Pacific Fishing Conversions

Posted: 26 October, 2009 by Fairlane in ugly
Tags: , , ,

Pacific Fishing Conversions

The first thought upon seeing the above vessel might be “What is it?” The simple answer is, in this case, a fish processor. The better question to ask, however, might be “What was it?”

This particular vessel, the Snopac Innovator, possesses a notable history. She began life as the USS LST-132, a World War II American landing ship. She then became the USS Zeus (ARB-4), a repair ship, with little in the way of visual modification from her former identity.

Originally she wasn’t too bad looking for a military vessel, but upon being sold out of the Navy and into the world of fishing, she underwent a horrifying transformation.

Snopac Innovator

Picture via Snopac at

I don’t even know where to start, she’s just plain ugly, and unfortunately, she is just one of a menagerie of butchered vessels roaming the Alaskan fishing grounds. Here are a few more:

Pro Surveyor

Generally I’m not too offended by offshore vessels. However, add a bunch of unneeded sheet metal to the back of one, and you don’t exactly have the best results.


Picture via Robert & Lea Olmsted from

Kind of a squat little vessel here. Definitely another victim of going overboard on the welding, and I don’t even want to ask about the design of the waterline. Even if she is a star of The Deadliest Catch, she is not much of a looker. The US Navy should have held on to her, she looked much better as YO-210. (Her sister, YO-203 pictured.)

Helenka B

Picture via unknown from Internet

Not exactly an ugly one, but she has perhaps the most amazing transformation of any. In a former life, she was the USS Surfbird (AM-383), a Navy minesweeper with a much different appearance.

Picture via

Really? I find it hard to believe, but everything I can find says so.

In closing, I’m amazed by two things in regard to these vessels and their bretheren. First, how much some of them have been butchered in the name of allowing them to do their jobs. And second, how much history, particularly from World War II, is still afloat and actively being employed.

  1. shipShape says:

    It looks like the Helenka B should have been a landing craft in WWII, not a minesweeper…

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