Maine shop fixes vessel that hit ledge;
lobster boat rebuilt after sinking twice
By Michael Crowley
The lobster boat Noah’s Ark was reportedly hauling along at a good 16 knots when she found a ledge, some two miles outside of Jonesport, Maine. Buzz Carver didn’t let up on the throttle. He kept right on going. “He didn’t want to stop. He knew there would be water coming in,” says Sune Noreen at Jonesport Shipyard, which is where the 40-foot RP-built boat was hauled, beginning what proved to be a monthlong job.
The damage was to the keel, with one heavy impact just aft of the stuffing box and another ahead of the cutlass bearing. Part of the keel was “torn up,” says Noreen, while inside the hull, two bulkheads and the wet-well lid “were just blown loose.”
The impact caused fiberglass laminates to turn white and separate for 14 to 16 feet along the keel’s bottom and sides. The crew at Jonesport Shipyard removed the rudder, prop, shaft and stuffing box and then started pulling off big hunks of loose fiberglass that had delaminated.
The delaminated fiberglass was removed with a large scraper that’s normally used for peeling bark off logs. When the job was done, 500 pounds of fiberglass were hauled off to the town dump.
Once the fiberglass was removed from the keel, a lot of grinding was required before the keel’s remaining inner layers could be used as a mold for fresh fiberglass, being sure to stagger the layers of laminates as the work progressed.
Besides the fiberglass work the yard crew straightened the Noah’s Ark’s shaft, replaced the cutlass bearing and stuffing box and sent the prop away to be checked out. “The only thing we didn’t replace,” says Noreen, “was the cutlass bearing housing.”
Just in case, a new, larger bilge pump went in the Noah’s Ark. “It had one that looked like a little Coke can. I put [the new one] on a float switch. He didn’t have it on a float switch, and it should be on a float switch.”
Looking back on the incident, Carver told Noreen, “I would have made it if the tide was a foot higher.”
Down the Maine Coast in Walpole, Farrin’s Boatshop finished off the Phase III for David Hupper and launched her in early November. The Phase III is a Holland 38 with a 405-hp Cummins for power.
On sea trials the Phase III hit 19.5 to 20 knots, “depending on which way she went with the tide,” says the shop’s Bruce Farrin.
“She did well,” adds Farrin, considering that on the sea trials the prop was surrounded with a cage of 1/2-inch stainless steel round bar. “That creates a lot of disturbance,” he says.
The Phase III seems to be a fairly standard lobster boat without any special frills. Up forward are a couple of V-berths for storage, and Hupper is sticking with storing his lobster on a deck of plywood covered with fiberglass over wood deck beams.
The house and side rails are composite materials. While there isn’t a winter back, there is a winter curtain about four feet back from the bulkhead and a folding side panel at the hauler. Both can be “dropped down when he shuts her up for the night,” says Farrin.
In August a 38-foot South Shore lobster boat from Vinalhaven Island arrived at Farrin’s Boatshop in pretty tough shape. Fishing off the island, the boat was in the fog and having fuel problems when “she went aground and opened her up. She went down fairly quickly,” Farrin says. “It took a couple of days to find her.”
The boatshop is replacing 15 feet of keel and a damaged area in the forward part of the boat. “When they were picking her up, they dropped her and she went back on the bottom and beat up on the rocks,” Farrin says. “That’s where she landed.”
Once the fiberglass work is completed, a new 805-hp Caterpillar C15 is going in the boat. The shop will also be installing new electronics and new wiring.
The crew was in a life raft for three or four hours before being picked up by a sailboat.
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Boatyard fills up with winter repairs;
Wash. yard sends combo boats north
By Michael Crowley
The Roedda was hauled out at the Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op in Port Townsend, Wash. Built in 1931, the wooden salmon tender is getting a fair amount of attention, including repairs to the deck framing and planking.
The yard replaced transom lifts, the timbers making up the rounded transom, and removed metal bulwarks so covering boards could be replaced, while aft of the break beam they installed aluminum bulwarks. For the Roedda, “it’s about a four month overhaul,” says Port Townsend Shipwrights’ Jim Lyons.
As is normal for the Port Townsend, Wash., boatyard at this time of the year when a lot of boats are between seasons, the Roedda was one of just several boats in for repairs. Though Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op has long been known for its crew’s traditional woodworking skills — whether they’re needed for a commercial fishing boat or a sail or motor-powered yacht — for some time now the yard has diversified to metal and fiberglass boats. In fact, none of the other boats being worked on in mid-January were wood. The steel-hulled tender Reiver was one of those. She was getting a new main engine and shafting.
While plenty of fishing boats are damaged from heavy seas, going aground or running into each other, the Reiver might have a one-of-its-kind reason to get the main deck repaired: A forklift had been driven off a dock and smashed onto the deck.
The 58-foot steel seiner Viking Maid came in for a bulbous bow and rolling chocks. A local boat, the longliner Sundancer, had an RSW system installed in the fish hold, and its shaft went out to be reconditioned.
The only fiberglass boat in the mix, the Phalarope, was being lengthened at the stern from 32 to 36 feet.
Due in after the first of the year were some older wooden boats, including the longliner St. John II for refastening work, and the 80-foot Seven Seas to have her aft deck rebuilt. These boats might be housed in the new 120-foot building that improves the yard’s environmental containment and efficiency.
