PORT TOWNSEND — An aluminum-boat-building company has taken residence in the Boat Haven, with the eventual goal of creating 30 family-wage jobs.
“We are a relatively new company, with our target to create a line of vessels for the recreational market,” said Cory Armstrong, president of Armstrong Consolidated, which moved in shortly after Christmas.
It occupies a 20,000-square-foot space that formerly housed Gold Star Marine, which closed in October. It pays the Port of Port Townsend $8,000 per month, plus tax, on a month-to-month basis, with plans to negotiate a longer lease.
Armstrong was a partner in Armstrong Marine in Port Angeles, which he formed with his brother, Josh Armstrong.
Cory Armstrong said he formed Armstrong Consolidated so he could concentrate on efficiently building a line of welded aluminum boats.
The boats range in value from $250,000 to $2 million and are 24 feet to 60 feet in length, Armstrong said.
His target is to build six boats during the first year of operation.
All boats are built to order, Armstrong said, with the customer putting down a 5 percent deposit and paying for each phase at its completion, he said.
“This is a perfect example of cooperation between the Economic Development Council, Team Jefferson and the port in a private business,” said Jim Pivarnik, Port of Port Townsend deputy director.
“This is a year’s worth of work that has come to fruition.”
The Armstrong deal was shepherded by Team Jefferson CEO Peter Quinn, whose mission is to bring new businesses to Port Townsend.
“Very seldom, something that we do has some visibility,” Quinn said.
“I usually work with companies bringing in one, two or five jobs.
“Every once in awhile, true economic development can happen.”
In 2014, Quinn was actively pursuing a boat-builder to move to Port Townsend and found Armstrong through a referral.
He spent the next year looking at different parts of the business and how Port Townsend could benefit the company.
Quinn said Armstrong Consolidated is an ideal business for the Port Townsend area, both in bringing new maritime trades jobs to the port and in the indirect economic effect of suppliers and vendors that support that work.
Since the company “will be building new boats, as well as servicing the Gold Star repair business, they have a chance to succeed in a variety of economic cycles,” he said.
Modern recreational boats are akin to floating homes, so their creation will require a variety of skills, Armstrong said.
Positions to be offered
The company will have positions available for all maritime trades, including welding, fabrication, mechanics, installers, electricians and interior craftspeople.
The company purchased Gold Star’s assets but not the company itself, Armstrong said, and will continue the previous tenant’s boat repair services in one section of the building and boat manufacturing in the other.
Armstrong has two partners in the business: Jeremy Cornelson, who has owned and operated Blue Water Boatworks out of Port Angeles for more than 20 years and is running the repair and re-fit side of the business, while Peggy Barnett manages the operations.
The port annually allocates $25,000 to the EDC with the purpose of soliciting partnerships.
“The marine trades in the state of Washington are under a lot of stress to find places where they can ply their trade as waterfronts are more interesting to developers of condominiums and things like that,” Quinn said.
“When a marine trade needs a place to go, Port Townsend has the skills and the space, along with a really strong interest in developing a working waterfront.”
For more information, go to www.armstrongconsolidated.com.
________Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or [email protected]