Crab and Shrimp Pot Pullers / Haulers

Crab and shrimp pot pullers lead a hard life. Pullers and haulers are one boat part that is exposed to the elements, harsh weather, hard operation usage and general negligence for it’s entire service life. Whether it is a small pocket puller used in an oarlock or a gas or electric pot puller pulling hundreds of pounds, pot pullers must do the work without fail.

There are three main types of pot haulers; manual, electric and gas operated. The choice of this marine part is based on how often you intend to use the hauler (recreational or professional), the weight of the pot and the power source available on-board the vessel.

Manual Pot Pullers

Manual crab and shrimp pot pullers are great for smaller vessels with limited power and limited use with pot weights less than 100 pounds. The smallest pot puller is designed to be used in a dinghy or rowboats oar lock. The Pocket Puller fits right into the oarlock (which you could mount on the transom) and allows hand line hauling without being near the gunwale or transom.  The Handy Hauler is a davit with a block on the end of it. Rated at 300 pounds capability, the Handy Hauler may be used by hand or with a user supplied motor for the davit or on the gunwale.

Electric Pot Pullers

The most common pot puller arrangement is 12 volt electric powered. The options for pulling total pot weight range from 100 to 300 pounds. There are two main styles of pot pullers; The first where the puller motor is supported on a swivel at the end of the davit and the second is where the puller motor is mounted on the davit, over the gunwale and the line is run through a block. For those working in the Pacific Coast shrimp and crab industry, the davit end mounted puller motor is more familiar and common. The puller motor mounted to the davit is more typically seen on the Atlantic Coast in the lobster, crab and shrimp industry. The choice of styles depends more on what a fisherman finds comfortable using and the vessel they are using it on. The Ace +40 Line Hauleris a recreational hauler that can handle up to 100 lbs pot pull. For a davitless installation or for use with the Handy Hauler, the Quick Catch pot puller can be gunwale mounted recreational use. Quality Productsbuilds recreational to light commercial pot haulers of both puller motor styles and accommodating continuous pot pulls with the:

  • Sports Safe-T-Puller and Safe-T-Hauler pulling 100lbs with a 1.1 HP motor
  • Alaska Safe-T-Puller and Safe-T-Hauler pulling 200lbs with a 1.6 HP motor
  • Light Commercial Safe-T-Puller and Safe-T-Hauler pulling 300lbs with a 2.1 HP motor

Gas Pot Pullers

The Honda powered gas pot puller is an option for those boats that want to avoid electric motors. The biggest advantages are the incredible line speed of 180 feet per minute coupled with the heaviest lift capacity of 550 pounds. For the professional who needs speed and hauling capacity as well as the rugged reliability of the Honda engine, this puller meets the needs.

Fire Extinguishers and your Boat

Fire extinguisherNothing causes as much concern for a boater than a fire aboard while underway. Here is what happens in a boat without an automatic engine room extinguisher. Most boat fires start in the confines of the engine room, killing engine and electrical power to the vessel. One or two 2BC extinguishers cannot put out the enclosed fire.  The fire then spreads quickly to the rest of the vessel through all the flammables that are readily available, such as the wood trim and foam cushions. Soon the very fiberglass the boat is built from is burning. Ultimately, leaving no alternative but to abandon the vessel. The vessel burns to the waterline.

The key to fighting a boat fire is done at the dock before you leave the marina.

Here are the USCG minimum requirements for fire extinguishers onboard pleasure craft

  • For boats under 26′ – At least one B-I type approved hand portable fire extinguisher.
  • For boats 26′ to 40′ – At least two B-I OR one B-II type approved hand portable fire extinguisher.
  • For boats 40′ to no more than 65′ – At least three B-I OR one B-I plus one B-II type approved hand portable fire extinguisher.

Keep in mind that these minimum requirements are exactly that; the absolute minimum. A B-I type extinguisher equals 2 pounds dry chemical. A B-II type extinguisher equals 10 pounds dry chemical. These portable fire extinguishers are also rated to the class of fire they will be able to put out.

  • Class A: Ordinary Combustibles Includes wood, paper, cushions, canvas, fiberglass, rubber, many plastics, and other materials that burn easily and account for many boat fires. These can be extinguished with water.
  • Class B: Flammable Liquids Includes gasoline, propane, diesel fuel, oils, grease, paints, tars, lacquers, and flammable gases.
  • Class C: Energized Electrical Equipment Includes wiring, fuel hoses, circuit breakers, machinery, and appliances.

