From the late 1800s until 1951, Alaska’s Bristol Bay was at the heart of a salmon fishery worked only by sailboat. Thousands of sprit-rigged fishing boats worked the waters during those years until all were forced to motorize in 1951. Some were converted to engine-power, but many were burned and lost to history.
Now, Drayton Harbor Maritime, a non-profit organization in Blaine Washington, is restoring a 1906 vintage Bristol Bay sail-powered gill net boat that is one of only five known survivors.
You can learn more about the project on The Northern Light website, watch a video from The Bellingham Herald, read about this fascinating piece of fishing history on the Drayton Harbor Maritime website or best of all, spend seven minutes with this excellent video full of rare historic footage.