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Vessel Profile: Seven Inlets

Salish Seafoods takes delivery of a new multipurpose power scow


March 1, 2020

The 55-foot by 16-foot Seven Inlets will see heavy use transporting oysters, clams, geoducks and salmon for Squaxin Island Tribe's Salish Seafoods. Photo courtesy of Lee Shore Boats.

Late last year tribally-owned Salish Seafoods took delivery of a 55-foot by 16-foot aluminum power scow from boatbuilder Lee Shore Boats for use in the tribe's aquaculture and shellfish logistics operations.

Formerly the Harstine Oyster Company, the Squaxin Island Tribe purchased the company in the early 1970s and renamed it Salish Seafoods. The shellfish farm consists of six acres of waterfront property on the western shore of Harstine Island in South Puget Sound, and the company also grows oysters on 41 acres of tidelands on Squaxin Island, which is uninhabited tribal reservation land. The operation sells oysters, clams and now geoducks grown and harvested on the tribes own tidelands.

The new boat, christened Seven Inlets, is powered by a single John Deere 425-horsepower keel-cooled diesel engine, driving a 26-inch propeller through a ZF305 down angle gearbox with PTO.

On deck the new boat is fitted with a bow-mounted knuckle boom crane with a capacity of 1,850 lbs. at a 30-foot reach, and the Kinematics 14-inch hydraulic windlass handles a 40-lb. anchor. Two heavy duty skegs make the boat sturdy enough for beach landings while protecting the hull-mounted extruded keel coolers.

A raised pilot house mounted aft offers a good view of deck operations and is fitted with full navigation and communication electronics. The cabin features a fully enclosed head with a freshwater tank and sink as well as a macerator pump toilet and holding tank.

Seven Inlets replaces an older, smaller boat the company used along with a barge for harvesting oysters, says Salish Seafoods operations manager Rod Schuffenhauer, who explains that the vessel's primary use will be to transport salmon. The operation currently uses a barge and small pushboat to pick up Chinook, coho and chum salmon purchased from Squaxin Island tribe members.

"With the new platform we don't have to work with the barge," Rod says. The new boat has eight tie-down pockets for securing cargo to the deck. "We can do all our buying with a brailer and totes loaded on the deck of the new boat."

In addition to the company's salmon operations the new boat will be used for oyster farming. For example, Schuffenhauer says, the boat will be used for spraying oyster seed off the deck, and the boom crane will be useful for loading tubs full of harvested oysters.

The new boat was delivered in October but hasn't seen much use yet. The fishery was a disaster this year, Schuffenhauer says, limiting the use for salmon operations. Also, much of the staff isn't trained on the new boat yet. Nevertheless, Schuffenhauer says the boat is a welcome addition to the operation. "Everybody's tickled pink," he says. "For finer detail work Lee Shore does a phenomenal job."

Schuffenhauer says Salish Seafoods has a big unpowered barge that was also built by Lee Shore. "We're discussing having it converted into a power scow, too."

Salish Seafoods sells shellstock, single oysters and shucked meats throughout the United States and China, under the names Palala Bay, Squaxin Passage, Potlatch Point and Peale Passage. The company harvests and sells approximately 12,000 gallons of oyster meat, half a million dozen single oysters, and 400,000 – 500,000 pounds of Manila clams each year. The company has also taken delivery of a new Lee Shore-built geoduck dive boat that is waiting for final components before starting work on the geoduck beds.


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