The Mid-Atlantic scallop and bottom trawling fisheries continue to fuel a growing demand for new commercial fishing boats coming out of Bayou La Batre, Ala., and the Gulf of Mexico region.

Tim Jemison of Jemison Marine and Shipbuilding of Bayou La Batre, continues to be a major player in the building of commercial fishing vessels.  His yard recently delivered the first of two new builds to Warren Alexander of Atlantic Shellfish Inc., Cape May, N. J.

Alexander had Jemison convert the hull of an older shrimp boat in 2019 into a combination boat to scallop and bottom trawl. “He did a great job on that one,” says Alexander. “That boat worked out so well we came back to him in 2020.” That year, Alexander signed a contract with Jemison to build two new combination fishing boats.

Alexander had Farrell & Norton Naval Architects of Newcastle, Maine, design the steel hull commercial fishing combination vessels and signed a contract with Jemison to build two vessels  - the F/V Ocean Queen and F/V Ocean Pride.

The boats are sisterships and will be identical in all aspects, says Alexander. The Ocean Queen was completed and launched earlier this year and the hull of the Ocean Pride is currently under construction at the yard.

The steel hull boats are 88’ x 27’ and powered by Cummins QSK38-series, V12 cylinder engines rated at 800 hp. There are two John Deere generators to power the electrical systems and two John Deere auxiliary engines to drive the hydraulics. The naval architects designed the boats to incorporate both dry and Refrigerated Sea Water (RSW) fish hold systems. The boats will be able to dredge for scallops as well as fish for herring and keep the catch separated in the RSW tanks.

“We just recently launched the Ocean Queen and Tim (Jemison) did a beautiful job on the boat,” says Alexander. “She’s out working now, and the true test of a good boat is how she works on the water, and she’s doing great.”

Alexander says that the F/V Ocean Pride is scheduled to be completed in late spring or early summer of 2023.

In regards to other work going on at the yard, Jemison says he recently completed two steel hull tuna fishing boats that went to Hawaii; did a bottom replacement on a whale watching boat for a Cape May, N. J. firm; and has been busy with annual routine maintenance work on local commercial shrimp boats that fish on the Gulf of Mexico. 

The hull of the F/V Ocean Pride is under construction at Jemison Marine and Shipbuilding in Bayou La Batre, La. Jemison photo.



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Larry Chowning is a writer for the Southside Sentinel in Urbanna, Va., a regular contributor to National Fisherman, and the author of numerous books.

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