Salmon Bowpickers in Demand
by Michael Crowley in "Around the Yards"
National Fisherman – April 2010
© 2010 by National Fisherman Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
"I'm slammed," says Charlie Reynolds, of Reynolds Marine in Anchorage, Alaska.
Reynolds opened his boatbuilding shop in January 2008 and, for the first 10 months, was the shop's lone employee. During that time he built one boat and extended a yacht. Now he has 14 employees, six aluminum bowpickers to finish by May, with another slated for summer, a 40-foot landing craft to build and fishermen talking about more orders.
The six bowpickers are going to gillnetters in the Cordova salmon fleet, and all are Reynolds Marine designs. Five of the boats are 32 feet and 6 inches long, while the sixth is a 30-footer.
The smaller bowpicker's landing-craft hull design also sets it apart from the other five. Reynolds says the boat's owner chose a landing-craft design because it would let him do other things besides fish. She'll have a pair of 175-hp Honda outboards on the transom.
Dual 300-hp Kodiak Marine 6.0 gasoline engines hooked up to Doen DJ100G water jets with 10-inch impellers power two of the larger boats.
"A lot of people are watching to see how the new Doen jets will perform," Reynolds says.
Another bowpicker has twin Kodiak Marine 6.0 engines, but they are connected to HamiltonJet HJ213 water jets.
Diesel power isn't shut out in the current crop of boats Reynolds Marine is building. The last two bowpickers due for completion in May both have a pair of Yanmar 6LP diesels matched up with a HamiltonJet HJ274 water jets.
"It's a new engine, and I ordered the first four," Reynolds notes.
Choosing diesel instead of gasoline adds about $40,000 to the boat's price.
"A lot of guys just like diesel," Reynolds says, listing several possible reasons: It's safer and better suited for use in an oil-response boat, and it might be easier to find diesel fuel, because so many of the boats in the Cordova fleet are gasoline powered.
The 40-foot landing craft at Reynolds Marine is strictly an oil-response boat. Top speed for the bowpickers and landing craft will be between 37 and 41 knots.