I just got back from the Sitka herring fishery. It was another upsetting year with a repeat of only half the quota being caught, and the season ending early.
A special "Thanks!" goes out to Darcie and Joyce Nielsen for there donation of $500 each! Also my cousin Janice Jeffcoat doanted $500 to the project. Thank you for your donations! It will be used wisely. Keep em coming, we need to get the Genius back in the water and home to Gig Harbor this year!!
Here's my new video of the Sitka Herring season. If anything, it was a good time and a short break from the Genius. Now its time to get back to work!!!
Had a great day in Gig Harbor. Some doors may be opening for the Genius project. Stand By
Check out the progress this week on The Genius Project.
Just got to Ventura, California for the squid season. Heading back to Port Townsend for a week next week to do some more work on the Genius. I know a lot of my friends just got done with the Alaska season and have been out of internet range so check out this page and see what we've been up to.
Pulling the Genius out of the water. Its been 12 years since the boat has been out of the water. We were very happy to find out that the hull was in great shape.
Coming into the marina undertow. We had a lot of eyes on us when we arrived. And Chatham was really happy to see us.
On the way to Port Townsend. Had a beautiful ride to the shipyard. Everything went very smoothly.
Nick Babich of Gig Harbor gives us a history lesson about the Genius.
Jason the Genius in Friday Harbor, Wa
New Video on the way.
We have been busy getting the boat ready to take to Port Townsend. We tried to start the engine several times, but can't seem to get fuel into the injectors. So, we've decided to have the boat towed by Tim DeLapp, from Pintail Towing. The cost of towing is $2,500, & it will be nice to have an expert on this in case something goes wrong. We have two volunteers as well, Jim Desermeaux & Ed Durgan. We appreciate the time & effort these guys are putting forth for the mission at hand.
Orion Carlson skillfully fabricated two new steering pulleys, the old one's were rusted & didn't steer the boat anymore. We sucked all of the fuel out of both fuel tanks; one tank had a lot of water mixed with the fuel, & the other one still had good fuel in it.
Cat, Chatham & I relocated Port Townsend while the work is being done. We will spend 6-8 months preparing the Genius for another 100 years of life at sea.
We'll be leaving Friday Harbor at 7 am on June 15, (this friday). ETA to Port Townsend is 1-2 pm, & the tide will be running with us so it should help speed things up. Upon arrival, we are in line to be lifted out of the water, a 30 min hull scrub down, & brought to our new spot in the yard. This can cost anywhere from $375-$550, plus a ton of elbow grease.
We found a great shipwright, Clint Thompson. He has a shop set up next to where the boat will be pulled out. He's done work on other old, wooden seiners like the Genius, including F/V Veteran, F/V Equator, & several other boats in the Seattle area. He is very excited about the project & is getting Wooden Boat Magazine involved to do a story.
We will be filming the trip down & the boat being pulled out of the water. As long as things go according to schedule, the boat will safely sit at the Port Townsend Shipyard by this weekend.
We will have photos & video up on the Facebook page this weekend.
Thanks again for the generous donations! Every penny (& more) is bringing A Genius Project a step closer to completion. To those of you that are interested in this project & want to donate: follow the instructions on the Go Fund Me website. Any donation (money, time & resources) are appreciated. -Jason Crosby & family
I am very thankful for all the donation's. It feels good to know that there's people out there that would like to see the genius brought back to life and be cruising the waters of puget sound and maybe Alaska. I'm in Alaska now fishing for herring and will be back in mid April to continue the progress on the Genius.
When I get back I plan on getting the D13000 Cat running again. The guy I bought the boat from told me he had it running not to long ago so I am confident that I will be blowing smoke out of the stack in no time. Thanks again for your donations it helps in so many ways. Jason
Here's a shot of the Genius with a boat load. She spent many decades tending in Puget Sound.
Uncle Bing with Gerald, or at least half of him.
Uncle Bing Crosby checking out the Genius.
Thanks everyone for the donations, you are incredibly generous. Here's a picture of my great aunt Bernice Skansi on the bow of the Genius in 1936.
Traveling in heavy seas on the Genius.
From Pacific Work Boat magazine.
Here's the latest from the Genius Project.
Thank-you Jeff, Carolyn, Chris, Brenda and Billy for your donations! It means a lot! Thank-you!
Check out my latest endeavor with Cat and Chat -A Genius Project. This is the donation page. As you could imagine, this is a big undertaking on my part to even attempt to do this. When I found out I could actually buy my family's old fishing boat that I grew up fishing on as a young man, there was no doubt that I would be the one to bring her back to life. This was my legacy.
