Tag Archives: Americas Finest

Why this super ship is making enemies in Alaska and on Capitol Hill

A few weeks ago, Helena Park reluctantly repainted her brand new, $75-million, fishing boat to mask its name, “America’s Finest.” It no longer seemed appropriate since the vessel might never fish in American waters. “There’s no ‘finest’ in America anymore. It will be someone else’s ‘finest.’” says Park, who’s the CEO of Fishermen’s Finest, a Washington-based fishing company. The ship’s troubles started when Park’s company made powerful enemies in Alaska and on Capitol Hill. Remote coastal communities that rely on fish processing plants for employment are worried ultra-modern fishing ships like America’s Finest, with its own on-board factory that can process over 500,000 pounds of fish a day, will make them obsolete. Along with rival fishing companies and Alaska’s representatives in the Senate, they’ve devised a strategy to stop America’s Finest from ever leaving the shipyard — using an obscure, century-old law called the Jones Act. Video, >click to read<13:50

The Jones Act Drives America’s Finest Into Exile

America’s Finest, a brand-new 264-foot fishing trawler, ought to be the pride of the fleet. As a newspaper in its birthplace of Anacortes, Wash., explained, the ship features an “on-board mechanized factory, fuel-efficient hull, and worker safety improvements”—priceless features for fishermen operating in the treacherous seas off Alaska. The ship is also said to have a smaller carbon footprint than any other fishing vessel in its region. According to Fishermen’s Finest, the company that ordered the ship, it would be the first new trawler purpose-built for the Pacific Northwest since 1989. Sadly, it seems increasingly doubtful that the ship will ever ply its trade in U.S. waters. >click to read<09:07

No rescue by Congress for $75M fishing boat in Anacortes that can’t fish in U.S. waters

A state-of-the-art $75 million factory trawler moored at an Anacortes dock is called “America’s Finest,” but that name could end up being a cruel irony for the shipyard and fishing company that hoped to put it to work. The still-unfinished vessel is not allowed to dip a net in U.S. waters because the hull contains too much steel modified overseas. A congressional waiver to overcome that failed to make it into the $1.3 trillion spending bill signed Friday by President Donald Trump. Mike Nelson, vice president of Dakota Creek Industries Anacortes, said the failure to gain >click to read<22:59

Puget Sound fishing firms tussle in Congress over new ship that ran afoul of federal law

By now, the $75 million America’s Finest should be deep into its first winter harvest season, catching and processing yellowfin sole and other fish in the Bering Sea. Instead, the 264-foot vessel — the largest trawler built in the Pacific Northwest in recent decades — is still unfinished. It sits moored at a dock at Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, and the shipyard has laid off more than 130 employees. Fishermen’s Finest wants the Washington and Alaska congressional delegations to back a straightforward waiver to the century-old Jones Act, which requires vessels transporting cargo and people between U.S. ports to have a hull largely made of American materials. >click to read< 13:46 

U.S. Coast Guard Issues New Jones Act Build Guidance

U.S. maritime laws generally referred to as the “Jones Act” restrict U.S. domestic commerce to “U.S.-built” vessels. Because the rules governing what constitutes “U.S.-built” are technical and esoteric, and the consequences of not meeting the standards can be financially catastrophic for the shipyard or vessel owner or both, the U.S. Coast Guard has a regulatory process where it provides advance guidance confirming that a prospective project satisfies the applicable criteria. On October 4, 2017, the Coast Guard issued build determinations for the two Kanaloa-class combination container and roll-on/roll-off vessels to be constructed by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO). These build determinations have taken on added importance because of the America’s Finest project. click here to read the story 15:04

U.S.-Built Trawler is Not Jones Act-Qualified

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued another letter ruling on U.S. built vessels with foreign-made components. The latest case involves a factory trawler named America’s Finest under construction in the state of Washington. Certain “cold-formed” steel plates were already installed as part of the hull and the cold-forming process was conducted overseas. A U.S. shipyard requested coastwise and fisheries trade status for the vessel, and was just denied by the U.S. Coast Guard. click here to read the story 08:17

Revisited: Americas Finest – Floating Steel Follow the construction of a Bering Sea Fishing Trawler from start to finsh

The Big Move! This image encapsulates this monumental event for me as Americas Finest moves laterally (West) to get into a northern launch position as she points towards Alaska, her destiny. How to move 2900 tons of steel on land, stay tuned! Here she is, Americas Finest, view Weeks 82 and next week (83). See her get prepared to be moved laterally (sidetracking) to a new position that will be her final orientation before her launch. To view an incredible assortment of photo’s and review the progress, click here floatingsteel.com 10:53

Revisited: Americas Finest – Follow the construction of this Bering Sea Fishing Trawler from start to finish

We posted this on September 15, 2015 and a lot of water has gone over the dam, or better yet, a whole lotta steel has flown into position. Steel fabrication can be considered an art form, and the images posted will confirm, this is art being created by craftsmen at Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Washington. There are hundreds of images showing Americas Finest under construction. Start with the July 2015 post for the beginning of construction. The ship is named, “Americas Finest” she is designed for catching and producing frozen at sea white fish products, ground fish and pelagic fish species. Operations will be the North Pacific, Gulf of Alaska, Chukchi Sea and Bering Sea inside the US EEZ. Construction was begun in June 2015 estimated completion date estimated for December 2017. Click here to view the Floating Steel website. 17:39

Americas Finest – Follow the construction of this Bering Sea Fishing Trawler from start to finish

Welcome to Floating Steel! July 1, 2015 11am my first look at, “Americas Finest.” Hard to imagine that this seemingly unpretentious beginning  will turn into a hi tech ocean fishing trawler destined for the Bering Sea and who knows where. This is my first day on an estimated 36 month journey photographing and documenting the book project to be named, “Floating Steel”.  Harry von Stark Photo’s and website here 10:00