Fishermen's News - The Advocate for the Commercial Fisherman

By Chris Philips
Managing Editor 

Distinctive Projects Keep Boatyards Busy


Anacortes, Washington's Dakota Creek Industries, having delivered a new Skipsteknisk-designed freezer longliner to Blue North fisheries last month, is working on a 260-foot trawler for Fishermen's Finest by the same designer. Photo courtesy of Dakota Creek Industries.

The West Coast commercial fishing fleet continues to expand, as vessels are converted, replaced and reconfigured. The North Pacific fleet has seen updates in the form of the newly lengthened Starbound, (see Fishermen's News, April 2016) delivered by Anacortes-based shipyard Dakota Creek Industries, as well as the Florida-based Patti Marine-built Global Seas Defender (see Fishermen's News, August 2016), which was converted to a West Coast trawler after a career on the Gulf of Mexico.

Another Florida yard, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, is preparing to deliver the 194-foot by 49-foot Araho to the O'Hara Corporation of Rockland, Maine. The O'Hara family has been fishing for more than a hundred years, and operates fleets in both the Atlantic and Pacific, including three catcher-processor vessels in the bering sea, Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska. The new vessel will be the 6th fishing vessel Eastern has built for the O'Hara family over the last 20 years.

Designed by Norwegian naval architecture firm Skipsteknisk, the Araho is slated to be the first US-flag freezer-processor factory trawler built in more than 25 years.

Eastern completed the hull and launched the vessel last summer, and has been fitting out the interior and factory at the yard's Nelson Street facility in Panama City, Florida. The vessel's design includes soft chines to reduce hull resistance and increase fuel efficiency and, combined with US EPA Tier III propulsion and generator powerplants, will also reduce overall emissions.

Also designed by Skipsteknisk, the F/V Blue North recently delivered by Anacortes, Washington-based Dakota Creek (see related story in this issue), frees up some crew at the yard to work on their next big fishing project, the Skipsteknisk-designed 260-foot stern trawler America's Finest, to be delivered late next year to Seattle-based fishing company Fishermen's Finest.

The new Amendment 80 vessel will catch, process and deliver frozen-at-sea white fish products and groundfish, including yellow and rock sole species.

Dakota Creek says the vessel uses a heavily weighted box keel design, to keep weight low, and an anti-roll tank to provide a stable working platform. America's Finest will utilize a diesel electric twin propeller dual-azimuth propulsion system and will be among the first fishing vessels in the United States built to meet new Tier III emissions standards.

Dakota Creek President Mike Nelson says with the Blue North delivered, the yard can now go full time on the construction of the America's Finest.

Not to be outdone, Seattle's Vigor has introduced a new 142-foot freezer longliner design based on the highly successful longliners built by Marco shipyards in the 1970s and 1980s.

The 142-foot by 33.6-foot vessel has a fish hold capacity of 14,070 cubic feet, or 560,000 pounds, and a bait hold capacity of 1,900 cubic feet.

Vigor promotes the design as an affordable solution for the recapitalization of the North Pacific fishing fleet. The acquisition of the design, examples of which have been fishing in the North Pacific for more than 20 years, allows the shipyard to take advantage of advances in technology, efficiency and safety while keeping costs down, according to Vigor Executive VP of Business Development Keith Whittemore. "We didn't set out to design a Lamborghini," he says, calling the new design a reliable workhorse and likening it to more of a "heavy duty pickup truck."

Vigor will complete and vet the production engineering of the vessel prior to starting production and create an efficient production line for fabrication. Whittemore explains, "Serial production on a line is the key to a cost effective build for customers. If you want to hold price down this is the way to do it. Operators get that and we've had great feedback on the design and the build plans."

Whittemore says the vessel will provide the proven seakeeping characteristics and "fish-ability" of the Marco boats, with high construction quality and operational efficiency. The design, engineered for low maintenance, will offer improved crew accommodations, comfort and safety.

"We think it's the right design for the North Pacific Longliner fleet," Whittemore says.

In Oregon, Fred Wahl continues to produce "Famous 58s" combination boats, with the most recent being the 58-foot by 28-foot F/V Insatiable, for Ron and Julie Kavanaugh.

The boat is powered by a Caterpillar turbocharged C-32, V12 diesel engine providing 750 HP to a 72-inch by 62-inch, 4-bladed wheel through a Twin Disc MGX 5225 reduction gear. This combination promises to provide 7.5 knots at 1,200 RPM, while burning around 10 gallons of fuel per hour. A pair of John Deere 150 kW gensets provide power to run the on-board systems, with capacity to add freezer or factory equipment in the future.

The beamy new boat has hold space for 240,000 lbs of fish, with deck space and stability to stack 70 pots on deck, providing the flexibility to move gear without losing fishing time.

The yard isn't losing any time, as the next beamy 58-footer, also a combination boat and built to the same design, will be ready for delivery early next year.

At Port Angeles, Platypus Marine has been busy with repair and conversion projects, including the quick turnaround of the 90-foot trawler Jamie Marie that ran aground north of Ocean Shores, Washington at the end of May. After being pulled off the beach, the boat was brought to Platypus Marine for an emergency drydock. Platypus applied Sharkskin antifouling paint to the hull, replaced the stern bearing, re-coated the keel coolers and replaced the housing unit for the sounder. The Jamie Marie was launched and back fishing after only a week at Platypus.

A much more comprehensive project for the yard was the sponsoning of the 58-foot steel crab and shrimp boat Michael Lisa, out of Westport, Washington.

Starting at 58 by 19 feet, the new boat is now 126 feet wide, thanks to 3-foot, six-inch sponsons port and starboard.

The 90-foot trawler Jamie Marie called at Platypus Marine for an emergency drydock, where the yard replaced the stern bearing, among other repairs. Photo courtesy of Platypus Marine.

Platypus project manager Tom Croft says the project was fairly extensive, and required the removal of the main deck aft of the engine room bulkhead. This section was subsequently raised 13 inches and now spans the two sponsons.

The new steel increased fuel capacity in forward tanks, and added room in the fish holds. The capacity of the new space is 2,875 cubic feet, 1,792 of which is forward and 1,083 aft.

"We left the engine room intact," Croft says, "but replaced some corroded plate in the overheads." A new day tank was added, and some electrical and piping runs were replaced as well. The shipyard also built a new fo'c'sle, adding space to the forward accommodations, salon and galley.

Finally, the yard removed the old bow and added a new bulbous bow, fairing the sponsons with new skin to tie everything together.

At press time the boat was out of the covered work area and receiving topside paint, a new mast and the final deck equipment before being returned to work this month.


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