Gary Crosby, my cousin, sold the boat to Tom Nolan (There is a great article about him on this website-check it out.) He had dreams of fixing the Genius as well. The work he did is the reason the Genius is still floating to this day. Thanks Tom
So this page is designed for people that also share my dream and would like to cruise around the San Juans once again on the legendary GENIUS. Any donation is greatly appreciated.
Please spread the word & "like" us on Facebook.
The classic fishing vessel Genius, built in 1920 at the Skansi shipyard and owned and operated for many years by the Crosby brothers, is once again back where she belongs, in the Crosby-Bezich-Skansi-Nielsen family of Friday Harbor and Gig Harbor.
Jason Crosby, grandson of Leonard Crosby and great nephew of Buddy Bezich, Berniece Skansi and Einar Nielsen, now owns the beloved purse seiner. Jason, who was raised in Friday Harbor like his mother and grandmother, began his fishing career at age 12 with his twin brother Christopher. He has spent the last 30 years fishing on the West Coast, including Alaska, most recently out of Ventura, California.
The Crosby twins, along with Jason's fiancÃ© Cathryn plan to completely rebuild the Genius to keep her in the family, and preserve a significant part of maritime history.
If you would like to be part of this effort, which will also be filmed for a documentary, please donate to A GENIUS Project.
The following is from the article "Classic Vessels of Gig Harbor's Past, Where have they gone?" by Lee Makovich.
More than 78 years after she was launched from the Skansie Shipyard in Gig Harbor, the Genius experienced a rebirth of vast proportions. The extensive rebuilding may not be one that will be glaringly evident to the casual observer. No, perhaps not. This undertaking is more a reconstruction of the inner Genius, her spine and her backbone so to speak, together with subtle refinements to her exterior. That this major rebuilding was only required after nearly 80-plus years of service, is an indication of the quality of workmenship and the prime materials that were available at Gig Harbor shipyards in an era long past.
The Genius was one of 10 purse seiners constructed at the Skansie Shipyard in 1920. Built for the late Nick Babich Sr., her original power was a 50 h.p. Frisco Standard gas engine. When Nick had his brand new 68-foot Sonia built at the same yard in 1928,. the Genius was sold to long time fish buyer Nick Skansi who operated the vessel as a tender in the Puget Sound area until his death in 1939.
In 1940, the late Gerald Crosby took over the operation of the vessel from his father-in-law. For the next 60 plus years, the Genius was one of the most well known and recognized tenders ever to pack fish in Puget Sound. Crosby eventually replaced the old Frisco Standard with a D13000 Cat diesel, which still powers the vessel today. In the 1980s, the Genius was rigged for salmon seining and Crosby along with his brother Leonard fished her at the Salmon Banks until the late 1990s.
Tom Nolan of Roche Harbor in the San Juan Islands eventually purchased the Genius from Gerald Crosby's son Gary. He, too, had seen her at the Harbor waterfront, as well as observing the boat in operation when fishing at the Salmon Banks in the San Juans.
Some time after her purchase, Nolan had the vessel hauled out of the water at the boat repair facilities in Port Townsend. He was planning on re-caulking and re-nailing the planking on the old hull, along with whatever other maintenance that might be required. The Genius had received a new pilot house some years ago, which still remains in nearly new condition. Consequently, the work would be concentrated almost exclusively to the area below the guards.
As we all know, tearing into an old wooden hull for the first time in over 80 years will undoubtedly produce a greater project than one might anticipate. Nolan was also keenly aware of this fact but his plans for the vessel were longterm and he felt that this was the proper way to keep the Genius vital and active for an indefinite period of time. Well, nearly 3 months, 50 new frames, 44 new planks and 7,000 galvanized screws later, the good old Genius was ready to be put back into the water to begin life anew.
The classic purse seiner Genius continues to be part of the Gig Harbor fishing fleet's living history. And who knows? Perhaps, 80 years or so from now, someone else will be contemplating another long range plan for the future utilization of the good old Genius.
Some tasks in A Genius Project are as follows:
1. Remodel fo'c'sle and galley cabin
2. Bring up to date all electronics and power
3. Refurbish all deck boards
4. Cork and seal Deck
5. Repair all planks as needed
6. Clean out fuel tanks
7. Sand and grind off all rust and old paint
9. Finish aluminum boat works around stern and bow
10. Repair anchor winch
11. Add picking boom with PL3 picking winch
12. New valve bank to control hydraulics