You will likely be using an approved BC Class (although it may be ACB) extinguisher. Using a portable dry chemical extinguisher will allow you to fight a fire ONLY if it is in the first couple minutes of a burn and you can spray the extinguisher at the base of the fire; after that, you are using the extinguisher to fight the fire as you exit the vessel. A portable fire extinguisher should be kept handy between the galley and the exit and a second one near the engine room.

Now for the engine room. Because of it’s caustic, noxious agent, discharging a dry chemical extinguisher into a fire may cause damage or even destroy the items that you are trying to protect. There is a superior, modern extinguisher medium (agent) called FM-200. This unique product leaves no residue and is safe to discharged near any electrical or mechanical equipment. FM-200 is even safe enough for discharge in occupied spaces! FM-200 systems reach extinguishing levels in 10 seconds or less, stopping ordinary combustible, electrical, and flammable liquid fires before they cause significant damage.

For use in enclosed spaces like an engine room, there are two operation modes available for Sea-Fire FM200 systems; automatic and manual / automatic models. A Sea-Fire automatic extinguisher is activated by the attached temperature sensor valve. Discharge will occur when the sensor valve temperature rises to the system activation point as shown in the specification table and on the label attached to each unit. The manual / automatic offer the ability to lead a manual discharge cable to a position outside the enclosed compartment (often the helm station) so that the extinguisher may be operated remotely. If an automatic / manual extinguisher is not activated manually, it will work as a normal automatic model and discharge when the system activation point is reached.

Sea-Fire manufactures FM-200 FD Series manual and automatic fire extinguishers for areas as small as 175 cubic feet and up to 1500 cubic feet.  The Sea-Fire FG Series are made to fit small engine rooms an other closed areas, from 25 to 240 cubic feet. Sea-Fire also manufactures the FT Series which are supplied with long, flexible narrow tubing that can reach into hard to access areas; such as the backside of electrical panels for spaces from 25-150 cubic feet.

In summary, dry chemical fire extinguishers are fine for trying to put out a fire on the stove, heater or open area. Sea-Fire FM-200 extinguishers are useful in enclosed spaces, occupied spaces and hard to reach spaces.

Remove Salt from Your Boat, Engine and Marine Equipment

Looking for a way to remove salt from your boat and other marine equipment including boat cooling system, cleats, other metal and fiberglass parts?

Salt-Away salt removal washing concentrate uses a carefully selected blend of ingredients that will provide optimum cleaning for your boat and boat engine. Salt-Away washing concentrate provides salt removal from virtually any surface.

Salt-Away uses a water-based 100% – Non-Hazardous, Non-Toxic, and Biodegradable blend of ingredients that dissolves salt crystals from surfaces. Water alone cannot do this.

Salt-Away flushes salt from inboard/outboard engines.

Many boats have engines using a fresh water closed cooling system. Some boat owners do not realize that the raw water side of the engine, where salt water passes through the heat exchanger and out the exhaust manifold, can have major salt corrosion problems. Without proper maintenance, this corrosion leads to expensive repairs.

Salt-Away has many uses:

  • Engine flush – Can correct engine over-heating by breaking down layers of salt accumulation
  • Cleaning diving & fishing gear
  • Seaside home maintenance – A/C units, patio furniture etc.
  • Power & Sail boat salt removal – sails, sail covers, line, hardware etc.
  • Boat trailer and trailer brake wash

Salt-Away is economical to use with a dilution rate of 500 to 1 ratio.

The Salt-Away SA32M Combo Kit combines a one quart Salt-Away concentrate bottle and a 6 oz capacity, re-usable Mixing Unit. The Salt-Away Kit is recommended as the “Starter Kit” for the Salt-Away salt removal product line.

  • 6 oz Salt-Away concentrate holding capacity
  • Mixing Unit connects to
    • Garden hoses
    • Pressure Washer in lines

Salt-Away cleaning solution can be used with other Marine Engine Flushing systems and units to keep your inboard and outboard engine cooling system clean. When used with other Marine Cleaning Tools, Salt-Away removes salt build up and gets parts and surfaces ready to protect with wax or polish.

Go2marine has many more items to help boat owners care for, maintain and repair their boat. If you have questions about the care and upkeep of your boat, check our site or give us a call at (800) 998-9508

Adjustable Backstay/Running Backs out of AmSteel

 

Over the years, I’ve made a lot of standing and running rigging for Transpac racers.  From sleek little rocket sleds to boats you might expect to see a family cruising the San Juans on, they usually invest in new rigging for the rigors of the 2,200 mile trip from LA to Diamond Head.  A lot of the boats that do this kind of long-distance, open ocean racing have adjustable backstays and/or running backstays.  This allows the sailor to put more or less tension on the mast to affect the shape of the mainsail and jib, support the mast bend, reduce pumping, etc.  In the old days, these might have been made from 7×19 wire rope since they often have to bend over some kind of block.  As that wire gets older, the strands break, making nasty little barbs that will tear through anything they encounter (e.g. sails, lines, fingers, etc.).  Now, we have the benefit of high tech fiber rigging like AmSteel and its numerous 12 strand single braid brethren.  This is in essence an economical way to build PBO rigging yourself.

