Stefoly: quick and shallow

When Stéphan Huard from Gaspésie in Québec was looking for a new boat, he went all the way to Audacious Marine in England for one of its Cougar Catamarans.

Audacious Marine’s Paul Cannon said that normally he prefers to deliver completed boats, but can also deliver them as part-builds. In this case, Stéphan Huard wanted only the basic construction, and to finish the boat himself in Gaspésie.

‘The boat was shipped as deck cargo on a freighter via Southampton. Normally we supply the wheelhouse as a single unit, but this time it was flatpacked and shrinkwrapped to be shipped to Canada.’

According to Stéphan Huard, the reason for buying the boat as a stage 1 build was to keep costs down, plus it gave him the flexibility to arrange the boat exactly as he wanted it finished.

He said that going to England for a new boat was because nobody in North America builds anything like the Cougar Catamarans.

‘I wanted a light boat with a shallow draft (just over two feet), and outboard engines for working in six feet water,’ he said

Unlike other Cougar catamarans of this size from Audacious Marine that have inboard engines, Stéphan Huard wanted to run the new Stefoly with outboards, and the boat has a pair of 250hp petrol Hondas that provide more than enough power to cruise at over twenty knots.

After a few months of fitting out through the winter at Gaspésie, Stefoly was launched earlier this month and was put through trials to get the engines running just right, hitting twenty-plus knots on trials with a dozen people on board. Now that everything has been fine-tuned, Stéphan said that Stefoly reaches 18 knots with one engine and 36 knots with both.

‘I’ll be able to get more speed with a different pitch to the propeller blades, but this is enough. The trials were carried out with plenty of weight on board, so without that, we should be able to reach 40 knots easily,’ he said.

Stéphan Huard’s main fishery is lobster, fishing 235 Fipec Industries traps through a season of only 68 days. After that, the lobster gear comes off and the DNG jigging machines go back on for chasing mackerel, some of which becomes bait for the following year’s lobster season.

Stocks of the Gaspé lobster are healthy and sustainably managed, with full traceability and MSC certified. Stéphan Huard’s Stefoly is one of the 163 boats taking part in the fishery. He and the other members of Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie can be found at the Mon Homard website.

WorldFishingToday - 19-04-2016

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