For many years Alaskan salmon purse seiners have been limited to a length of 58 ft. This led to the development of some beautiful and relatively beamy wooden boats in the 1950s. In the intervening decades designers have fine-tuned the 58 ft design to add beam and depth. An example of this is being built at Westman Marine in Blaine Washington to a design by Hockema & Whalen Associates Inc. of Seattle and Bellingham Washington. The new hull has the standard 58 ft overall length with a hefty 25 ft beam and a full 11.7 ft moulded depth. This provides for two refrigerated saltwater 2,700 cubic ft holds and a dry freezer hold of 550 cubic ft bait hold. In the engine room set well forward in the hull a 660-hp Cummins QSK19-M Tier 2 compliant main engine is linked to a Twind Disc MG5170 marine gear with a 6:1 ratio. The intermediate and tail shaft total about 30 ft in length and are supported by roller bearings rather than the older babbit bearings. Under the 72-inch propeller and rudder a section of hydro-wing provides lift at the same time as enriching the water flow to the prop. Running forward a section of iron keel plate adds about a foot to the depth. Welded to this vertical a plate about 4x10 inches provides external ballast. A bulbous bow extends out from the bow and encloses a bow thruster.
Purse seining is well known as one of the most effective technologies for demersal fisheries. Today many nations support extensive fleets of 20 to 30-meter wood, steel, fiberglass or aluminum vessels working with nets that range of 500 to 1000 meters in length. Throughout Malaysia and Thailand, even in the wooden boat fleet, these vessels are typically equipped with sonar and Puretic-style hydraulic power-blocks for hauling back the nets.
Petersburg, Alaska has been known since its founding as the home of good fishermen and fine boats. One of the earliest limitations on the commercial salmon fishery was the limiting of Alaskan seine boats to 58 ft. Over time, the Alaska limit seiner evolved to one of the truly classic fishboats of the world. With its high bulwarks over a plum bow stem and a full body flowing with a clean shear aft to a broad timbered stern