Green Boats, Acid Water

2011 Forum Looks Up the Road

by Laurie Schreiber

Computer Aided Design image of a proposed lobster boat that would use 30 percent less fuel. The tri-hull design was developed by Maine Maritime Academy naval architect and engineer Doug Reed. The boat incorporates a trimaran hull which dramatically reduces drag, with a lobster boat work platform. MMA Image

A radical change in the hull form of lobsterboats could reduce drag and result in a considerable reduction in fuel consumption.

That was the message from Douglas Read, a naval architect and engineer who teaches at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. Last year, Read was commissioned by the Stonington-based Penobscot East Resource Center to design a green lobsterboat.

Read spoke about PERC’s “Green Lobsterboat Project” at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum on March 4.

“Lobsterboat design has advanced since its beginning in the 1800s, but today’s lobsterboat was designed in the 1940s and since then has evolved in an era when power and speed, rather than fuel-efficiency, were the priorities,” PERC wrote in an introductory statement to Read’s talk. “Many a current-day lobsterboat runs on a 250- to 1,000-horsepower diesel-guzzling engine and burns around 3,000 gallons a year. This popular and beloved boat does not use fuel optimally and the challenge is how to make a fuel-efficient, non-polluting boat that retains all the important attributes of the current design.”


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