Kolstrand Expands Product Lines with Acquisition of Nordic/JK Fabrication
It’s been nine months since Integrity Machining, Inc., maker of Kolstrand marine deck equipment, announced the acquisition of the assets of Seattle, Wash.-based J.K. Fabrication, Inc., maker of Nordic winches. Fishermen’s News called them recently to learn how the merger was succeeding during Washington state’s Covid restrictions.
“The entire team from JK Fabrication came across and have stayed with us at Integrity Machining’s much larger facility in Marysville, Wash. This has significantly expanded Kolstrand’s already broad product line, to create a leader in the production and supply of all types of equipment for the entire fishing industry,” Integrity Machining President Paul Glyer explained.
“This has created ample opportunities to share best practices, leading to more most robust designs and production improvements,” he continued. “Jim Krieder, founder of JKFab, is now able to direct his efforts to customer support and has done a fantastic job reaching out to his customer base to offer application support now that he no longer has the distraction of production and administration. One notable redesign was the upgrade to the JKFab 24-foot long-line hauler to accommodate slinky pots.”
In other news, they recently signed a three-year agreement with Motus Technology AS of Norway to supply five more large-scale crabbing systems for a series of five newly built state-of-the-art vessels for crab fishing and processing.
“These five ship-sets include a five-ton 44-foot hauling system that can handle miles of crab pots. The massive sheaves on these haulers also make an excellent replacement candidate for the fielded base of Hanson haulers which are no longer in production,” Glyer stated.
The company’s updated online store, www.kolstrand.com, offers a wide variety of marine parts and products, he noted.
Maritime Fab Expands into New Production Shop in Marysville
Maritime Fabrications was established by Ed Oczkewicz – aka “Maritime Ed” – in 1978, in his parents’ backyard in Marysville, Wash. to provide the gillnetters with quality equipment. The first office was in a renovated chicken coop, but the company grew quickly, opened a seasonal location in Naknek, Alaska, to service the Bristol Bay fleet, then acquired the assets of La Conner Machine and Drydock in 1993. This gave them a facility for a full boat service center with a 110-ton haul out and a fiberglass lamination shop.
Ed’s son Isaac became the manager of this department, while his brother ran the manufacturing side. They recently decided on a major reorganization: “It was time to accept that there simply isn’t enough demand for new fiberglass boats for us to continue in the hull laminating business,” Isaac explained. “We decided to concentrate on repairs, repowers and upgrades to gillnetters and other small commercial vessels, and focus on aluminum for future boat construction.”
They also wanted to improve their machine shop capacity, and found that a successful metal fabrication and trailer shop in nearby Mount Vernon called Smiley’s was for sale. They have moved the entire deck gear machine shop business into Smiley’s larger and more efficient space, allowing them to improve delivery of special gear orders and add custom boat trailers to the mix.
The move has already led to an improvement in the design of the company’s best-known product, the level wind, which attaches to the front of any standard gillnet reel and needs to be swung out of the way when setting the 1,000-foot net—then swung back into place when hauling in.
“This is a job requiring a fair amount of upper-body strength,” Isaac pointed out. “Our new reinforced pivot swings the unit sideways without requiring the normal upward lift to release it. This is a great help if all of your crew are able to accomplish this without help.” That’s also the thinking behind their Big Bay wide-diameter roller, which is becoming more popular as crews see how it speeds up the task of round-hauling the net when seconds count.
Kinematics Marine Equips Small Seiners for Asian Carp Control
Kinematics has had a surprisingly good winter, owner James Davis said, considering the issues faced by Alaska gillnetters, who are his best customers. But since they were prohibited from doing major work to their boat on the shores of Bristol Bay and other areas, many decided to ship them home by barge, he explained.
“I heard there were 24 boats on one Alaska Marine Lines barge,” he said, “and we’ve sold almost 30 of our Twister net drums.”
This has been a satisfying result for Davis, who worked for the company for 16 years before deciding to buy it after the unexpected death of long-time owner Ed Luttrell. “We had several of our suppliers go out of business over the winter, and I was committed to find new sources who would maintain Ed’s policy of top-quality materials and workmanship, and attention to detail. I still ask myself ‘what would Ed do?’ from time to time,” he explained.
