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Old 02-28-2008, 10:52 PM   #1
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Design, old and new

In the "propellers" thread on the mechanical forum I posted a couple of shots of the FV Spicy Lady.* I thought this would be more appropriate in "design" than in "propellers."

Here are two shots I took yesterday in the yard where our boat is currently hauled.* It's an interesting study in design change over some seventy or eighty years.* Two fishing boats, both used in the Alaska fishery.* The "David B" was built in the early 1900s and used in Bristol Bay.* Currentliy restored but still powered with her original 3-cylinder Washington engine, she is a study in the melding of aesthetics and function.

Spicy Lady, built in 1992, is a study in function with a bit of aesthetics thrown in for good measure.

I had a chance to visit the engine room of the David B the other year when she was in this same yard.* They were running the engine and it was quite something to stand down next to it with all its exposed moving parts.* There are a couple of short videos on YouTube someone made of the "David B's" engine in operation.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:20 AM   #2
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RE: Design, old and new

Marin,

The David B is clearly a wounderful example of an old boat, in this case a timeless design. I even know what a Washington Engine is as I worked in the engineering dept at Washington Iron Works in 1959. The Washington Diesel was offered in just about every imaginable cylinder configuration. All the Washington equipment I saw was powered by modern diesels of the time, mostly Detroits and I used to love the sound of the " Jimmies " when they started them in the shop. As for the Spicey Lady, I don't see any aesthetics at all. There are still a number of boats very similar to David B operated out of Petersburg. They are known as " Halibut Schoners ".

Eric
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:50 AM   #3
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RE: Design, old and new

The "David B" has lines similar to a halibut schooner, but she isn't one. Her current owners told me she was built for the Bristol Bay salmon fishery and among other things was used to tow long strings of Bristol Bay gillnet boats out to the fishing grounds. In those days the rules of the Bristol Bay fishery was that gillnetting had to be done from an un-motorized boat (it could have a sail).

Here are some shots of true halibut schooners. A characteristic of the halibut schooner design was the two masts, hence the "schooner" part of their name. As Eric says, they are beautiful workboats.

I downloaded these shots from a terrific website if you like photos of west coast fishing boats of all types. It's two pages of multiple photo albums for each category of fishing boat. The website is http://66.154.152.16/gallery/albums.php

If viewed from the side, I think the FV "Spicy Lady" does have nice lines for this type of modern fishing boat.* She looks chunky out of the water, but in the water she has a pleasing sheer and is nicely proportioned.* Technology and design knowledge has come a long, long way since the days of the "David B" and the halibut schooners, and I've seen modern boats far more "machine-like" in design than "Spicy Lady."



-- Edited by Marin at 02:12, 2008-02-29
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:04 PM   #4
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RE: Design, old and new

Marin,

Thank you very much. I enjoy your attachments as I can view them large on my little laptop. From time to time I pass Halibut Schooners in Wrangell Narrows and I'm thrilled every time. Totally in line with this thread is an observation/opnion of mine that older boats are long and narrow and almost always have graceful lines. Many modern boats like the Spicey Lady boxy or even tubby with broken or awkward sheer lines. People are goofy about them but I don't even think the Nordhaven's are beautiful ( with the exception of the 46' ). Very good boats to be sure but not that attractive. Look at the curent issue of PMM as an example. The Great Harbour boats are beyond not very attractive and the Northwest 45 plowes along with her stern obviously higher than her bow making a big wave ( with an awful sheer ) and PMM presents them as classy yachts we should lust after. Look at the shape of the windows on the side of the wheelhouse .. awful. The Zimmerman 46, on the other hand, isn't perfect, but a very nice looking boat. I wouldn't want to be a helmsman on her as visibility looks to be awful at speed. I do think the yachts of the 50s were far better looking than the currant crop.

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Old 02-29-2008, 03:39 PM   #5
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RE: Design, old and new

The Nordies are great boats but good lookin' they ain't. Among the production, trawler-type boats, I think the Flemings are beautiful, the GB Europas are attractive, the smaller Krogens are kind of cute, and most everything else is just utilitarian looking.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:58 PM   #6
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RE: Design, old and new

Adam---

Interesting story about the Fleming. Tony Fleming was at one time the manager of the American Marine yard in Singapore where the company started building Grand Banks boats out of fiberglass starting in 1973. The original hull molds for the fiberglass GBs were designed and constructed by Howard Abbey, who also helped Hatteras get into fiberglass. Abbey wrote a "bible" about every detail of every step required to manufacture a fiberglass hull to his standards. He supervised the construction of all the fiberglass GBs from the begining in 1973 to partway through 1974, when he left the company. However, he left his "bible" with American Marine to use as guide to ensure than the high-quality processes he had initiated continued to be followed. There was only one copy.

A number of years later American Marine asked Abbey to come back and help them as they were having trouble with the manufacture of their hulls. Abbey came back and found that his processes and even the custom tools he'd made were no longer being used. "What happened to the big book I put together for you?" he asked. "It has everything you need to know in it. Follow the book, and you'll have no problems."

In an article about him, Abbey said that some "English guy" had been running the yard and that when he left to start his own boatbuilding business, he took Abbey's "how to do it" bible with him. The "English guy" was Tony Fleming.

It is no accident that the design of Fleming's boats is very similar to the design used on American Marine's earlier Alaskan line of boats.

-- Edited by Marin at 17:00, 2008-02-29
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:05 PM   #7
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RE: Design, old and new

Eric & Adam:

I couldn't agree more with Eric's assessment of the Nordies. I,too,like the looks of the 46 but having been on one in Mexico, there's no room to breath! Pretty small inside <u>for a 46</u>. Adam's critique of trawlers coinsides with my own thoughts. I think the Flemming is one of the best looking boats on the water.
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:26 AM   #8
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RE: Design, old and new

I have to agree the Flemmings are a beaut looking boat , pity about the semi displacement under body and the massive HP twins installed.
Would be good with full displacement and a nice single to run at displacement speed
There are only 2 in Australia that I know of.

Benn
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:22 AM   #9
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RE: Design, old and new

Marin:

<u>Now that's an informative post! </u>

I met Tony Fleming some years ago when he was taking delivery of his first 75 footer in San Diego. We had a nice conversation and he appeared to be a stand-up guy.

Your account of his time with American Marine, however, sure answers questions (many, in fact) that I've had over the years.

Thanks for the insight.

Walt*
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:00 AM   #10
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RE: Design, old and new

Indeed, very interesting history.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:51 PM   #11
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RE: Design, old and new

Benn--

There is an "interview" with Tony Fleming on the Fleming website. In it he states categorically why he does not believe in single engine boats and why there will never be a single engine Fleming. Of course the interview was done awhile back, so perhaps as diesel approaches $356.72 a gallon, he may change his mind. On the other hand, maybe the people who can buy Flemings don't care if diesel costs $356.72 a gallon.

The forerunner of the Fleming in terms of basic design was the American Marine Alaskan series. All of them were wood-- they unfortunately decided not to transition the Alaskan to fiberglass as they did their Grand Banks line. But the Alaskans were generally powered with relatively low-power engines--- Lehman 120s, John Deeres, etc. and as such are quite cost-effective boats to run.

Some of the Alaksan models are really nice looking, particularly the relatively rare Alaskan 45. I don't have a photo to post, but if you go to the Grand Banks owners site ( http://www.grandbanksowners.com/ ) and open the GB Owners Board and look for any post by Bob Lowe you will see a shot of his Alaskan 45. Better looking, in my opinion, than even a Fleming, which despite Tony Fleming's evil past is a beautiful boat.
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