Tolman boats become an obsession to those who use them! In conditions that would make most pilots pucker, these boats perform! When I first ran the Paula J, I was cautious, wanting to learn what the boat was capable of before ending up in a trial by fire situation.
Last year on the last run of the season, my son and I got caught in an unpredicted hard south wind forty five miles off Newport Oregon. We were planning on going for tuna, but once the wind kicked up I elected to head back in rather than try to fish in those conditions. Trying to land a hard fighting albacore in those conditions can be trying at best! Worst case scenario, one of us could go over the side, or fall against the gunnel, possibly breaking a rib or two. If, and I say if I was a commercial fisherman, I would probably have stuck it out, but I am just an old guy who likes to fish…
The wind driven swell was well over the top of my wheelhouse with the tops cut away by the wind. The spray shooting horizontal across the bow. Surprisingly, the boat handled it well, better than I had even hoped to imagine. Cutting through the waves with ease, not pitching or pounding. Granted, I came in on a reduced throttle, of maybe twelve knots.
On the way in, about twenty five miles out, we came on two whales playing, oblivious to the rough conditions. My son spotted them first, as one of the pair breached in front of the boat. We shut her down and watched as one of them, laying on it’s side flapped a huge pectoral fin nonchalantly without a care in the world. Just as I was about to take off again, one of them erupted out of the water in a massive breach, right in front of the boat! Even when I get shut down by the weather conditions, I am constantly in awe of Gods creation!
The photos in this post are of a Tolman Jumbo headed in with a buddy boat. They were taken off the Great Barrier Reef near New Zealand by a fellow boat builder who built his about the same time I built mine. All I can add is that these boats will bring you home, safe and sound!
You can read more about these amazing boats at FishyFish