New hoist to speed lobstermen’s work



BAR HARBOR — A new fisherman’s hoist has been installed at the town pier. A group of 21 lobstermen who fish full-time here split the cost of having the new hoist built and installed by Frenchman’s Bay Boating Company (FBBC) to replace an older, gantry-style hoist near the eastern corner of the pier.

The other hoist, on the western corner of the pier, has not changed.

A new hoist on the eastern corner of the Bar Harbor Town Pier was designed and built by Frenchman’s Bay Boating Company. The town’s fishermen paid for it and donated it to the town. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

A new hoist on the eastern corner of the Bar Harbor Town Pier was designed and built by Frenchman’s Bay Boating Company. The town’s fishermen paid for it and donated it to the town. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

“The fishermen agreed it would be a good idea to have a second hoist,” Harbormaster Charlie Phippen said. “It’s configured differently than the one that got replaced. It was designed and fabricated by FBBC based on what the fishermen said they needed for capabilities.”

Fisherman and Harbor Committee Chair Jon Carter said the new hoist’s ability to swing over the deck of a boat will be a big improvement.

“If you have a 55-gallon drum of bait, you used to have to physically pull it into the boat. That’s why people wanted a different hoist,” he said.

The new unit can handle more weight than the old one, too, but they designed it with a small enough capacity that people won’t be tempted to attempt to lift boats or other very heavy items.

Feedback on the new hoist has been positive, Phippen said. “We’re not really in full swing yet with lobster, but pretty soon, everything will be 100 percent ‘go’ down here, and the hoists will both be used every day.”

The hoist is a donation to the town by the fishermen. The Town Council accepted the donation pending an engineering certification for insurance purposes.

“We need to have that engineering certificate on file,” Phippen said. “Because it’s not an off-the-shelf item, an engineer needs to certify its working capability. I’m assuming the engineer will agree that everything is overbuilt for its expected use.”

Carter said some funds are available in the Harbor Department’s budget for maintenance of the hoist in the near term. The Harbor Committee will work on a plan for how to fund ongoing maintenance, he said.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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