Biloxi Lugger, length=37.7; beam=12
Built in 1929 by Jules Galle.
Owned by John Skrnich, Jr.
The DEBORAH was purchased in 1935 by John Skrnich, Jr. at the young age of 18 years. John, Jr., or “Johnny”. After gaining experience working with his father on another early Biloxi Lugger, Captain Skrnich manned the helm of the DEBORAH with 2 crew members, thus beginning a long career in the seafood industry.
Equipped with a 40-horsepower gasoline engine (later changed to diesel), the DEBORAH served as both a work and recreational vessel over many decades for the Skrnich family. Never missing the opportunity to be blessed for a bountiful harvest, DEBORAH was adorned yearly for the annual Blessing of the Fleet. In 1976, she was awarded the trophy for Best Decorated Boat with the Bicentennial theme “Stars and Stripes Forever”. This award was bestowed to Capt. Skrnich by native Biloxian and college football coach, Jackie Sherrill who reigned as King over the year’s festivities.
The DEBORAH hosted community groups such as the “Leisurely Club” on cruises and picnics on the local islands. More often, when not working very long weeks providing for the Skrnich family, DEBORAH provided a wonderful venue for family functions, holidays and birthday parties taking the revelers to nearby Deer Island and Ship Island.
The Biloxi lugger served at the able hands of her owner and Captain until he retired in 1987, then went on to enjoy leisurely shrimping trips for five years after.