Work boat for Oyster Farm; Suggestions for a starter DE

ianbw

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Peconic Bay, NY
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Sisu 26
First of all let me say thanks to everyone whose information I have been soaking up for a while now. I should also say that I have seen some truly killer boats here, thanks for the inspiration.

I am in the process of starting up an oyster farm in NY. After an interminable wait, the Army Corps has finally cleared my permits. So it is boat shopping time. At this point, I have pretty much narrowed my working boat choice to a downeast boat. The open cockpit, stable work area, classic lines, all work for me. I know down in the Chesapeake, the oyster farmers are all working out of 21' Carolina Skiffs, but here, I think I'd lose all my teeth. So I come back to the DE.

I am looking for opinions and suggestions, and very open to discussion. I can lead by some of what I have sorted out for myself so far:

As a startup, I am going to have to keep this first boat pretty affordable. I know that is totally subjective, but put it this way, if there is 25k to spend, the more of it that goes in the water vs in the boat, the more harvest there is, and therefore the more $ there might be towards an upgrade.

I see a lot of the REPCO boats listed, then see a lot of talk about pitching & rolling.

I saw that POGO listed in the classified, but it looks to be too smal to work in the cockpit.

Of course I love the go-fast J.E Jones boat that has popped up on CL recently, but that sure doesn't sound like a sound economical to run!

Gas v Diesel?

Wood vs Glass? Wood over Glass?

Stylewise (price being no object) boats of yours that I have liked:
BHM (25', 28'...)
Young Brothers
Holland 32'
Mussel Ridge 28'

Operationally I need to be able to haul cages which are about 4 x 4 x 3 and fully loaded may weigh up to 300-500 pounds. I am assuming thats well beyond a davit/hauler, so was planning on a crane/hoist and winch.

I will want to be able to run in the colder months, so some protection from elements, and running gear that can withstand a chill are a must.

So the question is, is there something that hits that 10-15k max price point, but will run for a couple of seasons with maintenance and some upgrading, but without epic overhaul?

Is there anyone in the lobster business who wants to run their boat down here for a slice of a few acres of oyster farm?

I am sure I have left off plenty of details, but hit me and I will answer as best as I can, and cry "uncle" when I just don't know.

Thanks,

Ian
 

F/V First Team

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Northern Bay 36 - Modified
First of all let me say thanks to everyone whose information I have been soaking up for a while now. I should also say that I have seen some truly killer boats here, thanks for the inspiration.

I am in the process of starting up an oyster farm in NY. After an interminable wait, the Army Corps has finally cleared my permits. So it is boat shopping time. At this point, I have pretty much narrowed my working boat choice to a downeast boat. The open cockpit, stable work area, classic lines, all work for me. I know down in the Chesapeake, the oyster farmers are all working out of 21' Carolina Skiffs, but here, I think I'd lose all my teeth. So I come back to the DE.

I am looking for opinions and suggestions, and very open to discussion. I can lead by some of what I have sorted out for myself so far:

As a startup, I am going to have to keep this first boat pretty affordable. I know that is totally subjective, but put it this way, if there is 25k to spend, the more of it that goes in the water vs in the boat, the more harvest there is, and therefore the more $ there might be towards an upgrade.

I see a lot of the REPCO boats listed, then see a lot of talk about pitching & rolling.

I saw that POGO listed in the classified, but it looks to be too smal to work in the cockpit.

Of course I love the go-fast J.E Jones boat that has popped up on CL recently, but that sure doesn't sound like a sound economical to run!

Gas v Diesel?

Wood vs Glass? Wood over Glass?

Stylewise (price being no object) boats of yours that I have liked:
BHM (25', 28'...)
Young Brothers
Holland 32'
Mussel Ridge 28'

Operationally I need to be able to haul cages which are about 4 x 4 x 3 and fully loaded may weigh up to 300-500 pounds. I am assuming thats well beyond a davit/hauler, so was planning on a crane/hoist and winch.

I will want to be able to run in the colder months, so some protection from elements, and running gear that can withstand a chill are a must.

So the question is, is there something that hits that 10-15k max price point, but will run for a couple of seasons with maintenance and some upgrading, but without epic overhaul?

Is there anyone in the lobster business who wants to run their boat down here for a slice of a few acres of oyster farm?

I am sure I have left off plenty of details, but hit me and I will answer as best as I can, and cry "uncle" when I just don't know.

Thanks,

Ian


The problem with the weight of your traps isn't the hauler or the davit, it's the washrail. The trap will clear the water and hang off the side, but getting it onto the rail will be an issue supreme. Simple way to cure this is to have a fish trap table installed, so the trap comes up vertically, a catch pops out on the table then the table & trap rotate down so you can harvest the contents. I will try to find some photos of this set up. Only downside is that it weighs down the vessel on one side, but if you make it smartly of aluminum with some cut-outs on the table (for drainage and weight loss) that should work out nicely.

