Maine Coast lobstermen and their communities are deeply affected by the chronically high cost of boat fuel and other expenses. The average lobster boat burns approximately 3,000 gallons of fuel per year. Today’s lobster boat was originally designed over 70 years ago and is now powered by a 250 – 1,000 hp diesel – guzzling engine. Fuel cost is second only to the cost of bait and constitutes 30% or more of operating expenses.
Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries is working with naval architect Doug Read, a Maine Maritime Academy professor, to design a fuel-efficient lobster boat. After extensive research, a 38′ trimaran hull lobster boat is in development. Initial tank testing of models showed a 30% fuel savings. A second round of testing of 1/5 -scale models of the trimaran and a traditional 38′ Holland lobster boat hull was just completed in San Diego. Next steps: fine-tune the design and potentially construct a full size prototype. There was keen interest from lobstermen at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum
when the designs were unveiled.
Times Record: New lobster boat design touted for fuel efficiency
Bangor Daily News: New lobster boat design could increase fuel efficiency by 25 percent