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The Non Evolution of the Sport Fisher

Discussion in 'General Sportfish Discussion' started by Kafue, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Hi Patudo,
    I am very happy with my 53 Hatteras, we raise fish all the time.
    At the moment we are experiencing some crazy weather on the S.E Australian coast, 40 to 60 knot winds etc. which has meant very little fishing time this month, but when it clears I will be out there chasing the pelagics. I have caught plenty of blacks on my last boats and a nice sized blue (in fact my wife hooked it up) probably 100 kilo plus, but so far the most fun was a sailfish way back in 1998, it was about 80 kilo (170+ pound) and gave the most incredible fight.
    I know from some friends that there is a lot of BIG Blue marlin out far, a fishing area which is just beginning to get attention around Australia, so I hope to enjoy it in the years to come.
    Cheers.
  2. Patudo

    Patudo New Member

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    Good luck when you go! I found this link of the one I fished on, trolling for marlin (yes) just off the high sea cliff of Cabo Girao, Madeira:

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  3. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Terrific!
    Thanks for the post. Just proves how good the 53 Hatt design is, wherever there are fish and serious fishermen there are these boats!
  4. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Here in Europe we do not see very much SF yachts. It is not the reason, we do not like fishing, its just, we do not have those big fish like Tuna or Marlin in our local waters like the Northsea or the Baltic. And the Med is almost empty, as far as big tuna is concerned. I only have seen a few SF around the Azores or like mentioned in the post above, in the harbour of Funchal, Madeira. Oh, there was one in Gibraltar, but that was used for smuggling :).

    But I am still fascinated about the design of these SF yachts and watching the fishing technics on the web. But I have no personal experience in sport fishing besides bumble around a few examples on boat shows.

    My favorite SF boats at the moment, are the Spencer IPS types, especially the new Spencer 57 IPS with the open flybridge and tunatower. By watching the system capability of the Volvo IPS in the sportfishing mode, I am wondering, why this system is not used more often. Are you guys to conservative or to traditional, or is conventional SF with shaft and rudder the better system?

    Maybe a stupid question of one of the greatest SF greenhorns in boating history :confused:

    Spencer 57 IPS

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  5. BrandName

    BrandName Member

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    HTMO9

    IPS or 'pod" drives have slowly started to creep into the SF arena, with Paul Spencer being one of the pioneers. I have been on a Spencer IPS powered boat and the handling is amazing.

    IMO some of the reasons that you are not seeing a more manufacturers switch to pod drives in the larger SF market (60+) are as follows:

    We are a traditional bunch, the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality definitely applies to a large portion of the SF crowd.

    In the case of larger SF's, you would need 3, maybe 4 pod drives in order to achieve the same performance as with the traditional heavy iron. Now, there are a few examples (Betsy/Scandalous) out there of this type of set up, but I imagine the idea of maintaining 3-4 engines and drive systems weighs heavily on a Capts head.

    SF's are known to travel quite a bit, service/mechanics are a top priority for these boats. I'm not positive, but I doubt the pods have a service network that can rival a manufacturer such as CAT.

    Some die-hards will doubt the "fish raising" capability of pods until they have proven themselves without a doubt on the tournament circuit.

    Reliability/safety, again, pods need to prove themselves


    All in all I think the pod drives are a neat idea. If they would develop a pod drive that can handle the increased HP of today's large SFs then I would definitely put them on my list to sea trial. I've heard rumors that CAT is developing their own version, should be something to keep an eye out for.
  6. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    In my opinion:

    First and foremost, you will not have the fastest SF on the block with pods. You may burn less fuel, but you will always be looking at someone else's transom.

    If you drop down in hp for a conventional set-up to match the lower speeds attained by pods, cost will become an issue for pods as all those features will add $$$.

    There are plenty of realatively small thru-hulls/openings in your hull bottom, but no one really likes the idea of 2/3/4 really big openings in your hull bottom.

