches.

Besides jettisoning a lot of old steel, the new stern allowed the boatyard to build a large lazarette and steering compartment and new freshwater tanks. The yard added a poop deck in the stern for the seine skiff to land on.

The sponsoning was carried the length of the boat. Instead of adding the sponsons as separate structures and keeping the old side plating, most compartments were pushed out to the sponson plating. The only area that wasn't opened up was one of two fish holds. But in early February, the boatyard and the boat's owner, David Sorenson, who fishes out of Westport, Wash., were talking about opening that up as well.

Of course, removing the original side plating meant the hull had to be stiffened.

"We put in some good scantlings to support it," Long says. Those consisted of 3" x 6" x 5/16" angle iron and 2" x 3" x 1/4" longitudinal framing.

In the engine room, the sponsoned area was split in half. On the port side, wing tanks for fuel were carried out to the new shell plating and then machinery was moved outboard on top of the tanks.

"We gained two 900-gallon-capacity fuel tanks per side in the engine room," Long says.

On the starboard side, hydraulic tanks, and fuel tanks were built out to the edge of the sponson. Refrigeration equipment and a new 80-kW genset went on the tanks. And new refrigeration, hydraulic and steering lines were added.

Long says Sorenson was reluctant to rip out the fo'c'sle because he had recently "redone it with lots of nice, fancy woodwork." But when he realized how much space could be gained up forward, the woodwork and shell plating was removed from the stem to the new engine room bulkhead. The bulkhead gained 2 feet per side.

Instead of gaining access to the area via a small escape hatch and ladder on the port side, now there's a full stairway into the fo'c'sle with a watertight doorway leading into the engine room.

In Mount Vernon, Wash., Petrzelka Brothers is building two 30-foot fiberglass bowpickers for Cordova fishermen. One will sport a pair of 340-hp gasoline engines hooked up to Hamilton water jets. The other will have a single 460-hp Caterpillar C7 diesel turning an Ultrajet water jet.

"The gas setup is cheaper but a little more expensive to operate and won't last as long," says the boatyard's Jon Petrzelka. The owner of the diesel-powered boat will spend more money up front for the engine, but it will last longer and be more economical to run, Petrzelka says.

The boats will have insulated fish holds and accommodations for one person. Both boats will be completed by the end of March.

Petrzelka Brothers also is rebuilding a Bristol Bay gillnetter that sank when the propeller inspection hatch came off in the lazarette. The boat has been gutted and is being put back together, and much of the electrical and hydra
ulics are being replaced. The engine was rebuilt and a new transmission installed.

Petrzelka says another Bristol Bay gillnetter "had some corrosion and was getting some new bottom skins and being modernized."

The crew at Petrzelka Brothers also goes salmon fishing in the spring. But as far as having time to work on their own boats, Petrzelka says, "We just use them."
— Michael Crowley


Historic Va. railway still busy; octogenarian recalls ark layout

In January, the Estelle Leonard was hauled out at Chesapeake Marine Railway in Deltaville, Va. The 59' 9" x 22' 3" x 7' 1" Chesapeake Bay buy boat was built in 1927 by Jabez Tyler of Cambridge, Md. Recently, she has been working out of Crisfield, Md., hauling and planting seed oysters for the state of Maryland.

"We hauled her so some folks from New York state, who are prospective buyers, could look at her bottom," says yard manager Steve Price. "Her bottom is in excellent shape, but her decks need some attention."

Chesapeake Marine Railway is the new name for what was Deagle's Boatyard. Rick and Jon Farinholt of Richmond, Va., the boatyard's new owners, changed the name.

Located on Fishing Bay, the boatyard has a long history as a railway. Linwood Price started it in the 1920s. It picked up the name Deagle's Boatyard when Lee Deagle purchased the business in 1934 and turned it into a major haul-out facility between Baltimore, Md., and Norfolk, Va.

Some famous Chesapeake Bay sailing vessels gave up their masts, booms, centerboards and sails to become motor-powered boats at Deagle's.

At the yard in January was the F.D. Crocket, one of three motor-powered log boats over 55 feet left on the bay. The boat was undergoing a survey, and a list was being made of work that needs to be done for her owner, the Deltaville Maritime Museum in Deltaville, Va. Rick Farinholt says volunteers will do some of the repair work, but major projects will be handled by the boatyard.

Traveling father and son boatbuilders Alvin and Chris Sibley are doing major repair work on the 42-foot oyster boat Honey. Shores and Ruark of Urbanna, Va., owns the Honey. It is used in Shores and Ruark's aquaculture oyster growing program that uses cages to grow the oysters, as well as to dredge them.

Many boats dredge off the stern, but the Honey tows the dredge from a boom and uses the boom to raise and lower oyster cages. The 42-footer was at Chesapeake Marine Railway because she has been taking on water near the stern, and Shores and Ruark called on the Sibleys for a cure.

"The filler block that holds the rudder needs repair," Alvin Sibley says. "Somebody had drilled a hole to put a small rudder on her. They drilled off to the side and cut into a seam. There was not much we could do with it except rebuild the bottom in that area.

"So we put all new bottom planks around the stern post," he says. "We put four boards on the port side and four more aft of the stern post."

The Sibleys are using 1 3/8-inch yellow pine planking for the bottom. They are also installing a new rudder and shoe iron. The new filler block, was cut out of a 4" x 12" piece of pine.

A horn timber on a Chesapeake Bay deadrise is curved to create a concave stern. It ties the keel and transom together, with the propeller shaft running down through the timber.

The Honey's horn timber is a traditional method of construction that involves fitting the horn timber around the shaft in five different pieces, resulting in leak-prone joints where the shaft log is drilled through the wood.

February's National Fisherman Around the Yards South column noted that Sultana Shipyard in Chestertown, Md., a non-profit business that restores old boats, was working on a Chesapeake Bay ark and was seeking information on what the original interior of an ark was like.

Arks were a workingman's idea of a houseboat. Maryland fishermen on the Eastern Shore lived in them while fishing away from home.

Maxwell B. Moffett, 87, of Ocean City, Md., responded to the request for information. He said the inside of the ark's house he remembered from his childhood was 16 to 18 feet long. There were two bunks in the back. On the right side was a hinged table under a window and a very small wood cook stove in front of a second window. The ark had two windows. An oil lamp provided light, and he recalled eating dried beans and homemade bread that was made on top of the stove or in a small oven.
— Larry Chowning

Have you listened to this article via the audio player?

If so, send us your feedback around what we can do to improve this feature or further develop it. If not, check it out and let us know what you think via email or on social media.

A collection of stories from guest authors.

Join the Conversation