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Deadliest Catch's The Wizard Was Built For An Entirely Different Purpose Than Crab Fishing

Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" Season 3 saw the addition of a new captain to the lineup of skippers – Keith Colburn, who leads the crew of the F/V Wizard.

In some ways, Colburn is very different from Sig Hansen and his other crab fishing competitors. While many of these men are born with this career in their blood as they follow in the footsteps of fathers and grandfathers, this isn't the case for first-generation fisherman Colburn. At 22, he moved to Alaska on a whim with dreams of raking in the big bucks as a crabber, despite no experience (via Discovery). Needless to say, Colburn's drastic shift in direction paid off as he climbed the ladder from greenhorn to fierce captain.

Some of the most intense moments on "Deadliest Catch" involve Colburn, whether he's blowing up at a cameraman for not making him some coffee or a deckhand for doing the bare minimum while battling a back injury. Even off-camera, the Wizard isn't immune to extreme situations.

Colburn revealed in an interview with TV Shows Ace that in March 2021 a massive wave hit the F/V Wizard. Though Keith Colburn had just gotten off, his brother Monte was on board and experienced the wave that "took a window out on the port side of a wheelhouse, tore up the ceiling, took out the battery charges." Despite much devastation to the Wizard, the crew made it back "soggy but safe," according to a tweet by Colburn. The captain didn't miss a beat in fixing up the damage, with the Wizard returning to the Bering Sea and "Deadliest Catch."

Both the F/V Wizard and its captain are forces to be reckoned with. Given the boat's background and original purpose, this makes perfect sense.

The Wizard was built for the U.S. Navy during World War II

In 2011, Keith Colburn gave SeattleInsider a special tour of his beloved F/V Wizard, during which he revealed a striking fact about the vessel — it wasn't originally built for the purpose of crab fishing. Rather, the Wizard was constructed for the military, which means it sails a bit differently than the other boats on the Bering Sea.

"She has a propensity for going through waves and being quite ornery as opposed to going up and over waves," Colburn explained. He stressed, "This is not a pleasure craft. This is an industrial workboat ... " Standing at 155 feet long and 30 feet wide, the Wizard was made to handle treacherous conditions. Colburn said, "When we press all four tanks, we're basically 2 million pounds of weight floating and driving through the water."

Originally named YO-210, the Brooklyn, New York-based Ira S. Bushey shipyard was hired by the U.S. Navy to build the boat in 1945 during World War II. It wasn't until 1978 that it was purchased by third-generation fisherman John Jorgensen and transformed into a crabbing boat for journeys on the Bering Sea. Eventually, Jorgensen took greenhorn Colburn under his wing and sold him the Wizard in 2005, all according to the boat's official website.

If this sale didn't take place, the Wizard would likely not be featured on "Deadliest Catch." Colburn told GamerStuff that Jorgensen was highly opposed to the idea of cameras and other distractions on the vessel. This is why Colburn doesn't join the cast until 2005, the year he took ownership of the boat. Now, "Deadliest Catch" fans can see the Wizard in action and imagine what it was like during its early use in World War II.