Boat of the Month: Full House
Key West, Fla. / Stone crab, lobster, kingfish
At 33, Josh Nicklaus has spent most of his life as a commercial fisherman in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Born and raised in Key West, Fla., Nicklaus took over his late dad’s 23-foot back country crab boat business as a high school senior. From there, he graduated to a 37-footer, then a 45-footer, and now the 53-foot fiberglass Full House that he has completely refurbished over the past year.
Nicklaus bought the Full House — built in Key West in 1989 — from the family of a fishing colleague who had passed away. He proceeded to strip it of almost everything except the fuel tanks, deck and bulkheads.
“It needed a lot of work — new motor, new generator, new wiring, all new electronics,” Nicklaus said. “I took everything out of it, repainted the whole engine room and started from scratch. Everything I needed to make that boat work is new in the last 18 months.”
He said he spent “more than I care to think about” but ended up with a productive fishing machine that can hold 400 lobster traps, 800 stone crab traps, and 45,000 pounds of gillnetted kingfish. The boat is equipped with two trap pullers and a single helm.
Nicklaus is proud to dock his boat on Stock Island near Key West in the same spot he used to work as a kid. Now he and eight other commercial fishermen own that portion of the waterfront.
“I’m happy doing what I do,” he said. “Maybe I don’t know any other thing, who knows?”
OWNER: Josh Nicklaus BUILDER: PME YEAR BUILT: 1989 FISHERIES: Stone crab, lobster, kingfish in Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic HULL CONSTRUCTION: Fiberglass LENGTH: 53 feet BEAM: 18 feet DRAFT: 5 feet 6 inches CREW CAPACITY: 4 TONNAGE: 36 tons MAIN PROPULSION: 8V 2000 MTU 900 hp GEARBOX: ZF 500a 2.22:1 GENERATOR: 12-kw Northern Lights PROPELLER: 35 X 34 Dynaquad nibral SHAFT: 2 3/4-inch stainless steel HOLD CAPACITY: 12,000 pounds FRESHWATER CAPACITY: 250 gallons FUEL CAPACITY: 2,400 gallons SPEED: 16 knots cruising; 22 knots full speed FUEL CONSUMPTION: 24 gph cruising ELECTRONICS: Two Furuno GP 39 GPS; Furuno TZTouch chart plotter; three Icom VHF radios; Furuno 1100 bottom machine; Furuno 48-mile radar; Simrad autopilot; Standard Horizon hailer.