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Fri Dec 30 16:08:08 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Side view of sailing fishing boat.

Fri Dec 30 22:10:14 EST 2011 | michael
That boat has seen some action. Definitely fiberglass and I assume the add-ons are aluminum?

Looks like some ice forming.
Fri Dec 30 22:39:35 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
I'm told the builder was Skookum Marine in Port Townsend, WA. I think the add-ons are aluminum (and some plywood), but I'll take another look at it in the light tomorrow to confirm.

It got a bit chillier the last couple of days, so there is now a little ice in the very sheltered sections of the marina.
Sat Dec 31 10:34:56 EST 2011 | Douglas
Skookum boat hulls are well respected in the PNW as being built to last several lifetimes or more... here is a good example of a Skookum motorsailor -

Burrr... the Sitka harbor ice make it look cold ! Keep warm Richard. Wishing you a great 2012 New Year.
Sat Dec 31 13:34:10 EST 2011 | michael
I've seen other Skookum vessels rigged for fishing, though I would never have been able to ID this one. They are a very deep draft boat with a thick hull and can take a lot of punishment.
Richard, are you going to winter over in Sitka? There is no ice here in Newport, OR. (hint)
Sat Dec 31 14:57:27 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Doug, thanks, Happy New Year to you as well. I followed the link and then found a few more Skookums with sailing rigs.

It has been a bit chilly of late here in Sitka. It is forecast to warm up when tonight's gale becomes tomorrow's storm, so I expect the ice will melt.

Michael, thanks, I took another look at the add-ons and yes, they are aluminum. While I'm sure it would be nice and warm in Oregon now, the short hours of daylight this time of year are making me want to delay traveling for a bit. Happy New Year.

Sat Jan 7 23:09:17 EST 2012 | bowsprite
i like this Skookum. Looks so rugged. Beautiful color, with the ice and the sky.
Fri Dec 30 16:02:22 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Stern view of sailing fishing boat.

Thu Dec 29 12:08:17 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

This is an auxiliary sailboat converted for fishing. I believe there is also a sister ship to this vessel farther down the dock.

Ive seen several auxiliary sailboats used for fishing in Alaska.

Thu Dec 29 22:22:33 EST 2011 | Victor
I like ACE at least something to play with or whatever the acronym is. Steel hull ?. Bobstay still in place which means no ice. I bet in the old days it didn't have an engine.
Fri Dec 30 0:19:08 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
I'm pretty sure the hull is fibreglass, and it was built as a sailing yacht and converted for fishing with.
Tue Dec 27 14:36:21 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Tue Dec 27 15:25:32 EST 2011 | Minh
Hi Richard, Wishing you a safe, warm, and happy New Year.
Tue Dec 27 21:13:59 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Minh, thank you, I wish you a great 2012 also.
Thu Dec 29 1:03:49 EST 2011 | michael
I see that your neighbors in Sitka are similar to mine in Newport, Oregon. In fact may even be the same.
I love these fishing boats, though I wish for a more fuel efficient industry. One day, they might realize fishing from a sailing vessel is viable.

Thu Dec 29 9:48:55 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Michael, thanks, you just gave me an idea for the next post.

Alaska is about the only place I've seen auxiliary sailboats used for fishing. I dont' think they use sail alone very often, but I believe they do when winds are favorable to save fuel (someone with more knowledge can correct me on this).

Speaking of sailing fishing boats reminds me of the sail-only fishing boats that are still used in Brazil (

Thu Dec 29 17:37:20 EST 2011 | Terry
hmmmm .... "sailboat - fishing" ... i think there was ... a boat built for that .... called "Bluenose"
Thu Dec 29 22:34:48 EST 2011 | Victor
Talk about fishing and "Bluenose'. It didn't have an engine in early days. And I used to get bluenose at Inuvik in '70th with -55ºF.
Fri Dec 30 0:15:51 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Ahhh, yes, the schooner Bluenose (and the rest of the Grand Banks fishing schooners). No engine and fishing from dories by hand, way out at sea on the foggy, windy Grand Banks. Not so many people want to do that nowadays :).
Mon Dec 26 19:56:31 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

The wind has been howling all day. Not much rain, just a noticeable amount of wind.

The barometer (yes, it could use some brass polish) went from 1005mb last night to 979mb this morning, which is a really steep drop (which means high winds). Sea forecast was for a storm (50 knot winds), land forecast was for 40mph winds gusting to 60mph.

A nice day to be warm, dry and comfortable in port.

Tue Dec 27 10:59:14 EST 2011 | Amos
I hope 2012 is prsperous and fulfilling for you, Richard! THanks for the many wonderful adventures shared.
Tue Dec 27 17:50:10 EST 2011 | Terry
old brass ... i had the same problem .... i used "chorme" paint from canadian tire ... it worked ... 3yrs now ....
Tue Dec 27 21:08:31 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Amos, thank you, best wishes for 2012 to you as well.

