Nice Day Too

Gone fishing. That’s the sign you’ll often find at Tom Chen’s dock in Montauk, N.Y., at the tip of Long Island. Chen has been in the charter fishing business for 10 years, and until 2007 he operated a 60-footer called Nice Day. Now he has a new boat, Nice Day Too, a 62-foot all-aluminum catamaran built by Geo Shipyard of New Iberia, La., that is finishing up its second fall season.

“We built as much flexibility in this boat as possible,” said David LeCompte, Geo’s owner. “Chen wanted a vessel that could be used on day trips 10 to 15 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean as well as overnight trips.”

The vessel can carry 49 people on day trips (“We seldom carry that many,” comments Chen) and 20 on overnights. “The boat has a (certificate of inspection) for 100 miles offshore,” LeCompte said.

Day trips follow the classic charter pattern: Chen supplies the bait and the customers roll in with rods and tackle and ice chests for the catch. “Most of the day fishing is for bottom fish such as pogies and sea bass,” Chen said.

Longer trips are a different matter. “Our overnight trips are for tuna and marlin, where the fish can weigh 70 to 80 pounds,” says Chen. “When we are out for tuna, I have a couple of large containers to hold the catch.”

Chen posts a chart advising customers what they can expect, depending on the time of year. Cod and sea bass can be caught year round, while bluefin tuna and fluke are best July through September. Interested in frostbite fishing? Try giant sea bass from December through March.

The vessel’s full-displacement hull is a Malcolm Tennant design from New Zealand. Glenn Ring with Advance Fabrication and Roger Fyffe of Fyffe Yachts did the engineering; both companies are from Houston.

Power comes from a pair of Cummins QSL 9.0 engines rated at 405-hp each. Electric power requirements are minimal, so the genset is a 12.0 kW unit by Northern Lights. The engines are connected to Twin Disc 5091 SC gearboxes that spin a pair of ZF five-blade NiBrAl propellers.

This combination yields a top speed of 24 knots with a fuel burn of 21 gph at 2,100 rpm. At 1,800 rpm, cruise speed is 20 knots with a fuel burn of 10.5 gph. Both rates are very economical for a 62-foot catamaran.

The beam is 21.5 feet and the hull depth 9.5 feet. Displacement is 32 tonnes full load and gross registered tonnage is 42 tons. The draft is 4 feet.

This fall, Nice Day Too has been running the overnight trips for which the vessel was designed, typically leaving at 8 a.m. and returning at 3 p.m. the following day.

Geo built a lot of features into this vessel. For example, the top rail is heated to keep ice and snow from accumulating and to make it easy to grip without sticking to customers’ hands. “We built a separate pump and water heater with the top rail pipe in the loop,” LeCompte said.

Inside the main deck cabin there are settees for use during day trips; they unfold into cots at night. There is also a small galley with a sink and microwave. Fuel capacity is 1,200 gallons and there are 200 gallons of potable water in hull tanks.

Nice Day Too runs with a captain and two deckhands on most trips. The vessel runs eight-hour trips Monday through Friday and is available for overnight charters on weekends. On all trips, reservations are a must.

Fish finders and more
In the pilothouse most of the equipment is by Furuno, including two radars, depth sounder, fish finder, GPS, two Loran units and two plotters. VHF radios are by Icom; Sea Tel supplied the satcom equipment and Azimuth the digital compasses.

Alarms for the engines and other systems are by Rule. All painting and coatings are by International Paint, and Wynne supplied the windows.

The unique foldout seating is by Sterling’s Upholstery and Fabrication LLC, also of New Iberia.

The layout of Nice Day Too is quite conventional for its mission. The main deck has an enclosed cabin forward and an open deck aft with holders for fishing equipment on the bulwarks. Protected by an overhang from the second deck is space for the two very large ice chests for the tuna. The pilothouse deck has open air space aft for Jim Buoy lifesaving equipment.

The control console in the pilothouse. Inside the main cabin, settees used for day trips fold down into cots for overnight guests.

Among Geo’s recent deliveries are the 41-foot Fish Haven for the Mississippi Department of Natural Resources for mapping the bottom of Mississippi Sound and a 38-foot craft for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Department, capable of 52 mph.

As for workboats, this spring Geo delivered Orca One, a 100-foot boat to push rock barges down the Mississippi River for Orca Marine Towing. A pair of 1,600-hp diesels by Cummins supply the propulsion power.

Geo also builds versatile crew/supply vessels with an open forward deck and superstructure aft for maximum work area and cargo hauling capability. Recent examples are a 60-footer, Mr. Mac, and the 40-foot Capt. Joey Wayne. Also in the fabrication shed are a Corps of Engineers survey boat and a fisheries vessel for the State of Mississippi. •

By Professional Mariner Staff