ON THE WATERFRONT: Logs and launches abound in Port Angeles

LAST WEEKEND, A log barge came into the harbor.

I understand the barge had a few bundles of logs for PA Hardwood that were offloaded and replaced by a like number of bundles of softwood that were delivered to a customer in Coos Bay, Ore.

Outright launches

Earlier last week, Armstrong Marine, the aluminum-boat manufacturer on U.S. Highway 101 midway between Port Angeles and Sequim, launched Outright.

She is a 46-foot catamaran with a 15-foot beam that seats 30 passengers and is operated by a crew of two.

Outright is powered by four 300-horsepower Yamaha outboard motors and can skim across the water at about 40 knots. The vessel’s hailing port will be Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

I understand this is the third vessel Armstrong built for this client that specializes in transporting personnel and equipment in remote areas of Alaska.

Vessel Starbound

Early last Saturday evening, Starbound moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 3. I was told the vessel developed a mechanical issue while underway to Alaska. She diverted to Port Angeles to make repairs.

Once the vessel was up to full song, she resumed her journey to the Bering Sea.

Starbound is a 240-foot catcher-processor that operates in the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands. I reviewed the vessel’s website and shuddered when I read that crew members work 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Sounds like a young person’s gig.

Log trade

Last week, I tried to get a handle on the positive economic value the log trade contributes to our local economic base.

Despite the best efforts of some real smart people who passed along some information to me, I am unable to put a firm dollar figure on it, nor am I able to put a number to the number of people who work within and support the logging industry.

In addition to the folks who fell the trees, there are the equipment operators who load the felled trees (now logs) onto trucks for transport to a log yard for storage. Mechanics are employed to maintain the trucks, and tire companies abound to keep the vehicles rolling.

Of course these businesses have office personnel as well.

I could keep going, but it is easy to see that the tentacles of the log industry reach deep into our community.

Were it not for the demand in China for the softwood logs that are harvested off private lands in Clallam County, there would be few, if any, economically viable options for those wishing to sell logs.

In last week’s column, I mentioned that the logs exported to China from Port Angeles are softwood that are used in the construction trade. They are used for no other purpose; that is to say the logs are not converted to consumer products which are imported back into the United States.

Since logs shipped from Port Angeles are not used in manufacturing in China, they do not represent a loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States.

Instead, they represent a flourishing industry that provides jobs here on the North Olympic Peninsula.

The headline on last week’s column referred to the logs shipped from the East Coast, which are hardwood and are used in consumer products.

On the hard

Platypus Marine, the full-service shipyard, yacht repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer on Marine Drive in Port Angeles, has a 64-foot screening vessel from Kitsap Bangor in the Commander Building. She will be there for about six weeks to be sandblasted, repainted and to have a number of mechanical issues resolved.

Platypus also has a 95-foot Leclercq yacht in the Commander Building. Personnel will scrub and paint the bottom.

Once the work is completed, the owner will have a survey done.

_________

David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who enjoys boats and strolling the area’s waterfronts and boat yards.

Items and questions involving boating, marina and industrial activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome. News announcements about boating groups, including yacht clubs and squadrons, are welcome as well.

Email [email protected] or phone him at 360-808-3202.

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