Local Yards Will Stay Busy in 2019
October 1, 2018
West Coast boat yards have been busy through the summer and are even busier as fishermen change gear types for the fall and winter fisheries.
One of these is Seaview Boatyard, which operates three full service boatyards in Seattle, Fairhaven and Bellingham. The yards have been servicing the commercial fishing industry since the business began in 1974, as well as recreational boaters and yachters, offering full services, do-it-yourself, inside and outside storage, as well as allowing outside contractors. "This is a model that many fishermen like and appreciate," says CEO Phil Riise.
Seaview's north four-and-a-half acre location, Seaview Boatyard North, Inc., is located in Squalicum Harbor, Bellingham. Commercial customer vessels that haul out include Southeast Alaska Seiners, Halibut Schooners, Trollers, Tenders, and shipper charter vessels. Many fishermen participate in multi-fisheries that include salmon, halibut, herring and Dungeness crab.
"We can handle up to 60 vessels," says Riise. The haulout can handle up to 165 tons with a 26-foot beam. The yard is also designated a Certified Leadership Clean Boatyard by the Clean Boating Foundation. "The only thing we don't do is major engine work," adds Riise.
Business has been steady with the commercial fishing fleet during the past years. Riise reports that Southeast Seiner skippers indicate that prices for pinks should be good this year. If that happens, it will typically translate into a trickle-down effect for all related industry services.
Boat for Sale
Fred Wahl Marine Construction has spent more than 25 years building and repairing boats in Reedsport on the Central Oregon Coast, and recently moved to a new facility with more room and better access.
The yard has a 50,000 square foot fabrication shop with a CNC Plasma/Oxy-fuel machine capable of cutting steel parts to precise dimensions and shapes. The facility also offers a full machine shop, as well as the welders and fitters needed for everything from new construction and mid-body extensions to minor voyage repairs and general maintenance.
The most recent newbuild from the yard is an as-yet unnamed 58-foot by 28-foot fishing boat, suitable for seine or pot gear and ready to customize. The new boat can be fitted with either Caterpillar or Mitsubishi power, and has more than 4,000 cubic feet of hold capacity, accessible through two steel 76-inch main hatches.
The boat follows the 58-foot Winter Bay, built as a conventional crabber and delivered in 2017, and is the 47th boat built by the yard since the 53-foot Cyndria Gene was delivered in 1989.
The new boat is offered at $2.9 million fully equipped.
New Astoria Yard
In Astoria, Oregon, Tongue Point is the site of a marine industrial park co-owned by Gordon Smith and Robert C. Dorn of Hyak Maritime LLC. The two, who both have a long history in the maritime industry, purchased the previous US Navy-owned air station from the Washington Corporation on December 1, 2017.
Hyak Maritime is in the business of building, repairing and chartering vessels in the tug and barge industry and building and repairing vessels in the commercial fishing industry. Hyak took over the leases of several existing tenants and has been adding new ones.
Current tenants include WCT Marine & Construction and Pacific Coast Seafoods. In addition, Hyak Maritime recently signed a long-term lease with pile-driving company Bergerson Construction.
The site lends itself perfectly to marine activities, encompassing 30 acres of concrete with five finger piers. Part of the facility's attraction is the fact that it has a sea plane ramp 250 feet long and 60 feet wide, which is used for hauling out vessels.
There are two huge airplane hangars with enough room for several vessels to be worked on at the same time. WCT Marine built and supplies an articulated 72-wheel trailer for hauling out 300-ton vessels. "We think it's a nice investment as a marine industrial park, but as contractors, we have now secured a place in the future to build and repair our own vessels in the northwest," says Dorn.
With so few small yards left in the region, Dorn and Smith hope that Hyak Maritime will be one of the solutions to the problem of not having enough places to get repaired in a hurry. "If a vessel gets injured now, chances are it will be out of service for a long time and that's pretty devastating to operators," Dorn says.
The site is geographically located to serve the Columbia River, California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, as well as British Columbia. "It's a facility that I think can help both the workboat and commercial fishing industry take care of their vessels because there are fewer and fewer places to do that right now."
Repair and Replace
Port Angeles, Washington-based Platypus Marine offers new construction, refits, and repairs of Pacific Northwest commercial fishing vessels. Varied services include painting, fuel economy, bulbous bows, repowers, welding and custom fabrication and maintenance services. This fall, Platypus will be working on three vessels; two Delta 58-foot seiners, one of which is having a bulbous bow installed, as well as having the rolling chocks extended for stability and seakeeping. The other one will undergo a complete Awl grip paint job.
Seattle's Pacific Fishermen Shipyard (PacFish)has experienced shipwrights, machinists, boilermakers and electricians at their full service shipyard, established in 1946 to service tugboats, passenger cruise, charter boats and yachts as well as the traditional fishing vessels.
Located on Ballard's salmon Bay just east of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks on the freshwater side, PacFish offers welding and fabrication, a pipe shop and a ship supply store.
The yard has experienced caulkers on staff to work on wooden boats, while at the same time offering everything from switchboards & lighting to complete wiring services with their PFI Marine Electric division.
The yard boasts three haul out facilities and docks on the freshwater side of the ship canal locks, including a 100-foot, 200-ton marine railway, a 160-foot by 600-ton marine railway and the yard's original Rowe 145-foot, 600-ton screw lift dock with 140 feet of covered end track rails.
The three facilities are equipped for hull cleaning, high pressure washing and sandblasting with full environmental containment and on-site shipyard run-off rainwater reprocessing.
In the yard at press time was the 108-foot Marco-built crabber F/V Northwestern, built in 1977, undergoing bow repairs following a collision with her sister ship, the 108-foot Bering Star, built the following year. "The Bering Star hit the Northwestern about seven and a half knots," says Pac Fish manager Doug Dixon, "so we have a bit of fabrication work to do."
The boat will also get new paint and be ready for the crab season.