Category Archives: Port of Bremerton

Port will discuss sale of Bremerton waterfront property Tuesday

Parkignlot_7988144_ver1.0_640_480Port of Bremerton commissioners will discuss the terms of an agreement Tuesday to sell a premier waterfront development property above Bremerton Marina.

According to port CEO Jim Rothlin, the commission is weighing a $4.5 million offer from development firm Sound West Group to purchase the Washington Avenue property. By law, the port can’t sell the land for less than fair market value.

Sound West partner Mike Brown told me the firm is interested in creating a mixed-use development on the 2-acre site.

The port bought the land from Kitsap Consolidated Housing Authority in 2009 for $3.5 million to provide parking for the marina. The district put the property on the market last year with an asking price of $5 million. bremerton-property

Port CEO Jim Rothlin said the goal of the sale would be to pay off the debt from the purchase while still maintaining parking for boaters.

“At the time of the purchase the port’s intent was always to see development occur there at some point that would help increase growth and economic development for the community,” Rothlin said prior to a Nov. 8 public hearing on the potential sale.

“But the priority was really to make sure we secured parking for the marina and were able to pay off debt on that property as well.”

South Kitsap resident Roger Gay was the only member of the public to offer comment. He urged commissioners to be upfront with the public about the process and the potential impact development of the property might have on the marina.

“You need to have those answers no ahead of time as much as possible,” Gay said.

Port commissioners vowed to only agree to a sale if parking for the marina was preserved.

The commission will review a purchase and sale agreement for the property at its regular meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bremerton National Airport. Approval of the port’s 2017 budget also is on the agenda.

Bremerton Marina now 85 percent full

harbor3_18647849_ver1.0_640_480Bremerton Marina crept closer to full occupancy this summer.

Boats filled 187 of 221 permanent moorage slips in the downtown marina in July, up from 164 in July of 2015, and 88 back in 2012. July and August are peak months for the facility.

Marina marketing consultant Bob Wise told Port of Bremerton commissioners Tuesday that the port’s “two-for-one” moorage discount continues to reel in boaters.

The deal allows tenants to pay moorage every other month, if they agree to a two-year contract.

The port rolled out the discount in 2013, and offered it again at the Seattle Boat Show in January. That resulted in 31 new leases, Wise said.

Most tenants are sticking around to sign full-rate contracts after their two-year discounts expire. The retainment rate for boaters attracted by the two-for-one deal is about 70 percent, Wise said.

The discount “gives us an opportunity to showcase what we have to offer,” he said.

More downtown activity is also helping draw attention to the marina. A revamped Rock the Dock concert series drew large crowds this summer (the last concert of the season is Saturday). Brewfest and the Harbor Festival are popular with boaters.

The port continues to aggressively plug the marina on social media, in magazine ads, and at boat shows. Revenue has increased as slips filled up, but the facility is still far from breaking even.

More than 500 planes confirmed for Bremerton airport fly-in


Registration numbers are soaring for an aviation convention planned this weekend at Bremerton National Airport.

B0015742479--722623As of Wednesday morning, 523 pilots had confirmed they planned to land at the airport for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Fly-In, which kicks off Friday evening and continues through Saturday.

Nearly 160 participants planned to camp under the wings of their planes.
Total registration for the event had topped 1,700, but closer to 3,000 attendees are expected, according to airport director Fred Salisbury.

“It should be a packed house,” he said.

Weather forecasts should help boost attendance. The National Weather Service predicts sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s this weekend.

The Bremerton event will double the size of the AOPA Fly-In Spokane hosted in 2014, which attracted 1,500 attendees and 240 planes. (A torrential rainstorm the day before festivities began dampened attendance.)B0013904477--374701

Big registration numbers for Bremerton are encouraging to organizers, who believe the event will provide an economic boost to the area.

AOPA Fly-Ins typically generate about $680,000 for the local economy, according to the association. The conventions create business for hotels, transportation companies, food vendors and contractors.

Jack Edwards, manager of Bremerton’s Baymont Inn & Suites, said roughly one-third of his rooms (about 50 units) were booked for the weekend by Fly-In participants. He started receiving reservations from AOPA members as early as April.

“We’re still getting calls from them, but we’re full,” Edwards said.

