Westport yacht-maker lays off Port Angeles, other workers

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

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Westport Shipyard, the luxury-yacht maker, imposed companywide layoffs Wednesday at its facilities in Port Angeles, Westport and Hoquiam because of a lack of work, a spokeswoman said.

The company has a 100,000-square-foot plant at
637 Marine Drive and a two-building cabinet shop on West 18th Street in Port Angeles that it rents from the Port of Port Angeles for $14,000 a month.

“Westport Shipyard Inc. made adjustments to employment levels at its yacht construction facilities [Wednesday],” company Human Resources Specialist
Jennifer Swogger said Wednesday afternoon in an email.

“The reduction is reflective of the ongoing current market conditions for premium luxury yachts,” Swogger said.

In an interview, Swogger would not comment on how many employees were laid off or how many remained in Port Angeles.

“They were terminated due to lack of work,” Swogger said, adding that she was the only one authorized to comment on the layoff.

A spokeswoman at the company’s Westport plant also referred inquiries to Swogger.

The email was almost identical to the statement the company issued March 18, when workers also were laid off.

Westport produces composite-construction yachts of 85, 98, 112, 130 and 164 feet.

The longest yachts come out of the 72-foot-high Marine Drive plant.

Hundreds of well-wishers attended the grand opening of the Marine Drive facility in November 2003.

Workers at the $13 million facility built the company’s 164-foot-long super-yacht, which was to sell for a reported $27.5 million in 2003, the Peninsula Daily News reported at the time.

The building, constructed by Fisher and Sons of Burlington, is located on a 3-acre site that Westport bought from the Port of Port Angeles for $530,000.

The company was anticipating employing 200 workers at the facility in 2004, according to the PDN.

The cabinet shop was already in operation when the yacht-building facility was constructed.

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at paul.gottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 13. 2013 12:57AM
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