Fish Radio

Electronics and hydraulics training online for mariners

September 23,  2015                   Electrical bible

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch –  Marine electronics and hydraulics training on line!  More after this –

 Alaskan Quota and Permits in Petersburg works hard for fishermen so they can do what they do best – fish!  Visit Olivia at

Alaska seafood is the second most recognized brand name at the nation’s top 500 restaurant chains.  That’s due in great part to the team at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.  Learn more about ASMI’s programs and strategies at

Many a fishing trip has been cut short by a hydraulics or electrical system break down, from a single pot hauler on a skiff to huge floating processors.   That’s why self-paced, basic courses in both are offered to fishermen and other mariners on line from the University of Alaska/Southeast at Sitka.

Nope, there’s no class meeting time so whenever you have the time to get on line and work through the material, as long as you have it finished in three months, you’re good to go.  

Teal Gordon is a UAS Program Support Specialist.   Fishermen brought the need for the training courses to university program planners.

The hydraulics course, the first of its kind, was launched in 201, with expert technician Paul Rioux  as instructor –

  We jokingly refer to the hydraulics as the ‘ghost of the machine’ because a lot of fishermen have a real understanding of their engines and most of their gear but  few fishermen have a really good working knowledge of the actual technical side of how the hydraulics actually work.     The real simple trollers or gillnetters that only have an anchor winch or a set of gurdies or a net reel, but some of these boats have multiple systems with multiple components controlling water pumps and freezer compressors and deck cranes and all sorts of things.  

The hydraulics course takes six hours to complete on average and costs just $90.

The Boat Electrical course includes theory, power generation and distribution, safety and wiring.

The wiring on some of the boats is amazing. Somebody adds something or takes something out and they leave the old wiring behind.  You get a 30 year old boat and some of the wiring is just amazing.

Alan Sorum is a former Valdez harbormaster and port director who collaborated on the Boat Electrical course, now in its second year.  A top feature, he says, is the focus on troubleshooting.  Just knowing the rights and wrongs of  basic bonding and grounding  would prevent a harbormaster’s biggest hassle.

Boats have ac systems and dc systems and if they’re not wired correctly you end up getting voltage or current in the wrong places and it causes all kinds of problems – for your boat and your neighbor’s boat and  it costs money for the power and it causes electrolysis. For me that was always the biggest hassle – someone would complain about having a hot harbor or a prop getting eaten up and it’s so hard to track down who’s causing the problem.  For a harbor that was always the biggest things.  

 The Boat electrical course takes up to 15 hours to complete and costs $125. Both courses are available now. Visit the University of Southeast at Sitka and find links at

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.