Maps, Ships and Architecture

Fishing Boats

FISHING BOAT COLLECTION

Written and Edited by F. Carrington Weems II
Models Owned by F. Carrington Weems II
Click on a photo for full enlargement

THE SHRIMP TRAWLER
CAPTAIN FRANK

Captain Frank is a shrimp trawler whose design is typical of Louisiana fishing boats.  The vessel is powered by a Detroit Diesel engine.  The overall length is 80 feet.  She has a 27 foot beam and an 8 foot draft.  The 120-ton vessel still exists today, continuously supplying anxious seafood lovers with one of Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.

The Model

Mr. Michael Bocklud’s Captain Frank is a scratch-built, plank –on-frame, fully radio-controlled 3/8” = 1’ model.  It was completed in 1988 using blueprints drawn by his older brother, William, a draftsman.  The model was built because of Mr. Mocklud’s enjoyment in designing and building commercial shrimp trawlers.  With Michael’s father being a commercial fisherman, he has been interested in building model boats since his youth.  The model is 3’ long, 2’9” tall, and 1’3” wide.  Plank on frame.

CAPTAIN FRANK

CAPTAIN FRANK

VIOLA

Viola is typical of the whaling vessels that sailed from American ports during the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Ranging the far corners of the world’s oceans for pods of whales, they collected a harvest of high-quality oil for lamps and lubrication, baleen for corset stays and umbrella ribs, and waxy spermaceti for candles.  These products commanded a high price, but serving on a whaling ship was a gamble: voyages could be long and tedious, hunting whales from small boats was dangerous, and poor hunting meant less pay.

A whaling vessel could be easily identified at a distance by its distinctive smell and look.  They carried numerous small whale-hunting boats on davits around their sides, a folding wooden stage on one side allowed the crew to cut away the whale flesh with long-handled knives, and a large brick or cast iron stove (the “tryworks”) abaft the foremast served to cook down the whale blubber.  Their sails were often stained black from the greasy smoke of the cooking fires.

Because they needed to stay at sea for long periods of time, and needed to carry as many barrels of oil as possible, most whaling vessels were designed more for capacity and endurance than for speed.  Spilled whale oil could infuse the timbers, greatly extending the life of the vessel.

Depletion of whale stocks and a shift to engine-propelled vessels in the early 20th century ultimately spelled the end of the once-mighty American whaling fleet.

Whaling Brig
Length: 91 ft. 6 in.
Beam: 23 ft.

VIOLA

VIOLA

“JEANNIE M.”

Gulf shrimpers are built of either wood or steel, and average between 50 and 80 feet in length.  They are crewed by a captain who is in charge of the vessel and also of finding and catching the shrimp, a header who is in charge of removing the shrimp heads, and a rigger who is responsible for cleaning and repairing the nets.  The nets used on shrimp trawlers come in 36 or 45 foot lengths, and are designed to drag along the sea bottom.

Gulf shrimpers like the Jeannie M. can stay at sea for up to three weeks at a time, fishing at night because brown shrimp (the most common species) are nocturnal.

Gulf Shrimper
Length: 71 feet
Beam: 19 feet 8 inches

JEANNIE M.

JEANNIE M.

HILDINA”

Trawlers are fishing vessels designed to tow “drag nets,” that is, nets which scour the sea bed for fish and other forms of edible marine life.  Early sailing trawlers could work in waters up to 120 feet deep, but with the introduction of motor vessels, the working range has expanded to depths of up to 1,200 feet.  Heavily built to withstand the forces of the open seas, trawlers are intended to stay at sea for moderate periods of time.

British North Sea Motor Trawler
Length: 139 feet
Beam 26 feet

HILDINA

HILDINA

“CANN TWO”

CANN TWO

CANN TWO INCLUDES LIGHTS AND A MOVING PROPELLER

SCHOONER “BLUE NOSE”

 

Scratch Built Model of the “Blue Nose”
A Racing, fishing, schooner yacht
Model Maker Unknown

SCHOONER “BLUE NOSE”

SCHOONER “BLUE NOSE”

DIORAMA OF A WHALING SCENE

 

Created by Curator of Maritime Museo de Paris
Scratch Built

DIORAMA OF A WHALING SCENE

DIORAMA OF A WHALING SCENE

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