Tough boats are always in fashion

What do you call a boat that in its 47 years has hit a rock at Point Reyes, Calif., was slammed by another fishing boat while it was drifting at night — in both cases suffering a fair amount of damage — and rolled over into a boatyard’s transfer pit in the middle of a severe storm?

Ted Long, owner of Fashion Blacksmith in Crescent City, Calif., would call it a “tough boat.” He should knowr, for in 1971 the 60′ x 16′ Gladnik was the sixth boat built at Fashion Blacksmith by his father, Dale Long, and uncle, Roger Long. This spring and summer the combination crabber and tuna boat with time thrown in on the shrimp grounds is back at Fashion Blacksmith to be sponsoned and lengthened to 68′ x 25′ 6″.

With the Ed Monk-designed Gladnik cut up for the sponsoning and lengthening work, Ted Long admits, “I’m still amazed how well it was built when my grandfather and uncle built it. The bottom plating was like new.” He adds, “It’s kind of bitter sweet. You are cutting up history for the future.”

Ted isn’t the only one showing an interest in the Gladnik. The boat’s original owner, Gene Evanow, has driven by to check it out and Roger Long, who retired in 1995 and is now in his eighties, drives to Fashion Blacksmith every couple of weeks to see how work on the Gladnik is progressing. It’s also a chance for him to once again be at a boatyard working on fishing boats. “They have a different smell,” he says. “I like going in and smelling the steel and the welding smoke.”

Asked how he rates the work his nephew’s crew is doing on the Gladnik, Long says, “They are doing real good.”

About the author

Michael Crowley

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

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