Rozema Boat Works had nearly finished a 20' x 11' seine skiff in mid-April that’s going to Prince William Sound. As opposed to the three 19' x 10' seine skiffs the Mount Vernon, Wash., boatyard had previously built with the steering console in the bow, making it easier to go from side to side and hand lines off to the seiner, the new 20-footer is more traditional with the steering console mounted about amidships on the starboard side.

What’s different on this Rozema skiff is the HI500 Thrustmaster waterjet, the first waterjet that’s gone into a Rozema Boat Works seine skiff. It’s matched up with a 500-hp Cummins QSC8.3. The addition of the jet resulted in the skiff’s design being “updated all the way around,” says Rozema Boat Works’ Dirk Rozema. “The nozzle skiff wasn’t ready for a jet, so we reshaped the hull to make it jet ready.” That includes building the skiff with slightly more length and beam, giving it a constant deadrise hull, removing the tunnel for the nozzle and widening the chine. The wider chine “gives a little more buoyancy and more width, a little more side beam stability.”

An overhead view of the skiff showing the engine cover and tow post would put it very much in the nozzle skiff category, but underneath the back cover, “instead of steering is the jet,” Rozema noted. He figures the Thrustmaster and Cummins power package should generate a bollard pull in the 5,000-pound category and a top speed in excess of 20 knots.

Prior to signing the deal for the skiff, orders for new boats had been “on the slow side,” says Rozema. He attributes that to the pandemic. The building slowdown included a couple of deals for Bristol Bay gillnetters that were put on hold when the potential owners became nervous “about parts and pieces and what if something happened in the shop and we had to shut down.” But now buyer activity is picking up, and Rozema is getting calls and requests for quotes for new boats, including gillnetters. Though as of mid-April, no contracts had been signed.

At Giddings Boatworks in Charleston, Ore., the 50' x 14' crabber Sea Spirit left the week of April 19 after fabrication work was completed that’s designed to improve her safety in heavy seas.

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

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