ON THE WATERFRONT: New site for local company

EARLIER THIS WEEK I met with Dave Hagiwara, the general manager of Westport Shipyards, at the former site of the WalMart store on U.S. Highway 101 in Port Angeles.

The structure is now owned by Westport and houses the carpentry shop and administrative offices.

The building is about 130,000 square feet in size and roughly 100,000 square feet is used by the 100 production employees in the carpentry shop; the balance of the space is offices used by engineers and administrative staff.

The carpentry shop builds all the cabinetry for all Westport yachts built in Port Angeles, Westport and Hoquiam as well as for all Chouest commercial vessels that are built in one of their many worldwide facilities.

Westport moved into the building Dec. 1 after it was remodeled by local contractor J&J Construction. Scott Schwagler of J&J Construction said the 18 subcontractors and material suppliers used on the remodel were all local businesses.

All of the tables in the conference rooms were built in the carpentry shop and have the high-gloss finish readily associated with the classy interior of a yacht.

The stair railings were fabricated in-house using stainless steel and are a sight to behold.

The transformation from a retail store to administrative offices and carpentry shop points to the notion that in the not-too-distant future only a few folks with a little local knowledge and a bit of history provided by a few newspaper articles will know WalMart ever occupied this space.

Festival slated

Mark your calendar for the 2019 Port Angeles Maritime Festival, which will be held June 8-9.

What began as Waterfront Days in 2016 has now evolved into an annual event highlighting the local maritime heritage and water activity-based businesses and organizations.

Platypus Marine

Platypus Marine, the full-service shipyard, yacht-repair facility and steel-boat manufacturer on Marine Drive in Port Angeles, has Reel Lee Fun stowed in the Commander building.

She is a 68-foot Little Hoquiam that will be at their facility until early May having the hull and bottom painted.

Platypus also has Liberty Bay (YP701) in the Commander building. She is a 108-foot wooden vessel that is homeported at Kitsap Bangor and serves as a platform for deployment of stationary in-water targets for torpedo tests and companion evolutions.

YP class vessels are used to teach basic to advanced seamanship and navigation to midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

These craft can cruise for 1,800 nautical miles at 12 knots for five days without refueling.

While the vessel is out of service, personnel will make repairs to the hull and work on the propulsion system.

Port of Port Angeles

On April 12, the tall ship Pacific Swift moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 1 South for a two-night respite.

She is an 81-foot Topsail Schooner that hails from Victoria, B.C.

The vessel is owned and operated by the Sail and Life Training Society which offers sail training to youth ages 13 to 25.

Tuesday, Astoria Bay moored to the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 3. She is a 609-foot cargo ship that is flagged in Hong Kong and is taking on a load of debarked logs that were harvested from private lands in Western Washington.

She is scheduled to get underway for China with about 5 million board feet of logs Wednesday or Thursday.

Monday, Tesoro Petroleum bunkered Dong A. Krios, a 600-foot Panamanian flagged petroleum products ship.

Wednesday, Tesoro provided bunkers to B.W. Orion, a 226-foot LPG carrier that is flagged in the United Kingdom.

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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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