Category Archives: Maritime

Kitsap residents bought more boats last spring

If the early onset of summer weather had you salivating over the “boats” section of Craigslist last spring, you definitely weren’t alone.

Kitsap residents went on a bit of a  boat buying spree in the second quarter of the year.  A total of 717 vessels sold to buyers with moorage in Kitsap County, according to numbers posted by Washington Sea Grant.

That was a 14 percent increase from the same period of 2014, and a 31 percent jump from five years ago.

As you can see from the chart, more county residents are springing for new boats, which is good news for local dealerships, hit hard during the recession.

A number factors are likely propelling the recent surge in boat sales, including the improving economy, relatively low fuel prices and, of course, the sunshine.

Navy orders more patrol boats from SAFE Boats

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The U.S. Navy has ordered two more Mk VI patrol boats from SAFE Boats International.

The order represents a $17.8 million modification to an existing contract awarded to SAFE Boats last year for a second installment of Mk VI vessels. All told, SAFE Boats will build 12 of the patrol boats for the Navy.

The aluminum boat builder is manufacturing the 85-foot, jet-powered boats at the Port of Tacoma. SAFE Boats is headquartered in Bremerton and builds smaller vessels at Olympic View Industrial Park. 

The award comes on the heals of a $48 million U.S. Customs contract for interceptor vessels announced in early July.

$12 million for Vet Industrial

SAFE Boats isn’t the only Bremerton-based company to land a large defense job this month.

Vet Industrial of Bremerton was awarded a nearly $12 million contract to build a remote switching unit building and associated site work at Gray’s Army Airfield, Joint Base Lewis McChord. The project is expected to be completed by August 2016. 

The company, with headquarters on Charleston Beach Road, was one of two to bid. Funding will come from the 2015 fiscal year military construction budget. It’s a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that has been performing general contracting services for federal and state government agencies since 2006.

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(Courtesy photo)

SAFE Boats lands $48M U.S. Customs contract

Bremerton-based SAFE Boats International will build up to 52 Coastal Interceptor Vehicles under a new contract for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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Coastal Interceptor Vehicle (Courtesy image)

The contract is valued at more than $48 million, according to a news release. 

The 41-foot Coastal Interceptors designed to chase down suspect boats, and serve as a platform for officers to perform searches and seizures.

The vessels are highly maneuverable and can reach speeds of more than 54 knots over open ocean.

“We are gratified to be selected and entrusted with this program by the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection”, SAFE Boats President Dennis Morris said in the release. “We understand how critical their mission is and believe that the SAFE Boats CIV will insure effective mission execution for years to come.”

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Dennis Morris (MEEGAN REID /KITSAP SUN)

The interceptors are similar to a center-console vessels SAFE Boats has already produced for the Royal Bahamian Police, Colombian Navy and private owners.

With the addition of the Customs contract, SAFE Boats is now working on three projects for the federal government, including a series of small, “Over-the-Horizon” vessels for the Coast Guard, and larger Mk VI patrol boats for the Navy, which are being produced in Tacoma.

With the award of CIV, SAFE Boats is now delivering 3 major US Federal programs including the USCG Over-the-Horizon (OTH) and the US Navy Mk VI High Speed Patrol Boat.

SAFE Boats employs about 190 workers at its Port of Bremerton manufacturing facility, where it recently renewed its lease.

Triton Marine awarded $10M Navy job

tritonTriton Marine Construction Corp. of Bremerton has been selected to complete $9.9 million in work at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

The work will be completed under a previously-awarded contract for construction of a dry dock water treatment system, according to a release from the Department of Defense.

Triton will build infrastructure at three dry docks necessary to bring the shipyard into compliance with environmental standards for capturing and treating water used for industrial processes.

The Navy received four proposals for the work. Construction will be completed in the fall of 2016.

The Bremerton contractor recently moved its headquarters to Constance Road in the Port of Bremerton’s Olympic View Industrial Park. Triton moved to Kitsap from Houston in 1999.

SAFE Boats delivering patrol vessels to Tunisia

Tunisia 65 PR

Two boats built in Bremerton will soon be roving off the Mediterranean coast of Africa.

SAFE Boats International recently announced the completion of a pair of 65-foot patrol boats for the Tunisian Navy. One boat already arrived in Tunisia. A second is being delivered.

According to a news release, the boats feature dual 1,600 horse-power diesel engines, shock absorbing seating, climate controlled cabins and navigation equipment. They can reach speeds in excess of 40 knots (nearly 50 mph).

The boats will help the Tunisian Navy conduct search-and-rescue missions and extended offshore patrols.

SAFE Boats’ products already make up a healthy portion of Tunisia’s fleet. The company has previously delivered 20 vessels to the Tunisian Navy, ranging from 25 to 44 feet long.

“We are extremely honored to be a continuing part of the Tunisian Navy and providing products that allow their personnel to accomplish the challenging missions they face.”, SAFE Boats CEO Dennis Morris said in the release.

The 65 foot boats are among the largest vessels SAFE Boats has built at its Port of Bremerton facility. The boats were fabricated in temporary hangars outside the main plant.

Calmer seas for former Port Washington Marina

marinaA sleepy marina on the Port Washington Narrows is enjoying a fresh start.

The marina, which sits just west of the Warren Avenue bridge, ran into financial trouble and was sold at a receiver’s sale about a year ago.

I chatted with the new owners for a larger Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal story:

Partners in the Port Orchard Railway Marina bought the foundering marina on Thompson Drive for about $460,000. The new owners switched the name from Port Washington to Bridgeview Marina, and are gradually catching up on neglected maintenance.

