In the Perth, Australia, suburb of Osborne Park, a Dutch firm is building three steel crayfishing boats, and they're doing it almost entirely by hand.
In the Perth, Australia, suburb of Osborne Park, a Dutch firm is building three steel crayfishing boats, and they're doing it almost entirely by hand. The five members of the firm were shipwrights in Holland, and when they migrated to Australia about five years ago, they decided to carry on their trade. It's taken them about ten months to build the boats.
Two of the boats are catchers and the third is a refrigerated vessel for processing the crayfish at sea. The designer is architect, Mr. Len Randall, here talking to Nicholas Verboon, son of the head of the firm. An oxywelding plant, several sledge hammers and a simple hand press is the only equipment used by the firm. The oldest Nicholas Verboon uses the press to bend steel ribs into shape. To fashion the hull, workmen hammer the steal plate into shape by hand.
The biggest boat of the three will be sixty-six foot long and will carry two-thousand-six-hundred gallons of diesel fuel. It will be able to stay at sea for up to two months. These boats will join the fleet in November in the search for crayfish ... an industry worth three million pounds a year to Western Australia.