Andrew Gove: 85 and counting; 78 of ‘em lobstering

STONINGTON, ME – The crew in the machine shop at Billings Diesel & Marine is doing its thing, prepping the 36′ Northern Bay that sits on the floor to receive her new engine.  Surprisingly, the 36-footer’s new D13 Volvo – a 13-liter inline 6 – is going to fit into the space where the old V-8 had been without too much fuss.

“Won’t be a problem for these boys, anyway,” says the boat’s owner.  “They can do about anything: mechanical work, carpentry, fiberglassing … and they’re good workers.  I’ve been watching ‘em.”

“This one’s only 700 horses,” says Andy, pointing to the tag on his new D13 Volvo Penta. (Brian Robbins photo)

“This one’s only 700 horses,” says Andy, pointing to the tag on his new D13 Volvo Penta. (Brian Robbins photo)

His old engine rests in the shadow of the boat’s stern: a V-8 Mack Diesel purchased from American Marine Diesel back in 1997.

“This ol’ bulldog has done good by me.”  He pats the big Mack’s expansion tank.  “She’s still running, but I just didn’t want to take a chance on getting broke down in the middle of fishing.”

We walk over to where the shiny green Volvo sits on her pallet, waiting to be hoisted aboard.

“Of course, Bri,” he says to me, pointing to a sticker on top of the D13, “I’m going down in horsepower.  This one’s only 700.”

Which is true: the Mack carried a stock rating of 900 horses.

The talk of some fresh-faced young buck, you ask?

Naw: that’s Andrew Gove – you might know him better as the owner of Uncle’s UFO.

Andrew will be 85 in May.


Tea with Rose

The view from Andrew and Rose Gove’s dining table is a beautiful one – but a cold one, as well.  There’s a lot of ice in Stonington Harbor on this mid-February day and a lot of snow piled up on the land.

There’s hardly any wind though, and Andy shakes his head.

“I could haul today if my boat wasn’t on the bank,” he says.  “My gear will be half-chafed off by the time I get back overboard.”

“How big of a gang are you fishing these days?” I ask, sipping at the steaming cup of tea he’s set before me.


Read the rest of this story and much, much more in the March issue of Commercial Fisheries News.  Buy this issue or Subscribe.

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