At Aliotti Enterprises in Bellingham, Wash., Tom Aliotti and his partner, Nigel Groom, certainly haven’t wasted any time taking advantage of their 30,000-square-foot boatshop, a boatbuilding facility 10 times the size of their previous building.
The Aliotti Enterprises crew built a pair of gillnetters for the 2019 Bristol Bay season — the Anna Maria and the North Coast. Currently four 32' x 15' 6" Bristol Bay gillnetters are being built and will be finished in time for the 2020 season. They will be almost identical to the Anna Maria and the North Coast. That includes being powered with a pair 500-hp FPT EVO engines matched up to UltraJet 340 HT water jets, and the 13 fish holds, each packing 2,200 pounds.
Aliotti likes the twin jet arrangement for the maneuverability it gives his gillnetters, as opposed to a single jet, plus the power the FPT engines and UltraJets provide to get up on step with a load of fish. Last season, he says, the Anna Maria and the North Coast got on step with 10,000 pounds onboard, while running at 24 to 25 knots.
There will be a couple of differences between the Anna Maria, the North Coast and the boats being built. The new boats, like the earlier gillnetters, will have Pacific West Refrigeration 10-ton RSW systems, but they will be the keel cooler models. “We are in the sand so much it helps with raw-water cooling,” said Aliotti, “and minimizes maintenance on the RSW system.”
After a number of people had been telling Aliotti the top house “looked a little skinny,” he is widening the top house by 8 inches. At the same time, the windows have been lowered by 4 inches.
“I was able to make the cabin a little bit bigger,” he said, “without sacrificing the visibility that I feel makes my boats really safe.”
Someone who thinks they would like a gillnetter such as those being built should contact Aliotti. For the coming Bristol Bay season one of the four gillnetters is being sold to a Washington fisherman; Aliotti, his nephew and a fisherman who works for Aliotti will operate the other three gillnetters. After the season those three boats will be sold.
That’s not unusual for Aliotti. “I’ll fish them one season and at the end of the season sell them.” He reasons that owning the boats he builds “helps us be more efficient in the shop. If we have a bunch of people coming in and checking out their boats and making little changes, it actually slows us down a bit on production.”