Shop kicks off boat boom with first 41;
builder reopens, finishes Osmond 40


By Michael Crowley

Like other boatbuilders, Holland’s Boat Shop in Belfast, Maine, has had periods of intense activity and dry spells. “Three to four years ago, we didn’t have squat to do,” says the boatshop’s Glenn Holland. “Now I’m up to my neck in [boats]. I like it this way. Much better than the other way.”

The shop has eight boats to build after launching the Betty-Jane, a 32' x 10' 6" lobster boat at the end of November for Scott Simpson of Wiscasset.

The Betty-Jane has a 305-hp Cummins matched up to a ZF marine gear with a 1.5:1 reduction that turns a 20" x 22" four-blade prop. On sea trials, the 32-footer topped out at 24 knots, and that’s with a cage around the wheel.

Once the Betty-Jane left Belfast harbor, the line-up of eight boats included a 41-footer that had been stretched out from 38 feet for a Freeport lobsterman. “She’ll be semifinished,” when she leaves, says Holland. “The owner will put in the electronics and hardware.”

That’s the first 41-footer built from a Holland 38 mold. “The reason the owner said he wanted a 41-footer is because no one else had one,” Holland says. “But right after we built that, we built another one. Now there are two of them.”

The second 41-footer is going to a lobsterman in Port Clyde, but not before stopping at a couple of other Maine facilities: Billings Diesel and Marine in Stonington to have a Volvo engine installed and then to Clark Island Boatworks in St. George to be finished off.

Besides the 41-footers, Holland’s Boat Shop has two more lobster boats to build, a Holland 38 and 32, and four pleasure boats — three 32s and a 38-footer. Holland is also hoping to work on the 32-foot Red Baron this winter to prepare her for next summer’s lobster boat racing circuit. But with the boats that remain to be built, he’s not sure that’s possible. Reflecting on the benefits of having a busy shop, he says, not being able to work on the Baron “is a problem, but one I don’t mind having.”

At the end of the summer, Joe Sargent of Sargent’s Custom Boats in Milbridge, Maine, launched the Gina Lynne, a 40' x 14' 10" lobster boat for Mark Bennett in nearby Sorrento.

The Gina Lynne is an Osmond 40 hull built at H&H Marine in Steuben and finished off by Sargent’s Custom Boats. It’s also the first boat Sargent has completed since taking a break from running his own shop and spending a spell at the yacht builder Hinckley Co. in Southwest Harbor, Maine. He had previously worked at Hinckley from 1998 to 2000 before starting Sargent’s Custom Boats.

Sargent usually builds his own wheelhouse, but Bennett was under some time constraints, so an H&H Marine molded top went on the hull, though the windshield was pushed forward 16 inches to gain cockpit space. “Guys are really pushing things forward,” says Sargent. “They want to lug a lot of gear.”

Beneath the plywood and fiberglass platform is a lobster tank that will hold five crates. Normally the tank would hold more crates, but Bennett wanted a clean-out tube in the stern, so he can reach down and remove rope from the prop. That took up tank space.

Bennett “used to go shrimping,” Sargent says. “If they bring shrimping back, he’s always nervous about getting hung up and drifting down over his net and getting it in his wheel. He should be able to clean it out now.”

The Gina Lynne has a 610-hp Cummins QSM11 bolted to a ZF marine gear with a 2:1 reduction. On sea trials she topped out at 25 knots. “She was going pretty good,” Sargent noted.

Sargent’s Custom Boats acquired two molds in September, the South Shore 38 and a Jimmy Beal 33. This winter the boatyard is building a South Shore 38 as a sportfisherman and lengthening a 38 to 41 feet for a fisherman in Stonington, Maine. Eaton’s Boat Shop and Fiberglassing in Deer Isle will finish off 
the boat.


*   *   *

00 ATYicon WestOre. yard has a major rebuild under way;
three Washington seiners going to Alaska

By Michael Crowley

At the end of the year a number of boatbuilding projects were taking place at Fred Wahl Marine Construction in Reedsport, Ore. The 95-foot trawler Pegasus was being repowered with a 1,300-hp Cummins QSK38 and getting a new 80-inch Nautican nozzle. The same Cummins engine was also going into the 95-foot trawler Predator.

15feb NF ATYwestA new 58-footer, the Oracle, was under construction. The Oracle is different from the boatyard’s other 58-footer in that it has a 28-foot-6-inch beam. “We took the same profile (of the 58' x 26') and widened it out. It has the same depth, the same chine lines. It was a really easy conversion,” says the boatyard’s Fred Wahl.

The Oracle doesn’t come under the new 50-foot and over class ruling because its owner had purchased a keel and had it classified prior to the July 1, 2013, deadline.

Those are all interesting projects, but it’s the Miss Berdie that’s taking center stage. “It’s a huge project,” says Wahl. Rodriquez Boat Builders in Bayou LaBatre, Ala., built the Miss Berdie in 1987. Wahl sponsoned the boat in 1991, pushing the beam out from 20 to 24 feet. Numerous modifications followed over the years, including a new engine, stern, wheelhouse and bulb.

“Then they wanted to sponson again,” says Wahl and wanted to drop a 1,500-hp engine in the boat. But the shaft alley and rudder weren’t big enough and not much space would be gained in the fish hold. So Wahl told the owner that instead of sponsoning with the existing hull, “Let’s cut this thing off right behind the house and throw it away.” That’s what they did, bringing in Hockema & Whalen Associates in Seattle for the design work.

The Miss Berdie carried the typical long, raking bow of a Gulf of Mexico shrimper. The bow was cut back about 4 feet, and that length transferred to the new, wider stern section, which went from 28 feet 6 inches to 39 feet. That allowed for a bigger fish hold. Wahl estimates the hold capacity went from 190,000 pounds to 425,000 pounds.

