Boat of the Month April 2017: Glacier Wind

Think of a ’57 Chevy out back of the barn — oxidized paint, moss growing in its grill, a bit of rust, some missing chrome — and you’ve nailed the landlubbing equivalent of the 42-foot Glacier Wind.

Bruce Privett, who lives in Valdez during his summers and spends his winters in Wasilla, Alaska, bought the boat in 2014 with visions of a cherried-out hull, refurbished woodwork, new hydraulics, new refrigeration, a rebuilt main and an overhauled 25-kilowatt generator.

Built in 1982, the hull was turned out by Delta Marine in Seattle, but the boat was finished by LeClercq Marine Construction, which left it adorned with plenty of woodwork inside and out.

“It reminded me of an old muscle car with the bondo and primer that would look really cool when finished,” he says. When Privett, who seines salmon in Prince William Sound, acquired the boat, he promptly started gutting the engine room, the fish holds and cabin in hopes of working his magic. As he began disassembling hydraulic and electrical systems, he stumbled into the domino effect with switches, valves, sensors and piping.

“Everything that’s attached to everything else you touch has to get replaced,” he says.

But Privett persevered with his wrenches, grinders, fiberglassing tools and paint.

“I turned the engine room from looking like the inside of a coal stove to looking like a marshmallow, with lacquer on it,” he says.

Not only did Privett manage to pimp out his boat, but the renovations provided him a more reliable fishing platform. “This last season was the first time I was able to fish continuously without a breakdown or any other mechanical disruptions,” he says.

When he’s not fishing, Privett can enjoy the aesthetic fruits of his labor.

“Now,” he says, “The 42 LeClercq is the ’57 Chevy of the ocean.”

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About the author

Charlie Ess is the North Pacific Bureau Chief for National Fisherman.

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