A sustainable livelihood – a greener environment
Inspired by the energy expended in the generation of powerful wakes by the lobster boats of Maine, The Lobster Boat Project Inc. was formed in 2008 to initiate and assist in the funding and development of a modern fuel efficient boat for the purpose of energy conservation, cost reduction. and ergonomic enhancement.
The Maine Coast lobstermen and the communities in which they live suffer from the high cost of fuel and other expenses. Today’s basic lobster boat was designed over 70 years ago and is powered by a 250 – 1,000 horse power diesel guzzling engine. Fuel cost is second only to the cost of bait and constitutes 30% or more of operating expenses. The average lobster boat burns approximately 3,000 gallons of fuel per year.
The effort was adopted, sponsored and managed by by the Penobscot East Resource Center, the preeminent non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of the Maine fishing industry and the communities which support it. Professor Douglas Read, a naval architect at the Maine Maritime Academy was commissioned with his students to develop the new design.
By the end of the 2015 academic year a new trimaran hull design expected to reduce fuel consumption by 20% compared with the latest version of the conventional monohull had been put through a series of large scale model tank tests and sea trials to confirm that expectation under a variety of conditions.
In the summer of 2016 the effort commenced to organize and fund the production of a prototype vessel.