The Miss Berdie also has a new 1,700-hp Cummins QSK50 main engine, a Nautican 90-inch nozzle and a triple rudder. She will probably go back in the water in March.

Fred Wahl Marine Construction recently purchased the 38-acre American Bridge Manufacturing site in Reedsport, giving the boatyard more space for boatbuilding and fabrication of its cranes, anchors and winches.

At Little Hoquiam Shipyard in Hoquiam, Wash., Howard Moe and his crew have three seiners under construction. The boats will go to Alaska for salmon and herring fishing and maybe pot fishing.

The first of the three, the 50' x 18' Serenity, was ready to go in the water in December with a John Deere 6135 for power. Actually, the Serenity isn’t 50 feet long. Moe, like others who build “50-foot” boats, shaved a bit off that 50 feet — 1 inch, making it 49 feet 11 inches — so the boat doesn’t fall under the class regulation rule.

The other two seiners are 58-footers, one with a 20-foot beam and the other 23 feet 6 inches. The 58' x 23' 6" hull was the basis of a new mold that Moe pulled off it last year. “The hull had been built a long time ago, so it was well before (the class regulation took effect),” Moe says.

Little Hoquiam Shipyard had a keel for the second 58-footer and had a contract signed before the ruling took effect.

The 58' x 20' seiner, with a John Deere 6135 for power, should be ready to go in the water in March. The second 58-footer is scheduled for a June launching, with a pair of John Deere 6090 diesels for power.

Looking ahead, Moe would like to see the class rule eliminated. “If they would rescind the 50-foot law. I think there will be a few boats built. Otherwise I think it will definitely slow down. People are not happy about the costs” associated with classing a boat.

If the 50-foot class rule remains in place, Moe expects his 49-foot 11-inch model to remain a popular size.


*   *   *

00 ATYicon SouthGillnets and sailboats a bad combination;
Virginia yard has plenty of repair work

By Larry Chowning

Shawn Rose of Reedville, Va., recently had Larry Jennings at Jennings Boatyard in Reedville build him a new wheelhouse as part of an ongoing rebuilding project on his boat.

15feb NF ATYsouthRose uses the 42-foot Lady Lindsey for oystering in the Rappahannock River. The boat’s new classic Chesapeake Bay-style wheelhouse is made of 3/4-inch Okoume marine plywood and finished off with 1708 fiberglass cloth, 17-ounce mat and epoxy.

“I’ve practically rebuilt that boat over the years,” says Jennings. “Some watermen bring boats to me to work on in stages, as their finances can afford it. The recent rise in Virginia’s oyster fishery has allowed some watermen to have work done on their boats that they have been putting off for years.”

That was the case with Rose, says Jennings. “Shawn has been wanting to do this for some time but has been waiting until the money was right.

“I’ve replaced most of the bottom and horn timber, taken the side boards off and replaced [them] with two layers of Okoume plywood, glass and epoxy. Quite frankly, she is just like a 
new boat.”

The Travelift at Jennings Boatyard held the Whaleback, a large sailboat whose prop had snagged a commercial gillnet. The gillnet belonged to longtime Northumberland, Va., fisherman Eddie Gaskins, and he arrived on the scene to retrieve his net.

“We are making you rich. Aren’t we?” Gaskins said to Jennings. “Every year it looks like someone gets in one of the boys’ nets and ends up at your railway.”

The Whaleback, out of Boston, was cruising Chesapeake Bay in November, on its way to the Bahamas, when it tucked into Cockrells Creek at Reedville and got caught up in Gaskin’s net. “We don’t get rich off it but we do have a couple hauls a year to remove nets,” says Jennings.

“Sometime there is very little damage to the net or the boat, but sometimes it can get expensive. One year, we had one commercial net get caught in a prop of a recreational trawler and did $20,000 worth of damage to the boat. That was not good.”

At Cockrell’s Marine Railway in Heathsville, Va., Myles Cockrell and his father, Andy, operate the railway and their own oyster business. In the late fall, a number of boats were in for repairs. Reedville oysterman Wade Self’s wooden deadrise round-stern boat, the Miss Angela, had sections of the chine log replaced and then backed up with oak ribs, coated with two layers of fiberglass mat and epoxy.

The bottom of Northumberland County, Va., waterman Dale Gaskins’ wooden gillnet skiff was fiberglassed. A Francis Haynie-built skiff, Myles says the fiberglass bottom keeps water from soaking into the wood. Since the 
bottom was ’glassed, the skiff now sits 3 inches higher in the water.

In for bottom painting and routine maintenance was the Pixis, a steel boat owned by the Oyster Company of Virginia in North. The firm has exclusive rights to the Oyster Eco Reef modules. Oyster larvae and spat attach to the modules, which are used to create reefs for oyster restoration. Pixis is used to move and position the large modules.

The Cockrells recently installed a new engine in their own oyster boat, the Pooka Pooka. It’s a 135-hp gasoline MerCruiser 3.0 TK5 stern drive, good for dredging for oysters and working oyster cages in extremely shallow waters.

The top of the engine box has a window built into it. The helmsman station is next to the window allowing him a clear view of the gauges.

Finally, the renowned Chesapeake Bay buy boat Iva W., which has been converted to a yacht, was in for “hopefully” routine maintenance, says Andy. “There has been some leaking problems around the shaft log and horn timber, and we are not sure if this is the year we will fix it or not,” he says.

Several years ago, the Cockrells installed a fiberglass sleeve inside the shaft log. “That worked good for a number of years, but something has broken loose, we think,” says Andy.


2015 NFfeb cover.jpg

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