Maine boatyard finishes off a big 46;
lobsterman goes for proven design
By Michael Crowley
The Haulin’ Ash is big, no doubt about it. “People couldn’t believe how big it was. It was big in the boatshop, but once it got in the water, it was huge,” says Wesley D. Lash.
Lash should know how big Haulin’ Ash is. He built it — well, finished it off — in his boatshop, Lash Brothers Boat Yard in Friendship, Maine, for local lobsterman Jacob Lee. The hull is from Wesmac Custom Boats in Surry, Maine. At 46' x 17' 6" it is the first of Wesmac’s new Super 46s.
Lee is a repeat customer at Lash Brothers Boat Yard. His previous boat was an RP 40 the shop finished off in 2008. “He graduated from high school and a month later stepped into the new RP,” says Lash.
Lee’s new boat has a 750-hp Iveco diesel matched up to a ZF 360 marine gear with a 2.4:1 ratio that spins a 32" x 37" wheel.
Haulin’ Ash is the first boat Lash has completed since taking over the boatshop after his father, Wesley A. Lash, died in March 2013. Lash admits this boat caused him some anxiety. “It was a huge relief to me to see that the top I put on it looked nice.”
It appears he didn’t have anything to worry about, as the split wheelhouse matches up nicely with the hull. The wheelhouse was built using composite materials; the sides are Coosa board, and the top is Corecell. In fact, the yard used composite materials throughout the boat — bulkheads, deck beams, wash rails and deck.
Below the inch-thick deck is a tank that holds 2,000 pounds of lobsters, while on the deck is a 1,000-pound tank. Lash says Lee has put 175 traps on the boat and can probably carry another 25.
Running without a cage over the wheel on her sea trials, the Haulin’ Ash hit 22.3 knots. Besides showing some speed, the Haulin’ Ash is easy to handle. “[Lee] told me it maneuvers better than his 40-foot RP. He can turn better than in the RP,” Lash says.
A bit farther down the Maine coast on Westport Island, the Samantha Anne was launched the last week of June at Dana’s Boat Shop. If Haulin’ Ash is the latest design to emphasize a wide-bodied boat able to pack a lot of traps, the Samantha Anne, a Duffy 35 is a look back at an earlier era.
The 35' x 11' 10" Duffy, built by Atlantic Boat Co. in Brooklin, Maine, was a hugely popular hull for lobstering when it was introduced in 1982. It remained so for a long time but lost ground in recent years to the wider-bodied boats. This is the first Duffy 35 that Dana’s Boat Shop’s Dana Faulkingham has finished off since the late 1990s.
But a Duffy 35 is exactly what York Harbor, Maine’s, Matt Donnell desired. He wanted something in the 35-foot range that would be efficient. Then there was the family connection: “My father finished off [a Duffy 35] in the dooryard in 1983. He fished it for 15 years. He made himself with that boat.”
Faulkingham built the deck “like we did years ago with pressure treated framing and a 3/4-inch plywood deck that’s glassed on top and then given a coating of nonskid and gelcoat.”
The 400-hp John Deere engine is coupled to a Twin Disc marine gear with a 2.5:1 reduction and spins a 26" x 21" four-blade prop. The Deere barely sticks above the deck, but instead of leaving a low engine box, Faulkingham brought it up 33 inches and turned it into a workbench.
He also cut the wash rails back, allowing Donnell to store five 4-foot traps across the stern.
Faulkingham, whom Donnell describes as an “old school true craftsman,” laid the deck out “so there’s a good amount of room.” As a result, Donnell figures the Samantha Anne can “comfortably carry 75 traps.”
The Samantha Anne has a top speed of 23 knots, cruises at 16 to 17 knots, and says Donnell, turns on a dime. “I can’t believe the way she handles. I barely have to turn the wheel.”
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Innovative design nears completion;
Ore. yard widens 26-year-old dragger
By Michael Crowley
A lot of people are waiting to see what emerges from Dakota Creek Industries next March. That’s when the Anacortes, Wash., shipyard is due to launch the freezer longliner Blue North for the company of the same name in Seattle.
The hull of the 191' 5" x 42' Blue North was about three-quarters complete in late July. “Two-thirds of the hull modules,” have been completed said the shipyard’s Rob Hall, and most of the major equipment is in place.
Several things separate the Blue North from West Coast freezer longliners. The Norwegian company Skipsteknisk AS designed the boat, which boasts a moon pool and a molded hull.
The moon pool is an internal hauling station in the middle of the boat along the centerline. It will have cameras and lights to keep track of the longline and fish as they are hauled up into the boat.
The moon pool, says Hall, will be fabricated with weldox, “a type of hardened steel, like stainless.” It’s used in Europe and Canada, and it’s from Canada that Dakota Creek is getting their steel.
Blue North is the first longline processing boat in this country to be built with a molded hull, which should reduce resistance going through the water. “They are typically harder to build than hard-chine vessels,” says Hall, “but we’ve built a lot of yachts with molded hulls and are building research vessels for the Navy that are molded.”
As far as frames go, Hall says, “There isn’t a frame in the boat that’s the same.” And instead of angle iron for framing, they are using bulb flats. One advantage of bulb flats is they help keep the weight down. The hull plating is also “lighter in many respects than many American designs,” with the plate thickness “changing drastically as it goes from the bottom of the boat up through the superstructure.”
There is weight down low in the form of a weighted box-keel, and there will be an antiroll tank to help with the boat’s stability.
