The Discover Channel knew they had a hit on their hands with the inaugural season of the Deadliest Catch. So they decided to bring on a few more boats to stiffen the competition. And did they ever! The Time Bandit was one of those boats that joined the series in season two and has been a mainstay ever since with the Hillstrand brothers at the helm.
The Time Bandit was christened in 1991 in Coos Bay, Oregon.
But today The Time Bandit calls Homer, Alaska their home port. The vessel was custom designed by the Hillstrand brothers’ father, John Sr. The 113 foot boat was built by Giddings Boatworks which has built numerous Deadliest Catch boats. The boat sports a black coat of paint with white lettering and a cannot miss skull and crossbones on the bow.
The Time Bandit is called a house aft boat which means the crew quarters and wheelhouse are at the rear of the boat and the crab pots and work area are in front.
The Northwestern, the main rival of the Time Bandit, has the wheel house in the
front of the boat with the pots to the rear.
One of the limitations to the Time Bandit is that it only holds 137 crab pots compared to the Northwestern, for instance, that can hold over 200. It can hold up to 120,000 pounds of king crab and 175,000 pounds of snow crab.
The Time Bandit might be considered the Cadillac of fishing vessels because of its custom built interior.
Each of the staterooms has their own queen sized bed. There is a four person sauna on board along with a dishwasher in the kitchen. The wheelhouse in the Time Bandit contains state of the art radar, depth finders, and communications.
In 2012, the Time Bandit was in the right place at the right time to rescue a deckhand from another boat who fell overboard while chaining pots together in rough seas.
The Northwestern and Time Bandit have been involved in countless battles and surprise attacks, all in good nature, of course.
But at times it seems as though the Time Bandit is cursed with several seasons in a row being consumed by time at port to fix repairs costing them valuable time on the pots.
There are 5 Hillstrand brothers, 3 of which make up the crew of the Time Bandit. There are Johnathan, Andy, and Neal on board and Johnathan’s son Scott is a deckhand. The Time Bandit and Northwestern crews are obviously made up of mostly family crew teams which makes for a little extra competitive spirit come crab season.
The Time Bandit has become a popular trademark and includes a Time Bandit Spirits and Time Bandit Fireworks.
Clothing from sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, and coffee mugs can be found sporting the Time Bandit skull and crossbones.
As you watch the Deadliest Season, keep an eye for the pirate crab ship called
the Time Bandit. And awe at the sight of the skull and crossbones breaking through 30 foot waves. And marvel at what these daring men accomplish in the most dangerous waters known to man.