About Cornelia Marie

Crab Fishing Boat

Cornelia Marie

- TYPE: 128-foot house aft

- POTS: 180

- KING CRAB CAPACITY: 312,000 lbs

- BUILT: 1989 — Alabama


The original Cornelia Marie had an extensive rebuild in 1995 that added 21 feet to her overall length and increased her catch holding capacity to one of the highest for a crabber. She is named after Cornelia Marie Devlin, a co-owner of the boat who handles much of the daily business of the boat's operation. The Cornelia Marie's twin Mitsubishi engines generate 630 horsepower for a top speed of around 10 knots but they've often been an engineer's — and captain's — nightmare.

The Cornelia Marie has always been a boat under severe mechanical and emotional strain — and this year is no exception. After three decades at the helm, the legendary Phil Harris passed away and left his sons and crew to try to fend for themselves on the Bering Sea crab grounds. Phil had an incredibly close relationship with his boat and crew, so whenever an issue arose with either, he was usually able to get to the root of the problem and attempt a fix. In the 2010 King crab season, veteran Derrick Ray took the helm as the Cornelia Marie's relief captain but intense friction with the crew compelled him to leave. During the mid-season break, the Harris brothers invited another veteran Tony Lara to sit in the captain's chair for the 2011 Opie season. Tony has the advantage of a deep familiarity with the boat — he worked on it for many years back in the 1990's.