Tips and tricks for getting rid of crab/lobster floats - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-18-2012
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Tips and tricks for getting rid of crab/lobster floats

The title should be self-explanatory. In the Chesapeake forum, we discussed that it would be nice to share what to do when you caught that float around your keel/shaft/rudder/prop. Of course here we fight the crab pots but this is surely a wider problem. I have sailed in Maine and the lobster pots there are just as thick there as the crab pots are here.

Not that I can much contribute. I purchased, just for this purpose, an extendable 11' pole, from Hookit. If I am lucky I can push the float line off the boat. If not, at least the pole allows me to pull up the line to deck level. At which point the feature role is taken over by a sharp knife...

Of course I don't like damaging someone else's property but I usually single-hand and I will not go over the side in the open Bay when I am by myself.

So, let's hear it. What tricks have you up your sleeve in that situation?
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Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Tips and tricks for getting rid of crab/lobster floats

If it is around the shaft or wheel DO NOT try to run the engine in hopes of freeing itself, it wont. If it is wrapped around shaft or wheel the only way to get to it is cut it out which isnt always easy. I once spend 50 mins under a lobster boat because they were steaming with both engines while the starboard was fouled ( yes they knew it was fouled ) by the time they got 20 miles in it was a knotted mess on the wheel and a plastic ball around the shaft because it had melted to do excessive heat and friction. Try to cut it out yourself, get a tow, or call a diver. Thats why I have a response boat.
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Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Tips and tricks for getting rid of crab/lobster floats

Just wondering if crabbers consider having their lines caught around props and cut the cost of doing business?
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Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Tips and tricks for getting rid of crab/lobster floats

Put a line cutter on your prop shaft and forget about them. I have a blade , bolted to the front of my aperture, running down at a 45 degree angle, just touching the prop hub. Any line trying to wrap around this blade is instantly sliced.
Cutting the odd crab pot line is just a part of cruising. If they want to save their pots, they should keep them out of main channels. We cruisers should not have to bear the costs of such foolishness (bent prop shafts, wrecked trannys and bell housings, etc.).
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Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Tips and tricks for getting rid of crab/lobster floats

Brent,

Line cutters work, right up untill they don't. I had to replace the shaft of my last boat due to a line wrapping the shaft and torquing it out of true. Sadly the line cutter couldn't make it through the wire leader in the line.

I generally assume I am going to have to cut away crab traps when they get hooked. Sometimes you get lucky, but if the engine is running they almost always wrap, and if you are sailing they tend to slide off without getting a bite on anything.
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Re: Tips and tricks for getting rid of crab/lobster floats

You have far better odds with a line cutter than without one. Improving the odds is the best you can hope for.
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Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Tips and tricks for getting rid of crab/lobster floats

In Maine, many lobsterman runs pots in series with floats at least at both ends. Cutting asap is the best thing you can do for you and them.
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Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Tips and tricks for getting rid of crab/lobster floats

I find that most of the pots that I have hooked actually hook the toggle on the propeller. In this case, you can grappel the pickup buoy and if you know which side of the wheel it is on (usually determined by current direction), you walk forward with the pickup buoy on that side. Once you have walked well forward, you pull really hard and you can usually get the line to come off the forward end of the prop. Then you just need to get it passed without it hooking again.
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Old 06-19-2012
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Re: Tips and tricks for getting rid of crab/lobster floats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
Put a line cutter on your prop shaft and forget about them. I have a blade , bolted to the front of my aperture, running down at a 45 degree angle, just touching the prop hub. Any line trying to wrap around this blade is instantly sliced.
Cutting the odd crab pot line is just a part of cruising. If they want to save their pots, they should keep them out of main channels. We cruisers should not have to bear the costs of such foolishness (bent prop shafts, wrecked trannys and bell housings, etc.).
I HAVE a line cutter, in the space between the strut and the prop.

Are you saying I should move the line cutter all the way back until it touches the prop?

Two weeks ago a line from a crab pot got in-between the line cutter and the prop. I had to do a quick haul-out (at the cost of several hundred dollars) and it may have bent the shaft slightly.
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Old 06-20-2012
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Re: Tips and tricks for getting rid of crab/lobster floats

The line cutter is supposed to cut line as well as "seal" the "space" from the strut to the collar of the wheel. Like anything one day they are bound to meet their match. I absolutely hate diving on vessels that have them because they can, will and have taken fingers and a half of a hand.
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