Fishing Boat – Clothing

Clothes that you can dispose off

It's gonna get messy! Crew chilling.

For my first trip I took my regular clothes with me thinking I will just wash them when I get back. Their approximate value was about $300. On my return home I had to throw out most of the clothes; not even several washes got the fish smell out and the rest was destroyed in Alaska. I was wiser second time round. I bought all necessary clothes in a second hand store for about $50.

The sea temperatures are relatively mild, on the boat it is around 0°C. The freezer hall temperature is -20°C but you will be sweating anyway since you will be running with 20kg in your hands for at least 8 hours a day.

Here is the Goodwill store location in Seattle – recommended by many fishermen I worked with.

Good quality socks

Crew member on a fishing boat

Bad socks -> frostbite. No #thermalunderwear -> you don’t want move 60 tons of fish a day and be #sick. Vitamin C can make a big difference too. No day off on a #fishingboat ! #beringsea #alaska #fishing #face #tired #thinking #fishermen #fisherman #crewmember #grumpy #grundens #xtratuf #crew #fishingcrew #hardwork #hardworker

This is the most basic equipment, and definitely not one to be saving your money on. My toes nearly froze up in the freezer hall. Not because my socks were thin, but because they were made out of some synthetic material and were too warm. My feet got sweaty too fast and the moisture had nowhere to go. Good quality, cotton knee-highs are essential. Merino cotton worked great! I recommend these personally tested ones. Bring at least ten pairs with you.

Thermal underwear

This keeps sweat away from your body which you will especially appreciate in the freezer hall. You will immediately decrease your chances of getting sick. Get at least three tops and bottoms; one pair for two days is the minimum.

Sleeping bag and blanket

I lost many hours of sleep through sweat thanks to my overly warm sleeping guy

I thought (mistakenly) that I need the warmest sleeping bag there is. When you’re on board and not working you can get away with wearing summer clothes. If you’re sleeping in a cabin with Africans the heater will be turned on. I lost many hours of sleep through sweat thanks to my overly warm sleeping bag. I recommend whatever is the most comfortable for you, to ensure you get the most out of those few hours of sleep.

How much clothes should you bring?

Crew member on a fishing boat

The fuck you want? #samoan #fisherman #fishermen #crewmember #inmates on a #fishingboat in the #beringsea #hardwork #toughmen #people #raingear #grundens

The housekeeper washed our clothes once a week. As a freezer loader I was completely sweaty after my first eight hours and I had to change my clothes, so that I didn’t get sick. Just to make sure, buy yourself clothes for at least 12 days. I let the wet clothes dry, so that I could use them once more, but then my co-workers thought that I didn’t shower – I only had enough clothes for 8 days.

Where to shop?

Items bought online can be sent to your employer’s address (after you sign your contract) or into your hostel. If you wish to shop in Seattle (which will always be a little more expensive than online shopping), I recommend Federal Army & Navy Surplus. You can buy relatively cheap work clothes there, including thermal underwear and fisherman’s clothes. If you tell them that you are a fisherman, they will give you a discount. In our company, it was also possible to buy some clothes on board.