Article Category: Features

What to Consider When Deciding Whether to Rebuild or Repower Your Engine

What to Consider When Deciding Whether to Rebuild or Repower Your Engine

Suffering from climbing maintenance costs, diminished performance or missed trips from engine failure? If so, you may consider whether to rebuild or completely replace your engine. Among the many factors to consider, operators should weigh the financial, technical and operational benefits when making such a decision. Assuming operators are looking to upgrade from an older model, the major advantage of rebuilding an existing engine is the project’s initial capital cost is likely less than replacing it altogether — given that the parts are readily available and that the block has replaceable cylinder liners. However, if the engine has a parent bore block (no cylinder liners), the cylinder bores should be professionally calibrated to ensure they are within manufacturer’s specifications bef...
Demise of Yukon River Chum Salmon Remains Point of Contention

Demise of Yukon River Chum Salmon Remains Point of Contention

On a cool, cloudy summer day at Emmonak, on Alaska’s Lower Yukon River, not a single commercial fishing boat was delivering its catch to Kwik’Pak Fisheries. Instead, families along the lower Yukon were awaiting delivery of state-donated sockeye salmon being sent to them by Kwik’Pak, a subsidiary of the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association, which had received a fresh batch of some 5,000 pounds of sockeyes. Another 6,800 pounds of sockeyes, also purchased by the state of Alaska from a processor, were delivered to the Tanana Chiefs Conference in Fairbanks, for delivery to communities along the upper Yukon River.  The problem with the demise of Yukon River chums, known for their rich Omega-3 oils, dates back to 2020. When the fish didn’t show up in numbers justifying any harvests,...
Next Generation of Marine Propulsion Uses Smart Tech, Alternative Fuels

Next Generation of Marine Propulsion Uses Smart Tech, Alternative Fuels

The next generation of marine propulsion technologies for commercial fishing boats are following a similar path as their maritime shipping and land-side counterparts, with a focus on efficiency, smart tech and control, and environmentally friendly solutions. Some of the top companies in the industry have recently announced innovative systems that incorporate artificial intelligence, alternative fuels, and efforts to viably reach zero emissions. HamiltonJet At HamiltonJet, the company’s next generation of products are focused on smart technology and being even more efficient while meeting environmental guidelines in unique and hybrid systems. At last year’s Workboat Show 2021, Tom Latham, general manager of the Americas region for HamiltonJet, was a featured speaker on a panel discuss...
Construction of Alaska Cold Storage Project Expected to Begin This Fall

Construction of Alaska Cold Storage Project Expected to Begin This Fall

A $200-million cargo and cold storage facility at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport that’s projected to take two to three years to complete, is now expected to begin construction in the autumn, a year later than initially anticipated. The exact start of construction depends on when permitting is approved and all negotiations with tenants have been completed. The joint venture of McKinley Capital Management LLC in Anchorage and Los Angeles industrialist Chad Brownstein should be in a position to break ground this fall, but it depends on having an anchor tenant ready to go, according to Joe Jacobson, vice president of private equity for McKinley Alaska Private Investment. Brownstein is the founder of Rocky Mountain Resources, which has amassed an industrial portfolio throughout...
Vessel Profile: ACI Boats Building Commercial Fishing Catamarans

Vessel Profile: ACI Boats Building Commercial Fishing Catamarans

American Samoa fishermen stand to benefit from four modern “Super Alia” vessels that evoke the region’s culturally significant alia sailing canoes. ACI Boats has been awarded a $3-million contract with the American Samoa Government’s (ASG) Department of Commerce for four “Super Alia” commercial fishing vessels. The four aluminum catamarans are to be constructed at the 20,000-square-foot ACI facility in Port Townsend, Wash. The name “Super Alia” evokes the maritime heritage of the iconic alia sailing canoes of the South Pacific. The boats are to be identical 38-foot by 14-foot semi-displacement catamarans, designed by ACI and Coastwise Marine Design. They’re set to be constructed with 5,086 aluminum hull skins with 5,052 aluminum interior transverse frames. Design features include ACI...
Coast Guard Cutter Cuttyhunk Decommissioned