“I think there was a lot of Band-Aid sort of repair work being done,” Bridgeview Marina Inc. president Jeremy McNeil said. “We want to make more permanent repairs.”

They hope to make the marina a more permanent success as well. Fewer than half of the 80 slips are occupied. They hope upgrades to the facilities and competitive prices will help draw boaters back.

The view of the narrows and the bustling bridge above certainly doesn’t hurt.

“The beauty of it is really one of the appeals,” McNeil said.

You can find Bridgeview Marina on Facebook.

SAFE Boats lease extension is a done deal

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Port of Bremerton commissioners approved lease extensions Tuesday night for SAFE Boats International, the port’s largest industrial tenant.

Though the rough terms of the deal had been hammered out months ago, commissioners were clearly elated to have the agreement formalized. SAFE Boats employs nearly 200 workers in the port’s Olympic View Industrial Park.

“We’re very proud to have a relationship with SAFE Boats, and to have you in our industrial park,” Commissioner Axel Strakeljahn said. “At the end of the day it’s about the people who live in our community and the people who work at safe boats.”

SAFE Boats CEO Dennis Morris (pictured above) thanked the port for crafting lease extensions that meets the company’s changing needs.

safeboats“I think we’ve reached an agreement that will work for all of us,” Morris said.

The extensions lock in SAFE Boats as a tenant through mid 2017. After that, the manufacturer has the option of signing one-year extensions for up to four successive years on any or all of the four properties it leases.

The agreement requires a generous nine-month notice if SAFE Boats decides to not renew a lease.

The variable terms of the lease extensions could help SAFE Boats scale up or down to meet fluctuating demand for its small military and law enforcement boats.

“It does give us that flexibility in this dynamic business environment we find ourselves in,” Morris said.

As I reported last week, the agreement also gives SAFE Boats a steep discount on rent, to the tune of about $200,000 a year, or 41 percent.

SAFE Boats has leased space at the Port of Bremerton since 2000. The company is manufacturing a line of larger patrol boats at a Port of Tacoma facility.

With its main leases in Bremerton expiring at the end of June, SAFE Boats executives had looked for a way of consolidating operations. A search for suitable industrial space in Kitsap didn’t yield a ready solution

The company had the option of relocating its entire operation to the Port of Tacoma, but finally opted to stay in Bremerton.

With SAFE Boats sticking around, the Port of Bremerton’s industrial buildings are are largely full. The port still has a large number of vacant industrial pads it needs to find tenants for.

Commissioners may discuss a plan for creating spec buildings to attract more tenants at their next meeting.

SAFE Boats lease extension documents are embedded below: Continue reading

General Dynamics celebrates opening

unnamedPost by Ed Friedrich

Congressman Derek Kilmer, Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder and Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent jokingly jockeyed during General Dynamics’ ribbon-cutting Tuesday evening over who gets to help the new aircraft carrier guys.

“We want to lay out the welcome mat and for you to keep us on your speed dial,” Kilmer said in the renovated second floor of the Dimension 4 building at Fifth and Pacific, soon to be the General Dynamics building when the new sign goes up.

“If there’s anything Congressman Kilmer can’t give you on a local basis, we can,” Lent followed.

Gelder said the county also wants to team with General Dynamics, the Virginia-based outfit that under-bid Vigor for the next five years of non-nuclear maintenance, repair and alterations of aircraft carriers home-ported in and visiting Bremerton and Everett.

The first job will be Everett-based USS Nimitz, which will arrive at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in January for a 16-month maintenance period. The company, which will employ about 200 people here, has put together a “dream team” from Virginia transplants, retired military and PSNS workers, and former Vigor employees, said senior general manager Jeff Brooks, who flew in from Norfolk for the event.

“One of the most important things about being here is how Congressman Kilmer and the community have embraced us,” Brooks said. “People call us by our first names already. We’re partners. We want that partnership to last.”

SAFE Boats delivers first MK VI patrol boat

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SAFE Boats International delivered the first of its new MK VI patrol boats to the U.S. Navy in August, according to a Navy wire story.

It’s the first of 10 patrol vessels SAFE Boats is building for the Navy. SAFE is headquartered in Bremerton but building the MK VI series in Tacoma.

The 85-foot boats will be used by the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command for coastal and river operations. The patrol boats can accommodate up to 10 crew members and eight passengers, while motoring at speeds up to 35 knots. 

The first MK VI completed sea trials over the summer and will be deployed in the spring of 2015, according to the Navy. SAFE will continue deliveries through 2018.

The Navy awarded SAFE an initial $30.5 million patrol boat contract in 2012 and an additional contract earlier this year.

 Courtesy image

Is it time to rename SKIA?

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The Port of Bremerton needs to recruit manufacturers to the slow-growing South Kitsap Industrial Area.

But most companies outside the region have never heard of Kitsap County, let alone its southern extremities. Given the county’s lack of name recognition, port Commissioner Axel Strakeljahn believes it’s time to rebrand SKIA.

VicinityMap“Where is South Kitsap and what does that mean to you?” Strakeljahn said at a Tuesday night commission meeting. “It has no meaning outside our local area.”

His solution? Give the 3,500-acre industrial area a name that reflects the broader region. “Puget Sound Industrial Center” was one suggestion.

Strakeljahn said he and port CEO Jim Rothlin have informally discussed a potential name change with a number of area leaders, including representatives from Puget Sound Regional Council and Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent. The idea was well received. Continue reading