welcoming veteran home
Gig Harbor BoatShip is pleased to accept ownership of historic Skansie-built purse seine vessel Veteran.
BACKGROUND: The Skansie purse seiner Veteran, launched in 1926, is a beautifully restored sample of one of the most recognized and significant vessel designs to have originated from Gig Harbor. One of over 100 purse seiners constructed during the 1920s and 1930s at the Skansie Ship Building Company, Veteran and her sister ships were widely recognized as the state-of-the-art purse seiners of their day. Veteran and sister ship Avalon were retained and operated by the Skansie family which, like many Gig Harbor pioneer families, commercially fished for salmon and bottom fish in the waters of Washington State. The Veteran has been carefully maintained to preserve the original design and character and is still able to participate in today’s commercial salmon fishery. Veteran was donated to the Gig Harbor BoatShop in 2017.
WHY THE VETERAN? The Veteran represents much more than a fishing vessel. It is a rare working example of living cultural heritage that has shaped the landscapes and ways of life of Puget Sound communities, including Gig Harbor. Working waterfront activities such as boatbuilding, boat repair, and commercial fishing play a strong role in our region’s history, and these maritime trades continue to impact our community today economically and culturally. The Veteran represents an extraordinary placemaking opportunity to capture the varied and diverse issues and impacts surrounding a commercial fishing vessel with strong historic ties to Gig Harbor and Puget Sound by turning it into a public resource that is available to all.
Because we interpret and operate a working boatyard and have expertise in boatbuilding, boat repair, commercial fishing, and other on-the-water uses, Gig Harbor BoatShop is uniquely suited to owning, operating, and maintaining the 62-foot purse seiner. The BoatShop will utilize the Veteran to carry out its mission and vision through a flexible, accessible, and mobile programming venue - designed to share a local cultural icon and occupational traditions of commercial fishing and boatbuilding with the public.
WHAT WILL THE VETERAN DO? Gig Harbor BoatShop views the Veteran as a community resource. We intend to provide public access to the Veteran through educational and experiential programming beginning in summer 2017.
The BoatShop will utilize licensed captains including experienced seine skippers and a passionate and talented Veteran management team. Veteran programming may be financially supported through fundraising, through program income, and potentially with proceeds from commercial fishing.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED? Own a piece of history and become a Friend of the Veteran, a charter group formed to support the initial phases of the Veteran start-up. Friends of the Veteran members will enjoy benefits such as exclusive invitations to Veteran events, progress updates, and more. The BoatShop is also accepting donations to support the Veteran and its programming. Watch for Friends of the Veteran to roll out later in 2017.
WHAT’S NEXT? Two public meet and greets are scheduled for late spring/early summer 2017. Community members are invited to tour the boat and learn more about her history at the following events in Gig Harbor:
- Tides Tavern Classic Boat Show, May 20 and 21. Free and open to all ages.
- Maritime Gig Festival, June 3. Join us for dockside tours at Jerisich Dock. Free and open to all ages.