R.I. yard builds a rugged stern ramp;
Maine shop plugged with tuna boats
By Michael Crowley
In mid-November, Rich Fuka and Steve Perkins, who make up Harborside Boat Repair in Point Judith, R.I., were getting close to completing a stern-ramp installation on a 55-footer.
The Estrela Domar had been a shrimper and crabber operating out of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Then Eric Lundvall bought her and tied her up at the Harborside Boat Repair dock to be outfitted with a stern ramp, before making a living as a groundfish boat.
Look closely at the stern ramp and it has a bit of an arch to it. That’s because stern tanks are close to the transom. So with the transom and deck cutaway and to avoid removing the tanks, Fuka and Perkins built the Nida-Core composite stern ramp with enough of an arch that it would go over the top of the tanks.
The ramp is built of two layers of 3/4-inch Nida-Core and covered with fiberglass to a thickness of about 2 inches. Timbers to support the stern ramp weren’t needed, which is what other shops normally do, says Fuka.
“Our stern ramps are pretty impervious to the weight of the bag and the sandy grit of the chafing gear,” he says. “The last one we did has been on the boat five years, and it’s showing very little wear.”
The stern ramp starts 4 to 5 inches above the Estrela Domar’s waterline and rests on a 14" x 14" timber that runs across the transom. It was part of the boat’s original construction. Large timbers are not uncommon in Canadian-built boats, says Fuka. For instance, Canadians “always use very large deck beams, a minimum of 4" x 6".”
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Maximum power goes into a 32-footer;
Alaska yard stretches 30-year-old design
By Michael Crowley
Things don’t seem to slow down at Mavrik Marine in La Conner, Wash. There are a number of aluminum gillnetters on the shop floor, but the one that already has people talking, even though construction has barely started, is a 32' x 16' design.
The main feature that has folks buzzing is the propulsion package. She’ll have a 1,000-hp Caterpillar C18 coupled to a 521 Hamilton water jet. “I couldn’t be certain, but I would think that’s probably the biggest Hamilton that’s ever been put in a Bristol Bay boat,” says Mavrik Marine’s Zachery Battle.
The boat’s owner is part of what Battle refers to as a “trend for wanting to put 10,000 pounds on step,” and he wants to do it with a single engine. Whether it be with a single or twin engines, it’s a chore getting that much weight up on step, but Battle figures the large Hamilton jet, which he says is more efficient than smaller Hamilton jets, should do it.
Preliminary figures indicate the 32-footer, with the Cat and Hamilton combination, should be able to carry 12,000 pounds in the hold “and plane it. That’s with full fuel, full water and four shackles of gear,” says Battle.
He’s not sure of the speed in that condition, but with no product on board, Battle expects the gillnetter to hit 36 to 37 knots.
The boat should hold about 22,000 pounds of salmon that will be chilled by a diesel-driven RSW system from Integrated Marine Systems in Seattle.
A raised pilothouse will have the pilot command station up top with a day bunk and settee. Down below will be a galley and settee for the crew with a head and four bunks up forward. Battle expects the boat to be in the water this February or March. “It will be a really awesome boat,” he says.
Also on the shop floor are two 32-foot gillnetters with standard shaft and prop powering. A new design for Mavrik Marine is a 32' x 15' jet powered gillnetter. She will have a 750-hp MAN matched up with a 610 Traktor jet.
The third new model that was on the floor in mid-November is being called the LT32. Battle describes it as an entry-level boat. “It’s not Spartan, but in terms of the engine and components is basically a trimmed down economical version.”
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Saving a Virginia round-stern gillnetter;
a year from 90 and still building boats
By Larry Chowning
Clinton Midgett of Boats Etc. builds and repairs boats in a boatshop on Mobjack Bay in Hayes, Va. Midgett’s ancestry and boatbuilding heritage is from North Carolina. Although he grew up in Virginia Beach, he learned to repair and build boats from his father, who learned from his father, all associated with the Tar Heel state.
Midgett is currently rebuilding a 33' x 9' 1954 Deltaville round-stern for his cousin Richard Midgett of Virginia Beach. Richard will use the boat primarily in Virginia’s gillnet fishery.
The boat has been out of the water for five years. “When I first saw the boat I told my cousin I was afraid we were going to have to have a marshmallow cookout with the boat,” says Clinton. “When a boat has been out of the water for five years you’ve got to figure all the iron [nails and bolts] are bad.
“I told him it all depended on the keel as to whether or not it was worth saving. When we got it here to the yard and I looked at the keel, I could hardly believe it. The long-leaf yellow pine keel was as good as the day it was installed.”
The bottom planking, however, was completely gone, and the sides and stern needed major attention. Portions of the chunks in the round stern had to be replaced and rebolted, and distressed boards in the sides were replaced with strip planking.
Instead of going the traditional route on the bottom and replacing the cross-planked boards with other cross planks, Midgett is installing two layers of 3/8-inch Okoume marine plywood and will cover it with six layers of 1802 Knytex 18-ounce biaxial cloth with a 3/4-inch mat backing. The entire hull will be encapsulated with a Pro-Set fiberglass laminating resin and epoxy blend.
“She will be a new boat when we finish with her and will be good for another 20 years,” says Midgett. “I’m not sure who built her, but I’ve seen a lot of round sterns like this one that came out of Deltaville.”