ON THE WATERFRONT: New designs and familiar vessels in Port Angeles

EARLIER THIS WEEK two Seaspan barges moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ T-3 and were loaded with Interfor chips. Once each barge was loaded with approximately 4,000 metric tons of product, the barges were taken under tow to a facility in Canada.

When T-3 was vacated, the 150-foot ocean-going tug Sea Voyager ll tied up. The vessel has been laid up at Lake Union for the last couple of years.

In 1983, the tug was sold and renamed Marine Voyager. In 1985, she was sold and renamed Joshua. In 1988, the tug was sold and renamed Independent Voyager. In 1992, the tug was acquired by Crowley Marine Services Incorporated of San Francisco, where she was renamed Sea Voyager.

She was recently purchased by a private party who will take the tug to Panama for use in a business venture.

Armstrong Marine, the aluminum boat manufacturer on Highway 101 midway between Sequim and Port Angeles, is busy building vessels and scouring the boating industry horizon for future projects.

Armstrong is currently building a 37 foot Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) for the San Francisco based tour boat company Bay Voyager. The monohull vessel features a semi-open cabin design with full-width aft canopy and heavy duty fendering system. Twin Yamaha 300hp outboards and 265-gallon fuel capacity bring a wealth of points of interest within easy reach.

Captain Charles Jennings of Bay Voyager said, “This new boat will provide an expanded route with views of Alcatraz, wildlife, and the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. It will be one of the most comprehensive and unique tours departing from the waterfront. We’re excited to be working with Armstrong Marine USA to offer this one of a kind experience on a one of a kind vessel.”

The vessel has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for 28 passengers and two crewmembers.

The RHIB more than doubles Bay Voyager’s current passenger capacity.

A thoughtfully-designed seating arrangement provides unobstructed views throughout. For passenger comfort and convenience, a head compartment is incorporated beneath the console. Additional customizations include a Raymarine navigation/electronics package and LED courtesy lights in the gunwales.

Bay Voyager offers San Francisco’s most highly rated boat tours, according to Trip Advisor and Get Your Guide. Excursions include up-close sightseeing, twilight cruises, and tours exploring the Bay’s rich maritime history. Learn more at www.bay voyager.com.

Armstrong recently received a contract to build a custom passenger ferry for the community of Hat Island — a small, private island community in Snohomish County. The island is nestled in Possession Sound between Everett, Whidbey and Camano Islands. It operates a weekly ferry schedule to and from the Port of Everett.

The 49-passenger Coast Guard approved vessel features a galley, head, Northern Lights 9kW generator, Garmin/NMEA electronics package, and PA system. Vessel completion is slated for Fall 2020.

The 45-foot semi-displacement catamaran is designed with shaft & wheel propulsion powered by twin Cummins QSL9 405hp engines and SeaStar EPS electronic steering. A ZF CruiseCommand system provides superior vessel control from the raised pilothouse or second station forward. Two bow thrusters and aluminum push knees with rubber fendering ease repeated mooring.

Two passenger gates at the bow plus a side door aft expedite the boarding process. Additional exterior customizations include 12 deck tie-down points and an aluminum davit (500 lb. SWL) for cargo transport.

Inside the full-width main cabin, cushioned bench seating accommodates passengers. Multiple lockers and overhead bins store luggage. The galley includes microwave and refrigerator along with additional storage shelving to ensure supplies are well stocked. Heat and air conditioning keep the cabin comfortable year-round. The head is accessed from the aft deck.

Charlie Crane, Armstrong Marine USA sales and marketing director, commented on the contract award, “Over the last two years, we’ve focused on taking our passenger vessels to the next level with thoughtful designs that improve not only safety and serviceability, but also the comfort and experience of each passenger. These changes are evident in the Hat Island Ferry; by closely collaborating with project stakeholders, we’ve designed a vessel that will be uniquely well-suited to their community’s needs.”

Hat Island residents’ requirements are reflected in the ferry design which received widespread community approval.


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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