Long Beach Carnage

 

December 1, 2018

The Long Beach Carnage, originally a 42- by 13.5-foot seiner, was lengthened and sponsoned to 50 by 19.5 feet, including an unusual inverted-V transom to increase the displacement and provide more buoyancy.

When the Long Beach Bait Company and Carnage Fleet named their locally-built 42-foot by 13.5-foot squid seiner the Long Beach Carnage in 1989, it was clear the owners wanted to promote their business on the Los Angeles waterfront; it seems to have worked, since they have been operating for nearly 30 years. With a capacity of 20 tons (45,000 pounds) the boat delivered many thousands of tons of market squid to their receiver station anchored inside the Long Beach breakwater, where it is sold by the scoop to sports fishermen, or frozen for tuna bait.

After countless trips out to the Catalina Channel, the boat was showing its age and needed a refit, said Tom Brinton, who owns the company with Richie Ashley. Last winter, they decided it was time to give the boat a complete "make over" with sponsons and a new stern and deckhouse. Since they had brought their biggest seiner, the 58-foot Provider, to the Tongue Point-Astoria shipyard for sponsoning in 2014, when the yard was operated by J & H boats, they contacted the new owner, Willie Toristoja at WCT Marine, who had taken over the business in 2017.


Toristoja had already hauled more than a dozen fishing vessels with the yard's large trailer, and built a couple of new boats. To provide the design and engineering for the project, they returned to local naval architect Tulio Celano who provided the plans for the Provider and performed most of the design work for the half dozen fishing vessels that were successfully modernized at Tongue Point since 2011. The length of the boat was limited by the 50-foot squid permit the boat holds. The squid fishery was closed to new boats in 1998 with a moratorium until 2005 when 75 transferable permits were issued.

Celano drew the new full-volume hull with a beam of 19.5 feet and a very unusual inverted-V transom to increase the displacement and support the added tank capacity, stern addition, and deck extension for the new full-width roller. Using hull design software, he lofted the shape and created the CNC files for Farwest Steel in Vancouver, Washington to cut a full kit of steel parts. The old boat arrived in Astoria early in 2018, timed to miss the summer months that are usually the slow season for squid fishing.

The WCT crew pulled it into the big former naval seaplane hangar and stripped the hull down to the waterline. That's when they discovered the bottom plating was also extremely corroded and needed replacing. The original keel and bilge plate structure was usable, so the keel was reinforced with new steel and increased in size to 6 by 12 inches to support the wider heavier hull. The new 19-foot-wide frames for the mid-hull were assembled on the shop's steel fabrication table, then picked up and dropped in place with the yard's 65-ton mobile crane.


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The new transom and stern frames were also hoisted into place to form the stern extension and the bottom plating was attached, creating the inverted-V shape aft of the propeller. "The gull-wing shape gives us the maximum buoyancy aft while retaining the original keel line," Tom explained as he stood under the stern. The two 4-inch intakes for the squid tanks are located under a large grid on the port bilge amidships, with keel coolers on the starboard side. The bow plating was completed in the middle of summer with three separate bottom panels per side below the chine coming together cleanly, before a new Wesmar bow thruster was installed.

The spacious aluminum deckhouse is attached to the steel deck with an explosively bonded bi-metal strip. The house has a full suite of electronics on the bridge, and comfortable accommodations for three or four crew in the foc'sle. By the middle of July, the entire hull was watertight, and the standout feature, the stainless steel rub rails and bulwarks amidships, were being fitted. They were prefabricated with large low-friction stainless fairleads and 12 outlets for the tanks on the port side – part of the powerful pumping system that circulates water constantly through the tanks to keep the squid alive and healthy. "This boat has more stainless work than anything I have seen in 30 years...this will really cut down on maintenance," Willie Toristoja said.


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Propulsion comes from a new 6-cylinder Cummins QSL 330-HP Tier 3 engine with a PTO on the original reduction gear that runs a large International hydraulic pump to power the new wider drum and stern roller from a big local seiner, which the owners bought in Bellingham. A second hydraulic pump on the front of the engine runs the rest of the deck gear, winches and boom, while a third pump powered by a Leeson electric motor is mounted on the forward bulkhead to supply the original JK anchor winch and Wesmar bow thruster. A 6-inch stainless steel tube next to the keel houses a retractable sonar.

The tanks were laminated from fiberglass and foamed in by a team of experienced laminators, giving a total volume of around 30 tons (67,000 pounds) – a 50 percent increase. The original chiller is a 20-ton titanium RSW model built by Bolinski's Cold Seas in Bellingham. It was re-located on the port sponson, while the port side of the engine room is dominated by an array of large-diameter plastic piping that supplies the squid tanks with a steady flow of clean seawater. The system is pressurized by three large pump assemblies that pull in raw seawater – each consisting of a Pump Industries electric motor and a Vertiflo pump. A fourth big Baldor pump is mounted on the fuel tank to run the RSW system.

With a vertical clearance of 32 feet at the hangar doors, WCT does all work up to the wheelhouse roof under cover, including painting, before the hull needs to be rolled outside to complete the work. In this case, an aluminum free-standing mast was installed, equipped with the most visible piece of gear specific to squid fishing – a set of four large halogen lights port and starboard. These are manufactured in Japan specifically for this type of night fishing; the bulbs use elements that produce different wavelengths and colors that penetrate from 10- to 90-feet below the surface.

Each bulb requires as much as 3,000 watts, provided by a new 40-kW Northern Lights genset on the engine room floor. A second 12.5-kW Northern Lights unit located on the sponson meets the boat's hotel demand. All the electrical switches and boards – covering everything from the bilge pumps to the thruster – are grouped together on the forward bulkhead, following the trend to centralize the position of all the engine room panels and controls.

The hydraulic system is all new stainless steel installed by Puget Sound Hydraulics' mobile team. The original seine winch was built by Pilkington's Metal Marine in British Columbia and was re-connected with all piping from the stern running under the raised deck to a 10-valve hydraulic bank on the base of the mast. The deck is planked with composite plastic 2 by 6 decking fastened with stainless steel screws.

WCT launched the boat on October 15 and the new Long Beach Carnage went out for sea trials in the Columbia River a few days later, then sped back to California where the squid were reported to be gathering to spawn at the end of their 8-10 month life cycle. Fishermen usually fish for market squid at night directly above the spawning grounds where females lay their eggs.

Squid seiners typically work with light boats – smaller vessels with several high-powered lights pointed from various angles. The lights attract groups of spawning squid to surface waters. Once a group of squid comes to the surface, the light boat signals the seiner to deploy its net, encircling the light boat, in order to catch the squid located under the lights.

The bow plating was completed in the middle of summer with three separate bottom panels per side below the chine coming together cleanly, before a new Wesmar bow thruster was installed.

 
 

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