Restoring a Rare 114-Year-Old Fishing Boat

The Bristol Bay gill net boat is a remnant of a bygone era of handcrafted boats. Now, a Washington maritime non-profit is giving it new life.
Author:
Publish date:
This 1906 vintage Bristol Bay sail-powered gill net boat is one of only five known survivors. 

This 1906 vintage Bristol Bay sail-powered gill net boat is one of only five known survivors. 

From the late 1800s until 1951, Alaska’s Bristol Bay was at the heart of a salmon fishery worked only by sailboats. Thousands of sprit-rigged fishing boats worked the waters during those years until all were forced to motorize in 1951. Some were converted to engine-power, but many were burned and lost to history.

Now, Drayton Harbor Maritime, a non-profit organization in Blaine, Washington, is restoring a 1906 vintage Bristol Bay sail-powered gill net boat that is one of only five known survivors.

You can learn more about the project on The Northern Light website, watch a video from The Bellingham Herald, read about this fascinating piece of fishing history on the Drayton Harbor Maritime website or best of all, spend seven minutes with this excellent video full of rare historic footage.

This story appears courtesy of our sister publication, Soundings Magazine.

Related