At Maritime Fabrications in LaConner, Wash., it’s all about fiberglass, with one 49' x 18' combination boat that went in the water in mid-January, another scheduled for a March launching and a 32' x 14' Bristol Bay gillnetter being built on spec.
Both 49-footers are for fishermen in Wrangell, Alaska. The first one launched, the Jeannie Irene, will be gillnetting, shrimping and crabbing. The second 49-footer, the Netted Dreams, will gillnet and shrimp but not crab.
The wheelhouse, decks and bulkheads are cored with plastic honeycomb and a high-density foam.
Both boats pack up to 74,000 pounds in four fish holds, with one hold having freezing capability and the others refrigerated seawater.
A 650-hp 12-liter Scania main engine with a ZF marine gear with a 2:1 ratio should allow each boat to cruise at 8 to 9 knots while burning 5 gallons an hour, says Maritime Fabrications’ Isaac Oczkewicz. The Scania engine, he says, “is used almost exclusively in our newbuilds,” citing its power-to-weight ratio, reliability and economy of operations as reasons for being favored by fishermen.
The hulls of the two boats are based on designs by the late Seattle architect Lynn Senour. It’s a hard-chine design, says Oczkewicz, with “more rocker than usual” and a very full bow. The full bow allows it to run very well in a following sea. “It uses its buoyancy without bow steering,” says Oczkewicz, adding that it’s a solid platform and very stable, “which owners rave about.”
The gillnetter being built on spec is a new Maritime Fabrications model with more beam and an improved cabin design. “The cabin is a little taller for better visibility and there’s more cabin space for accommodations,” Oczkewicz says.
The gillnetter is getting the same 12-liter Scania as the 49-footers. Oczkewicz says there have been “strong prospects” for buying the boat, but as of mid-January the gillnetter hadn’t been sold.
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Sometimes one boat just isn’t enough;
seafood operator has buy boat restored
By Larry Chowning
Simon Dean of Lusby, Md., oysters, gillnets and fishes peeler crab pots out of Solomons Harbor at the mouth of the Patuxent River.
Dean currently fishes a 40-foot fiberglass and wood deadrise built by John Kinnamon Sr. of Tilghman, Island, Md. The boat works fine, but the distance between Dean’s fisheries prompted him to look for a second boat.
During warm-weather months, Maryland’s striped bass gillnet and blue crab pot fisheries run concurrently. The fishing grounds are far apart, which results in lost fishing time when going and coming.
“We grappled with purchasing a second boat because running to the striped bass fishery and back to check our peeler pots made for large fuel bills and was time consuming,” says Dean. But purchase a boat to rebuild he did. It’s a 32' x 10' wooden deadrise, built as a yacht in 1973 by the late Clarence Sanford of Colonial Beach, Va.
“With the workload we hope to put on her, a few extra feet [of length] would have been ideal, especially for deck space. We had to find creative ways to make her work. We shortened and lowered the engine box and shortened the cabin,” Dean says. If she’s finished by the June opening, the new boat will be working the striped bass fishery.
Stanford, like other Potomac River boatbuilders, built his boats with tumblehome in the stern and prominent flare in the bow, which is needed for the short choppy seas of the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay, says Dean.
Although originally a pleasure boat, her hull lines follow that of a traditional bay-built deadrise workboat. Dean’s rebuilding of the stringers and deck, as well as glassing the bottom and topsides involved long hours of trial and error. “If I had any questions along the way, the guys at McCready Boatyard and Railway [in Lusby, Md.] had answers,” he says.
Dean put a 300-hp Cummins bolted to a Twin Disc marine gear with a 1.5:1 reduction in the boat.
Moving down to Virginia, David Rollins is restoring the Chesapeake Bay buy boat the Linda Carol for William Mullis of Gloucester County, Va., at York Haven Marina in Poquoson. Alton Smith of Susan, Va., built the boat in 1931, but then her name was Croaker.
The 55' 6" x 14' x 4' 9" wooden boat had been deteriorating at a Long Island, N.Y., salvage yard for five years when Mullis found her and brought her back to Chesapeake Bay.
Mullis owns B&C Seafood of Newport News, Va., which operates a fleet of scallop boats. As a kid, he worked out of Davis Creek in Mathews County, Va., where in the 1970s some longtime captains of bay dredge boats were still operating. One of Mullis’ favorite captains was the late Morris Snow, who owned the Linda Carol and used her for dredging oysters. That, in part, is why he purchased the boat.
Mullis went to Rollins because he has considerable experience restoring large deadrise boats. Rollins owned the buy boat the East Hampton, which he restored to pristine condition in the 1990s.
Rollins, the son of Bill Rollins, cut his boatbuilding teeth at his father’s boatyard in Poquoson. “I started working with my dad and my brother [Will], around the yard when I was 6 or 7 years old,” he says. He’s been messing around with boats ever since. Although retired from NASA, Rollins was never far away from boatbuilding and boat repair.
He’s replacing about 95 percent of the Linda Carol. “She had a good keel, a good bottom and most of the logging in the stern was good. These things made her worth saving, but everything else will be new,” Rollins says.
That includes new fir frames, white cedar side planking and plywood for the decks, glassed and coated with West System Epoxy. The stem was shaped from a piece of 10" x 10" fir, and the samson post from white oak. Everything is held together with stainless steel fasteners.
Mullis will most likely use the boat for recreation but he wants her built and styled like a workboat. “He’s not making her into a yacht,” says Rollins. “He remembers her as workboat and wants her to be just like he remembers her.”