The Mark I, a 100-foot dragger out of Seattle, left Hansen Boat Co. in Everett, Wash., in February, after extensive repairs and the installation of a new pipe gantry. The Mark I was launched in 1967 as one of the “really early crab boats,” says Hansen Boat Co.’s Rick Hansen. Since then she has been sponsoned, and in 2006 Hansen Boat Co. built her a new pilothouse.

This time around, consideration was given to crew comfort as the Mark I was in to have the main deck’s interior rebuilt. The options, however, were somewhat limited, as when the interior was torn apart it was revealed that the walls were all steel bulkheads. “So we ended up not moving anything,” says Hansen. But once the work was completed, the Mark I’s crew had a new galley, three new staterooms and a head. One of the staterooms was fashioned from a large stateroom with four bunks. However, four bunks weren’t needed. Thus, “we split (the stateroom) and gave them a mudroom, so they can get in and out of deck gear and store it without having to go into staterooms,” says Hansen. Rusty, leaking doors were replaced with watertight doors.

New flooring went down in the galley and staterooms — some of which are above the engine room — consisting of an epoxy underlayment over which was glued 3/8-inch-thick rubber tiles that Hansen describes as “real dense rubber.” He assumes that would deaden some of the sounds coming from the engine room. After everything was finished, he remembers, “the crew was pretty excited about their new accommodations.”

In early April, the 112-foot tender Sea Ern and the 110-foot dragger Nordic Fury were in for repairs, and the crabber Kari Marie was due to arrive. The Sea Ern will be at Hansen Boat Co. for a couple of months to have her refrigeration system gone over and will be hauled for shaft and bottom work and painting.

The Nordic Fury, which shows up every couple of years, was hauled for hull painting and shaft maintenance. The Kari Marie is having her bulwarks and crab pot launcher repaired, and “the deck crane needs some new pins,” says Hansen. “Things are getting sloppy.”

Down in Crescent City, Calif., Fashion Blacksmith hauled the Jaka B on March 18 to be lengthened and sponsoned. The 57' x 15' Dungeness crabber, shrimper and tuna boat out of Newport, Ore., was built in 1966 in Toledo, Ore., and given a midbody section in the late 1990s at Fred Wahl Marine Construction in Reedsport, Ore. When the Jaka B leaves Fashion Blacksmith in July or August, she will have been stretched out to 61' x 24'.

The Jaka B is being sponsoned and lengthened “primarily just for safety,” says Fashion Blacksmith’s Ted Long, and by “safety,” he means stability. That and “keeping up with other vessels around him that had done that. It’s a competitive thing.”

The boat’s owner, Mike Pettis, initially wasn’t sure the 54-year-old Jaka B would be a candidate for lengthening and sponsoning because of her age. However, Long says the Jaka B checked out to have good, heavy original frames and most of the shell plating was in good shape. “Turned out to be a real good candidate.”

The Jaka B is also getting a new rudder tube and steering components. They will be built in Newport, Ore., at Kevin Hill Marine Service and installed by Fashion Blacksmith. Though the Jaka B will leave as a wider and longer boat, Long doesn’t think she will need to be repowered since she got an 855-hp Cummins a few years ago. “It will have plenty of power for its size,” he says, but it may be necessary to go with a bigger propeller, depending how the Jaka B performs once it’s back in the water.

After the Jaka B leaves Crescent City, the next boat in for sponsoning is another fishing boat out of Newport, Ore. It’s the Kraken, owned by Clint Funderburg whose tuna boat, the Widgeon, Fashion Blacksmith sponsoned and lengthened in 2019. (See ATY West, Oct. 2019, p. 37.)

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Michael Crowley is the former Boats & Gear editor for National Fisherman.

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