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Offshore Sportfishing, innovations & alternatives

Discussion in 'General Sportfish Discussion' started by brian eiland, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Bruce Pfund is the technical editor of an excellent publication known as Professional Boatbuilder, http://www.proboat.com/ . He is also an avid sportfisher. He has written many excellent articles on a whole range of boatbuilding subjects both power and sail. Reference some of his work here at this link http://www.bpspecialprojects.com/

    This past June/July ’06, Issue # 101 he wrote an article titled “Shootout”. I’ll just quote the pre-amble text he opened the article with:

    At two recent sportfishing tournaments, the author trolled for details—small but significant finishing touches on (mostly) big custom boats. They represent the sort of technical refinements that may eventually appear on production-built models, even those of modest size.

    "Walking the Harbour Island, Bahamas, docks where the sportfishing yachts in the Custom Boat Shootout had tied up was a fascinating experience. Bring together a few dozen of the Eastern United States’ premier custom boats, their owners, captains, and skilled crews, and there are bound to be refinements of traditional setups, along with innovative new equipment you won’t see at a typical boat show—just yet.

    For the past two years I’ve made the trip from the U.S. mainland to the Bahamas to fish, and to take in what I can of the very exclusive fleet assembled there for the annual tournament. Last year 28 boats from 15 builders were on hand.

    Pleading professional obligations, I dodged washdown and cleanup duties on Unexpected, the 61’ (18.6m) Sonny Briggs I fished with, to wander the docks looking for interesting details specific to these highly evolved craft; some items might eventually appear on other types of boats. Several participating vessels were predictably opulent—although still successful in raising fish— while others were decidedly spartan. Without exception the fleet was specialized for offshore fishing. I tried to stay focused on details that might be relevant to other builders and designers: naturally, I found a couple of boats I just really liked. Here's a selection of what I saw.”


    Obviously this text is enough to make any avid offshore fishing guy want to find and read this article. And while you’re at it you might also look up another article of his from Aug/Sept ‘02, Issue #78, “Sportfishing Boat Layouts”.

    So now that I’ve turned you on to two really good articles, I’m going to digress a bit.

    In the article “Shootout” Bruce reinforces the general need to innovate, and innovation in tower design in particular, by referring back to a pod tower concept designed by the Fla fisherman and builder Jim Smith back early in his career 1959.

    Here is that ‘pod tower’ concept as included in the ProBoat article:

    An Innovative Tower
    The accompanying photo of Boca Jima—a 35’ sportfisherman designed and built by the late Stuart, Florida, builder and fisherman Jim Smith early in his career—ran in the May/June 1987 issue of WoodenBoat magazine. The boat itself was built in 1959, cold-molded of double-diagonal cedar and epoxy, and capable of 44 knots, a speed still impressive today. But it was the innovative aerodynamic styling and functionality of the pod tower concept that remains especially appealing to me. Strangely, Smith’s good idea, which also replaced the conventional port and starboard tower access ladders with an elevator, was not embraced and copied. This tower—a radical departure from existing boats, then and now, might have been a bit too extreme for the sportfishing fraternity.

    According to John Vance, president of Jim Smith Boats, there’s more to the Boca Jima story. “Jim was a real innovator,” he said, “and sometimes looked to Detroit for styling trends. Boca Jima has a hit of a ‘57 Chevy look to it, doesn’t it?”

    “Look closely at the picture. Note that the contours of the tower’s hardtop match the contours of the top of its pod. There’s a crank mechanism that retracts the top so that it sits flush on top of the pod, which reduces drag and protects the pod from the weather. Jim chartered the boat for quite a while. He had a wooden leg from a motorcycle accident; the elevator was a big help to him. But he told me he’d leave the car in the up position so his charterers wouldn’t pester him.”

    “Jim was an early adopter of many things.” Vance continued, “including adhesive bonding. Boca Jim’s tower was braced by four aluminum sailboat masts, with flanges welded at their bases. Jim bonded the flanges to the deck and cabintop with whatever the equivalent of (3M) 52OO was in those days, using just a few screws to hold each flange in place. Everyone thought he was nuts. When the boat sold, the new owners tried to remove the tower so that it could be bolted down more conventionally. They tore off plywood trying.”



    Kind of radical, huh? (to be cont…)

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  2. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Reply to Pfund's Article

    So upon seeing Jim Smith’s radical tower and a few other items in Bruce Pfund’s article ‘Shootout’, I just couldn’t resist the temptation to write a ‘letter to the editor’. I tried to write it with a little ‘tongue-in-cheek’ humor as I really respect Bruce’s work.

    I was quite surprised when I found out the letter was published in the most recent issue PBB No 103, Oct/Nov
    ________________________________________________

    Ltr to the Editor of Professional BoatBuilder

    Just looked thru Bruce Pfund’s latest article “Shootout” in PBB No 101, Jun/Jul ‘06. I thought I would drop you a short note to be taken with a little light-hearted ribbing.