Hall says the Blue North’s owners “want another one or two boats, and others in the factory trawler industry have designs we are looking at.” Some are for boats over 260 feet.
The Seeker, built at Johnson Shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Ala., in 1988, was hauled in April at Giddings Boat Works in Charleston, Ore. When she leaves, the 26-year-old dragger, owned by Jim Seavers of Newport, Ore., will go out a much bigger boat.
That’s after getting a new wheelhouse a couple of years ago at Yaquina Boat Equipment in Toledo, Ore., and being repowered last fall at Giddings. In the repowering, the yard replaced a 940-hp Cummins KTA38M with a Tier-3 1,350-hp Cummins QSK38M.
The boat arrived at Giddings Boat Works measuring 97.2 feet with a 26-foot beam and will leave with a little more than 6 inches added to the length at 97.9 feet, while the beam is wider by 10 feet, from 26 to 36.
The Seeker will depart from Charleston with a new bow. “We cut the bow off at about frame eight and threw it away,” says Giddings Boat Works’ Mike Lee. The new bow “has a huge bulb on it now and a bow thruster just aft of the bulb.”
Sponsoning the Seeker increased her stability, so the 12 tons of lead ballast that had been in the engine room were removed, as were the buoyancy boxes for reserve buoyancy in the after part of the boat.
With the additional beam, the yard crew will widen the shelter deck and push the foundation of the gantry outboard near the new bulwarks. They are moving the trawl winches from the main deck to the fo’c’sle deck level.
The two fish holds went from 4,713 cubic
feet to 6,112 cubic feet. The additional space the sponsoning created allowed the fuel capacity to be increased, from 29,380 gallons to 43,010 gallons.
Besides all the new steel in her, the Seeker has a lot of new woodwork. “The whole interior was gutted out. Wall to wall it was just bare,” says Lee. “There’s a new galley, heads, mess area and wet room.”
The Seeker fishes for whiting off the Oregon coast and pollock and cod in Alaska.
* * *
Oyster barge replaces deadrise workboat;
80 years old and still building with wood
By Larry Chowning
Barry Miller’s grandfather, Lee Deagle, and his father, Virgil Miller, are legends in the boatbuilding history of Deltaville, Va. Deagle purchased Linwood Price’s boatyard on Jackson Creek in 1935 at public auction and built Deagle and Son Marine Railway into one of the most successful boatyards on the southern Chesapeake Bay.
In the 1960s, Virgil bought another one of Price’s railways on Broad Creek, after Linwood and his son, Milford, made a remarkable business comeback after the Great Depression and went on to build some of the largest wooden deadrise boats.
Virgil’s yard has since closed, and Barry ended up with a portion of the land and waterfront where the boatyard was once located. He opened a marina and restaurant, fittingly called Railway Restaurant, and is using the land for a variety of endeavors. That includes converting a steel oyster barge for Virginia’s growing oyster fishery.
Kellum Brothers in Weems, Va., will use the 30' x 15' x 3' barge in their summer spat-on-shell oyster business. The company has mechanized its triploid oyster growing process, “and this barge is the last component of that process,” says Kellum Brothers’ Tommy Kellum. “We have been using deadrise workboats for this portion of our business and they have not been very efficient, so we are going to this planter barge.”
Spat-on-shell is a new dimension for Virginia’s oyster fishery. “It’s where we have to go for our summertime production between July and October. When oysters are spawning out [in the summer] we will be harvesting and processing triploid oysters that keep their meat quality year-round because they don’t reproduce,” Kellum says.
On the oyster barge, Miller installed a double-decker pilothouse, modified the angle of the shaft going from the 4-53 Detroit Diesel for use in shallow water, and put a nozzle around the prop to protect it and get maximum maneuverability in shallow water.
On the sides of the hull, Miller built slots below the waterline for zincs and keel coolers. “This is so we don’t have anything on the bottom of the barge that will be damaged when we are planting,” says Kellum.
The hydraulic tanks were placed below the waterline in the engine compartment to help keep the oil cool. “This way we don’t have to have external oil coolers taking up space,” Kellum says. “Barry is pretty smart, and he has had a lot of good ideas to maximize all of the space and efficiency of a small working oyster barge.”
An aluminum hopper, hydraulic conveyor and a seeding wheel on the end of the conveyor for broadcasting oysters will be installed. They can be removed by releasing hydraulic quick connects, allowing the barge to be used to plant shell alone. “We can take the planter off, pile shell on, and we will have a high-pressure water canon to blow the shell into the water,” says Kellum.
Ampro Shipyard in Weems, Va., will install a catwalk and all remaining safety equipment. Bert & Cliff’s Machine Shop in Wicomico Church, Va., is building the barge’s aluminum hopper.
Moving over to Jackson Creek in Deltaville, Willard Norris has a 20' x 8' flat-bottom gillnet skiff underway. Norris, in his 80s, is one of the last builders of wooden boats in Deltaville.
However. it’s encouraging that two of Willard’s grandsons, Jonathan and Ryan Norris, are learning the trade this summer from their grandfather. Jonathan is a middle school physical education teacher and Ryan a fireman, but they are taking the time to learn from their grandfather — a good thing for Deltaville and for the bay’s wooden boatbuilding tradition.
They are building the flat-bottom skiff out of seasoned white pine, using stainless steel fasteners and then covering it with fiberglass and West Epoxy. She will have a 90-hp outboard for power.
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