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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Interesting Boats: Is This a Real Lobster Boat?

National Fisherman magazine covered the launching of the lobster boat pictured above in their March issue. If you want the full story, you'll have to contact NF because I think the March issue is already off the stands. Meanwhile, I'll tell you what I can remember from reading it.

When I first saw the photo on the cover I thought it was an April Fool's prank. Magazines do that sometimes. They'll have a pull-your-leg story in the issue in time for April. Offshore magazine did it years ago with a story by Dave Gerr on making your propeller more efficient by drilling strategically placed holes in it. Very funny story. Not so funny for Herb Gliick, the founder and publisher, who had to field a bunch of telephone calls from angry readers who had drilled holes in their expensive propellers.

However, this NF cover is no prank. This is a real commercial fishing boat built in Canada by a veteran commercial fisherman and a well-established yard.

What can I say? If it's not the ugliest boat that ever sailed the seven seas it must be the ugliest boat's ugly cousin. No, seriously, I think this is the ugliest boat I have ever seen in my life.

Granted, in Canada, fisherman have to build their boats short and squat in order to stay within their legally mandated size limits. But this is just ridiculous. If I recall, the boat measures 49' in length by 29' in width. The wheelhouse deck is about 20' off the water, which gives you an idea how tall it is at the top of the mast.

If this boat was any taller and squatter it would look like a two story building on Main Street.

I think the article mentioned that she carried 37,000 pounds of concrete as ballast, a detail that shouldn't surprise anyone. Another detail that shouldn't surprise anyone is the captain/owner's comment that she is a bit tricky to get into the dock.

One of the things I noticed in the photos that immediately caught my attention was that there were two non-watertight doors on the main deck but a watertight door on the second deck leading into the aft end of the wheelhouse. I'm not sure of the logic there.

Trust me, I'm not against Novi-style boats. I love 'em. I even own one. This is not a Novi. Or maybe it's a Novi on steroids.

Who am I to say? It might be the best work boat ever made for bugging. Time will tell.

Anyway, if you want to see a beautiful boat, click here.

-seabgb

PS. Note to NF: What the hell were you thinking putting this on the cover? What ever happened to the days when NF featured stories and photos of the best and most beautiful works of commercial fishing and boat building?

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