Terry, thanks, I never thought of painting the brass...hmmm...
Sun Dec 25 14:12:50 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Sun Dec 25 15:21:55 EST 2011 | George Ray
Best Wishes for the Holidays from the lower 48 .... ... .. .
Sun Dec 25 15:56:32 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, George, best wishes for the holidays from Alaska
Sat Dec 24 12:53:58 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Sun Dec 25 11:08:05 EST 2011 | Terry
Wishing a Merry Christmas
Sun Dec 25 14:56:49 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Terry, Merry Christmas to you too.
Wed Dec 21 16:42:42 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Thu Dec 22 21:51:04 EST 2011 | Pete Elwell
Republic looks like she came from the same yard as Masonic .
Sending you an email . See you soon .
- Pete S/V Mariah NY, NY
Thu Dec 22 23:55:46 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Yes, they look quite similar. I don't think anyone is around now from either boat to ask.
Fri Dec 23 15:21:48 EST 2011 | Joe Berta
Best of the season Richard!
Even we here in Ontario are now surrounded with ice as Nogies Creek Bay had froze over a couple of days ago.
I very much enjoy your images.
Fri Dec 23 16:19:20 EST 2011 | Ron Ouwehand
Hello Richard, I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It's almost been a year next week that we first met at the Bluffs in Scarborough. All the best!
Ron O. S.V. Old Hand
Fri Dec 23 21:44:56 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Joe, thanks very much. Hope you're enjoying the winter. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Ron, thanks very much. I remember your visit a year ago in Ontario--back when the ice was thin enough that I could still break it to get out sailing. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sat Dec 24 10:52:53 EST 2011 | Joe Berta
Remember the video Richard, back when the ice was thin enough:

***** Merry Christmas *****
Sat Dec 24 11:51:16 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Joe, yes I remember that great video you took of Issuma breaking ice to go sailing. I was looking at it last night.
Tue Dec 20 20:11:30 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Tue Dec 20 21:53:19 EST 2011 | Victor
Very potent guard. Nothing will be missing off Issuma.
Tue Dec 20 23:58:11 EST 2011 | pete Elwell
nevermind about the boat details . Just read up on her . Amazing . Talk to Darius if you see him . ( F/V Masonic )
Wed Dec 21 1:16:15 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
:) Yes, it is very safe in the marina. The man in the picture is, as you know, coming back from a hunting trip :).

Pete, thanks, if I see anyone about on Masonic I will talk to them (I don't see anyone around on most of the fishing boats here now).

BTW, the hydraulic anchor winches that most Alaskan fishing boats have on the foredeck--I understand they are usually some chain and then a lot of cable. How well does that work? Using just chain and cable I would think the shock loads would be too high and the anchors would either drag or the chains would break?
Wed Dec 21 21:51:40 EST 2011 | Douglas
What do you think would be a better anchoring system? Many people will tell you to use heavy chain in Alaska than the sizes typically used else where, but that may not likely be best - consider more weight is better put into a larger anchor, next more chain length. Steve Dashew tells of his Sundeer 64 boats went through a big hurricane in Grenada anchored on 3/8″ Acco G70 chain with winds of well over 100 knots and big seas without a failure. Generally, Alaska boats have big anchors and associated gear - been there done that and follow that philosophy for Northern waters.
Wed Dec 21 22:11:52 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
What I'm not understanding is how this system absorbs shocks. With an all-chain rode, it is straightforward to attach a nylon snubber line to the chain to absorb shock loads. With a chain rode going to steel cable, I don't understand how a snubber could be attached to the cable to absorb shock loads.
Wed Dec 21 23:20:56 EST 2011 | Doug
Having fished in Alaska - I don't know of a single fishing boat using an anchor-snubber. You hear about yachts using anchor snubbers - go figure. I can also say that I don't personally know of a yacht’s chain rode breaking though I do know several boats being lost due to a dragging anchor. Keeping that in mind, I know where I want to put the weight - a lot of it - at the anchor. Make the anchor roller/hause as big as possible to accommodate big anchor stocks etc if you intend to work northern waters.
Wed Dec 21 23:54:50 EST 2011 | Doug
That said - my own 55' 45GT steel trawler carries a 50'x 7/8" nylon snubber that attaches to my all chain anchor rode using an 'ultra chain grab' and terminates onto the foredeck bollards through bulwark mounted chocks. The snubbers are fitted with clear vinyl tubing for chaffe protection through the chocks.
Thu Dec 22 0:47:25 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Doug. It's been puzzling me for a while, how the fishing boats are anchoring without snubbers, which I always thought were necessary. Issuma also has a nylon snubber, and rope (90m/300') attached to the main anchor chain (70m/200').

I've been looking at those hydraulic anchor winches thinking if I could get a big enough one, down where the chain locker is, that it could handle a long chain-and-rope rode well, as one would not have to do anything special when the rope/chain splice came aboard (ie, avoid having to transfer the rode from a rope gypsy to a chain gypsy).

Thu Dec 22 12:12:33 EST 2011 | Pete Elwell
All the boats I worked on up there used the same system of cable to anchor . I was often the crew hauling , and would use my foot to make sure it all lined up nicely , as a twist can screw up the cable or make it to big to fit on the winch , and you don't want the chain starting in the middle ... One boat actually had 3/8 line on the anchor that was to long for the winch, so we had to haul it up in two sections . pain in the ass . I also use line to chain , and haul by hand . seen anchors drag , but never snap ....
Thu Dec 22 22:40:59 EST 2011 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, Pete. Handling two sections of cable sounds like quite a pain.

I have not yet gotten the handling of the rope and chain on Issuma to the point where I want it to be (simple, safe and quick to do singlehanded)--using chain alone is easy, but after the rope goes out, getting it all back aboard is not so easy...
Mon Dec 19 16:49:54 EST 2011, Sitka, AK

Saturday was a pleasant-enough day for a daysail--Friday's gale was over and there were just light winds and occasional rain in the forecast before Sunday's gale. The frost on the deck even cooperated by melting before we left the dock.

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