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AFSC Historical Corner:  Teal,  New Life for a Grand Old Vessel

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Teal
The Teal.  Bureau of Fisheries photo, 1928.
 

Vessel Details
Year built: 1927
Location built: North Bend, OR
Builder: Kruse & Banks
Designer: Coolidge & H. C. Hanson
Other names/id: #504538  (USCG ID)
Length: 78'
Breadth: 18'
Draft: 6.5'
Tonnage (tons): 91 gross, 62 net
Original engine: 150 hp, 6-cylinder
Washington-Estep diesel
Average speed: 9.5 knots
Known skippers: J. J. O'Donnell  (1929-30)
Roy L. Cole  (1927-28, 30-44)
Clyde I. Dell  (1934?)
Howard Marks  (1952, FWS)
Fisheries service: 1927-59
Disposition: transferred to ADFG

The Teal was built in 1927 at North Bend, Oregon, specifically for the Bureau of Fisheries (BOF). Her 2-inch thick hull was constructed with old-growth Port Orford (Oregon) cedar. She was outfitted with modern auxiliary equipment. Like the Bureau's patrol boat Widgeon, the Teal had an efficient 340 rpm water-lubricated B.F. Goodrich bearing.

H. C. Hanson Survivors
Surprisingly, three BOF boats, built from 1927-30 of similar H. C. Hanson design, were still in use as of 2010.  The sister boats Teal and Pelican were nearly identical, built for deep-water oceanographic work; while the Crane, about 10 feet longer, was designed as a fish packer vessel.
  Teal,  served 1927-59
  Crane,  served 1928-59
  Pelican,  served 1930-57

Located in the deckhouse was the captain's room, wireless radio room, crew's mess, galley, dining saloon, and a head. These areas were mostly separated with self-sealing doors and high thresholds leading out onto the side decks. Accommodations aboard the vessel were superb. In addition to the master's stateroom just aft of the wheel-house, the crew made use of a large forecastle forward with two double staterooms, while passengers were quartered below the aft area in two 3-berth staterooms.


Though construction of the Teal was completed in 1927, she was not ready for Alaska service until May of the following year when she sailed north to Cook Inlet, in the Gulf of Alaska. Here, she began her annual fisheries patrol during summer salmon fishing seasons. Each fall, she initially patrolled around Southeast Alaska, eventually moving to Prince William Sound in the latter 1930s. In a typical year the vessel logged approximately 11,000 miles.

  Teal
The Teal in 1958 with the FWS.  Auke Bay Laboratories photo.
 

Winters were spent at Seattle, Washington, where she received any needed repairs or renovations. Significant work was done to the Teal during the winter of 1932-33 and again in the following year, when she received overhauling through a $20,000 Public Works Administration allotment.

Towards the end of the 1920s, the Teal was part of the Bureau's northern Pacific halibut patrol fleet in which the skippers, wardens and officials aboard were granted search and seizure powers as designated by the President of the United States.

In the mid 1930s, the vessel also assisted in the spring herring-tagging work and fall salmon-spawning grounds inspection conducted in Southeast Alaska. During most of September 1938 she was used in Prince William Sound for surveying streams – and again for seven weeks in the fall of 1939, working jointly with the Alaska Game Commission under the supervision of Wildlife Agent Clarence Rhode.

Teal
Teal
The neglected Teal prior to her 1997-99 restoration.
Photo credit: Jean E. Jones.  Photos provided by M. Burwell, Minerals Management Service, Dept. Interior
 
 

Now a Fish & Wildlife Services (FWS) patrol boat (as of 1940), the Teal was stationed at Juneau, Alaska, during the late 1950s. In March 1957, she was on temporary loan to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG). She was then used, along with the FWS boat MV Brown Bear, in oceanographic surveys as part of a five-vessel operation conducted in 1956-57.

As a result of Alaska's statehood in 1959, the Nation's newest state assumed management control over its own fisheries from the U.S. government. As was the case with several other Bureau of Commercial Fisheries boats (under the USFWS), the Teal was transferred to the ADFG in 1960. Appointed in January that year to take charge of the vessel was ADF&G Protection Boat Officer, Henry Museth – the title of Protection Boat Engineer went to Philip C. Johnson.

In the mid 1960s the Teal was sold into private ownership. In a 1966 auction, K. Erickson purchased the boat for $25,513, then sold her in 1977 for $20,000 to B. Callahan of Juneau. Subsequent owners included: B. Perka (1982, Port Townsend, WA); R. Newell (1984, Westport, WA); and R. & G. Jones (1997, Port Hadlock, WA). When the Joneses acquired the Teal, she was on blocks, badly deteriorated and nearly beyond saving. Restoration work began, and after two years and roughly $750,000, her resurrective launch was announced for 13 July 1999. She received a 350 hp Cummins 855 engine around 2000. In 2004, the boat was sold to D. & S. Mahoney, then again in 2008 to Kit Pingree. Since then, the Teal had $250,000 in additional improvements. As of 2012, the Teal had won several awards and was being moored and cared for by Ms. Pingree at Friday Harbor, Washington.

Teal
The Teal fully restored, ca. 2010.  Photo provided by Kit Pingree.
 

Teal photos in the AFSC Multimedia Gallery.
 

Additional reading:

Lane, R. M. 2010. Sister Act - Still Classy After 80 Years. PassageMaker, October 2010. p. 88-96.
(passagemaker.com website, last accessed 4-10-13)
 

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