Ron Vosdick watched Crescent City harbor workers hoist his new boat, the Stormy II, into the air and take it over to the dock Friday. Nearly two years after the March 2011 tsunami reduced the original Stormy to three pieces and scattered them across the harbor, Vosdick's grandson, John Beardon, smashed a bottle of champagne on the new boat's hull and it was set gently into the water.
As the sun peaked through clouds, Beardon climbed aboard, tossed a rope to another boat, the Free Spirit, and the Stormy II slipped away from the dock and into the harbor.
"We worked on it solid for eight months, five of us," Vosdick said. "Seven days a week. It's all brand new."
Most of Crescent City's commercial fishing fleet, about 80 vessels, escaped destruction when the tsunami hit. The Stormy was one of 16 boats that sank. Vosdick, who owns another boat named the Shadow, said the waves didn't keep him from crabbing last year, but the loss was still devastating.
"We got no help from FEMA," he said, adding that he had owned the original Stormy for about 10 years. "We had to use our own funds to put all this back together."
Vosdick said he built the Stormy II at his home. The boat is 33-by-14 feet and can hold 10,000 pounds of crab. It cost about $100,000 to build, he said.
"I'm pretty proud of it," Vosdick said.
Vosdick's daughter, Michelle Scheve, said Beardon will captain the Stormy II and fish it with his son, Cylee Beardon. She added that this will be her dad's last crab season before he retires and returns to his hometown of Klamath Falls, Ore.
"This is his last boat," she said. "He wanted one more boat."
Scheve added that her sister, Cheryl Hallderson, also worked on Vosdick's boat.
Reach Jessica Cejnar at email@example.com.