Boat of the Month March 2020: Miss Heidi
Crescent City, Calif. / Dungeness crab, salmon, shrimp, albacore
Captain Benjamin Platt jokes that he’ll no longer have weather as an excuse to stay tied up in the harbor with his new 58-foot steel boat, the Miss Heidi. But at 24 feet in beam, the boat was too wide for the berths at his former home port of Bodega Bay, Calif. So he moved north, making Crescent City his new hometown.
“I wanted to have my dream boat while I still have time on the water,” says Platt, 57. “I’m turning 58 this year, and this will be the last boat I own, so I decided to go for it.”
Platt purchased the 50-year-old, 50-foot Seeadler in 2018 and took it straight to the Fashion Blacksmith shipyard in Crescent City to have it sponsoned and lengthened. The boat was launched in the fall of 2019, and for the first time he was able to take all 400 pots onto the water in a single go for the start of the Dungeness crab season.
With the upgrade, he can now hold 60,000 pounds of live crab. And that with a larger galley and crew quarters allows him longer trips and more time on the water, he says. Platt’s previous vessel was a 47-foot wood boat named the Sea Star that he used to troll for salmon and fish for Dungeness crab. But he “was tired of being concerned about the weather on that wood boat.”
Another reason for the boat upgrade and the move north was to start fishing for pink shrimp on the Oregon coast, to add some stability in light of the unpredictable California Dungeness crab and king salmon fisheries. The bigger vessel will allow Platt to work the Miss Heidi as a troll and gillnet salmon tender in Southeast Alaska, a place where he would have moved if the boat’s namesake, Heidi Platt, would have allowed it, he says with a chuckle.
“At first my wife was a little reluctant to have a boat named after her, but now I think she’s proud of it,” he says.
HOME PORT: Crescent City, Calif. Owners: Seeadler LLC (Ben and Heidi Platt) Builder: Martin Allen/Fashion Blacksmith Year built: 1967, sponsoned and lengthened 2019 Fisheries: Dungeness crab, troll salmon, Oregon pink shrimp, albacore jig and bait, tendering Hull material: steel Length: 58 feet Beam: 24 feet 7 inches Draft: 8 feet Tonnage: 72 tons Crew capacity: 5 Main propulsion: Cummins N-14 400-hp diesel Gearbox: Twin Disc 514 Genset: John Deere 4045 65 kW, Isuzu 40-kw Propeller: Bronze 4-blade 40″ x 34″ Shaft: 3-inch stainless steel Speed: 8 knots Fuel capacity: 8,000 gallons Freshwater capacity: 3,000 gallons Hold capacity: 60,000 pounds live crab in main hold and four wells, 35 tons brine frozen tuna Electronics: Furuno sonar; Garmin CHIRP sounder/plotter 7610xsv; Furuno 24-mile 4-kw radar; Furuno 295 sounder.