Hoonah Fishing Boats Side by Side


During the pre-season many Hoonah families used their seine boats for subsistence. This photo would have been taken in April, as hemlock branches with herring eggs can be seen stacked on the turn tables of both boats. At this time of year the bulky seine nets were not yet on the boats, as many would still hanging in the web house at the cannery while others were being repaired. The turn tables on these boats were state of the art for the time. Turn tables were a revolving platform on the aft deck, and worked much like a “lazy Susan.” The seine net would be stacked on the turn tables, which would be oriented aft during net deployment then pivoted to the side for the haul. The turn tables in this image were called “power rollers with center drive.” In the older system of turn table the roller was driven by a v-belt from the deck winch to a shaft and universal joints to the roller on the turn table. Many a crewman has a story of lining up the “u joint” with the roller as the turn table was quickly turned while making a round haul in “The Laundry.” A double-ended rowing skiff can be seen tied along side. The “double-enders” were more efficient than the older skiffs, as they caused less drag in the water and were also ideal for hand trolling. Local shipwrights built these wooden skiffs, now a lost art.