05/04/07 Capt. Larry Hendricks, who appeared in Deadliest Catch season one on the F/V Sea Star has retired from commercial crab fishing and moved on. Along with Sig Hansen, he’s now a consultant on Deadliest Catch where no doubt, he gets to share his vast knowledge on the crab fisheries and he’s refurbished his fishing vessel for visitors…
From Bering Sea crab boat to Ketchikan tourist trap
UNALASKA, AK (2007-05-03) A crab boat that spent nearly four decades in the Bering Sea will begin a second life as a tourist attraction in Ketchikan later this month.
For a fee, visitors to the Southeastern port can get a tour of the fishing vessel Sea Star, which appeared on the first season of the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” before the boat was retired from the crab fishery following crab rationalization in 2005.
“The show is very popular–we get quite a few people coming down to the docks here in Seattle wanting to see a crab boat,” said Sea Star owner Larry Hendricks, a retired crab fisherman who now works as a consultant for the production company that films “Deadliest Catch.” “So it just made common sense to look at the possibility of making it a tourist attraction and promote the Alaskan crab fishery.”
Sea Star Tours is a joint project between Hendricks and Gary Stewart, the captain of the retired vessel Polar Lady, which also appeared on the first season of “Deadliest Catch.” Many of the series’ current stars, including the captains of the Northwestern, the Cornelia Marie and the Maverick, are investors in the business, and Hendricks said they’ll occasionally drop in on the Sea Star tours to talk with their fans.
“They’ll be working their regular vessels also, but we’ll be flying them up to Ketchikan to make guest appearances,” he said.
The Sea Star venture is the latest example of how the success of “Deadliest Catch” has reverberated throughout the Alaskan crab business. The Aleutian Ballad, a crab boat appearing on the current season of the show, is also running a tourism operation out of Ketchikan aimed at cruise ship passengers. Both the Northwestern and the Cornelia Marie now offer merchandise for sale on their websites. Hendricks said those products will also be among the offerings in the Sea Star’s onboard gift shop, which will also feature its own souvenirs.
The Sea Star is in Seattle now, but Hendricks hopes to sail it up to Ketchikan by May 20.