Lars Vinjerud II, likes building boats, his company, Fleet Fisheries, in New Bedford mass owns seven scallop boats, and eight lobster boats including the latest to come down the rails, the 97-foot American Eagle, recently launched at Williams Farbication in Bayou la Batre, Alabama.

“We started building it about three and half years ago,” says Vinjerud. “It was during covid and we ran into problems with labor and supply chain issues.” Vinjerud and Dale Williams at Williams Fabrication designed the vessel as described in National Fisherman, April 2023. It wasn’t their first rodeo. Vinjerud has built several boats at the Williams yard with more on the way.

With the boat in the water, Vinjerud is in Bayou la Batre. “We’re getting the electronics in,” he says. “We have a lot, Furuno, Raytheon, Simrad. We have the TimeZero bottom builder with the WAASP multibeam transducer. That all came from E&R in Coden, they’ve done most of my boats. When we get that done, we’ll do the sea trials.”

Pressed for time, Vinjerud runs through the high points of the boat. “It has a Cat C32 with a 5:1 Twin Disc gear,” he says. “It has two 99kW gensets and a 300-hp John Deere hauler engine.” The 300-hp John Deere will power a Pullmaste H18 grapple winch, and a 36-inch hauler built by Glen Manchester at Northeast Marine in Westport, Massachusetts.

The vessel will hold lobsters in two live-tanks with a total capacity of 140,000 pounds according to Vinjerud. “That’s with two 50-ton chillers, one for each tank,” he says. The American Eagle’s refrigerated seawater systems, the chillers, are supplied by IMS in Seattle.

Four staterooms at deck level, each with two bunks, will accommodate the captain and crew, and the galley will be standard.

The American Eagle is a workhorse. It’s Fleet Fisheries predecessors have logged some of the highest landing in New England, and after several years, Vinjerud will finally see what the boat can do.  “Hopefully we’ll have it in New Bedford in about a month,” he say. 


Name of Boat: American Eagle                          

Home Port: New Bedford, Mass.

Owner: Fleet Fisheries Inc.

Builder: Williams Fabrication, Bayou la Batre, Alabama

Hull Material: Steel

Year built: 2024

Fishery: Lobster

Registered Length: 78.7 feet (97)

Beam: 30 feet

Draft: 14.1 feet

Engine: 800-hp Cat C-32

Auxiliary power: Two John Deere 99kW gensets, and a 300-hp John Deere hauler engine.

Fuel Capacity: 30,000 gallons

Water Capacity: 8,000 gallons

Hold Capacity 140,000 pounds in two tanks each with a 50-ton RSW system

Cruising Speed: 9.5

Crew accommodations: 8 in four staterooms

Electronics:  A mix of Furuno, Raytheon, Simrad, TimeZero bottom builder with WAASP

Deck Gear: Pullmaster H18 grappling winch; 36-inch hauler built by Glen Manchester at Northeast Marine

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Paul Molyneaux is the Boats & Gear editor for National Fisherman.

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