A plane flies above Mt. Rainier as seen from the window of a Beechcraft Baron piloted by Avian Flight Center's Pat Heseltine on Friday, June 3, 2016. (MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN)

Visitors who waited until this week to book rooms would be hard pressed to vacancies anywhere in Bremerton, he said.

Visit Kitsap Peninsula Executive Director Patty Graf-Hoke said the Port of Bremerton deserved praise for bringing the Fly-In to Kistap.

“The AOPA very prestigious national organization and their West Coast event offers locals new opportunities to introduce hundreds tourists to the region,” Graf-Hoke said in an email. “Guests are filling up hotel rooms which is good for local businesses and the economy.”

The AOPA Fly-In is free and open to the public. Click here to learn more about the event.

You don’t have to be a pilot to enjoy the beauty of the Kitsap peninsula from the air. Click here to see Meegan Reid’s gallery of aerial photos taken earlier this year.

Port mulling $75k real estate marketing study

SAFE Boats remains an anchor tenant at the port
SAFE Boats remains an anchor industrial tenant at the port

The Port of Bremerton is considering paying a consulting firm $75,000 to study how the district can best market its sprawling industrial property to potential tenants.

According to a memo prepared by CEO Jim Rothlin, the goal of the analysis would be to identify the port’s strengths and generate a list of businesses that could benefit from locating there.

“While the Port has many amenities to offer prospective tenants at the Industrial Park, it is critical that we find a way to stand apart from many other location options available to them,” Rothlin wrote in the memo.

Rothlin is recommending a contract with real estate consulting firm Heartland LLC. of Seattle.

The bulk of the $75,000 price tag would be covered by a $49,500 grant the port recently obtained from the state Department of Commerce. The port would pick up the remaining $25,500.

The port commission will vote on the contract during its next meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bremerton National Airport.

You can read Rothlin’s memo below and find the port commission agenda here.


SAFE Boats unveils ‘multi-mission’ vessel

safe.boatsSAFE Boats International announced a new model in its lineup of commercially-available”interceptor” vessels.

The Port of Bremerton-based manufacturer unveiled the 35-foot “Multi-Mission Interceptor” Wednesday at the Multi-Agency Craft Conference in Baltimore, according to a news release.

“We are excited to launch the Multi-Mission Interceptor, one of the most versatile and highest performing models in our already great portfolio”, SAFE Boats CEO Dennis Morris said in the release.

The aluminum vessel boasts a maximum speed of more than 55 knots, and is capable of tight maneuvers and open-ocean crossings. A unique mounting system allows the rear deck to be reconfigured quickly.

SAFE Boats recently celebrated a milestone with the completion of its 2,000th hull and the delivery of its first coastal interceptor for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Port launches free Wi-Fi at marinas

Boaters can now surf the web while snug in their slips at the Bremerton and Port Orchard public marinas.

The Port of Bremerton has launched a free Wi-Fi service at both Sinclair Inlet marinas, according to a Monday announcement.

“Studies have shown, and our customers have repeatedly told us that the number one utility they value bar none is connectivity,” port CEO Jim Rothlin said in the announcement. “It’s also the number one frustration they have with marinas as it can so often be weak, slow and unreliable.

The network provides a 125-megabyte-per-second access link shared by both facilities, which can be scaled up to 1 gigabyte-per-second as demand increases.

marina_23283854_ver1.0_640_480The system can accommodate up to 1,000 devices at a time. Service is provided by NW Commnet of Bremerton. 

In an email, Rothlin said the agency spent about $150,000 installing a fiber optic backbone and Wi-Fi system at both marinas.

Hardware chosen for the network had to be especially rugged to survive in the corrosive marine environment.

“I would say the biggest challenges were getting coverage through all parts each marina, dealing with getting coverage within covered moorage, and keeping the connection across the two marinas as the tide goes in and out,” Rothlin said. 

The full announcement, with more technical info, is posted below:  Continue reading

SAFE Boats builds vessels for Bahamas Police

Two boats tested in Sinclair Inlet are now patrolling sunnier seas.

The Royal Bahamas Police Force has accepted delivery of a pair of 41-foot, center console interceptor vessels manufactured by Bremerton’s SAFE Boats International, according to a news release.

