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Old 04-05-2009, 07:29 AM
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Default Clamming boats.... Babylon, Long Island NY

I remember some of these boats from when I worked on the bay 25 years ago
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:59 AM
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Striper, did you go next door and check out the Regulators
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:08 PM
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Regulators are nice but they all look the same, these boats have character
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:01 AM
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Wow that top one is really a good looking for a clammer. Very cool
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:45 AM
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Are these pictures taken on Shore Rd in Lindenhurst?
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:47 AM
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Looks like Willow Street. Next to Suffolk Marine, the Regulator dealer. RK
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:56 AM
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Looks like Willow Street. Next to Suffolk Marine, the Regulator dealer. RK


Yep, See them all the time
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:00 PM
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What self respecting clammer would have an IO? Any of those old timers still clamming?
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:14 AM
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I think i can seee a few bunker splashes in those photos
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:21 AM
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I think i can seee a few bunker splashes in those photos


Shhhhhhh.......there is no bunker down there!!! They left. No need to go there!!!
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:59 AM
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I know the area. When I first moved to the south shore you could literally walk across the bay without getting your feet wet. There were hundreds of these boats out there.

It's a shame that the only ones left seem to be keepsakes. Besides the loss of clams and the livlehoods of many, we lost a lot of craftsman and tradition. These weren't production boats.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:46 AM
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Those are some really specialized, cool rigs. Can any of you guys explain how they were used and how the fishing method influenced these designs?
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:47 AM
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Those are some really specialized, cool rigs. Can any of you guys explain how they were used and how the fishing method influenced these designs?
The clam boats pictured are what we used to call "tongers". You can see their equipment stored on a few of them. The tongs were long handled tools that operated like a BIG pair of pliers. The business end forms a half basket on each side that closes when the handles are closed.

The decks are flush as the tonger would work his way around the entire boat opening and closing the handles to sort of gather everything within range. Think of it as using two rakes facing each other to pick up the leaves you rake off the lawn. So, they work around the boat, every so often pulling up the tongs and emptying the contents right on the deck for sorting later. (Another good reason for the flush decks, EASY cleanup)

Once the entire area around the boat was picked over they would either lengthen or shorten the anchor rode to move over fresh bottom and start the process all over.

These boats in the pics above are very different from the another type of clammer we used to have TONS of; the RAKERS. The would be out in their Garvey's and Sharpie's. These boats generally had freeboard up to knee height and were worked on the drift. WIth the rake being worked while drifting. The knee high gunwales sure came in handy when the drift was fast with a big rake in the water!!!

You can imagine what would happen if trying to rake on a WET flush deck!!

Man!! I miss those days!!!!
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:53 PM
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Thanks, MT. I've seen guys tonging oysters in NC out of small skiffs. Never seen a specialized rig like this.

That's got to be a hard way to earn a living, like digging post holes all day long with a set of extra long diggers. I'm guessing you didn't want to arm wrestle a guy that tonged for a living.

What happened to the tongers and rakers? Lack of clams? In parts of NC, locals still make a little pocket money picking up clams and oysters.
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:56 PM
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The good Ole' days. Hanging in Augies with the boys, tons of clam boats in the bay, and fire works in bayshore!!!oh and a cup of chowder at Pier 44
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:19 PM
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abfish - many things happened to the clams; Overharvesting, over population, sewage, phosphates, brown tide etc... It's a shame; the Great South Bay once had one of the healthiest clam stocks in the country. I can remember clamming back in the 70's (I was a raker) and there were hundreds of boats around. Most of my friends from the neighborhood were out there. Lunch time was something to behold. We would tie up our garvies, some times 20 or more and have clam fights, water fights, and pull all kind of pranks on each other. The best trick was to back your boat up to a friend, tilt up your outboard and hit the throttle - that pissed them off!

Today there are still clams but you need to hunt to find them. The eel grass beds have been decimated due to many reasons and these beds provided the safe havens for juvenile clams, scallops, fish and so on. It's tough watching the bay you grew up on dying a slow death
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:46 PM
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The good Ole' days. Hanging in Augies with the boys, tons of clam boats in the bay, and fire works in bayshore!!!oh and a cup of chowder at Pier 44

Just got back from Pier 44 tonight! Guys night with a bunch of fishing buddies. The fireworks, I remember as a kid going out to see them on my grandfathers 31 Bertram. That brings back some good memories
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