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Old 09-05-2008, 14:26   #16
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Good post, Hellosailor.

Reflecting on all my years of growing up sailing in Maine and New Hampshire, I have only once (in 20 years) snagged one. I caught one on the rudder of my first boat.

I manged to free it by tilting the transom-hung rudder up. No big deal. I just couldn't figure out why I lost all speed when the boat was sailing along just fine a minute ago!!

Daytime sailing when doing coastal/inshore passages and a paying attention are essential to keeping from getting snagged. It's worked for me all these years.

Now, I'm a little more worried since there is a disadvantage to a cat here. I have a couple of props and rudders to foul, when before, I could scrap the lobster pots down the waterline and not snag, having a "dangerous width" of maybe 9ft? Now my "dangerous width" - the part I need to keep clear of pots has increased by quite a bit. This is why I'd been giving thought to how to free myself from pots.

If any of you know Maine harbors, you can walk from one side to the other on the lobster pots without getting wet. It's *very* challenging in a mono to get through some of them. This multi is going to be tough.

PS: I have also seen many pot floats dragged under due to currents. I passsed several last summer in Maine that were 3-4ft below the water, just barely visible to the eye. Scary stuff, but I got lucky and they didn't foul the rudder. I think they were too far down to foul the prop.
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Old 09-05-2008, 14:40   #17
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Sean, any lobstahman will tell you the answer is simple and obvious. You really shouldn't be mucking about their pots. And if you must be mucking about, you really should carry a dry suit and extra line, so you can cut your encumbrance clear of their pots AND of course repair their float lines.

What, any opinion or concern besides theirs has any value? [vbg]

Carry a tree-pruning pole on board, with a razor-sharp blade? Put the prop cages back on? Get rid of the cat and take up lobstering?
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Old 09-05-2008, 14:53   #18
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Aaaahh-yuuuh.. ya had me laughing there.

The proper way up there is indeed to re-tie any prop float (or toggle) that you may have snagged. That's not a joke either. That's what I was taught growing up.


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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Sean, any lobstahman will tell you the answer is simple and obvious. You really shouldn't be mucking about their pots. And if you must be mucking about, you really should carry a dry suit and extra line, so you can cut your encumbrance clear of their pots AND of course repair their float lines.

What, any opinion or concern besides theirs has any value? [vbg]

Carry a tree-pruning pole on board, with a razor-sharp blade? Put the prop cages back on? Get rid of the cat and take up lobstering?
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Old 09-05-2008, 14:54   #19
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Carry a tree-pruning pole on board,?
Hmmmm ..... you may have something here..
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Old 09-05-2008, 15:08   #20
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I was born and raised in the Fla Keys and in 39+ years of running boats there, back when they didn't have trap limits like they do now, I have never fouled a trap. All you have to do is keep your head out of your a** and you won't foul them...


During the day this is a no brainer and I'd agree. It's nightime sailing that's the killer. Some of these crabbers don't use either reflective paints or high contrast paints. You just don't see them until it's too late.
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I don't know I lived in S. Florida all my life, my family owned a home on Long Key right next to a lobstermans home for decades. It's normal to see plenty of traps in the channel especially heading south of Jewfish Creek. If you've never caught a trap in 39 years it probably has nothing to do with skill but the most amazing luck I've ever heard of down here. Several factors to consider. One, some of the channels are very narrow and shallow and you must stay dead in the middle if you draw deep or you will be aground. Two, many of these traps have plastic float lines that are 10 to 20 feet longer than the depth of water. The trap can be in five feet of water just on the inside edge of the channel and the line is payed out the other fifteen feet floating on or just underneath the surface creating a trip line. Third, watch out you Cat guys, it's far easier with a Cat and sail drives to pick up a trap with little room for manuvering between narrow channels. Fourth as heavly travelled as the ICW is heading south to Key west, if a Lobsterman knowingly drops his trap in an area well known to have thousands of sailboats a year traversing with limited manuverability, well too bad for him and yummy for me that night. Also it can often get quite snotty at times. I'm not dropping sails to bounce around in some dangerous attempt to either hang over the side in an vain attempt to untangle a trap or even think of diving on it as the boat bounces and drifts into the shallows. I know these guys and they do work their tails off and I'll help as much as I can if I get caught up. But, they need to take some responsibility as well.
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Old 09-05-2008, 16:34   #21
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Two, many of these traps have plastic float lines that are 10 to 20 feet longer than the depth of water.


