Tough California wooden troller still ticking

David Peterson, a boatwright in Trinidad, Calif., has two passions he’s willing to share with readers of this magazine: One is repairing wooden commercial fishing boats, which is how he makes his living, and the other is historical research. The more the research involves older wooden fishing boats, the happier he is. 

That National Fisherman and its readers benefit from those driving forces is clearly seen in Peterson’s story “A tough act to follow” in our November issue. It’s the story of the Corregidor, a 71-year-old fishing boat that started out in 1943 albacore and mackerel trolling off Southern California. A decade later she was in Eureka, Calif., where she is still fishing.

Peterson’s story is a tale not only of the Corregidor but also of her builder, Ora Wesley Murray, who as a 12-year old in 1893 left his parents in Coffeyville, Kan., to be a cowboy and drive cattle to Colorado.

Then there’s a couple of tough old Corregidor captains, William “Red” Gillette, the boat’s original owner and George Collins who brought the boat to Eureka. Peterson tracked down Gillette’s great granddaughter on Ancestry.com and she provided information and the photo that opens the story with the Corregidor tied to a pier in San Pedro, Calif., during WW II.

There’s also the explosion that blew planks off the Corregidor and a boarding sea that flooded the wheelhouse. But enough teasers: Check it out for yourself on page 28.

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