Cerulean Heads for the Aleutians


Cummins Vessel Reference #708

At 58 by 27 foot the Cerulean is about as big as Alaskan Limit boats can get.

Captain and part owner Joshua Trosvig has replicated the very successful electronics of the group’s earlier boat, the Cynosure, these include a Simrad ES70 split beam sounder and a New Zealand-made multi-beam WASSP sonar. Trosvig has also brought his electronic files over to the new boat. With much of the bottom along the Aleutian chain mapped he used this to show how even at depths over 300 fathoms and with a cross-current running, he could lay his longline on the precise bit of bottom that would yield the best catches.

With crews spending up to two months at sea the need for creature comfort is important. Continuous wirelss internet connections for e-mail will allow crew to keep in touch with home and a comfortable mess area will provide a welcome respite from long hours of deck work.

A compact and well-equipped galley will dish up the kind of meals that keep energy up when the boat is fishing around the clock.

Longline anchors are deployed from this table on top of the shelter deck. The curved pole is to support the bird lines that keep sea birds from diving on the baited hooks.

The radio-controlled buoys are also deployed from the top of the shelter deck. Each buoy transmits a signal to aide recovery of either end of a typical 20,000-foot string comprised of up to 25 130-fathom skates of 200 hooks each.

A six-ton per day icemaker is also mounted on top of the shelter deck. This will allow the boat to make around 20-tons of flake-ice on the way to the grounds, This fresh ice can then be supplemented with additional flake or slurry ice from the machine.

The starboard mounted hauling station features beautifully laid out hydraulic lines and easy to manage controls to regulate the longline recovery speed.

Once over the bulwarks the black cod or halibut will be dragged up this chute by a Nordic-style block from J K Fabrication who also supplied the crucifier that will separate the fish from the hook so that they can flow onto the butchering table to be headed, gutted and dropped into the refrigerated hold for icing.

A Marco vertical slack-taker cleans the hooks and readies the longline to pass along in front of a crewmember who inspects the hooks and untangles ganglions as required.

Matt Oneill has fished with Trosvig for over twenty years. Here is is rigging gear while the final adjustments are made to the Cerulean’s electronics before departure from Seattle for the Aleutians.

Rigged skates have 200 hooks and are 130 fathoms long with ties ready to take 15 pound pieces of chain about 40 fathoms apart. These are put on as requested by the skipper depending on the bottom.

Aaron Brainard shows a #6 circle hook as used for back cod. A #5 circle hook is used for halibut. Hooks are inspected and changed as required after each set. All hooks are changed once a year.

Brainard likes the simple method for stacking the four-foot, empty Marco skate rails.

About 90 skates will be stored on rails in these bins ready for placement on the Marco auto-baiter.

Mounted on the auto baiter this rail and skate is ready to be baited and set. The black PCV pipe overhears stows the chain weights ready to be added to the skate as required.

Jeff Davis oversaw the construction of the Cerulean from the laying of the keel. Here he shows one of the vessel’s two 200 kW Stamford generators powered by Cummins QSB7-DM diesels. These will assure the vessel plenty of power from hauling gear from great depths. Either genset has enough power to meet the vessel’s full requirements including refrigeration, bow thruster and the hydraulics for gear recovery. The full redundancy will also allow the captain to switch back and forth from one generator to the other every ten days.

The 27-foot beam allows for lots of space in the engine room with the 200 kW Cummins QSB7-DM gensets mounted to port and starboard and the tier 3 certified Cummins QSK19 main engine. A 40 kW hotel set is mounted forward.

Trosvig and his partners chose the same 660 HP at 1800 RPM Cummins QSK19 that they have in the Cynosure. “When you are four days of travel to the west of Dutch Harbor, reliability is everything,” explains Trosvig, explaining that the boat routinely stays on the grounds from May to November sending their fish to Dutch by tender boats.

With her name proudly emblazoned on her bow, the Cummins-powered Cerulean is ready for the 1500-mile run north and west to Dutch Harbour and then further west to the fishing grounds. In addition to longlining black cod (sable fish) and Pacific halibut she can be rigged to pot fish Pacific cod.

Alan Haig-Brown

Alan Haig-Brown

Over 30 years as an author for global commercial marine and fishing publications backed with hands-on experience on commercial fishing boats and coastal freighters makes Alan Haig-Brown uniquely qualified to provide vessel reference articles for Cummins Marine. You can find him in shipyards around the world, and on his own website, www.haigbrown.com.

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