Author Archives: chungking

July 11, 2016

New England fishermen battle the winter ocean on Georges Bank

It is fiery cold, this January noon, in the little port of Fairhaven across the harbor from New Bedford. The dock by Hathaway’s Machine Shop is six inches deep in ice. Floes clog the harbor, and frost smoke hangs over the gray water.

She lies outboard of an old rusty trawler, and she looks deserted. No, there’s a head showing in a window of the pilothouse, and it’s reddish. they tole me over in Leif Jacobsen’s office in the settlement house, where they can cash the firshermen’s checks, to look for a redhead. That would be Lars Sovik, Leif’s son-in-law, captain of the 99-foot stern trawler Valkyrie.Continue reading

July 3, 2016

Let’s party

MY ARM WAS ACHING, my back was getting sore, and the stubborn 50-pound bluefin tuna I had been fighting for over 20 minutes was still digging and pinwheeling. When the long-handled gaff reached out and struck home, I was as relieved as I was pleased to have finally achieved one of my longtime goals: I had finally had the chance to get in on the action aboard one of California’s long-range party boats.Continue reading

June 28, 2016

Thrill of the hunt: remaking an older boat is one sure way to get exactly what you want

If Hank and Nance Minchin couldn’t find an old boat to renovate, they’d have to trash one and then remake her in their own style. This is how they feel about houses, too. Nance says they’ve exchanged maybe a dozen houses in the Greenwich, Conn., area since they’ve been married, and all of them been married, and all of them needed something. The house they live in now needed everything – it’s one they had built for themselves.Continue reading

June 21, 2016

High-tech hydraulics goes fishing

In British Columbia, the commercial fishing industry has changed dramatically. Fishing areas that were traditional high producers have been put on tonnage quotas. These quotas vary in different areas and allow only relatively small catches. While the fishing vessels that made up the trawler fleet in the past literally had energy to burn, today’s conditions call for a new breed of vessel – efficient in fuel consumption and in the operation of hydraulic deck machinery, and augmented with new technology to make time away from port as productive as possible. Because of the distances involved and the cost of bringing the product to market, these new vessels must be able to travel quickly to the fishing grounds and either ice-down or freeze and box the fish they catch. To do this cost effectively, smaller, more-efficient vessels are necessary.


We were asked to design and supply a hydraulic system for one of these new-breed fishing vessels, the Viking Moon. Constructed of marine-grade aluminum, the 60-ft long, 25-ft wide Viking Moon has a 685-hp propulsion engine that turns at 1800 rpm when making 10 knots. Some of the on-board hydraulic equipment includes: the anchor winch, two net reels, two trawling winches, a third-wire winch, four on-deck planetary winches, water pumps, an on-deck crane, processing machinery, and miscellaneous smaller items.Continue reading

June 15, 2016

A shrimper with style

Not many fishing boats can double as a research vessel right out of the box. The Patsy K is one that can and does.

The first thing you notice about the steel and aluminum 62-footer is that her outriggers can be folded back and down to allow access under low bridges and power lines. Then you spot other refinements, like a fold-up step at the sorting table, stainless steel rigging and assorted catheads and snatch blocks in strategic locations. Welcome aboard Tom Kelly’s Patsy K.Continue reading