Maine Lobsterboat - New Concept Proposed

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by DCockey, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    A new concept for a boat to be used in inshore lobster fishing in Maine is being developed by Doug Reed. It is completely decked over trimaran.
    It will be interesting to see if a prototype is built.

    For those not familar with inshore lobster fishing in Maine and elsewhere in New England and Atlantic Canada, it occurs in coastal and near-coastal waters with depths from a ten feet or so at low tide to a hundred feet or so. Most boats are fished by a single lobsterman who is usually the owner, or with the addition of a "sternman". The boats don't stay out overnight. Lobsters are caught in metal pots which are hauled individually over the side using a power hauler. A single boat can have to 800 pots and up to 200 may be pulled in a single day. Typical lobster boats hulls are frequently described as "semi-displacement" types though top speeds of 25 knots or more are not uncommon. Characteristics are a relatively deep forefoot, little or no deadrise at the stern, and low angle buttock lines aft. LOA is generally from 28' to 42' with Length to Beam ratio around 3.

    Photos of typical Maine lobster boats:
  2. Dean Smith

    Dean Smith Previous Member

    well mate I looked at the Periodical and have to say I cannot believe how those lobstermen are stuck inna time warp
    Crikey they are using foil cats here:)
  3. BYDE
    Joined: Mar 2011
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    BYDE Junior Member

    what's new about it?
    Such hull form has been around since several years already, I saw it used also for some series production motor yacht
  4. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

  5. Dean Smith

    Dean Smith Previous Member

    just go
    they use these to tuna fish, some have gone from NZ to Samoa and Fiji

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  6. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    i think the maine lobster boats are lovely looking designs, i don't think they are in a time warp, i think it is more a case of don't fix what isn't broken. here in aus lobster fisherman have gone from traditional displacement boats which were super efficient but slow to 60 ft monsters running up to 1500 horsepower and finding it very hard to operate when market prices drop, i bet a few of them wish they back in their traditional boats. as for our brothers in the seventh state using cats with foils, they are always coming up with innovative ideas so we don't forget they are down there. the pics are of a modern boat , 2000 horsepower and a traditional boat, 75 horsepower.

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  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    So long as it can carry the load, this looks like a great design. Lobstermen will jump at these if they have lower operating costs.
  8. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    That "trimaran" looks like it would pound itself to death in any kind of a sea. Any body ever heard of "bridge deck" problems in a cat with low clearance? When you get going the small tunnels shown will fill up with the bow waves, where is the savings when the entire hull has frictional losses? Actually there will be more area in the water for friction.
    Possibly the geometry will generate planing early, that could make some sense.
    Work boats need to accomidate occasional overlaoding. This thing will just sink quickly until it becomes a regular boat with useless things sticking down
    Looks like a high school effort at a trimaran with no historical knowledge.
    At least go look for the Navy littoral combat ships just now comming in use.
  9. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Maine lobsterboats usually operate without a heavy load, but occasionally carry large numbers of pots so load carrying capability is needed. It's not clear if that has been factored into this design.

    I also wonder about the low clearance in the tunnels and operation in waves, particularly in shallow water with steep waves. Freeboard and deck height are important factors in lobsterboat design. The lobsterman snag the buoy line with a boat hook so if the deck/sole can't be too high. I wonder if sufficient deck height on a multihull for wave clearance would be too high for the lobsterman.
  10. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

  11. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

  12. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Looking at the design, I was just imagining it would turn into a regular (semi)displacement hull when loaded, like a normal lobster boat.

    Half the use of a lobster boat is empty though, so don't forget that part.

    They go out in the morning completely empty for most of the season unless they have new traps to set. They come back in with the day's catch.

    I could see this hull working if it's not too inefficient when loaded down.

    Lobster guys don't encounter steep chop all that often. More often than not, it's like glass out there, or swells where they are operating. Only during the occasional storm does it get really nasty. They tend to run from a harbor, out to wherever their traps are (usually quite local, as in inside my anchor scope or tangled under my mooring!) and spend most of the time in well protected waters.

    Some decent grounds are a bit farther off... out by ledges or small rocky islands, but still, those are usually only an hour or two tops, from the dock.
  13. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    They claim the boat uses 30% less fuel; I am sure this can not be just due to hull shape.
  14. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    No they won't.........;)

    For a bunch of reasons.......First and perhaps most important.....deeply conservative Yankee stubbornness......The highliners are older guys, who work very traditional boats and they aren't buying new boats, the younger guys look up to the older guys and say "I'm going to have a boat just like so-and-so someday"......and that's the way it goes.....

    Seakeeping is a big deal with these boats.....guys are on their feet at the rail for many hours every day......this is excruciating labour and any additional comfort is a huge deal...guys buy new boats because the motion is more comfortable.....A tri is going to be much quicker rolling....I guarantee they won't like it.....

    Maneuverability is also a big deal, the boats are constantly turning and slipping sideways.....I don't know but I imagine the tri, with 3 keels in the water will be slower turning....but I don't have any data on that.

    Load carrying is a big deal, modern lobstermen are moving pots all the time, not just once a season, the larger boats (40'+) also fish offshore in winter, which is why they put 600 Hp in 42's and make long runs out and back......

    Finally it will be nightmarish pulling pots up between those hulls in a sea......Lobster boats are shaped the way they are for a reason......the fisherman won't have hard chine boats (though they might be better) because it's too hard to drag the pots over the chine......

  15. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I once visited a lobster boat builder as a student. He and his brother, I believe, built fiberglass boats that were under 30 ft.

    His boats had a bit of spray rail aft amidships to help them plane better.

    He said he had a hard time selling them at first because the lobster men/women thought this rail would induce a sharper roll when the pots were hauled.

    In his case they didn't. They added very little buoyancy. And the little buoyancy they added was cancelled out by the roll dampening of the rail on the other side.

    Lobster women/men worry about their knees. They haul several hundred pots a day and how quickly the boat rolls makes a big difference. Especially if they plan on doing this for thirty or forty years.

    Slower boats might end up being the answer. Something I'm sure most lobster men/women don't want to hear. Slower means less pots hauled and that means less money. Fuel prices would have to reach a certain point where the extra cost of the fuel cancels out the extra revenue from having a faster boat.

    I imagine then they might start putting smaller engines in existing hulls, then using the displacement saved by having smaller tanks for over night stores and accommodations.

    Perhaps a straight powered trimaran with low buoyancy floats might be the answer. But it would certainly be beamier and harder to fit as many in the same harbor space, meaning higher docking/anchoring fees.

    IIRC, lobsters must be kept alive. they need to be stored in some sort of live well. This does not help in keeping displacement down, which, in the end, is the best determinate of planing and semi-planing fuel efficiency.

    I guess time will tell.
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