A Century-Old Fishing Vessel Is Being Brought Back to Life in Gig Harbor, Washington

The latest yachts and cargo vessels dazzle us with their design innovations and incredible capabilities, but this doesn’t mean that we should forget all about the forefathers of these modern boats. Luckily, some of them can be still be restored and, even if they never go out to sea again, they can be admired by generations to come.
This century-old fishing boat is currently being restored in Gig Harbor 7 photos
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Those who feel like they’ve heard enough about giant superyachts and the eco-hypocrisy of their wealthy owners will be pleased to know that there are also noble actions taking place in the boating world. For example, this 65-foot (19.8 meters) wooden vessel, which used to be a fishing boat about one hundred years ago, is currently being restored by passionate volunteers under the supervision of a preservation specialist.

Called HHM Shenandoah, the venerable seiner boat is on display in the Jim and Carolyn Milgard Maritime Gallery at the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor, Washington, and it’s being restored on site. It took two decades to get to this point after it had been donated to the museum back in 2000. Tony Janovich, a veteran of the commercial fishing industry, had previously owned the Shenandoah.

The restoration team plans to unveil the completely-restored vessel by April 2025, when it will become exactly 100-year-old, according to The News Tribune. One of the first steps was to remove the layers of rotting wood, and the century-old boat has come a long way since then. Now, it even boasts a recently-added engine – a 65 HP, three-cylinder Atlas imperial diesel engine, from the same era when the Shenandoah was built. Currently, the team is working on rebuilding the foredeck.

The entire restoration process is public, so anyone interested in the classic wooden-boat building can learn more straight from the source. After completion, the venerable fishing boat will welcome guests on its deck and inside the pilothouse.

A member of the Gig Harbor community in its own right, and an invaluable piece of history, the wooden Shenandoah is almost ready to celebrate its centenary.


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