Coast Guard Cutter Cuttyhunk Decommissioned

One of the U.S. Coast Guard’s remaining 110-foot Island-class patrol vessels, the cutter Cuttyhunk, was decommissioned May 5 in a ceremony at Air Station Port Angeles in Washington. Cuttyhunk, one of 37 remaining such Island-class patrol boats in service, was the 22nd of 49 of the vessels built. A fleet of 154-foot Sentinel-class cutters will replace the Island-class vessels, according to the USCG. The Cuttyhunk was commissioned in 1988 to support various USCG operations, including search and rescue, drug and fisheries enforcement and maritime homeland security. During its 34-year tenure, the vessel’s crew has accomplished more than 1,000 operations ranging from responding to searches and rescues in the Pacific Northwest to helping in various submarine escorts. Commanding Officer and ...

Offshore Wind Towers Make for Dangerous Seas

Operators of commercial fishing boats and other maritime vessels need to be aware of new and heightened concerns about how offshore wind (OSW) towers can interfere with and degrade radar systems. Mariners can be impacted on at least two fronts, including interference with marine vessel radar. According to a report released earlier this year by the National Academy of Sciences, wind towers undercut a radar’s central purpose: safety. The steel towers can distort information about a vessel’s relative location, a degradation that affects all vessel classes. Turbine blades clutter a radar’s display, resulting in an ambiguous and confusing picture for the operator. Correcting for these effects may make smaller vessels “disappear” completely. The other impact is interference with high freque...
Refrigeration Trends Focus on Efficiency,  Eco-Friendly Systems, Preserving Catch Quality

Refrigeration Trends Focus on Efficiency, Eco-Friendly Systems, Preserving Catch Quality

Modern, eco-friendly and consumer-focused solutions are making their way into the marine refrigeration industry, while old processes are on the chopping block. Industry insiders say they’re seeing trends aimed at automated efficiency, reducing environmental impact and systems that better preserve catch quality. It’s important to keep up with technology and trends, said Lars Matthiesen, president and mechanical engineer for Highland Refrigeration, a Seattle-based company that designs and manufactures marine and industrial refrigeration systems. At Highland Refrigeration—a small company of about 25 people, including a handful of refrigeration engineers—they utilize worldwide connections to stay current with the latest industrial and technical developments, including safety and energy-eff...
Optimism Grows for Strong Bristol Bay Sockeye, Wild Alaska Pollock Markets

Optimism Grows for Strong Bristol Bay Sockeye, Wild Alaska Pollock Markets

Markets are on the upswing, with potential for continuing growth, for Bristol Bay sockeye salmon and Alaska Pollock harvested in the Bering Sea. The two versatile, sustainable, protein packed wild-caught fish are popular with retail shoppers and diners from fast-food to fine dining restaurants. Industry economists and marketers credit a combination of influences for the growth, ranging from the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic to increased consumer understanding of how both species can easily be prepared at home, for a variety of hot and cold, simple and elegant meals. This is due to an ongoing educational campaign to bring more wild Alaska seafood to the center of the plate. At the same time, more people dining out as the pandemic wanes in some areas of the country are choosing ...
Polar Star Goes Into Dry Dock After 147-Day Antarctic Deployment

Polar Star Goes Into Dry Dock After 147-Day Antarctic Deployment

Polar Star, the nation’s only heavy icebreaker, returned from its 147-day mission in support of the U.S Antarctic Program, and went directly into dry dock at Vallejo, California, rather than to its Seattle homeport. Work began on phase two of a five-year, $75-million Service Life Extension Program for the Polar Star in early April. The Coast Guard is replacing antiquated technology to ensure the longevity of the operational heavy icebreaker while in dry dock this year, updates that support the Coast Guard’s enduring commitment to Antarctic operations. The 140-member Polar Star crew departed Seattle on Nov. 13, 2021 for the cutter’s 25th Operation Deep Freeze deployment and traveled 24,300 nautical miles to Antarctica and back. Coast Guard officials said that the cutter made several in...