Boat of the Month October 2018: Cape Trinity

A little more beam and a bit of extra draft was all it took for Ray Sutton of Valdez, Alaska, to purchase the 48-foot Cape Trinity from his brother last winter.

Sutton, 52, started fishing with his father in 1975 and bought his first vessel — a 38-foot Ledford seiner — in 1991. Before he bought the Cape Trinity, Sutton owned the Bounty, which was also a 48-footer, but the Cape Trinity offers a few features he’s come to appreciate when he’s pursing up on a heavy load of salmon or traveling in heavy weather.

“I wanted a boat that packed a little more,” he says. The Bounty packed around 42,000 pounds, and the Cape Trinity can stuff 60,000 pounds of salmon under its hatches.

“It’s a little bigger platform to fish from,” says Sutton, adding that his old boat was actually stretched from its original 42 feet.

“It wasn’t near as wide and didn’t have near the draft,” he says of the Bounty.

Among other ameliorations Sutton found to his liking, the Cape Trinity runs its hydraulics electrically from a generator instead of off the front of a power takeoff shaft.

The boat is still new enough to Sutton that he hasn’t yet been on the grid to verify the diameter and pitch of his prop. And if all works out well, he won’t have to deal with below-water work anytime soon.


Home port: Valdez, Alaska

Owner: Ray Sutton

Builder: Delta Marine Industries, Seattle; and finished out by LeClerq Marine Construction, Seattle

Year built: 1979

Fishery: Salmon seining

Hull construction: Fiberglass

Length: 48 feet

Beam: 15.5 feet

Draft: 6 feet

Crew capacity: 6

Tonnage: 41 tons gross, 32 tons net

Main propulsion: Detroit 8V92 360 hp

Gearbox: Twin Disc 514, 3.5:1 ratio

Genset: Isuzu C240

Propeller: Three-blade

Shaft: 3-inch stainless steel

Speed: 8 knots

Fuel capacity: 1,600 gallons

Freshwater capacity: 300 gallons

Hold capacity: 60,000 pounds of salmon

Electronics: Furuno 1732 radar, Furuno FCV-552 sounder, Furuno CH-300 sonar, ComNav 1001 autopilot, Icom VHF, West Marine VHF, Mitsubishi satellite phone

About the author

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

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