During an interview with FOX 11 Los Angeles, Deadliest Catch stars Keith Colburn and Johnathan Hillstrand explained that the ships are actually only moving between 8 and 10 knots at any given time. A knot is a unit of measurement representing nautical miles per hour. Since a nautical mile is slightly larger than a normal mile, a ship traveling at 8 knots would be moving at about 9.2 miles per hour, while a ship traveling at 10 knots would be moving at about 11.5 miles per hour would.
In fact, Colburn and Hillstrand explained that the extremely slow speed of their ships often causes them to be caught in storms during filming of the series. “We got caught in this super storm… we’re so far out. People say, ‘Why don’t you just go to the port?’ Well, it’s faster than us,” said Hillstrand. “If we hear of a storm, it will hit us in less than a day.”
Realizing that these ships are routinely traveling at speeds of 10 miles per hour certainly sheds some aspects of the series in a new light – particularly the impact storms have on these ships and the sheer amount of ocean they all contain doing so must cover a slow speed. Considering how slowly these ships actually move, it’s no wonder that captains are always trying to do their jobs as efficiently as possible.