Saturday, March 28, 2009


We came up with the QuickTube Sorter in response to the limitations of other tumbling sorters on the market. We basically took all of the things we didn't like and made them better or wished were doable and made them a reality.

The QuickTube Sorter currently costs $12,995
Great price for what you get!
That includes two sorting tubes, one for seed and one for market/sub-market. The tubes have hole sizes 5/8", 7/8" for the seed tube, 1.25", 1.75" for the market/sub-market tube.  We have found these to be the best overall combination for an oyster farm. You can always get more tubes with other size holes, currently the most popular is the small seed tube with 1/4" and 1/2" holes.
Tubes can also be made of stainless steel for increased longevity but they are a lot for pricing.


1.First...and by far foremost, is the ability to switch sorting sizes in a couple of minutes. The mesh style sorters take an hour plus WITH TWO GUYS and are a real pain. Now, with the QuickTube Sorter two guys can change a tube in a matter of minutes.
The video below shows us changing out a tube.

The QuickTube Sorter with it's hood up.

Again, note the motor mount is held in place while the other end is flipped all the way back and out of the way. The spray bar is quickly disconnected as well so it can be removed and placed back inside the next tube.

2.The sorter is hinged on both sides so it can be used from the left or right side depending on your set-up, you just need to reverse the guard and the rotation of the motor which are both easy to do.

3.Round holes instead of square mesh. This gives a better grade than the square hole because square holes have a long side and a short side, round holes measure the same all the way around. The holes are offset in order to maximize the sorting surface area giving a better grade, and round holes can also sort clams.

4.The machine comes equipped with a wash down connection and a spray bar with nozzles. You can hook up a hose from a booster pump or you can run a gas powered pump on it and clean your oysters effectively while they are being graded. In this picture the bar is disconnected from the machine, it has a quick connect fitting for tube changes.

5.The legs are adjustable and the feet pivot so you can change the angle and height of the unit to allow the oysters to roll quicker or slower down the tube and so it can be adjusted to work with other equipment such as a hopper conveyor and/or grading table.

6.The whole unit is made of heavy gauge aluminum so that it is light weight yet strong (a couple of guys can pick one up) and it can endure the harsh marine environment for years of service.
And it fits nicely in a pick-up truck or on a trailer.

7.The unit can be powered by electric or hydraulic. The electric motor (120V) is not variable but we could put a variable speed motor on if desired, its just going to be more expensive. We no longer use the variable speed motors on the tumblers.  Years ago we found the "sweet" spot on our original sorter. So as we set out to make a better product that was reasonably priced we got rid of the variable speed motor and spec'd out a gear motor that had the same torque and rotational speed as our "sweet" spot. We also found that the variable speed or varying flow is most important on one of our  hopper conveyors that would be feeding the QuickTube Sorter.

8.The unit comes with a tray for the front of the machine that can hold a bushel of oysters for manual loading. The tray is bolted on so it can be removed if you decide to upgrade to a hopper feed, which we totally recommend.  However, the most effective and efficient method of feeding a QuickTube Sorter is by one of our two hopper conveyor designs.

9. The shoots the oysters fall into are completely closed so no oysters are lost on the drop and they are attached on an angle to flow better when the machine is in its working position or sloped. Fish totes slide in sideways to catch the oysters that fall through.

10. There is only one seam in each sorting section compared to the three in mesh sorters and the holes cover almost 4' of the tube per grade, both of which mean more sorting area so a better sort.

Its hard to see, but look close and you can see the seam on the back of the tube and how little it interferes with sorting.

At the bottom of the page you will find two videos of the QuickTube Sorter in action, one with seed and one with markets in conjunction with hopper conveyors and sorting conveyors. If you really want to move through a lot of product these conveyors are an ABSOLUTE must. Custom and replacement tubes are also available.
Order for QuickTube shipping out with hopper conveyor and sorting/washing conveyor
Custom tubes being packaged

More custom tubes, these are for an application with wire mesh
but run on the QT... shipped in halves for easier handling 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spat On Shell Harvest 3/18/09

18 months ago these were just specks on old oysters shells, today they are fat 4" to 5" oysters ready to be shucked and sold.

Only took these guys 3 hours to knock out these 60 bushels. They are experienced oyster tongers.

Nice to see a boat loaded with oysters.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Getting ready to go out and harvest...
Buoy was reading 42knots steady during the night... we didn't go out in that. I think when we went out it was just in the twenties, not great but we managed, couldn't do it without the longline.
I don't mind working in the rain and snow, just HATE the wind.
It was FREEZING!!!

This marker should be a whole lot easier to see on the way to the farm.

This is how we do it in Wake!
No big plow with a salt spreader,
just our neighbor Stosh and his tractor. He scraped the snow off the county road; I think he was bored and this gave him something fun to do.
Yes, that is our post office and that is down town Wake.

That sea grass is frozen solid, the cages froze as soon as they hit the boat. Luckily, we can get the oysters in fast enough to not freeze them.
You know its a cold day when you are excited to get into the cooler because its WARM in there. But 42 degrees with now wind is balmy compared to the wind chill on the water.

The Dock and the Ellie K

If you see this in your yard DO NOT bend wire.
You can bend wire almost all of the time, but once you drop below freezing and colder you can snap the vinyl coating on the wire as you bend it.
If its real cold you can even snap the welds.
Just bend inside or take the day off.

If you thought that was cold how about these from two weeks ago.

Eastern Shore Crew and their "oysters on ice" farm.
The gear even works frozen.
However, everyone that works in shallow water (2'-5') makes certain they know how low the tides get in the winter...don't want any exposed gear and frozen product.

This is how we roll in the winter because it is normally windy and cold but oysters still need to be harvested...

Essential Clothing List...
Sun glasses (polarized)
Fleece hat
Neck fleece
Rain coat...if its raining or blowing
Bib rain pants (oil skins) (Grudens)...always a must year round
Powder shell...this serves two purposes, keeps the wind off of you and keeps the mud off of you
Gruden sleeves...wear over the powder jacket, they keep your arms from getting ripped up on wire and shells
2 t-shirts
Turtle neck
Wool sweater
Fleece vest
Wool socks
Neoprene lined boats
(Muck Boots)
Water proof gloves with removable liner

I think that about covers it.

Staying warm while your working and it is nasty out makes this work fun...
being cold is miserable!!!