Rodriguez Builds Powerful Shrimper
After delivering many shrimpers from his Bayou LaBatre, Alabama boat yard for other fishermen, Joe Rodriguez has built one for himself and two partners. "It is a good partnership," says Joe, "Steve Strader is my yard foreman and Troy Sprinkle is the boat’s captain."
After a short two week shakedown cruise, Capt. Troy Sprinkle, fished the 96x25x12.5-foot "Nemesis" on her first full trip in the Texas brown shrimp opening with good results. Powered by a V-12 Cummins KTA38 main engine with 850 HP linked to a Twin Disc 5205 gear the engine turns a 71x71 prop in a 72-inch nozzle. The big power gives the boat a number of advantages. Where a 600 HP boat will typically tow four 55-foot nets the "Nemesis" tows two 60-foot nets with 12'x55" doors off each of her 55-foot outriggers. The outriggers have a seven foot extension for the stabilizers or "birds". With nearly a mile of stainless steel wire on each winch (4200 feet of 3/4-inch main cable with 330-foot 9/16-inch bridles) the boat is also ready to fish Royal Reds in depth of up to 1500 feet. "We can fish any species of shrimp in the Gulf and at depths where there are no turtles or fin fish," says Joe, adding, "At first the Royal Reds had a bit of a supply problem, but now there are more boats fishing them and the supply is more constant."
The extra towing power isn’t only an advantage at depth, Rodriguez explains. In south Texas, the water is relatively shallow with deep mud bottom. Boats with less power had to "mud up" when they get too much mud in the net and must lift their nets part way, tow out the mud then retrieve their shrimp. With her power, the "Nemesis" was pulling at three knots using 1480 RPM with another 300 RPM in reserve. When she got into heavy mud bottom she used 100 RPM of that reserve to speed up to 3.5 knots and lift her gear out of the mud. That time saving, combined with the larger nets, allowed her to deliver 55,000 pounds of shrimp worth $170,000 from that first 32-day trip. While Joe is quick to point out that this won’t be typical of all trips, the $900,000 price of the boat is looking like a good investment. He isn’t the only one who thinks so as the yard’s order book is crowded with shrimp boat orders in addition to the usual assortment of tugs.
For more information on the "Nemesis" contact:
Joey Rodriguez Jr.