Tim Broderick was the captain of the 55-foot fishing dragger Four Kids, and for five seasons he’d go out into Vineyard Sound and pull nets to harvest fluke. But over the years fishing has become harder and not as profitable. This summer he sold the dragger to Stanley Larsen of Menemsha Fish Market.
“It was a nice three-month summer job,” Tim said. These days he has a nearly year-round job — raising and harvesting oysters in Menemsha Pond with his father Stephen.
Four years ago the Brodericks began to shift their thinking away from fish and toward oysters. They acquired two shellfish grants, and two years ago put out their gear with baby oysters. They built their oyster farming barge in the family backyard. It is a product of Chilmark ingenuity, involving the recycled hull of a 38-foot Silverton Cabin Cruiser. Everything above the hull is new, including the deck, and a tall cabin made of fiberglass cloth and resin on plywood and framed with pine two by fours. The beam is 11 feet, wide enough to include all the amenities they need. From a distance, the barge looks like a peculiar lobster boat with an oddly shaped cabin.
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