The official christening of the 184-foot longliner Northern Leader, the subject of our September issue cover story, took place in Seattle yesterday, drawing hundreds of folks to the event. Guests attending the celebration were treated to tours of the vessel and lunch at Pier 91 at the Port of Seattle. They also heard a variety of speakers, including U.S. senators from Washington and Alaska offer a few words to commemorate the happy occasion.
It was equal parts christening and send off for the $25 million boat, which will be working the Bering Sea grounds, targeting Pacific cod and other groundfish. The vessel will head for Alaska in about 10 days, and it'll be some time before the Northern Leader returns to the Pacific Northwest, says Jen Karuza Schile, who's written for NF over the years.
The author of "Captain of Her Crew: The Commercial Fishing Mom's Guide to Navigating Life at Home" attended the christening, which she blogged about on her Commercial Fishing Mom website, and was kind enough to share the photo of the boat you see here and the video below of the vessel being christened by christening sponsor Hattie Albecker of Ugashik, Alaska, a board member of the vessel's owner, Alaska Leader Fisheries.
NF Boats and Gear Editor Michael Crowley offers a closer look at the Northern Leader in our September cover story. Alaskan Leader Fisheries, the vessel's owners, say the Northern Leader's diesel electric propulsion system will set a standard for efficiency, especially where fuel is concerned.
Built at the J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. in Tacoma, Wash., the Northern Leader was designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants in Seattle. The vessel is outfitted with diesel-electric propulsion in the form of four 714-kW Caterpillar C32 gensets and one 425-kW Caterpillar C18 genset.
They power two Schottel SRP1012FP Z-drives. Z-drives are common in the workboat industry, but not so much on commercial fishing boats. There's also a single 400-hp Schottel STT170FP bow thruster that will help the vessel maneuver down the longline.
Mike's story offers details about the propulsion system and how and why it was chosen. You'll find his article on this intriguing new boat on page 28 of our September issue.