Commercial Boat Stability Advice

Discussion in 'Stability' started by elhewman, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. elhewman
    Joined: Apr 2011
    Posts: 11
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    Location: alaska

    elhewman Junior Member

    HI Everyone, Thanks in advance for any info. I hope to learn some basics of large hull design/performance before I spend 150k my first “real” commercial boat. Sorry I cannot contribute more at this point, but I hope to share what I learn in the future to help others in my position.

    Anyway, I am shopping a for a larger entry level salmon troller/cod long liner with freezing capabilities for SE AK fishing seasons. I have found a few boats (in my budget) of interest and was wondering if you could give me a little advice on one in particular. Am concerned mainly about its rough sea performance, stability, and safety. I understand the pictures and info are hardly enough to draw perfect conclusions. But I will note any of your general observations.

    I am looking for reasons to eliminate certain boats off my list before I spend money for good surveyors. I will have my family of 5 aboard during calmer (not necessarily tranquil) trips. I am most concerned with possible performance at a slow troll or idle (while pulling gear).

    Here is my criteria
    *I DO NOT want a snappy miserable motion (For comfort of crew and quality of our workmanship e.g. gutting, filleting. knot tying ect).
    * I want Safety in foul weather (I imagine the boats I’m looking at can take more sea than I can but just in case)
    * Any other red flags that you might notice.

    If I had twice the budget I do have I would buy a large fiberglass boat. But it looks like I will more than likely have to buy wood or an older steel. I have done my due diligence and realize the downsides of both. Most fishermen here start w/wood boats that get the job done and then try to move up if they are successful.
    If I have not lost you, my one problem with the boat of interest is that it is 53ft with only a 12.4ft beam. Most trollers this size in the fleet have 14-15ft beams. What sort of performance compromises am I looking at? The owner has had her less than 2 years did not know much about the hull design and admits he fished here very little.

    Thank you for any advice. Though I am excited to get started and prepared for the main season, I do not mind crossing a boat off my list.

    It is the 5th boat down called "Arabella".
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Take it for a test run on a day when the weather is playing up a bit, otherwise it becomes guesswork. Obviously a narrow beam is going to less stiff laterally, all else being more or less equal, but it will be easier on fuel though.
  3. elhewman
    Joined: Apr 2011
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 27
    Location: alaska

    elhewman Junior Member

    Thanks Mr. Efficiency. I think you're right and sea trials are the way to go. I will definitely ask for an extensive sea trial before I by the boat.

    My main issue is that I am in Southeast Alaska and most freezer boats in the market are in Canada and Oregon. I want to eliminate anything I can before I use my travel expenses. If I detect something not right over the phone or in the advertisement, that could save me a couple of grand in travel.

    That said, I imagine I better brace myself for a lot of travel expenses. As I am not seeing other options.

    Thanks everybody.
  4. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    As was said. any speculation by just looking at the boats is just that, speculation. I would be more interested in the boats stability loaded that when it is empty. The stability when the boat is loaded with fish and way down on here waterlines is hard to determine without an actual inclining test. It could have been calculated by the designer if you an find out who designed it or who built it. .
  5. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    She's actually the Arabella II, one of three sisterships built to an Ed Monk design by Clark Brothers at Brentwood Bay (Sannich BC). She was launched in 1949 as a 42' with a smaller deckhouse and no dodger up top. Not sure which year she was lengthened. But the added tophamper has for sure raised VCG. Can't (as mentioned above) give any detail on her actual stability but rolling will not be quick.
  6. elhewman
    Joined: Apr 2011
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 27
    Location: alaska

    elhewman Junior Member

    Thank you Tad!! That's is some pretty detailed info I could not get from the owner! I will be using nauticapedia or other similar sites from here on out! Not sure I want A lengthened boat with a now high VCG, but I will see If I can poke around and get an Idea about loaded stability from the previous owner. Perhaps something was calculated in the lengthening.

    I have been doing my research off of what you guys have said and realizing there is a lot more than meets the eye in hull design. I have found some pretty good articles on vessel stability and am getting some basic concepts pretty quickly. That helped a lot.


  7. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Delta BC

    JSL Senior Member

    One item on stability is ice accretion. We here on the 'wet' coast (BC) don't have to worry about it too often. Alaska may be different.
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