Washington’s aluminum boat builders have been somewhat less active, with only a couple having a full slate of customers. However, Kinematics’ reputation has been spreading beyond the Pacific Northwest thanks to their range of custom survey and research winches that are in use by oceanographic institutes and contractors like Gravity Marine.
Now, Davis has been asked to equip boats specifically to catch Asian carp, an invasive species and a huge threat to native fish in areas of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Their advance north toward the Great Lakes has spurred the government to spend tens of millions of dollars annually trying to contain them with devices like electro-magnetic fields and fences have prevented all but a few carp from entering the Great Lakes.
One successful traditional method is to convert small craft to miniature seiners using Kinematics small power blocks –- the 12-foot (800 lbs. pull) and 15-foot (1,100 lbs. pull). There is a big potential market for carp as lobster bait, James pointed out, as it would take pressure off herring and mackerel, and also save money, with the average lobster fisherman buying 40,000 pounds of bait a year, a few cents a pound on bait would soon add up.
Seattle Marine Supplying Full Hydraulics Packages to Bristol Bay Boats
Seattle Marine & Fishing Supply is the leading supplier of hydraulic and electric control systems for gillnetters and other small-boat fisheries, working out of the company’s big store overlooking Fishermen’s Terminal. “We typically design the entire system, using the products the owner requests and learning how and where the owner wants to fish,” Steve Brooks, SeaMar’s department manager, said. “It’s a very competitive fishery, but if you can get it all working smoothly, you can make one or two more sets on a good day, and that can really make a difference on Bristol Bay.”
He has worked on over a dozen projects this winter at builders like Mavrik, Velocity, Aliotti Enterprises, Lee Shore, North River, Reutov Boats and Freestyle Marine with a wide variety of engine and propulsion choices.
“You need good maneuverability, plenty of power and capacity, and the ability to operate in very shallow water at times in Bristol Bay if you are going to take full advantage of all this state-of-the-art gear and make it all pay its way,” he explained. “So we also offer full propulsion controls, and can set up the helm station with steering, throttle, shift, thruster, reel, electronics, all at the skipper’s fingertips.”
When asked if there one boat that really stands out this year, he replied that they are all well designed and built, with top quality gear. But when it comes to extreme beam and maximum capacity, Taran White’s Bristol Bay boat with a 19-beam deserves a mention, he said. It is powered by twin 800 hp MAN’s turning Hill H1500 high-volume waterjets. This will also be one of the last craft finished by Petrzelka Brothers in Mount Vernon, Wash., who have been in business for almost 45 years, but are closing their doors in the coming months.
Naust Marine of Iceland Moves Office to Poulsbo
B&N Fisheries of Seattle’s 167′ F/V Bristol Explorer was the first American FV to install the Naust Marine system in 2006. The two electric trawl winches and the Automatic Trawl Winch (ATW) control system have now performed for 15 years and were recently followed by a pair of Naust electric Cod end winches, each driven by a 55kW motor delivering 15 tons pull. Naust recently introduced the AutoGen Power Management system, which is an automatic electrical load sharing system designed to increase power for propulsion, lower oil consumption and maintenance costs, and prevent extreme load on individual engines.
Maximum Performance Builds 7-ton Deck Crane
Seattle-based Maximum Performance Hydraulics (MPH) recently supplied a custom-built seven-ton knuckle boom deck crane to the Sandra V – a 113-foot Alaskan crabber, reports general manager Jenna Kirksey. The crane featured the company’s standard hot-dip galvanized booms and was assembled with oversized bushings and stainless-steel cylinder rods and pins to ensure reliability and long life in a saltwater environment. It was installed on the boat during a stop at Fred Wahl shipyard in Reedsport, Ore., with the assistance of the MPH mobile team.
The crane’s capacity is 14,000 lbs. at a 10-foot radius, decreasing to 2,500 lbs. at a 40-foot maximum reach. Jenna pointed out that MPH specializes in marine cranes and have built over 100 smaller cranes in the .65-3.2-ton range for tenders, and also re-builds cranes of many types including those used by the big factory trawlers. They also have an optional wireless crane control system to allow maneuvering from anywhere on a vessel.