    I’ve really enjoyed Bruce’s articles in the past, and particularly took note of one where he detailed the fishing cockpit, PBB No 78 (“Sportfishing Boat Layout”). I hope to make use of some of those insightful details when I finally find a brave client to really push the boundaries of a new gamefisher design: http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/general-yachting-discussion/1548-gamefishing-sail-under-sail-power.html

    In “Shootout” Bruce wrote, “…deviations from the day’s norm are small. Will anyone dare to break away from the now traditional tuna tower and try a single, aerodynamically efficient, unstayed mast with an aero-style crow’s nest…” Well I guess you might say I’ve taken that ‘crow’s nest-on-a-composite-mast’ challenge to the EXTREME. I’ve extended that mast, and added a sailing rig. I need to expand the size of my crow’s nest a bit more, and it wouldn’t necessarily have to be located as far up the mast. I do like the idea of the ‘elevator’ as on Jim Smith’s Boca Jima. He was quite an innovator wasn’t he.

    Interesting that Smith did not feel the need for the additional flybridge helm as well. I had included this additional helm on my deckhouse roof since the crow’s nest was not sufficiently expansive in my original drawings. I had also considered exploring a sort of fold-away, pop-up, podium type helm station at that roof location. This would provide for good communication between the captain and the fishing cockpit in close fighting situations, and might be rigged to handle the teaser reels also.

    Bruce wrote, “Will 2006 be the year that large low-drag unstayed carbon outriggers appear?” I think being able to clip lines on both my twin backstays and my relatively short unstayed carbon outriggers, and across the whole big beam of this vessel, should make for quite a bait spread without unruly longer riggers.

    The new Volvo IPS prop system might substitute for my belt-driven concept, but lets go up another whole notch and eliminate conventional props and supports altogether. How about adapting the latest Rim-Driven Propeller technologies:
    http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/23867-post8.html
    http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/technical-discussion/3961-rim-driven-propellers.html

    These propulsion units can be 1) smaller in diameter than their prop counterparts, 2) tucked under the hull closer to the hull bottom, 3) located further forward from the transom, 4) retractable, 5) far less nosey, 6) less susceptible to fouling, 7) serviceable without hauling the vessel, etc. Rim-drives are electrically driven by a magnet component in the rim of the prop, so they would require the latest technologies associated with diesel/electric propulsion. Carbon blades in the rim-drives combined with low speed, hi-torque electric drive would produce phenomenal maneuverability at slow fighting speeds, and without any reduction/direction gearboxes.

    Plus you would have all of the electricity you could possible want onboard without the extra weight of the usual one or two auxiliary generator units. Set up right this could be a real fuel-sipping offshore fishing machine (much less fuel weight to propel & haul around). The sails could all be electrically furled.

    Bruce mentioned, “within a year or two the first oven-baked, carbon-fiber, pre-preg sportfisherman will arrive on the scene….the quantum leap its presence will represent…”
    By analogy this 65 gamefishing cat I’m proposing done in all-carbon might find its nearest comparison with the very lt-weight built GunBoat 62 catamaran:
    http://www.deltayachtsbrokerage.com/dyeng/gunboat-en.html
    http://www.gunboat.info/home.html
    My design will of course be heavier with its significantly greater engine power, and it won’t carry that same sail area to displacement ratio, but it does maintain that slenderness in the hulls and a relatively lt-weight of a carbon build.

    Upon looking at the opening photo of the article down the long line of boats, I noticed that not one of the vessels had a tender onboard (nor chocks for same). These vessels are all ‘dock dwellers’. They would have a hard time spending a night away from the dock, or a few days away from a fuel supply. So rather than refer to them as ‘offshore fishing vessels’, I think they might better be termed ‘tournament fishing vessels’. They are specialized for tournaments, something mine is not.

    I am also developing a specialized RIB tender that can be carried up front, (two in my case), without concern for its being swamped by a big wave over the bow. Tenders become akin to one’s car when you get away from the docks and/or into remote fishing locations.

    Bruce wrote, “The challenge is to innovate while still creating a boat that is not so radically custom, or weird that no one will want to buy it. Or that is so finely tuned for a particular fishery that its efficiency is compromised when chasing other species.” Well I guess I failed the ‘radically custom’ part by a long shot, and it certainly hasn’t been easy coming up with a client to buy one (the mixture of sail with fishing or power has been no easy sell). But then I have never represented this design as a tournament boat. It is clearly a ‘get out there on your own bottom, go-anywhere-in-the-world’ vessel. I would surely think there’d be a few of those really adventurous fishing guys around. My vessel should not appear so radical to them, and its versatile enough to fish on the flats as well as the ocean.

    And it just might fair well in a couple of tournaments…..if they dare let her in.

    Okay I've got my flak jacket on
  3. KCook

    KCook Senior Member

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  4. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Tower Windage & Weight

    But think of the huge windage of these fully enclosed towers, and their big weight high off the roll center of the vessel. Granted the power crowd is not concerned with extra windage drag, but if one ever saw an analysis of this drag at 30-40 knots of boat speed they would be astounded.
  5. KCook

    KCook Senior Member

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    Oh, I agree completely. The big crows nest on that Triton would be completely inappropriate for a 60' fisherman.