Not knowing how far out you have to go, the workload during the day, the time spent each day on the water, I would suggest a gasoline powered vessel. Parts are easy to get and it sounds like you're going to be fairly in-shore so you don't need the diesel to steam 50 miles one way to start the day. A P-30 pump on a jack shaft should do all your hydraulic needs for any tables, reels, haulers, thrusters, etc.

You're probably spot on for the size of the vessel, being 28-30 foot range for being able to get in close and around your gear, but I would think that the resulting engine box would be a hindrance to you - another vote for gas power since their engine boxes are somewhat smaller and closer to the bulkhead.

And just how big of a slice are you offering? I do like pie...
 

Frigate

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Shinnecock Inlet, NY
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38' Duffy/Flower
Ian,

From what you said you are somewhere here on Long Island. There are still some lobster boats around from the LI Sound lobster fishery crash. If you like PM me and I can help get you in that direction.

If you are going to insure the boat then think glass and diesel. The insurance companies like those better.
 

bub147

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Falmouth, MA
Ian,

I own a farm up in Falmouth on Buzzards Bay. I use the exact setup that you are propsing and have been at it for three years. My boat is a 38' (really 42') DH Hunter with a 220 hp 6068 John Deere. Its fiberglass novi hull. The boat is literally ideal for my situation. I run a 30 GPM pump off the engine and the hauler lifts the full cages (300 lbs range full market size oysters) without too much issue. I suggest a direct drive pump as opposed to belt as I did have issues when it was a belt setup. I have a short gangeon off the loing line so when the connection of the gangeon to the longline in just above the hauler, the bottom of the cage is just at the rail. Its a two person operation to haul gear ( one person is doable but sucks).

I did have a 35' wood lobster boat before the boat I have now and would have stuck with it but a bunch of fasteners let go at the same time and we almost sank. A new /used boat was forced upon us. We looked for an open transom but couldnt find one big enough at the right price range. My old boat could hold 10 cages plus a sorting table and still have room to work. My new one does 15 easy and could do more if I wanted. Too many cages makes it scary to set gear back though... and tooooons of lines everywhere is a PIA. I stir up some pics to give you an idea.

BTW you definitely want a sorting table. Its a lifesaver and makes it super efficent.

Mr. Jake is the new boat. The pic is from before I owned it but gives an idea of size and Dragon is my old boat.

Seth

IMG_0130.jpg

dragonsortingtable.JPG

DSCN3418.JPG

IMG_0129.jpg

IMG_0246.jpg
 

ianbw

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Location
Peconic Bay, NY
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www.northforkoysters.com
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Sisu 26
bub147- Thanks for sharing the pics. Nice to know that the theory holds true. I am definitely planning on a sorting table. I was also thinking about setting up some sort of tumbling tube rig on the boat, or at least as an option for doing more of that work out on the lease as opposed to hauling in and out every time.

Just curious, how deep are your cages? My lease is in 18'-20' water.

F/V First Team- Thanks for jumping in with your input, I have valued your posts throughout this forum. I am intrigued by the fish trap table idea. I'll spend some time with good old Google, but if you have any pictures of that kind of rig, I'd love a look. As far as some of your questions-

The lease site is not offshore, but inside Peconic Bay at the end of Long Island. Depending upon shoreside location, I would have up to about a 15 mile run from port to the site, so not bad. (there are closer shore areas, but I have a pretty good opportunity at the further location that may warrant burning the extra petrol.)

I'd like to handle as much of the farm operations from the boat as possible, at least in the early days and so can expect full days on the water. The cages will be set in long line trawls, moored at the ends. I have seen rigs where the longline is set into a snap block on the side of the boat and the whole operation hauled to each cage connection. Operation on the water will likely consist primarily of hauling cages, sorting, and tumbling and then to divide the growing stock into more cages and reset.


Frigate- spot on re: Long Island. I was planning on doing some wandering around yards, farm fields, etc for some of the old fleet. I'll PM you for some ideas.
 

bub147

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We are in 15 ft of water. One recommendation for doing work on site is that one of your corner marks have a significaant anchor to tie up to. We have this and its invaluable. Its a 700 lb. anchor. Works like a charm.
 

ianbw

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Peconic Bay, NY
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Sisu 26
It seems there are plenty of Repco 30's in approachable price ranges. From a working platform perspective, is there enough beam in these boats? In terms of both available deck space and/or initial stability?

Are my specs accurate that they have a 9' beam, tapering to a finer 6' stern?
 

dwnhmr

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I saw this rig earlier in the spring on trip down east.. (not the landing craft) The boat in the foreground appropriately named Oyster Girl, seams to have a hydraulic "U" frame and table of some sort. I think it's a T Jason 25 ?? Sorry for the poor quality/ raining at the time & camera phone photo

IMAG0412-1.jpg
 

jnoon

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I just saw the max. price you posted. This one will be a little more than that, but you won't be overhauling in a couple of years. Isuzu only has 1800hrs.
 
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