Nova Scotia Fisherman Likes Big Reliable Engines
With the 950 HP Cummins KTA38 M running at 1800 RPM the 100x26.5-foot "Ivy Rose" does 12.5 knots. "She does a nice steady 10 knots at only 1350 RPM," says owner and skipper Wesley Henneberry, "And together with the six cylinder auxiliary the engine burned only 15,000 litres of fuel on a 13 day longline trip."
Henneberry contrasts this with the 20,000 litres of fuel burned on a similar trip by a 675 HP 12 cylinder competitor’s engine that he has in one of the other boats of his fleet. "And with that boat turning 1800 RPM, we made only 8.5 knots," he adds.
A strong advocate of Cummins engines, Henneberry still has the first boat that he bought with a Cummins and says, "We rebuilt the top end of the engine at around 50,000 hours and it probably has 80,000 hours on the bottom end now."
These are big hours and the Henneberry family of fishermen, who operate six longline boats out of Sambro Nova Scotia, keep putting the hours on with their boats working year round. The "Ivy Rose" was delivered in October of last year from the A.F. Theriault & Son Shipyard of Metegahn River N.S. She has already run up her share of hours in an annual fishing cycle that will see her bottom fishing halibut with some cod and hake from December to the first week of April. They then switch over to surface longline to fish Big Eye tuna in May and sword fish through the summer. As the blue fin tuna build their body fat and price he targets that species from September to November.
Fishing on grounds off Sable Island and the eastern side of the tail of the Grand Banks, they encounter the kind of weather chronicled in books from "Captains Courageous" to "The Perfect Storm". Theirs is the kind of hard driving fishery that takes advantage of gear innovations but doesn’t leave the tried and true without good reason. While some on the east coast have tried automatic baiting systems and snap gear, Henneberry, prefers hand baited stuck gear. "For ground fish we bait and set 50 to 70 tubs per day, each with 120 hooks and gangions space at 12 feet on 5/16 or 3/8 ground line. We use number 15 hooks to avoid by catch and undersize halibut. It is a very selective fishery."
For surface longline they set 50 to 60 miles of line with 1500 to 2000 hooks each night. While their sword fish quota is limited to 15 tons as by-catch to the tuna fisheries, they have the only the only off shore tuna license in Eastern Canada allowing them to take up to 20 tons of blue fin. The boat has two six-cylinder B-Series Cummins auxiliaries that power the hydraulics as well as 75 Kw gen sets. This provides electricity for keeping the 5,500 cubic foot iced fish holds near freezing and the 1,060 cubic foot 30,000 pound bait locker below freezing. While there are vessel quotas on some his fisheries, the 180 ton halibut TAC is being taken by 11 boats this year so is highly competitive. But even here Heneberry keeps his trip times down to 8 to 10 days fishing and 12 to 15 days out of port. "I am fishing for quality first over quantity," he explains, "So this last trip we delivered around 14,000 pounds of halibut for an ex-vessel price of $8.00 to $10.00 Canadian."
With a full fishing schedule, speed to and from the grounds is important to Henneberry. To maintain a good cruising speed, he has installed the popular flume stabilizer tanks on both of his new Cummins powered boats. On the "Ivy Rose" the 2000 gallon tank, located just under the wheelhouse floor, frees him from the speed loss and hassle of hydro planes or "birds’. "When you’re travelling in with 20 tons of bluefin on ice you don’t want anything slowing you down, " he says, "And when you are trying to make a quick turn around to get back out to the grounds you don’t want to be waiting on the service truck. Nobody goes any harder than we do and we rely on our Cummins engines."
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