The 46'x15' high-tunnel catamaran OMC was recently delivered to Alaska after successful launch and sea trials in Port Angeles (Wash.) Harbor.

Last fall, Chenega Future Inc. (CFI) awarded Armstrong Marine a contract to design and build the vessel. CFI is a non-profit, wholly independent foundation established and funded by the Chenega Corp.. CFI provides scholarships for education and training to all Chenega native shareholders, spouses of living shareholders and their descendants.

OMC features seating for 15, a bunk room for 4, full head with walk-in shower, and full-service galley.

The new landing craft immediately entered service upon arrival in Alaska’s Prince William Sound region in early June. As a vessel with full bow-picker function for gillnet operations, OMC is the first of its kind. Armstrong’s design, paired with a Kinematics gillnet reel and bow roller, are well-suited for the tribe’s fishing. A davit with pinch hauler, also from Kinematics, supplements the fishing package.

Four Suzuki 350-hp outboards paired with SeaStar Solutions Optimus 360 steering power the vessel. Twin 300-gal. fuel tanks provide crucial range in remote Alaskan waters, navigated with a Garmin/NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) electronics package, including a Garmin GC 10 marine camera.

OMC also provides cargo transport with 16 recessed tie-downs on the forward working deck and a hydraulic drop bow door with hinged extension. The landing craft is further outfitted with two side boarding doors, engine guards, a removable tow-post at the extended T-transom, a rooftop dinghy storage rack, Kinematics anchor winch, and Rigid Industries LED deck lights.

Two Webasto forced air diesel heaters heat the full-width walk-through cabin. Bench seating and a shock mitigating Bentley Patriot helm chair accommodate captain and crew. Six can sleep on board –—four in the enclosed bunk room, plus two more at the converted dinette. The galley features a Force 10 3-burner cooktop, Norcold refrigerator, and bar sink with Scandvik faucet. A corner shower maximizes space in the head. Twelve USB ports are located at the dash, bunks, dinette, and galley.

The vessel is named in honor of “Old Man Charley,” Charles William Selanoff Sr., the last chief on Chenega Island prior to the 1964 earthquake and tsunami which devastated the tribe’s village. The Chenega community will utilize OMC in support of regional development projects and fishing, promoting Chenega Future’s goals of self-sufficiency and self-determination.

“The vessel far exceeds our expectations and handles very well in the four- to five-foot seas here,” Chenega Future executive director Lloyd Kompkoff said in a statement announcing the delivery. “We get a lot of dock talk every day about how nice the boat looks — we’re very pleased with Armstrong’s finish work.”

The utility landing craft is customized to maximize adaptability for a variety of workboat operations. “The team at Armstrong was open to our ideas, and changes were fast and complete,” Kompkoff said.


Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.