Some additional benefits of using fiber vs. wire are factors like fatigue (a material’s tendency to get more brittle after it has been bent), weight aloft which reduces the keel’s effectiveness, not to mention the ability for the sailor to splice a new one while underway instead of carrying swaging equipment.

AmSteel has some UV resistance from the colored coating it comes from the factory with, but Spectra has very little unless you coat it with MaxiJacket or similar product.  There is a product called VPE – Vectran with a Polyethylene coating (basically heat shrink) that is very popular for making running backs.  The coating is there to protect the Vectran fibers from UV damage.  You can make your own VPE from AmSteel and heat shrink tubing if needed.  Here is the procedure for making your own adjustable backstay bridle or running backs.  These are just a length of AmSteel with an eye spliced onto a heavy duty stainless steel thimble on both ends and the whole thing is covered in heat shrink.

We highly recommend being very proficient with the regular AmSteel splices (e.g. Brummel Lock and Modified Brummel Lock) before attempting this procedure.  It is considerably more difficult to build the second end with the first eye and the heat shrink complicating matters.  We also recommend practicing rolling an eye splice onto a thimble to get the knack for sizing the eye to the thimble and getting the splice onto the thimble.

We’re going to focus on just doing one end first.  We’ll deal with the second end later in the procedure.  Do not jump ahead and do anything to the second end until directed.  We’re also going to leave the AmSteel long before determining where the finished length cut will be because we have to determine the shrinkage factor of the splices.  If you’re not splicing off the spool, cut your AmSteel about five feet longer than your finished length.  It may seem a bit wasteful, but it’s a cheap insurance policy to make sure your finished product is right.  Plus, you can always use a piece of AmSteel for something.

  • Make a reference mark on the AmSteel 4′ from the end.  This will be used later to determine the amount of shrinkage the splice takes up.

 

  • Make your marks for the tail bury and eye size for the appropriately sized heavy duty, stainless steel thimble.  Record your tail bury length for future reference (example:  9″).  Measure from your reference mark to the end of the eye, where it bends around the thimble.  This will be your reference measurement (example:  2′ 10″).

 

 

  • Add heat shrink to just the section that will create the eye around the thimble.

 

 

  • Lock stitch the taper, do not whip the eye as in the regular procedure.

 

  • Measure the new distance from your reference mark to the end of the eye (example:  2′ 8″).  The difference between the two measurements (example:  2″) is the amount of shrinkage you have to add to the other end for the second splice.
  • When determining the finished length, make sure to account for how much it will stretch while under load.  AmSteel is rated for 0.46% stretch at 10% of it’s breaking strength, so for a 30′ running back, here’s the calculation:

30′ x 12″ = 360″ x 0.46% = 1-5/8″ stretch

 

  • From the end of the eye, measure your nominal finished length (example:  30′), add one half of the eye size (example:  if thimble is 5″ around, add 2-1/2″), add the length of the tail bury (example:  9″) then subtract for the stretch factor (example:  -1-5/8″).

Finished length + 1/2 thimble + tail bury – shrinkage

30′ + 2-1/2″ + 9″ -1-5/8″ = 30′ 9-7/8″

  • Make your cut there.  Measure back 9″ and make a mark, bend the AmSteel around  your thimble on and make the second mark.

 

  • Cover the section between the marks of the second eye with heat shrink as before.

 

  • You should have 5 pieces of heat shrink on hand.  First is one long piece that’s a close fit to the original rope diameter and approximately the finished length of your line.  Sometimes this long piece is made up of more than one section to enable you to slide the heat shrink around to finish the splice on the second end and get complete heat shrink coverage of the entire piece.  In addition to the small diameter long piece(s), you should have a medium diameter piece that transitions and covers the splice tapers and overlaps the small diameter piece by at least a foot.  Third is a large diameter piece that covers the base of the thimble and overlaps the medium piece by a few inches.  Slide all the heat shrink onto the line.  You may need to figure out some way to fish the AmSteel down the long length(s) of the small diameter heat shrink.  I’ve even resorted to running a string down through the heat shrink and using that to pull the tapered end of AmSteel.