    Underwater exhaust, even though you by-pass some at low rpms. Some people will prefer transom exhaust and no diesel exhasut in the trolling wake.

    And finally, how much maneuverability is trully necessary? Is the boat catching the fish or the angler, or probably some combination thereof.So there in lies the rub, with conventional shaft drives an experienced captain can still outpace an exprienced angler on any size fish. It is still called "sportfishing".
  7. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    I do understand your point with the cervice network on Volvo Pentas in the US and also I am very infected by the IPS virus, due to our own IPS project, I still have some concern about ripping a complete drive off and flooding the engine room. But is the Spencer 57 with a topspeed of above 35 Kts, not fast enough? And is not a great redundency, to have 4 engines down below :).

    Given the above points, how about Zeus Pods with Cat engines and transom exhausts ?
  8. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    There is alternative drives to Volvo IPS or ZF Zeus pods coming from a manufecterer in Germany, cant remember the name. Anyways these pods where used on a new 29 meter Maiora past Summer and there production range can take up to 2600hp with bigger versions available on order.

    In Europe if you go in Italy especially in Sardegna there is quite a few of those Sportfishers from Hatteras, Bertram, Viking, Cabo, and Tiara. This last possibly the most popular in the peninsula. Custom models are not as yet so popular though you do see a couple of them around if you are luckly. I saw the 78 Buddy Davis a few years ago for example....
  9. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    For the Custom and production SF guys, especially those on the tournament circuit, 35 knots is not the benchmark.

    42 knots up to 49 knots is the current benchmark, as no owner equiped diesel powered SF has consistently broken the 50 knot barrier (to my knowledge). Put yourself in the owner's shoes - you just shelled out $5-6Mil on your new toy, only to see that 47 knot Weaver or whatever blow by you, now how does that feel???

    I personally have a dislike for that "octopus" of exhaust hose which results from using a a quad engine package with pods. What a mess.....

    As far as redundancy, even the Navy doesn't necessarily require a greater than +1 redundancy for safety margins on many designs. Look at the Carolina charterboat guys, many are still using highly efficient single engine applications, going back to the "if it ain't broke, why fix it" approach.
  10. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    I must admit, I have never watched a fishing tournament. 50 Kts is definately beyond the scope of a Volvo IPS. These systems are designed for max 45 Kts, on average 25 Kts cruise and 30 Kts max. The little hint with the redundancy, was ment as a joke. Nobody really needs 4 engines. The argument, I do not understand, is the exhaust problem with the IPS. I thought, it was its biggest advantage.
  11. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Good point that deserves it's own thread in the sportfish Forum. I have often wondered how a fisherman claims a record on some light tackle line class, then you read further and the whole catch and release was a 5 or less minute affair because the boat was backing up at such a speed the cockpit filled and the tag guy was dangling off the transom with a combined reach of 8 foot. I doubt the angler stretched the line to half it's breaking point.

    As for 45 knot SF's, where and how often can they afford to reach these speeds before passengers start breaking up? I trust the boats!
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I was running a yacht down to St. Thomas. A 58' Meridian with a seakeeper and IPS drives was pretty much on the same route and we'd end up at the same stops. They bumped a log at just under 8 knots. It sheered 2 of the bolts off of the portside pod, and the pod was hanging on by threads. If they were going a little faster, they would've lost the drive in the deep blue sea and been sitting around waiting for a drive to be shipped to St. Thomas. No water was leaking inside the boat, they even removed the drive completely with the vessel in the water with a lift bag and they didn't have water leaking in either.

    The Spencer 57 is sort of fast enough, BUT nobody wants to maintain 4 engines and 4 drives. Never. Plus the pods really shine on a twin pod installation over a straight drive installation in fuel economy, after that, the 3rd and 4th engine and drive have diminishing returns where the fuel savings don't outweigh the hassles of maintaining everything. If the boat is going to be doing a lot of down island travelling or central/south america stuff I would definately prefer straight drives.