Using floating line on traps is *quite* illegal in Maine. I'm suprised with all the FL laws for boating, they haven't outlawed those lines there as well.

But yeah... if some idiot drops his trap in the middle of the ICW, he was dumb for doing so. A big powerboat or megayacht will chew his lines and floats right up.

I ran across a few fish nets set in the center of the ICW somewhere in the Carolinas. I can't imagine they lasted more than a few days without being torn to shreds - especially by the tugs and barges.

I went around them (outside the channel), but man... you'd have to be an idiot to drop them center channel if you wanted to come back to any gear left.
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Old 09-05-2008, 16:47   #22
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Put a cutter on your propshaft and forget about them. Simple solution. Dont make it more complicated than it is.
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Old 14-05-2008, 09:35   #23
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the shaft cutter sounds like a good alternative as does a tree pruner. winding a rope around my shaft or dragging a crab trap while underway is not something I try to do. but when these things are less than 100 feet apart and there are hundreds of them in a grid .. well you get my drift. I got lucky this time and it dropped off after I put the motor in reverse. and at night you won't see them at all.
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Old 15-05-2008, 17:30   #24
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Louis, I'd love a cutter. Got any suggestions on how to install one on a sail drive?
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Old 15-05-2008, 17:51   #25
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Put a cutter on your propshaft and forget about them. Simple solution. Dont make it more complicated than it is.

I agree with all of your posts, and even have an enthusiasm for reading them. I have to ask though:

Do you avoid the floats/toggles when you are underway with cutters, or do you truly "forget about them?"
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Old 15-05-2008, 18:40   #26
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Around here floats on the water are as common as anything and more common than sea birds. If you never have seen them before then they are a mystery. here they represent a business that many people still rely on. Given that many folks here make a living at it it's hard to call them a burden, but they are a source of constant attention. Crab season is starting quite slow now and the the pickers are shut off at the Mexico border so they won't be as much of an issue this year. Instead we have more nets.

If you travel in coastal areas, there is more to life than recreational boating. You need to deal with it or eat cake.
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Old 19-08-2010, 16:05   #27
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Not to mention that a lost trap is a continual killing machine. It kills a lot of marine life for a very long time.
Actually most states ...and the Feds may as well....require an escape hatch that will decompose and open in case of a lost trap. Its usually just a piece of the screening held shut with jute or other natural fibers, though there are some higher-tech ones.

Trouble is, those have to be replaced periodically and a lot of less than ethical watermen wire them shut.

dumb, both for the environment and their livelihood.
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Old 19-08-2010, 21:47   #28
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Tellie,
Seen several cat sail drives with line cutters. They are serrated(sp) and the forward half has a pin and it goes into the sail drive body and keeps it from turning. The other is on the saildrive shaft and turns. And they very close tolerance and very sharp.
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Old 19-08-2010, 22:40   #29
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When I picked up my newly purchased Westsail 32 in Humacao, Puerto Rico years ago, I was suprised that the boat did not tack quickly. In fact, it was downright sluggish in responding to the tiller. I had never sailed on a Westsail 32 before, and I was wondering what was happening. I've never had trouble coming about before in any other yacht.

The day after I got to our home port in Roosevelt Roads, I discovered a line caught on the bottom of the rudder. We had dragged a large fish trap with a red snapper in it for the entire day of the delivery trip. Once I got rid of the line and fish trap, the Westsail 32 tacked like a champion.
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Old 20-08-2010, 14:07   #30
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. Once I got rid of the line and fish trap, the Westsail 32 tacked like a champion.
Not the fish though, right? - Dinner?
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