MENEMSHA, MA – With the sale of Viking, a 40′ fishing boat that has plied the waters off Martha’s Vineyard for three generations, the island’s oncevibrant fleet of small wooden draggers is now on the brink of extinction.
Craig Coutinho of Vineyard Haven sold the vessel in December after fishing aboard her for nearly 50 years. At age 63, he is planning to retire.
“I got tired. I was 11 years old when I started fishing in that boat. I think that is long enough,” Coutinho said. “Everything is getting tight. Fuel is expensive. The cost of everything has gone up. With a wooden boat you have to haul it out, maintain it. It is not at all like a fiberglass boat.”
Craig Coutinho of Vineyard Haven. Viking, a 40′ wooden fishing boat that plied the waters off Martha’s Vineyard for three generations, was recently sold, bringing the island’s once-vibrant fleet of small wooden draggers to the brink of extinction.
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