Extreme makeover

The Pegasus is returned to the water on Monday evening. (Photo by Bret Yager)

Trawler’s capacity increased at shipyard

TOLEDO — It’s been a 10-month grind, but Captain Justin Johnson and the crew of the Toledo trawl vessel Pegasus have a formidable machine for taking on not just a half million pounds of Pacific whiting at a shot but also the frigid conditions of a January Bering Sea.

Thousands of tons of steel went into the project at the Toledo Boat Yard.

The vessel made good use of a $1.9 million lift which has — over the past couple of years — heightened the capabilities of the port to handle large vessel projects like this one.

“There is basically a whole new hull around the outside,” Port Manager Bud Shoemake said.

The deck of the boat has expanded in width from 26 to 42 feet, and fish hold capacity has almost doubled to 500,000 pounds. Additionally, the trawler has a new gantry, winches, hydraulics and other improvements.

The fishing community, media and a few dignitaries feted the boat’s launch from drydock on Wednesday evening.

Next stop: 15 million pounds of whiting.

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