One of the biggest stars of Wicked Tuna was nowhere to be seen in the National Geographic show’s 10th season. We’re not talking about any of the fishermen, though. What we really wanna know is, what happened to the Falcon on Wicked Tuna?
Turns out, Captain Dave Marciano ditched the Falcon and went back to a souped-up Hard Merchandise, the vessel he captained from Season 1 to Season 7 before he switched to the Falcon for Seasons 8 and 9.
Dave Marciano switched boats after retrofitting the ‘Hard Merchandise.’
In the Season 10 premiere, Dave explained the switcheroo, telling viewers that he and his crew had spruced up the Hard Merchandise, installing a new cabin, a new deck, new fuel tanks, and a more powerful, 500-horsepower engine.
“Over the winter, Joe and I and Jay made a lot of upgrades,” he said, per a Wicked Local recap. “She’s back, she’s badder than ever, she’s faster than she’s ever been before.”
He did say, however, that he still loves the Falcon. “That’s a great boat,” he observed. “But it’s no secret that the past few seasons haven’t been spectacular. I’m not getting rid of her, but I wanted to make the Hard Merchandise a faster, more comfortable tuna boat.”
The vessel swap seems to have paid off: On the first day of the scene, Dave and his crew pulled in a 79-inch, 200-pound bluefin tuna that netted them $2,000.
“The last few seasons were tough for us on the Falcon,” Dave said in the episode. “I think the other guys think I kinda lost my mojo and I don’t have what it takes anymore. With that being said, I think taking the Hard Merch is going to break that bad luck streak and get us back in the game.”
Now, in Season 10, Dave is going up against captains TJ Ott of the Hot Tuna, Tyler McLaughlin of the Pinwheel, Spurge Krasowski of the Moonshine, Paul Hebert of the Wicked Pissah, Dave Carraro of the F/V-Tuna.com, Bob Cook of the Fat Tuna, and Jack Patrican of the Time Flies.
This veteran fisherman lost his first boat, the ‘Angelica Joseph,’ to the sea.
In 2020, Dave Marciano revealed to DailyMail.com that his first vessel sunk to a watery grave nearly two decades prior. “On Jan. 13, 2003, I lost my first boat, the Angelica Joseph,” he told the site. “It was cold that day, freezing cold, and she sank 20 miles out at sea.”
The old wooden lobster boat sank after losing a plank, Dave explained. “The boat sank in 33 minutes from when we first started taking on water to when we had to abandon ship. We notified the Coast Guard that we were going down, but luckily, there was another fisherman in close proximity who picked us out of the water.”
He went on: “Fishermen all look out for each other. It doesn’t matter if it’s your worst enemy. If you found yourself in that situation, you’d drop what you’re doing to help.”
Wicked Tuna Season 10 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on the National Geographic Channel.