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Bristol Bay Gillnetter
- Conversion to Short Haul Market Boat

Bristol Bay Sailing Gillnetter

These Bristol Bay Gillnetters were based on the lines of the boats that fished salmon on the Sacramento and Columbia Rivers in the late 1800's.

This vessel was reportedly built in 1931 at Astoria Oregon by Arnold Lindstrom for Libby, McNeill & Libby Co. Cannery in Bristol Bay Alaska. Many boatyards around the region built fleets of these boats for the salmon canneries in Alaska. Crews were hired to fish long summer hours on the open waters of the Bering Sea.

Up until 1952, salmon fishing in Bristol Bay was restricted to non-powered vessels. Mostly for fisheries conservation reasons, but many believed it was the canneries who politically blocked powered vessels from salmon fishing in the Bering Sea to stave off competition. Never the less, these little fishing boats were an icon of sustainable fishing practices in Alaska for many decades.

Ruggedly built of Port Orford cedar planking on oak frames, this boat would have carried a single mast and most likely rigged with a lateen sail. At 29 feet in length, she is designed to carry up to ten tons of salmon in calm conditions. The hull has a heavy iron centerboard. Although not originally powered, this vessel has been fitted with a 10 HP diesel engine the reportedly pushed her at 8 knots.

FarmBoat Route

This vessel would be ideal for participation in the Farmboat Floating Market program. The vessel is being acquired in anticipation that it may be used on a weekly route between Bainbridge Island, South Park, West Seattle, and Downtown.

We are seeking sponsors to help get the boat ready and to fund the establishment of floating markets in the Seattle communities.

Required Work

This boat is in reasonably good condition for having a few years of neglect. She will need paint and some minor repair to be serviceable. The engine needs to be replaced due to freeze damage. However, an identical running engine is available at the boatyard.

For optimum use as a floating market boat and educational resource, removal of the aft mast addition and modern sail rigging may be desired to provide maximum covered work space and minimal setup time. Conversion to ample lateen rig or cat rig may also be desirable for ease of use and work space considerations. the addition of a traditional iron frame/lashed canvas canopy and removable dog-house panels may provide for service in extended weather conditions

The lines of these double-enders migrated form the Eastern Mediterranean with their designers and builders. There is a great opportunity to create a high-quality European styled market from this vessel while sharing the historical connections it has with the subject of sustainability, conservation, and old world influences.

This is an uninspected vessel. The maximum number of passengers on this vessel (not including licensed crew) is limited to six. There is a great opportunity to develop a youth program for small groups as well as a bike and sail program for adventure seekers.

Proposed alterations include lateen sail rig configuration to allow for a covered work deck.

The FarmBoat Floating Market aboard the Virginia V at Lake Union Park is closed due to City of Seattle adverse policies against small businesses. For more information, see "FarmBoat Under Siege."

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FarmBoat Lucky Anchor The FarmBoat Program is managed by the Urban Public Waterfront Association, a Washington State Non-Profit Corporation dedicated to connecting people with the sea.
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