Long-distance boatbuilding

“Go West, young man” was supposedly advice author Horace Greeley gave in the mid-1800s to young men burdened by a lack of opportunity among the cities and farms of the East Coast. These days that expression is being turned around as a few West Coast fishermen are looking to the East, primarily to Maine, when it’s time to build a new boat.

20140904 boatbuilding NFoctThat’s particularly true for boats in the 40-foot range. We look at one example of this trend in the boatbuilding story that begins on page 28 in the October issue.

When Jerry Brum a Dungeness crab fisherman out of San Mateo, Calif., was thinking about upgrading from his 32-footer, a friend suggested he take a look at a 45-footer owned by another Dungeness crab fisherman. That 45-footer, a fiberglass boat built in 2009 at H&H Marine in Steuben, Maine, got Brum’s attention.

Brum liked the looks of the boat and signed up with H&H Marine to build him a slightly smaller version of the Osmond Beal design, at 40′ x 14′ 10″. It’s not easy working out the details of having your boat built when the boatyard is 3,000 miles — give or take — away. It takes trust on the part of the fisherman and the boatbuilder.

Brian Robbins, the article’s author, leads the reader through the building of the Miss G, until Brum has a boat that offers plenty of working room and carrying capacity, yet enables him to work the Miss G by himself if need be.

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