    Kelly
  6. yipster

    yipster New Member

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    hi guy's, first say "yek" three times before even thinking of putting sails on a fishing tower
    now think about it, if that tower is a easy to fold down around the housing bi-pod mast
    of a motor sailer and look eastectically attractive it would make sence, would it not?
    as say'd, first "yek" than think before shooting the piano player of this variation on a theme

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  7. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Innovative Towers

    ...this note just arrived in the Dec/Jan issue #104 of ProBoat

    As a reader always interested in off shore sportfishing innovations, I enjoyed Bruce Pfund's articles "Shootout" (PBB No. 101, page 38).

    In 1972 I had a ride on a 64' (22.5m) Halmatic sportfisherman equipped with a tower constructed primarily from twin aluminum poles at the forward end of either side of the cockpit, similar to a vertical gin pole upon which was perched an oblong pod for the captain and a few other observers. There was minimum cross-bracing and about a million fewer welds than in a typical tower of today.

    Compared to towers of that era, the pod was farther aft, giving the captain a better view over the transom.

    But the best part was that it had a real ladder leading up to the pod and wide enough for one person to ascend while another descended.
    Chris Exley
  8. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Crow's Nest on an Unstayed Mast

    How about two crow's nest on an unstayed mast?
    ....with an electric elevator to the top.
    ....and joy stick maneurability of instant forward/reverse
    ....and no rigging stays in fishing cockpit

    Have a look at my latest DynaRig motorsailor,
    http://www.runningtideyachts.com/dynarig/
  9. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Gamefishing Under Sail

    One of several images of DynaRig sportfishing vessel

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  10. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Hi Brian,

    I must say, sportfish or not, your DynaRig Cat will definitely be a success! :)

    Good luck!
    /Lars
  11. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Thanks for that vote of confidence Lars, it means a lot coming from you.

    I think only the fuel prices will ever force the issue of fishing guys considering such a manic idea as fishing under sail. But I least I've tried to make it more appealing than even my previous attempt:
    ...got rid of any backstays from the aft cockpit
    ...provided unbelievable maneuverability under power (you really have to experience an electric motor driven vessel at low speeds to appreciate what I say, and particularily without a fwd/rev gearbox to content with)

    Now here's an illustration that I think is a bit more 'sportfishing looks'.

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  12. Garry Hartshorn

    Garry Hartshorn Senior Member

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    Hi Brian

    Much better looking vessel, I think you are on the right track. Just a couple of points

    1. DynaRigs and other square sail vessels generally have multiple masts this gives you the ability to shift the C.E. fore and aft to balance the boat in various conditions.

    2. The main drawback of this rig type is that they are not that efficient to windward, granted gentleman don't sail to windward. But we have to do it sometime.

    3. My other concern and I saw that you mentioned it on your website is the quickness of the motion of a cat, this coupled with the momentum of an unstayed rig is going to put huge loads on the mast base and cross beam. I can also tell you from personal experiance that being up a mast on a large sailing cat at sea is not comfortable but it gives you a real appreciation for the loads on the rigging.

    By the way that tower idea is brilliant, I think I may try to develop that idia into some of my sketches
  13. brandonw

    brandonw Senior Member

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    A sportfish with IPS drives!

    Finally a sportfish is created with IPS drives! The new Spencer 43 Express is the first to use Volvo IPS-600s giving it a top speed of 34.5 kts burning only 40 gph and giving it a range of over 500 SM. The only negative is that you loose the fishboxes due to the engines being all of the way aft. What a nice looking engine room though. Due to this configuration, they were able to put in a rather large aft stateroom. Not bad for a 43.

    http://www.spenceryachtsinc.com/
  14. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Fishing Tower, early 1958

    I was looking thru a few older boating magazines recently and ran across this early fish spotting tower....nostalgia

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  15. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Interesting Older Design

    ...ran across this from an old issue of Rudder mag


    TEXAS WILD CAT
    L.O.A. 53’
    BEAM 12’
    DRAFT 2’8”

    Hubert S. Miller, who designed this sportfisherman, states that when a man goes to sea to fish he usually doesn’t want to do anything else. The important thing is that the boat get him to the fishing grounds fast and be able to cope safely with the conditions there.

    Named the Wild Cat, this yacht is designed to operate from Galveston at a twenty-knot speed to the fishing areas of the Gulf. Displacement is light and the accommodations are rather rough and ready. Under the foredeck is a bunkhouse with four berths. A small galley, which can be used as a single cabin, is in a trunk behind the bridge. The engines are 550 horsepower Kermaths

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  16. Blair

    Blair New Member

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    Note the theme of new custom sportsfishers. I have not heard anything of a new 90' - a Robert Ullberg design - built in New Zealand by Vaudrey Miller for a Rick Newhauser(?) of Florida. I understood the name was M/v Satu. Fairly sure that it was constructed of exotics and finished to superyacht standards. Has anyone seen or heard of the vessel?
  17. Blair

    Blair New Member

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    I also should mention that Salthouse Marine here in New Zealand have one of their 65'ers underway with 4 IPS drives in it. Understood it will be for an Australian client and its performance will be of interest. Good point about the loss of fish bins albeit with the added benefit of increased accomodation and storage under the salon.
  18. Blair

    Blair New Member

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