 

 

 

 

  • After all the heat shrink necessary to cover the entire line has been slipped over the AmSteel, scrunch the small diameter heat shrink far enough away from the second end to give you access to enough AmSteel for the second splice.  You will probably need to pin the heat shrink back to do the splice, but make sure not to damage the heat shrink.

 

 

 

  • The second eye will be the standard Brummel Lock because you can’t slide the first eye with the thimble through the second end.  Make sure to build the eye the exact right size to roll onto the thimble.  Too loose and the thimble won’t be captured, too tight and you won’t be able to get the thimble into the eye.

NOTE:  Do not perform the bury part of the splice.  If the finished eye is not the right size, you’ll be able to more easily redo the splice.  Make sure you can roll the eye tightly over the thimble before burying the taper.  Also, the Brummel lock is also considerably more difficult to do with the heat shrink over the eye.  Make sure you dramatically enlarge the inverted part of the splice to wrestle the eye through.  Be careful not to damage the heat shrink during the splicing process.

 

 

 

 

  • Now, roll your spliced eye onto the thimble.  It should be relatively difficult for a proper fit.  Place the pointy end of the thimble into the crotch of the splice, then roll one side of the eye into the channel on the thimble.  You should be able to just stretch and roll the eye over the end of the thimble so that it pops into place.  Laying the assembly flat onto the work surface and massaging the roll into place with the heel of your palm sometimes helps.

 

 

  • Perform the taper and bury part of the splice once you’re happy with the fit of the eye over the thimble.

 

  • Lock stitch the buried taper.

 

  • Load up the assembly to take out the stretch from the factory by using a block and tackle system or a winch mounted on the bench or a come-along.  Let sit overnight.

 

 

 

  • The next day, slide the medium and large heat shrink out of the way so you can get to the center of the small heat shrink.  While the line is still loaded, starting from the center of the assembly, use a heat gun on the heat shrink and work your way to either end, but stop before you heat the medium heat shrink.  Slide the medium and large heat shrink out of the way so you can heat up the ends of the small heat shrink near the buried tapers.  NOTE:  You should be able to see the weave of the AmSteel through the heat shrink but do not melt the heat shrink.

 

 

  • Once the small diameter heat shrink is completely shrunk, slide the medium sized heat shrink up over the tapered bury and butt it up against the thimble.  Heat shrink that into place.  It should cover the small heat shrink by several inches.

 

  • Once the medium heat shrink is in place, slide the large diameter heat shrink up over the base of the thimble and shrink it.  It should cover the medium sized heat shrink enough for a good bond.

 

 

  • OPTIONAL:  Some people use the “cone” of large diameter heat shrink on the inside of the thimble as a form to pour a small amount of 5 minute epoxy into.  This nominally keeps water out of the splice and supports the thimble when the line is loaded.

 

NOTE:  When taking the load off the assembled line and transporting it out to the boat, do not bend or coil the line any more than absolutely necessary.  This will relax the fibers and cause the line to draw back up, undoing the effect of loading it up overnight and possibly making it more difficult to install.

Congratulations!  You’re done.  Now you’re ready to install it onto the boat.  Remember that since you accounted for the stretch, it might be a tight fit.  Please feel free to post comments and/or questions.

Captain Chris Larsen

What are the Choices for Shoremaster’s Boat Cover Fabrics?

Shoremaster Boat Covers

Boat owners have a wide range of boat covers that they can purchase to help protect their vessels from harsh weather, sun damage or the accumulation of moisture. Boat cover fabrics are typically composed of polyester, acrylic or a poly-cotton blend and are manufactured by Taylor Made, Westland, Carver or Shoremaster.

Shoremaster’s top-of-the-line fabric, Prism, is made from a nine-ounce polyester material. The manufacturer’s mid-range option, Sunburst, is a 6.5-ounce polyester fabric. The road tough Travel Tuff is a heavyweight 13 oz fabric.

Polyester is usually a mid- to top-range material with a middling weight. Like most polyester boat covers, Shoremaster’s fabrics come with a warranty; three years for Master Duck, while the Prism and Sunburst includes a 5-year warranty. In comparison, Master Duck, the poly-cotton blend, comes with a warranty of one year.

Shoremaster also offers motor hoods and room for electric bow trolling motors that can be sewn on to boat covers to ensure a snug, custom fit for your vessel. Boaters also have the choice of either draw cords or shock cords when purchasing a Shoremaster boat cover.

When purchasing, it’s important to remember that tie-down straps are sold separately for Shoremaster boat covers.