The boats will primarily be used to combat drug smuggling and human trafficking in water surrounding the archipelago. Special features include a thermal imaging camera and multi-function display screens for the crew.

The offshore interceptor vessels can achieve speeds of more than 50 knots, even in rough water. Bahamas police have four of the boats in service.

SAFE Boats recently landed a $48 million U.S. Customs contract to build 52 Coastal Interceptor Vessels. The company will begin delivering those vessels this year, according to the release.

SAFE Boats’ small boat manufacturing center is located in the Port of Bremerton’s Olympic View Industrial Park, near Bremerton National Airport.

Click here for more maritime industry posts.

Zabinksi bids farewell to port commission

Roger Zabinski

Port of Bremerton Commissioner Roger Zabinski was on business in Japan last week and missed the final commission meeting of the year.

The District 1 commissioner, who chose not to run for reelection this year, still took a moment to reflect on his time with the port in a statement read by CEO Jim Rothlin:

“I want to thank all the port staff, commissioners and the public for the opportunity that I’ve had to serve the public as a port commissioner these past six years. I’ve really enjoyed this time and found the experience very rewarding…

“I think the port is doing a good job serving the public, maintaining public amenities and trying to further develop the industrial park and the airport. I think the port commission and staff are focused and committed to the port’s mission of economic development and I encourage you all to keep at it…”

Zabinski was elected to the commission in 2009. He decided not to seek another term because of work demands.

Former port CEO Cary Bozeman will replace Zabinski on the commission, after winning election in November. 

Bozeman joins Larry Stokes and Axel Strakeljahn on the three-member board. 

The next Port of Bremerton commission meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 12 at Bremerton National Airport. 

SAFE Boats building river patrol vessel for Colombia
The new riverine interceptor vessel (courtesy SAFE Boats)

Bremerton’s SAFE Boats International has been chosen to build a line of speedy river patrol vessels for the ColI mbian military.

The Colombian Navy/Coast Guard awarded a contract to the manufacturer for the new 30-foot boat, designated as the Type-F Riverine Interceptor Vessel.

“The vessel will perform missions of offensive patrolling, combat drug trafficking, piracy, arms and explosives smuggling and can conduct vessel-to-vessel boarding operations to guarantee the security of commercial shipping lines within Colombia,” according to a news

The interceptor can carry a crew of up to 10. The boat is powered by twin Yamaha outboards and is capable of reaching 37 knots.

It features a retractable canopy, and front and rear machine gun mounts.

SAFE Boats has completed the first riverine interceptor, which will be delivered this month. The company expects to build as many as two-dozen of the boats for Colombia in coming years.

The Colombian military already has more than 20 SAFE Boats in service, including 41-foot coastal interceptor vessels and 38-foot coastal cabin patrol vessels.

“We have worked very close with the Colombian military to understand just how aggressive and remote their missions can be and to develop a boat that will significantly enhance their patrol and interdiction capabilities on the large rivers of Colombia,” John Hotz, director of sales for Latin America and the Caribbean, said in the release.

SAFE Boats builds its smaller aluminum vessels at a facility in the Port of Bremerton’s Olympic View Industrial Park. A larger line of Navy patrol boats is being built in Tacoma.

Port puts prime Bremerton waterfront parcel on market


port.propertyA “for sale” sign went up last week at a coveted waterfront property overlooking Bremerton Marina.

The 1.6-acre parcel, owned by the Port of Bremerton, was listed by CBRE for $5 million. The land is also available for lease.

The port bought the property from Kitsap Consolidated Housing Authority in 2009 for $3.5 million.

The hillside parcel provides parking for marina tenants and the port turns a profit renting additional parking stalls. But with views of Sinclair Inlet and easy access to the ferry, the property has long been ogled by developers as a potential site for a hotel, apartments or condos.

Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent made her preference clear in an interview last fall.

“I’m hoping we can have a third hotel,” Lent said. “Because of our expanded conference center, and the vitality of our city, we could accommodate another hotel.”

The trick for the port will be finding a way to lease or sell the land while maintaining parking for the growing number of marina tenants. Boaters use about half of the 120 parking spaces in the busy summer months.