A new boat has arrived at Bellingham Cold Storage. A scale model of the one-of-a-kind Uniflite purse seiner fishing vessel, the Patriot, was donated by Paul Burrill, a Whatcom County local fisherman, business owner, and family man. The Patriot now calls BCS its home port amongst other notable model vessels on display at Bellingham Cold Storage, such as the ATR 68 and YMS 269 Minesweepers built by Bellingham Shipyards. Keep reading to learn more about the history of the ship and its journey to BCS.
The Patriot now calls BCS its home port amongst other notable model vessels on display at Bellingham Cold Storage
History of the vessel
The mold used to create the Patriot was built in the late 1970s in Nova Scotia. Then, it traveled to Bellingham, where, due to the location of the Uniflite facility, the first vessel was built.
Uniflite is a local Bellingham company founded by one of the original Naval architects of the Bellingham Shipyards, Art Nordtvedt, in October 1957. Similar to BCS’ history, this shipyard began making more pleasure crafts at the end of WWII.
In 1982, Steven Streitz commissioned the build of a scale model of the Patriot to use as a promotional item to sell more ships.
Unfortunately, in the 1980s, a fire destroyed the only mold of the vessel, thus making the boat itself one of a kind.
The Patriot’s Journey
So how did the Patriot call Bellingham Cold Storage its home port? In the early 90s, Randy and Dina Gregg bought the actual vessel from Steve Streitz and donated the model of the Patriot to the Bellingham Heritage Museum. Recently, the model was stationed at the Port of Bellingham. Before setting sail for BCS, the Patriot model was gifted to Paul Burrill by Vic Duppenthaler – the lead composite engineer on the Patriot build for Uniflite – because of Paul’s personal history with the vessel.
Paul spent ten years working on the Patriot and is currently a shareholder of a local fishing company with his own boat. According to Paul, “these are more than just boats…they give people a chance to build their “toolboxes” of life through summer jobs, mentors, and memorable experiences.” Paul’s connection to the Patriot and the industry made him the perfect person to enjoy the model vessel.
However, after a couple of years and a personal link to Doug Thomas, President & CEO of Bellingham Cold Storage, Paul donated the Patriot to BCS as its final resting place.
We’re thrilled to have a piece of Uniflite history here at Bellingham Cold Storage. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Uniflite, click here.
Want to learn even more about the history of Bellingham Cold Storage? Click here!