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Vessel Profile: F/V Carriere

Lee Shore Boats and Suquamish Seafoods set a new standard for dive boats


February 1, 2020

A new dive vessel for Poulsbo, Washington-based Suquamish Seafoods, the F/V Carriere, is seen here during sea trials with the name obscured prior to delivery. Photo courtesy of Lee Shore Boats.

Late last year Port Angeles, Washington-based Lee Shore Boats delivered a 49-foot by 15-foot dive boat to Suquamish Seafoods for use in the Suquamish Tribe's geoduck harvest. The new boat, christened the F/V Carriere, replaced the 50-year-old Oakland Pilot, and is named after Jeff Carriere, who has served as a diver, tender, and dive boat skipper during decades of work with the Suquamish Tribe.

Suquamish Seafoods Enterprises is a business entity of the Suquamish Tribe. The business harvests and markets upwards of 420,000 lbs. of wild geoduck each year.

The 49-foot aluminum dive boat is powered by twin diesel engines and is equipped with a pair of compressors that pump air to two divers at a time.

"The most important part of the new boat is the story behind it," says Jim Boure, dive services manager for Suquamish seafoods. "A former tender – Jeff Carriere, the guy who ran the Oakland Pilot – was going to be involved in designing and building a boat similar to the Pilot." Carriere had a stroke while on the job and needed to convalesce. Boure took over the project along with one of the Suquamish mechanics, Steve Roberts, as a consultant. "We continued on with the boat build," Boure says. "In the end we approached the Tribal Council – the divers got together as said they wanted the new vessel to be named after Jeff."

Carriere was well enough to attend the dedication and unveiling. "It was a real heartfelt experience for everybody," Boure says.

The new boat operates with five divers and two tenders on board. The tenders tend to the divers and alternate running the vessel. The divers get their air from the surface, from two compressors and two 60-gallon air tanks below deck. "We operate with two divers at a time," says Boure. "The tenders get the diver suited up and tend his air line."

A diver has 300 feet of air line, and the average depth of a dive is around 50 feet, although regulations allow up to 780 feet.

A "cold room" between the cabin and the back deck serves to store the product, which is secured in cages the size and shape of milk crates, offering an efficient way to unload the product back at the dock.

"One of the best things about the new boat is all the space we have," Boure says. He says the crew also appreciates the modern safety aspects of the new boat.

The F/V Carriere is motivated by two Cummins QSM11 602-hp EPA Tier 3 engines driving 32-inch propellers through ZF325A marine gears for a top speed of 29 knots and a cruising speed of between 22 and 26 knots. Hydraulic power from an engine takeoff powers a Kinematics drum style anchor winch with 70-lb anchor system. A stern thruster offers precise low-speed maneuverability and safety for the dive crew.

A transom dive ladder helps the divers deploy and a freshwater deck shower fitted for post-dive cleanup.

The well-outfitted wheelhouse includes shock-mitigating seats for the skipper and a navigator, as well as bench seating for crew and storage for gear and supplies.

Two Raymarine ES98, Touchscreen color monitors display information from the C-Map NT Max digital chart software, an 18Nm Radar, a WAAS/DGPS receiver and a BFF depth sounder. An ICOM 604 VHF primary radio and ICOM 504 VHF/hailer radio with fore and aft talk back speakers allows for communication with the vessels in the vicinity as well as the crew on deck.

The boat is fully fitted out with a galley including hot and cold water from a 300-gallon potable water tank, a refrigerator, stovetop and microwave.

The well-equipped wheelhouse of the F/V Carriere offers operator comfort as well as state-of-the-art and navigation equipment. Photo courtesy of Lee Shore Boats.

A 24,000 BTU marine air conditioner/heater is mounted below deck and ducted to the house and the windows for defrost, heat and air conditioning. Two dinette tables offer seating and storage, and crew comfort is further assured by an enclosed marine head with a 30-gallon holding tank.

There are two bunks in the foc'sle vee berth, as well as storage lockers and a work table. An enclosed aft work area offers space for geoduck cage storage, processing, diver staging and equipment.

Suquamish seafood Enterprises, which is owned by the Suquamish Tribe, contracts Tribal divers to harvest geoduck from local waters. The business harvests and markets approximately 420,000 lbs. of wild geoduck each year.

The new boat is based Lee Shore/NDI Boats proprietary hull design, with 23 units in service around the world since 2006.

"Lee Shore is a great company to work with," Boure says. "They did really well hitting all the target dates and budget, and they were very easy to work with, he says. "We would have another boat built by them if could."


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