Fishermen's News - The Advocate for the Commercial Fisherman

F/V Mera: A Fast New Bristol Bay Gillnetter

Vessel Profile


June 1, 2019

The fast new F/V Mera is propelled by a 750-hp Scania 13L and Hi500 Waterjet from Thrustmaster of Texas. Photo courtesy of Lee Shore Boats.

Lee Shore Boats recently delivered a custom designed and built jet-propelled Bristol Bay gillnetter for the 2019 season. Christened the F/V Mera, this new, top house design, all-aluminum 32-foot by 15-foot gillnetter is powered by a Scania 13L 750-hp keel cooled EPA Tier 3 engine coupled to a ZF360 reduction gear provided by Cascade Engine Center, located in Seattle, Washington. Propulsion is provided by an Hi500 Waterjet from Thrustmaster of Texas. The Scania also powers an 8-inch Naiad bow thruster, the water jet's reversing bucket and steering with Glendinning dual station controls.

The hydraulics system by Seattle Marine & Fishing Supply utilizes stainless steel hydraulic lines and fittings, and operates a Kinematics KAW 14- by 16-inch hydraulic winch and Kinematics 42-inch powered stern roller. The 72-inch by 18-inch gillnet drum, a with an MSE8 drive and controls at two stations, is supplied by Maritime Fabrications, Inc. of La Conner, Washington.

The new boat is fitted with eight fish holds lined with Blue Seal for a total capacity of 16,000 lbs. salmon are stored chilled with an 8.5-ton Pacwest Hydraulic Drive RSW (Refrigerated Sea Water) system for better fish quality.

Interior outfitting is a modest, yet durable blend of Cintrex panels and Zolatone painted aluminum that will survive the lifespan of the vessel, which is ready to begin working in Naknek, Alaska this 2019 season.

Aside from the HI500 jet, Mera is a nearly identical sister ship of the Osprey that was delivered for the 2018 season to the brother of Mera's brother/sister owners. The Osprey also used the 750-horsepower Scania, but with Namjet TJ611 Traktor jet. The original vessel design is by Dick Smitha of the Anacortes, Washington-based Soundcraft Marine & Design. This unique design has shallow draft capability with quick trips to the line, easily achieving planing speed while partially loaded.

The unique top house arrangement maximizes crew comfort while maintaining a large efficient working deck. Lee Shore offers its 32-foot Bristol Bay boats in two different tophouse designs, as turnkey solutions ready to go to work, or bare structures with drivetrain and windows, for owners to finish to their specifications.

Lee Shore Boats of Port Angeles, Washington has been supplying custom all welded aluminum boats of all types to commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, tug companies, oil companies, and spill response companies since 1982.

The company owns design rights, engineering, cut files, drawings and weight estimates for hull designs ranging from 14 feet to 55 feet. Along with a staff engineer/designer, Lee Shore works with outside naval architects to modify existing designs or create new vessel designs based on customer needs. The company also has the rights to build the Dick Smitha-designed Soundcraft gillnetter.

The company recently delivered a partially built 32-foot Bristol Bay boat structure with a Scania 13L 750-hp engine paired to a NAMJET TJ611 to Colony Wharf Marine in Bellingham, Washington, for custom high end wood cabinetry and outfitting, and is currently under contract for another 32-foot by 15-foot Bristol Bay boat that will be completed at Colony Wharf for the 2020 season.


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