Bernie Burkholder is a fourth-generation fisherman in Alaska. His company, Buck and Ann Fisheries, is named for his parents, who fished for years out of Kodiak. Generation five, Burkholder’s son Blake, is already in the game, and generation six — two grandchildren, ages 6 and 4 — represents the future.
Expanding his business from one boat, the 74-foot longliner Northern Endurance, Burkholder bought a 58' x 27' steel hull shell with an 11-foot draft from Delta Marine in Seattle, and towed it to Warrenton, Ore., in March 2020.
“The Aleutian Endurance,” Burkholder announces her by name. “Delta built it and then had it in a warehouse for about five years. A few people looked at it. Hockema Group were the designers. They did the Northern Endurance, and we’ve had a lot of good experience with them.” Confident in the basic design, Burkholder bought the boat.
“We didn’t know whether to set up for salmon seining, trawling or pot fishing,” he says. “We finally decided on pot fishing, and we’re hoping to get her done and get up to Alaska to fish cod this winter.”
Having gotten the shafting done, and adding zincs and transducers at Delta, Burkholder and his team have continued their work with the boat afloat.
“We had a barge alongside it with workshops, and that greatly enhanced our efficiency,” says Burkholder, pointing out that the boat might have been finished sooner if he had taken it to a yard. But he wanted more control over how things were done. “We hired a crew of not more than a dozen hand-picked craftsmen. I don’t think we saved any money. Maybe a little, but we have a high-quality boat that is exactly what we want.”
Burkholder notes that the Aleutian Endurance is not super wide. “But we’re going to have better fuel efficiency and maneuverability, and she’s going to do everything we want,” he says.
Curry Marine of Toledo, Ore., supplied Burkholder with a Cummins power package. That includes a 650-hp QSK19 main engine with a Twin Disc MG5170 5:1 gear that turns a 5-inch Duplex 2205 shaft with a 5.5-inch tail shaft. The 68" x 57" four-blade stainless propeller comes from Krueger and Son. And although there is no nozzle, there is a beavertail.