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Case Study

F/V Sandy Lynn, Seabrook, NH

While we were at the dock in Seabrook another day trawler involved with GEARNET testing was unloading its catch. The F/V Sandy Lynn is operated by Captain Neil Pike. She’s a 42’ Nova Scotia built boat that runs an 8.1 liter John Deere diesel. Neil uses it mostly for trawling, but also gillnets at certain times of the year. We talked briefly about the FloScan system installed on his boat and he was adamant that it saves him a lot of money on a daily basis.

“Running at 10 knots with the boat loaded I was burning about 11 GPH. By dropping to about 8.7 knots, just a couple hundred RPM, fuel burn dropped to just over 5 GPH. That’s a 50% savings and for a day boat that can be the difference between making a profit or showing a loss on a trip.”
—Captain Neil Pike
F/V Sandy Lynn

“The system works great,” he told us. “It’s dead accurate and it helps me track my fuel costs and run my boat in the most economical way possible.” He said workboats like his are slow, displacement hulls and an adjustment of a hundred RPMs one way or the other whether loaded or empty can make a big difference in fuel consumption—a difference he could not detect without his FloScan unit.

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

“We’re very excited by some of the gear experiments we are conducting with the boats that are working collaboratively with us,” reported Mike Pol of MASS DMF. “Most recently we’ve been working with some larger trawlers like Willie Viola’s Black Beauty. We had a FloScan FloNET system installed and linked to their onboard computer system running DataLog. We’re pleased with the scope and quality of the critical information it provides for our research and both Mr. Viola and Capt. Billy Train are thrilled with the FloScan system’s performance.”

The Black Beauty is experimenting with thin diameter twine in trawl nets and according to Pol early results indicated a potential 8% fuel savings while towing, but more testing

is needed. There are so many variables that come into play when running a vessel it takes repeated test trips and a careful examination of the DataLog data, which they download from the vessel at the end of the trips. DataLog is capable of saving GPS information like current location, course over ground and speed over ground, in addition to extremely accurate fuel consumption data in a manner highly compatible with the researcher’s needs.

Beyond the research, the FloScan system on the Black Beauty has shown the captain how to save money while steaming to and from the fishing grounds. “As fishing gear researchers we work with fishermen who are dealing with the burdens of regulations and market factors that have made it difficult to survive,” said Pol. “The work we are doing through GEARNET is one way we can identify cost saving modifications and techniques to help them run their businesses more efficiently. FloScan is an important part of our efforts.”

Capt. Neal Pike

Capt. Neal Pike explains the important relationship between engine RPM, speed and GPH/MPG readings from his FloScan unit in reducing fuel consumption and operating overhead.

Eayrs, Chapman and Pol expressed their confidence in the ability of FloScan systems to make a positive contribution to the bottom line of commercial fishing operations and it is strongly supported by the fishermen who started using a FloScan system as part of the cooperative testing program, but quickly found its benefits extended far beyond the test period.

 
 
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