Iceland: The Trawler Coot

The mechanization of the Icelandic fishing fleet started with the motor boat Stanley in 1902 and the trawler Coot in 1904. Coot was the first trawler owned by Icelanders. The first trawler that was specifically constructed for Iceland was Jon forseti in 1907. Coot operated from Hafnarfjordur in the period 1905-1908. It was propelled by a steam engine and fished with a trawl. Earlier attempts at mechanizing the fleet and the trawling fishery had been unsuccessful. The fisheries were owned by foreign companies or individuals. The prevailing thought at that time was that steam engines in boats had no future. An earlier trawler Anna Breidfjord (1901-02) was equipped with sails instead of an engine. An engine was first installed in Stanley in Isafjordur in 1902. Ten years later engines had been installed in approx. 400 Icelandic boats. Both Stanley and Coot are close to the great political turning point in 1904 when Iceland got home rule. Iceland got acquainted with large mechanized fishing ships operated by the British who had around 150 trawlers in Icelandic waters in 1905.

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