Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Stern Party"

I'm going to elaborate about the footage shown where Jonathan ends up with a buoy tangled in his rudder, and or wheel. First of all, most crab boats are equipped with a "shaft brake" which stops the prop from turning once the boat has been pulled out of gear, this allows the vessel to "coast" over buoys and lines and ninety nine percent of the time, that's what happens.

Now bear in mind as the driver, your sending buoys down the rail all day long and this would have to be the most common way to end up with a set of bags in the stern. The crew could miss, or the driver for that matter, or there could be another unseen pot. These scenario's are the one's that pose a problem because the boat doesn't coast over gear as easily at low speeds, such is the case when hauling

When unfortunately you end up with a bag tangled in the stern there's only a couple of options. One, is to hope by swinging the rudder back and forth the buoys will clear. Two,is to get enough of the line aboard to try to pull it out of the rudder or prop. If to no avail, you've gotten to the unpleasant part of putting the boat in gear, and cutting it off with the propeller. This is always quite nerve racking because you never know how much line will remain in the prop,if any. (Picture your engine dead and the shaft fowled) this is a possibility, although rare.

More often than not, the pot can be saved and it's nothing more than a time waster, but in bad weather, because the boat is in neutral, and drifting for what is usually several minutes,it can become quite harrowing as you get to thrashing around. Whatever the case it's nice to go months, and or entire seasons, without the infamous... "Stern Party"

Capt. Monte "Wizard Mouse"