“Old school,” that’s what Wayne Garcia, general manager at Giddings Boat Works in Charleston, Ore., calls the yard’s latest sponson project — adding 10 feet of beam to the F/V Collier Brothers.
Old school is appropriate for this boat, built long before the age of digital hull models, plasma cutters and computer design programs.
“The Collier Brothers was built in 1978 in Bayou la Batre, Alabama,” say Garcia, who comes from the Gulf Coast himself. “The owners like to keep a low profile. But they have been coming to us for a long time. They told us they wanted it stick built, which is almost like building a boat from scratch, and asked us if we could get it done in time for them to head back to Alaska for pollock season. We didn’t want to promise something we couldn’t do, but we talked it over and we figured we could do it.
"We ended up getting her done in five months. We did it under the proposed budget, while surpassing the expectations of the vessel’s owner.”
The F/V Collier Brothers is owned by the Schones family, and captained primarily by Mike Schones, with other skippers filling in. As Garcia tells it, family members went to Alabama in 1978 and bought the Collier Brothers from Gulf Coast Marine Builders. The original boat was 84 feet in length, with a 24-foot beam, and a 12-foot draft. Garcia says the boat has been in the same family ever since.
And while the Schones family has added a bulbous bow, and a new aluminum wheelhouse manufactured by Yaquina Boat Equipment in Toledo, Ore., the sponson job now gives them a lot more room to maneuver.
“The owner had always wanted to expand the 24-foot-wide breadth of the vessel so that his crew would have a more stable work platform,” says Garcia.