Trawling for Scrap Metal

by Alan Haig-Brown
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Drawings courtesy of Rodriguez Boat Builders

It looks like a typical Gulf of Mexico double-rigged shrimp trawler. However at 110 by 28-ft she will be bigger than most shrimpers. Like her sister, the Poncho, delivered in 2009, the new vessel is also built with robust framing and extra power. Like the Poncho, the as yet unnamed vessel, will be trawling for scrap metal, old tires and any other scrap is at the site of a decommissioned oil rig.  

The work, mandated by U.S. Mineral Management Services in 1990, requires the site to be cleaned to the point that it can be safely trawled by typical Gulf shrimp gear.  To get the site to this level of cleanliness the vessel owners, B & J Martin, use their proprietary Gorilla Net. The gear employs a weave of 3/4-inch combination cable at the opening with a body made of twine five-times the strength of a standard trawl net. The boat tows two of these 80-ft nets each capable of recovering up to six tons of waste.
To manage a “catch” of this magnitude requires a lot of power. For this work, a pair of Cummins K38-M EPA Tier 2 certified engines turning into Twin Disc #MGX-5321 gears, with 5.96:1 ratios, power the boat. As installed in the new vessel these mechanical tier 2 engines are each rated for 850 hp at 1800 RPM. Deck winches include a CME Model 2FH-505-038-579 Double Drum Hydraulic as well as a CME Model 1A11-100A3-1-00 Single Drum Hydraulic Anchor winch.
The boat, designed by Joseph Rodriguez and built by Rodriguez Boat Builders, has a 3,000 cubic foot hold capacity. Tankage is provided for 30,000 gallons of fuel in seven separate tanks. Another three tanks hold up to 8,000 gallons of water, while two more tanks hold up to 750 gallons of lube oil.
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