    I would much much rather have Zues if I was going that route, if not for the transom exhaust alone on a SF. I also would prefer the Cummins parts cost, dealer network, and dealer customer service over Volvo. And, every Volvo boat (non IPS) I've ever managed always had weird issues that were very hard for the dealer to diagnose and took multiple trips to fix. A 50' F+S was next to us at Atlantis with IPS and the amount of wash underneath the cockpit sides and transom was unreal, and would make bottom fishing with the engines running well a nightmare.

    HTM-You don't want underwater exhaust when fishing because it makes the wash off of the boat too cloudy and the fish cannot see the baits to eat them.

    Kafue- many of the customs that cruise at a fast speed are a lot more efficient than their production boat brothers. I worked on a 2003 75' Jim Smith, that burned 150gph at 35 knots.... or just over 4 gallons per mile.......the same fuel burn per mile as a 61' Viking with c32's and 2 knots faster and a heck of a lot bigger......
  13. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Remember the Meridian is a Brunswick product, I don't think you would see IPS on that model, maybe a different brand?
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No, it was definately a new Meridian flybridge boat. The Captain stated it had IPS drives......I saw them remove the drive and float it with an inflatable lift bag.....I didn't stick around to see exactly which drive it was......but they had it off pretty darn quick.....It's possible it had zues......
  15. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Hi Capt J.
    My point was not the fuel economy of the speed. I misused the word "afford". It was not related to dollars, rather broken bodies and fittings.
    How the passengers would cope in seas you find where the big fish are and the boat is at 35 knots!
  16. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Medium sized SF

    From what I have learned from your arguments, this must be then the ideal owner operated medium sized sportfish with pod drives.

    Viking 60 SF with open flybridge and tunatower. 2 x Caterpillar C 32 ACERT, 1200 bhp each, 2 x ZF 4000 Pod drive with stern exhausts.

    What is the reason, classical SF boats have no bow rail? Is it just tradition or is there a practical reason behind it. And one more stupid question, how are those big outriggers are used or operated ?

    I hope the guests ivories will survive a ride like this, if the sea gets a little rough :D.

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  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    As with anything, the bigger the boat and the better the hull design and build construction, the better the ride. That 75' Jim Smith made 4-6'ers feel like 2' in a 40' Cabo at speed. As the seas grow though, you're going to start slowing down at some point in the larger boats as well......
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    HTM- Yeah that would be about ideal for a pod driven SF. But the ZF pods aren't as smooth and have the finesse in docking maneuvers as either the zues or ips.

    Most of the SF have no bow rail simply for looks. But nobody is going out on the bow at speed and few SF anchor except maybe once a year. If you notice the Viking pictured has no anchor windless pictured.

    65' is probably the largest you see an owner operator running themselves. 55-60' is a bit common. On a SF you have to get to around 60' to have the storage, freezer space for bait and food, and etc to really travel and fish for an extended period.

    Outriggers- they are deployed at about a 60 degree angle from the side of the boat. They usually have 600lb monofiliment running up the outrigger and to the cockpit with adjustable release clips on them that you can pull up and down from the cockpit. An outrigger on a 60' boat will have at least 2 release clips sometimes 3. You will put you're bait out at the desired distance behind the boat, pull the release clip down to the cockpit, hook your fishing line to the release clip, pull the clip up the outrigger, and this will keep your long line further out the side of the boat 40-60', then the next release clip will keep your line 20' out the side of the boat.......so basically it spreads the lines away from each other so your fishing lines don't tangle. When a fish takes the bait, it pulls the line out of the release clip, and your fighting the fish from the rod only.
  19. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Thank you very much Capt J, you never stop learning. I thought, the outrigger was a rod itself. Nice trick so !

    Do you believe, the ZF 4000 would be the better choice, provided it has a SF mode like the IPS ?
  20. BrandName

    BrandName Member

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    60ft Viking, C-32's, and pods would be hard to beat. Even without the pods that is a great set up. The 60 Viking is a great boat, I'm hoping that YF will have a review of the new 62 sometime soon!

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